Murder Mystery Party Kit Details
You and your guests are the unfortunate inmates and staff at Penderghast Asylum, a facility for the criminally insane that has been turned over to the tender care of Dr. Abraham Weiler, who is using the inmates as research subjects in his quest to find a cure for the zombie virus that is ravaging the world.
It appears that someone—or something—doesn’t approve of what’s going on at Penderghast. What should have been a night of routine research turns deadly, resulting in one of the unfortunate staff members to join the ranks of the living dead.
Solving the Mystery
The murder was witnessed by a room full of zombies; piecing together the puzzle would be simple were it not for the fact that each of these witnesses is irredeemably insane. Now the remaining staff will need to separate what really happened from the delusions and hallucinations of the undead inmates!
There are 32 primary suspects in this mystery, however only 10 are required to play the game. The host or hostess will play the role of the narrator and run the game. Read the "How To Play" section for more information on how to play an expanded game with more than 32 guests.
Human Male Roles
- Dr. Abraham Weiler: A renowned biologist and psychologist, Dr. Weiler is actually something of a mad scientist.
- Dr. Gerald Featherton: Dr. Featherton is Dr. Weiler’s research assistant.
- Dr. Mordecai Fern: Dr. Fern is one of the founding staff members of the asylum, originally hired by Dr. Penderghast years ago.
- Jeremiah Marsh: Jeremiah is one of the orderlies, responsible for maintaining security and keeping the patients and staff safe from themselves and each other.
- William Worth: William Worth (“Old Willy” to most of the staff) is the groundskeeper and janitor of the asylum.
- Morgan Byers: Morgan is another orderly, generally tasked with escorting inmates to and from Dr. Weiler’s lab.
- Alex Johnson: Alex is the third orderly. He is a large, quiet man whose soft voice and easy smile belie his scarred and fierce exterior.
Human Female Roles
- Dr. Erica Orville: Dr. Orville is Dr. Weiler’s second research assistant.
- Delilah Morrison: Head Nurse Morrison is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day maintenance of the ward.
- Eliza Satchet: Nurse Satchet is one of several original staff members who continue to work under Dr. Weiler.
- Mia Chekov: Mia is the Penderghast cook, a position that has become particularly unenviable given the rather bizarre new dietary requirements of the inmates.
- Deanna Mason: Deanna assists Old Willy in the upkeep of the Asylum.
- Carolyn Sinclair: Carolyn is an intern from a prestigious medical school on the inland.
Zombie Male Roles
- Alfred Fitzgerald: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Delusions of Persecution.
- Curtis Buchanan: Diagnosed with Kleptomania and Antisocial Personality Disorder.
- Dylan Manning: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia and Cotard Delusion.
- Gregory Bates: Diagnosed with Suicidal Depression.
- Jeremy Bowman: Diagnosed with Agoraphobia.
- Martin Robertson: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Delusions of Guilt.
- Nicholas Fuller: Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Pyromania.
- Quentin Montgomery: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Grandiose Delusions.
- Brady McCormick: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Grandiose Delusions.
- Lucas Bishop: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Delusions of Control.
Zombie Female Roles
- Kendra Chapman: Diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder coupled with Bibliomania.
- Alison Townsend: Diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.
- Cassandra Adkins: Diagnosed with total Amnesia.
- Heather Pittman: Diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
- Isabel Gomez: Diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder.
- Lillian Ericson: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Parasitic Delusions.
- Sabrina Ingram: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Paranoia.
- Vanessa Copeland: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Grandiose Religious Delusions.
- Wendy Barnes: Diagnosed with Schizophrenia with Delusions of Persecution.
- Investigator (male or female): Additional players have the option of playing the role of "Investigators". In this role the players are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players.
Follow these steps to host this mystery:
- Each guest will each assume the role of a particular character
Mystery Parties involve a combination of improvisational acting, storytelling, and creative problem solving. Each guest will play the part of that character throughout the course of the game. Each character has specific personality traits, goals, secrets, and information, all of which are included in the character sheet; a big part of the fun is getting into character and taking on a new, exciting role.
