Part of the fun of writing a puzzling murder mystery is thinking of devious ways to kill off your main characters. Shootings and stabbings are always popular, clubbing the character over the head with a blunt object is another option to include, or you could poison one of the characters and get rid of them that way. There are various types of poisons lethal to humans and we list some of them here for fans of murder mystery evenings.

Lethal Murder Mystery poisons  

  1. Cyanide

This is a particularly nasty poison that causes internal asphyxia. It prevents the red blood cells from extracting oxygen and victims find themselves suffocating to death whilst trying to breathe oxygen in. This type of poison can be administered in a number of ways. Have your victim inhale it, hide it in their food or drink, or simply think of a devious way they can absorb it through their skin. The effects will still be the same no matter how you administer this poison. Victims convulse, fall unconscious and die within 15 minutes or so.

  1. Strychnine

This poison has a noticeable bitter taste so you have to be careful how you are going to administer it to avoid suspicion. You could slip it into an alcoholic spirit to mask the taste, then it’s simply a case of waiting for 10 – 20 minutes, and the symptoms should start to show. Having taken this poison the victim will start to spasm, become asphyxiated, and eventually die. Amateur sleuths will know if strychnine has been used to murder a character. The telltale sign is post mortem setting in straight away.

  1. Hemlock

This is a plant, it’s a poisonous shrub, and makes a really good prop for a murder mystery evening. You don’t have to use real hemlock of course, just elaborate a little, and make it known to dinner party guests that hemlock has been used on the victim. Classic symptoms of this poisonous plant include a gradual weakening of the muscles, intense pain and there is often a loss of eyesight, with death occurring after a few hours.

Pick any of these poisons to use as plot devices during a murder mystery evening and not only do you add a sense of realism, it shows you have done your homework!

Filed under: Murder Mystery Tips

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