Murderer In the Dark

As the title suggests, this game is rather creepy. (No chickens allowed, please.) It can only be played in a pitch-black setting, which is why older kids often join in.

  • Number of players: At least five, the more the better.
  • Age range: 8+, however this also depends on the nature of the kids.
  • Place needed: A large room. Furniture is all right, but no sharp corners!! And minimum glass tables as well as stuff on tables (e.g. bottles, perfumes, dishes, stationery.)
  • You will also need paper, a ballpoint pen (or a pencil) and a pair of scissors. The paper should be plain on both sides.

How to play:

  1. I’m assuming that the number of players is six. Take you paper and draw six equal squares on the paper (4×4 cm is a good size.) On ONE of the squares, draw a X. Don’t use a pointer or an ink pen so that the sign does not show up on the other side. Leave the other squares blank.
  2. Cut out the squares. Make sure they are all equal.
  3. Fold the squares, first vertically and then horizontally. You have made six slips of paper. (As if you didn’t know that, lol.)
  4. All the players sit in a circle. One person has all the slips of paper and he or she throws them in the middle of the circle. All of the players pick up one slip each. You cannot choose which one you take.
  5. The players unfold their slips. If your slip is blank, you are a Citizen. If your slip has a X on it, you are the Murderer. No player can see the others’ slips. You cannot show any reactions (smiling, frowning, surprise, etc.) Your face must remain totally impassive. If you want, you can make all the players laugh (i.e. you tell them ‘All of you start laughing’) during steps 4-6. This makes it impossible to know which person is the murderer. If you know who the Murderer is, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING.
  6. The slips are refolded. Put them in a safe place for the next round. All the lights are turned off. Make sure there is no light from anywhere else – you should not be able to see anything. (Do NOT involve younger kids in this game. They will start crying. And tell all the players that you’ll turn off the lights so that there aren’t any nasty cases of nightmares or anything.)
  7. The fun begins. Silence, please. Everyone should be as quiet as possible.
  8. If you are a Murderer, you have work to do. Walk around till you find another player (or a Citizen.) Make an X with your index fingers and press them between the Citizen’s shoulder blades. (Don’t press too hard, but the Citizen should be able to tell what you have done.) The Citizen is now out of the game (I’m avoiding using the word ‘dead’.) He or she has to go and sit down QUIETLY in a corner. You cannot get up again until the game ends. If you know who the Murderer is, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING.
  9. If you are a Citizen, you just walk around slowly – it’s a good idea for your hands to be outstretched so you don’t crash into a wall. You should have an idea of what is where in the room for the same reason. I repeat – if you know who the Murderer is, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING. If you want to avoid being ‘murdered’, avoid everyone else.
  10. The Murderer goes around, ‘out-ing’ (or killing) people. He or she should know how many players there are. When all the players are out, the Murderer turns on the light.
  11. If you want, restart the game.

Happy murd — er, playing!

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