- A mysterious Event will occur
At some point during the party, an Event will occur that will force the players to come together in order to solve a problem or unravel a mystery. Traditionally, the Event in question will be the murder of one of the characters (as played by a guest), but the parties crafted by Playing With Murder often use this basic framework to accommodate different types of Events, thereby ensuring that your guests will be surprised and entertained (even if they are veteran murder mystery party players).
- Solve the mystery!
Your guests will need to use the information that their characters know (as well as additional clues that are provided during the game) to solve the mystery or overcome the problem posed by the Event. Typically this culminates in the guests voting on the identity of the murderer, but again, different parties will have different specific goals. All of our parties also come complete with additional subgames (treasure hunts, unique character goals and special puzzles) that are guaranteed to keep the action intense and your guests motivated and focused.
Expanded Game For Large Groups
If you have extra players, there are two ways that you can accommodate everyone:
- Investigator Role - Additional players have the option of playing the role of "Investigators". In this role the players are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players. Expanded Games include a PDF guide that explains how to use the Investigator role, as well as printable character sheets and name tags for anyone that is playing an Investigator.
- Multiple Groups - It is also possible to break your guests up into groups and play multiple instances of the game at the same time. The game will more or less happen the same way; the host makes announcements and each group moves their game forward simultaneously based on the host's instructions. It's good to have one assistant in each group to answer questions and facilitate gameplay within the group. This method provides a more intimate experience for your guests, who get better acquainted with a smaller group and participate in a more digestible story.
Please contact us if you'd like more information about how to run your party using the Multiple Groups method.
You can choose whether you'd like the Standard or Expanded version of a game when you add it to your cart.
First time hosting a murder mystery party?
Visit our How to Host a Mystery Party page to get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your murder mystery party.
This Mystery Party Kit is a 128-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:
- An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a mystery-party and provides specific tips on props, menu items, sound effects, combat and special tips to help make your party exciting, memorable and easy to run
- Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your party
- A detailed party guidebook that will walk you through the event in a simple, easy-to-understand format
- Instructions on how to run the party for a large group
- Nametags and character sheets for each player - the character sheets include tips on costuming and role-playing, as well special goals and information unique to each character
- Fully customizable invitations, complete with RSVP cards and guest lists
- Gorgeously illustrated full-color item cards for use during the scavenger hunt
- Voting sheets
- Customizable awards for your guests
- And much more!
With your purchase of this Mystery Party Kit you will also receive the following:
- Step-by-step printing instructions
- Two mp3 audio effects for use with your party
- Instructions on how to use these audio clips to best effect
- Party City - Great selection of zombie party supplies
Playing With Murder offers several audio files for use with each of our Mystery Party Kits. The audio clip below provides a sample montage of the sound effects included with this mystery.
Play audio sample:
The specific audio files for this Mystery Party Kit include:
- The background sounds of the asylum and research lab
- The noises of the murder occurring in the darkened lab
- I've wanted to do a murder mystery for a long time. My parents did these parties back before they had kids so I've heard great stories, but had yet to do one myself. I love anything zombie related so I searched for an apocalypse themed murder mystery. I had it narrowed down to two different companies and actually another reviewer on this site sold me on this one. So thanks Greg!
It was my 32nd and a buddy's 30th. After doing some initial probing to see who would be interested, one of my friends offered to be the host since I wanted to play a character. It worked out great and with the "how to print" section I was able to get things organized on my end without seeing anything crucial to the mystery.
The party itself went amazingly smooth! Everyone really got into it, going all out with costumes and character development.
The kit is straightforward and very easy to setup a great time with! I can't wait to do my next party, and neither can anyone else!
Probably the best part of the night was when my host was describing the scene after the murder, the characters involved, without being asked or prompted, immediately began improving what she was describing, much to the amusement of everyone!
