Throw your very own Murder Mystery Escape Room where players (teens/adults) are trapped in an Haunted House and must solve the mystery of which ghost killed all the others before time runs out and they become ghost themselves.
This DIY Murder Mystery Escape Room can be set up and played anywhere. You will need to purchase a few cheap props which I will tell you about for each clue and print our our DIY Helper Kit. The game is explained in detail and how to set up each clue so you can put it together with minimal effort. Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.
THE PREMISE: The game takes place in a house that is haunted by eleven ghosts, one of them is the murderer who killed the others. Your guests are in danger of becoming ghosts themselves if they don't solve the mystery of who the killer is, what weapon they used to murder the others, and where that dirty deed took place. This game idea is a combination of the board game Clue, murder mystery games, treasure hunts, and escape rooms combined together to create one fantastic adventure for your challengers.
THE SET-UP: You will need to set up a space where players must 'escape' from. This could be a room, a basement area, a whole house - as long as there is a door to lock. The lock creates the escape part of the game. You will also need a create-your-own 4 digit padlock. This links to one on amazon, I'm not an affiliate but this is the one I always suggest. All the clues, puzzles, and challenges provided below ultimately lead to players uncovering this four digit code.
This is a VERY CRITICAL part of the game as players ultimate goal will be to figure out the combination to this four digit lock to escape the room. If you cannot lock the door using padlock you can instead create your own "lockbox" to lock the key in using the four digit combination lock. You can get as elaborate as you want or keep it real simple like this easy peasy lock bag.
Now once you have this set-up you simply place all the other clues throughout the playing area. Some need a bit of preperation. The in's and out's of each clue and how it works are all listed below.
The idea is that all 11 ghost (including the killer) left a clue for the players. Players must solve all the clues in order to discover the who, what, and where of the murder mystery and use that information to deduct the four digit code that will open the lock box where the key is kept to escape the room.
Hide/ place all the clues and props (given below) throughout your playing area. Players must discover them and solve them to win the game. Each ghosts clue / puzzle will have a numerical answer.
When players solve the puzzle and get the numerical answer they use the cipher (included in kit) to discover two letters. When they have solved all 11 clues they will have 22 letters - they must unscramble them to figure out the who, what, and where of the mystery.
Only 20 of the letters will be used, the other two are from the killer's clue and were put in there as red herrings. This is all explained in The Letter that players recieve to start the game. This letter come in the printable helper kit and is editable so you can alter it to fit your needs!
Gregory Green was a writer - his clue leads to a dictionary that when players look up the word writer they will find letters underlined that spell out the clue's answer number (which you prepared beforehand) When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
To solve the ghost of Slyvia Slate's clue players must realize that there is one and only one picture that appears on the clue card but doesn't appear on the game poster (which you have hung up in the playing area somewhere). That picture in the bottle. Players then must find the bottle (which you have also placed in the playing area somewhere) and figure out what the clue's numerical answer is. The answer is on the label which you have replaced on the bottle when preparing the game). When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Ruby Red, the sultry siren, an alluring seductress in her day. When she made milkshakes all the boys came to the yard. To solve her clue puzzle players must fill in all the lips on the grid - once this is done a number can be seen. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Milo's clue is a visual one of a potter using yellow clay. Players must associate this with the yellow tub of playdough (that you have inconspicuoulsy placed in the playing room beforehand) and inside the clay they will discover a hidden rock with a number written on it. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Sammy's clue is a logic puzzle riddle. Players must discover first, that it is cards the riddle speaks of. Next they must figure out the order of three specific cards. Then they must find the deck of cards in the room, pull these three cards out and write the number thats written on each card ( that you prepared beforehand) onto the puzzle. They add the first two numbers then subtract the third to get the clues answer. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
To prepare this clue you will write the clue's answer number in the crystal ball beforehand using a white crayon. You will also need to prepare the 'magic" reveal formula by mixing in a small bottle some water and a tab of purple water paint (any paint will work but the kids water paint tabs are so cheap and purple matches the clue color). Tape the included label onto the jar to create a fun addition. You should attach the paintbrush to it or have it very near so players know that they need it as well - if it is also purple that will further signify that it belongs with that clue. Players must find it and when the paint across the crystal ball, the paint will not stick to the white wax causing the number to appear. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Romana Rose was an up and coming Blues singer so her clue had to include music of course. This clue includes a QR code that when players look at through their camera on their phone it opens up a url that plays the song - go ahead and give it a try now it will work even on the computer. The song that plays is Bessie Smith's Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out. Players must listen to the song to discover what the bird that never grin refers to. The answer is a dollar bill. Which you hid in the room with the clue answer numbers circled in the bill's serial number. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Bellemy Blue was quite the adventurer, being confined to this haunted house for the past 100 years has been exceptionally hard on his soul. When he was alive he went everywhere - the Indiana Jones of his time. To solve this clue players must map out his last adventure in order of the 13 locations mentioned in his journal entry. When they are finished they will have unknowingly drawn a number on the map. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
NOTE: The map prints on a 8x11 page. You can see all the names with your bare eyes but some of them are indeed small - a magnifying glass may help and it will add to the tone of the game.
Bernard Brown's clue is in the form of another riddle. The answer is time. You can use the included picture of a pocket watch OR you can set an analog clock up in the room (with the batteries removed) set to the specific time needed. Players are to find the clock and write down the numbers on the clue card. For example this watch reads 2:10 - when put in the clue it would be 2+10 = 12. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Pru Periwinkle keeps her secrets in a place near and dear to her heart - when you look at her picture you see a locket near her heart. Players look to find the locket you prepared and hid in the playing area beforehand. Inside the locket they find a rolled up piece of paper that reads TRY EVEN THIS. They must figure out that this is an anagram for the answer number THIRTY SEVEN. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
SUGGESTION: If this game is played to celebrate a persons birthday or other special event you can give them this locket as a keepsake when the game is over.
Toby Teal is a reporter and his clue features a picture of a vintage typewriter, but players will not find a typewriter in the room. What they will find is a picture with a teal frame around it featuring four rows of martini glasses - what does this have to do with a typewriter? They will discover that the rows of martini glasses match the rows of keys on the typewriter and that some of those martini glasses have the olive on the other side of the glass. When they compare the martini glasses that are reversed with their corresponding key on the typewriter they will discover their clue number spelled out. When they look this number up on their decoder to discover the two letters that will help solve the mystery.
Players discover the names of all the ghosts (suspects) while they find clues, but they also must know the possible murder weapons and locations in order to solve the mystery. There are nine weapon cards and nine locations cards that you hide throughout the playing area along with the other clues. You can hide them as easy or as hard as you prefer - just don't forget where you hide them in case players need assistance.
Once players have solved all 11 puzzles and discovered all the weapon and location cards they are ready to solve the mystery and escape the haunted house. Players will have twenty two letters - they must unscramble them to discover who the killer is, what weapon they used, and the location the murders took place. Only 20 letters are used, the other two belong to the murderer's clue and aren't used. Players must deduce which ones these are. Once they do this then the four digit combination will be the numerical answer of the killer's puzzle (its 2 digits), the murder weapon number (in the bottom right corner of each weapon), and the murder location number (in the top left hand corner of each location). They use this four digit code to open the lock box, retrieve the door key and escape!
The Printable Helper Kit includes:
Your Murder Mystery Escape Room printable kit will arrive within minutes in printable PDF files. This is a digital purchase - No physical product will be mailed. If you do not see it in your email please check your junk folder before you contact us - that is the usual culprit. If you have any questions or feedback we would love to hear from you! Contact us at: HappyPartying@gmail.com