Murder mystery dinners are arguably the best way to combine friends, food and fun. Here’s why you should just do it.
1. Save your social life
So often when we’re sitting home alone, watching Friends reruns and crying into a tub of ice cream, we convince ourselves that everyone else must be out having a good time – they just didn’t invite us! The truth is usually the exact opposite of that.
If you pluck up the courage to ask around, you’ll realise most of your friends are also home alone, wallowing in the same self pity – alone or with their spouses or partners. By taking the initiative and organising a social event you can reprogram your social life the way you want it to look. That old adage, ‘you reap what you sow’, is as true today as ever. Want to be invited out to fun dinners? Then host one. Inviting your friends to a novel event will go a long way to creating some social momentum in all your lives!
2. Grow your social capital
Social capital is the measure of goodwill available to you in your friendship circles and personal networks.
The principle works the same as a bank account: your balance or wealth is the total of what’s left after you’ve made all your deposits and withdrawals. So how do you grow your social capital bank account? Invest in people! Not necessarily by spending money, but by offering your full attention, validation and respect; by being consistent and authentic in your interactions. Essentially, be a healthy, loving person.
Hosting a one-of-a-kind murder mystery dinner where you’ve crafted a unique character for each of your guests and organised a memorable evening of fun, doubles your investment in each person as they realise how much effort you’ve put in for their benefit and enjoyment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that it benefits you too…
3. Create community
As human beings, one of our deepest needs is to belong.
A homemade murder mystery dinner is not just an ordinary dinner plus fancy dress. From the invite to the highly engaged ‘play state’ in guests’ brains created by the dinner experience itself, a release of powerful, feel-good chemicals that promote social bonding occurs.
Using a social networking tool like WhatsApp or Facebook to arrange your event can strengthen connections among your guests, regardless of whether or not they’ve met in person. And increasing your guests’ interactions makes it more likely they will pursue lasting connections with one another after the game has ended.
4. Reawaken your creativity
When you’re a kid life is awesome. You get to do art, drama, music and dance for fun – every single week!
Unfortunately, as you grow up, things get horribly practical. Suddenly it’s goodbye to doodling, paint, clay and kicking balls; and hello to paying bills, grocery shopping, budgeting, skipping lunch breaks and intentionally exercising for health reasons.
If you allow your life to get too practical, you can start to erode your enjoyment of everyday life.
The good news is the world of make-believe is not just for children.
Writing and hosting your own murder mystery dinner intentionally injects fun and creativity back into your life.
5. Improve your culinary skills
The reason most people don’t cook is they don’t have a reason to cook.Lisa Aspeling, The Murder Mystery Guide
Hosting a themed murder mystery dinner gives you the motivation to get back into the kitchen. Whether you revive an old favourite or try out a new dish, hosting your own murder mystery dinner creates the momentum to put those Masterchef-inspired culinary skills into practice. Better still, if your murder mystery game is set in another country, serve a meal inspired by that nation to fire up your cooking skills: tortillas and nachos for Mexico, hamburgers for the USA and pasta for Italy.
Never cooked for a big group? Don’t shy away from testing your catering skills. Your friends are aware that you’re not a trained chef and are not expecting you to produce a Michelin star meal. They will appreciate the effort, even if the food you prepare for them isn’t 100% perfect.
One thing you should think about, however, is how to keep your food hot – after all, nobody likes cold lasagne.