One thing I would recommend is there is a handout called "life after the zombie apocalypse" that you're instructed to hand out shortly after the beginning of the party. Both my host and I thought the party would have gone smoother had we given that out ahead of time with their character sheet. It sets the scene and is very similar to your hosts opening speech. Everyone was revved up and in character as our host finished her speech and then broke for a bit as the handout was passed around. Especially as we had a bigger group of 26, it would have been smoother to just get right into it. Minute detail.
- I had zombie punch going with a dry ice bowl throughout the night.
We did a potluck and basically said anything creepy or gross goes. We got....
Deviled eggs dyed to look bloodshot
Swedish meatball eyes
Pulled hamstring (pork)
Batwings (chicken wins with black food coloring)
Roasted root vegetables with beets so everything was red
Several bodily fluids (different dips, salsa, guacamole)
An amazing beef brisket.... I mean 24 year old, vegetarian fed, suburban raised female jogger, crawlspace aged with a lint of lime.
- I used oriental trading and amazon to order a bunch of reasonably priced decorations. My best friend's favorite holiday is Halloween so I was pretty much set between her and online stores.
Several people used a local scrubs store to get costumes.
We used the first floor of my friend's old home for the party. We kicked everyone outside for an intermission and quickly reset for the lab with some preplanned light changes, strobe lights, electricity balls, and mason jars filled with baby doll parts or just food colored water and some dry ice.
- My partner suggested having a murder mystery party 2 weeks before my birthday. It was tight to do all the organising but more than enough people came and it was super fun! The kit is very involved and there is a fair bit of organising to do before hand, but I really love that stuff.
My friends really got in to the characters with costumes and even accents.
- I made finger food since we were eating in the "cafeteria" of the asylum.
I had 30ml large syringes from another party (without needles obviously) and I made jello-shots in them for the zombies! Could easily be made alcohol-free, just make sure they don't set too hard otherwise depressing the syringe won't work.
- I made a zombie playlist on Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/user/1289199128/playlist/2TsXPPAyNW655l4XwYxCMY
I made lots of jars of different things - eyeballs and noodles floating in water with food dye, brains out of play dough in jars
- Decided to try this for my 13 year old daughter who loves scary movies and not girly girly stuff.
We had 13 girls plus I had husband and 2 older nieces (10/26) taking on characters as well. I supplied costumes (disposable lab coats. mustaches, gloves, canes etc for "staff" and zombie painted/torn hospital gowns, make up for "inmates". I decorated with zombie items from Oriental trading, plus my own black halloween materials, candelabra for dining table, "specimen jars", painted creepy mirror and painted signs indicating the lab/assylum. All fun making and my daughter helped and loved who the house was set up!
It took a while for characters to get into their roles and Act 1 was a little bit of a struggle as girls were themselves/then characters and not sure how to quite get into it. Kids loved the decor, theme, and had fun figuring it out. We mixed my daughters friends (some from sports, some from school, some from neighborhood)
In the end it was fun for them and here are my suggestions:
1) not recommend doing this for any teens under 15 perhaps...not because of content but because of ability of youngers to grasp concept and get into roles
2) DEFINATELY make sure you have a lot of Zombie roles to extend Act 2. The kit has "required" roles but I think it would be much better if they expanded that number to enhance game.
3) Downlowded kit was thorough and very understandable - but you MUST go through it a number of times to get all in order and understand flow of game.
4) I recommend you have a helper in addition to narrator (both NOT in game) if you have teens participating as they need some nudging and hard to get all food/logistics/narrate for one person.
Overall GREAT game - would love to do for adults!
And if anyone is interested in a bunch of Zombie decor /costumes I will be passing along/selling!!!
- Specimen jars (pinterest) with submersible lights
beakers with dry ice
Painted old mirror by food/service bar saying "Welcome to Pendergast" with bloody drippings
Candelabra on dining table
Lots of Zombie caution tape/posters/table coverings from Oriental trading
Disposable lab coats/bloodied hospital gowns/zombie make up (just need red/black)
- We threw a joint birthday party for my parents with mostly family and a few extra friends. In total, there were 14 of us, all adults except for our twin brothers (who are 14). I've read in other reviews that maybe 15 or older is better, but our brothers loved it and did quite well.
I think there were a few chief complaints. One is that there's not a massive amount of direction given for how a character is supposed to act. So when we had the social hour, it seemed like everyone was repeating themselves and it just felt awkward.
Another complaint is that the mystery was too easily solved. We all knew who it was and it just didn't really leave room for much speculation. It would have been nice to have some plot twists or something like that to give people a chance to argue a little more. Some characters were made to look suspicious but compared with others, they were never even considered.
- Per one of the reviews we read, we also did a food body buffet. My husband carved a brain into a watermelon for the head (which was awesome) and we filled up the body with pulled pork and jalapeno poppers. It went over really well.
- We mainly used our unfinished basement. Bought a lot of fake blood, some brains from a theatrical shop and lab coats. Got some strobe lights as well. It was a little tough to find this stuff away from the Halloween season, but I think we did pretty well with what we had.
- So we wound up with only 10 people in attendance of my Daughter's Not So Sweet 16th BD Party. Of course everyone wanted to be a Zombie, we talked some into human characters and the others were crosses between bloody gory humans with zombie traits. It worked out really well. Everyone had a blast and got really animated on the accusations at 5he end on who and why. It was fun dressing up and all of our gross food and props added to the theme and mood set.would definitely recommend a murder mystery party!
- Skull cheese ball, bloody used band aids, used ear wax Q tips, zombie scabs pizza bites, veggie tray with fingers in veggie dip, zombie finger hot dogs, vomit dip, chocolate covered pretzel zombie fingers, ghastly fog punch, walking dead cake, eyeball slushies, various zombie labeled sodas. Sour liquid candy zombie virus and shockers pill cures.
- Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! And bloody humans!
- I was very impressed with the zombie cannibal asylum. This is my first murder mystery I decided to do for my Halloween party this year. I chose to do zombie cannibal asylum because it was able to work for my family with children ages ranging from 10 to 17. I purchased my party info 30 days before the actual event. I just organize my downloads in a three ring binder which came in very handy after reading all of the detailed information provided.
All of the recommendations that came along with that this party came in very useful.
Everyone had a fantastic time and I highly recommend Paying with Murder for my next party, I'll be using them again!
- We chose to research Pinterest for food items. We decided to go with a "food body" we had seen there, including a "meatloaf head" which was phenomenal for a effect and tasted delicious.
We designated items of food that would work to place into the "body". We had things such as spaghetti and meatballs, ribs placed in the chest, chicken wings for the legs and a delicious spinach dip and rice in the arms.
For dessert and we went with zombie crisps and killer cupcakes.
- We were lucky enough to have enough room to set up a zombie asylum cafeteria for the food and the script reading and in our kitchen we decided to turn that into the laboratory. We had household items, dollar store items, things from Walmart and of course dry ice and a fog machine to set the scene for a perfect murder. Everyone had an amazing time the characters were phenomenal everybody research their roles and came in character. We had an absolute blast here are some pictures for you!
- Watch my video
- I used this party as a teaching tool in my undergraduate level-Small Group Communication class and my students had a ball! Everyone had fun with their characters, the costumes were great, and when they wrote an essay about it later a lot of people expressed that they felt more confident working in groups after doing this!
- Students printed off lists of rules for dealing with zombie inmates and covered all the windows in the rooms to make sure we had no natural light. Very creepy!
- Had a blast organizing a murder mystery for my 32nd birthday. Was nervous at first to host this type of party, but once I read through the materials on Zombie Asylum, it was detailed and clear on how to run this party successfully.
Since it was a last minute decision, I was able to organize my friends in less than 8 days and have all their character sheets and scripts over in less than 24 hours.
Those who weren't really into "These types of parties" had the most fun once they saw the decor, and that everyone was in character. Even had my 11 year old niece participate :).
We captured some video because we knew this would be fun to share.
Thanks again for making this birthday unforgettable. Looking forward to doing another one down the road.
- We just took an idea from pinterest and filled up food inside of a fake person modeling intestines, thighs, corpse head, and chicken breast and ribs. Had a special zombie cake made by a family member and deviled zombie eggs.
- we set up the entire living room with these backdrops from amazon to show a bloody bathroom, asylum type room and of course zombie make up and costumes. With amazon prime everything was here in 2 days. We used the music supplied by the zombie kit. You can see in the video the props and characters in play.
- Watch my video
- We played the Zombie Asylum mystery this past weekend. The directions were very clear and made preparation easy. This was a first time murder party for all 11 of us. After everything was said and done, we all agreed we would love to try it again. Everyone had so much fun acting out their characters in Act One. It was hilarious!
We only had 3 zombie characters which made the second Act go by very quickly. I would probably recommend increasing the zombie suggested number of zombie players needed.
- This was my second party, had a lot of the same guests which made it a lot easier for people to understand how it worked so so much easier. I also had the party outside which made it harder to control at times (needed a megaphone) but easier clean up! It's was a great experience and can't wait to do another!!
- I was really impressed how everyone got right into it and dressed up. We had a good match of Humans vs Zombies and the Zombies had to eat after the Humans and sit together in a group. Three people guessed the murderer. The place that we had it was a great location. There were different rooms so the "evidence" could be hidden easily. I had a great friend who hosted it so I could play.
- Everyone had a great time acting out their parts, we had 17 people attend this party and surprisingly noone suspected the killer of being the murderer despite all the evidence presented to them. Half of the cast accused another suspect of the murder, where he of course became offended since he was helper of the zombies so that became a source of entertainment for us. The zombies really camped it up when it came to acting their part in being crazy and their testimonials of Dr. Weiler's death.
The guideline was a bit confusing at first to read but I was able to figure out how to run the party smoothly, but I would suggest not mixing up the genders in the packet when it comes to their character sheets, it was confusing to find certain parts for people when I was expecting it to be all male scientist first, then the female human roles, then male zombies, and then female zombies. For the zombies roles, it might be more helpful to have it in abc order as well so that others will be able to predict which part comes next in the character sheets.
All in all it was a fun party and I look forward to getting more murder mysteries from your website and you have my thanks!
- Sadly I was not able to take photos as I was trying to ensure the party was running smoothly but we had the party in one room, where half was decorated as the dining room and the other half was the lab. We also created Staff and zombie photos and hung them up in the walls heading towards the main room for the guests to enjoy.
- Thank you helping my mother and I host the best mystery party ever. This was my first time hosting. I was glad to have my mother, who is a novice host help. But I don't think I would have needed any help. All the materials made it very easy and organized. I printed and laminated the name tags and added self adhesive pins to the back.
Our guests did a wonderful job getting in character. We had a few guests back out at the last minute but all of the main character were available. We are looking forward to hosting another party soon. Attached are some pictures of our guests as well as the awesome food we made.
- Since this type of dinner party was new to almost everyone who participated, the evening started out slightly stilted. My guests were slightly unsure as to what they needed to do and were afraid that they might do something wrong. However, once the murder occurred, everyone got into their groove and the party was on! We had a lot of fun with the Scavenger Hunt and our Undead Inmates really got into character when relaying their version of events. As you can see from the pictures, some people went all out on their costumes, especially two of our Undead Inmates and Mia Chekov, our cook.
We will definitely be purchasing from you again.
- We recently played Zombie Asylum game for my son's birthday. The guests got quite into their roles, tho we sadly only had enough participants for 2 zombies :( I was hostess, and prepared some Severed Hand meatloaf (http://www.notmartha.org/archives/2009/10/27/meat-hand/),
some Asian intestines (http://canarygirl.com/?p=307) and brain cakes, along with the typical Zombie cocktails.
I'd like to make one suggestion for added print outs, and that's labels for the locations. I didn't think until too late to get a door sign posted for the Asylum, and for the laboratory.
Excellent product all in all. Easily followed and good for flow and continuity of clues. Great job!