Many years ago I wrote a murder mystery game called Murder at the Midnight Hour for a New Year’s Eve party for the Quincy, MA Freemasons.
I remember the night well because one of my actors pulled open a massive wooden
door in their massive Masonic Hall and somehow I just happened to be standing right there. Turns out I performed the entire show with a concussion but “the show must go on” as they say so I bravely soldiered on as a hippy bride marrying an uptight, wealthy mama’s boy.
Here’s a little overview for you:
Murder At The Midnight Hour – A 1960’s New Year’s Eve Wedding Mystery Game
YEAR: December 31st, 1969 (think Woodstock!)
EVENT: Jewel Hogget and Roger Windsor get married – or die trying.
This is not your typical wedding – at least not for the very wealthy groom and his mother Abigail. Old money would never participate in such an event unless it couldn’t be helped (and it can’t for reasons we can’t reveal right now or we’d have to kill you). Jewel and Roger will tie the knot in a small ceremony designed to end at the stroke of midnight – kind of a hippie thing to do, is it not? This wedding has been postponed 3 separate times because Roger got sick. The first time was a severe case of hives, then it was a sort of diaper rash and the final time was a severe case of hiccups that lasted for days and required hospitalization.
It’s do or die time now – literally – for the entire wedding party. Who will live to ring in the New Year? What secrets to they each hold close that could be motives for murder?
Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get…murdered???? Yup.
Anyhoo, my mystery game got me wondering about other “Murders at Midnight” so I did some searching around the Internet.
I found an old radio show that sounds very cool!
Murder at Midnight (1946 – 1947)
SFX: Bell tolls in the distance.
SFX: (Echo effect) “Murder … at Midnight!”
SFX: Music plays.
Host: “Midnight. The witching hour when the night is darkest, our fears the strongest, our strength at its lowest ebb. Midnight… when the graves gape open and death… strikes! How? You’ll learn the answer in just a minute in… ‘The Secret of XR-3!'”
In “The Secret of XR-3,” the killer is a sympathetic midget who is harassed to the point of desperate action. He takes an experimental drug to increase his size. He experiences the brief delight of a normal size and romance, only to keep growing until he is too big. It results in a murder, which leads him to the electric chair. It’s one of those rare, tragic tales that leaves the audience feeling sorry for the killer (although he can take some comfort in not requiring a booster seat).
It sounds very dramatic doesn’t it? Especially as a radio show. http://www.radiohorrorhosts.com/murderatmidnight.html
Now this next one is a Harlequin movie (which may not bode well for its quality but may be good, cheesy fun to watch and mock):
At the Midnight Hour (1995) (TV)
Wealthy widower Richard Keaton engages young widow Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Guinness as the 4th consecutive nanny for his pre-teen, equally science-devoted son Andrew, with instructions to disturb neither. She learns of mother Alycia’s fatal fall, an official suicide but was probably murder. Dad keeps Andy at a distance, so he draws towards Liz. Real danger starts when Richard’s brother, novelist Blain, arrives with his friend Jillian, to sell the ancestral estate against Richard’s will.
Did ya get that?
Another movie that came up that sounds a bit like soft porn:
In The Midnight Hour
When practical Veronica Parrish decides to purchase an extravagant antique four-poster bed, she finds the ghost of a famed New Orleans libertine between the sheets who needs her help in solving his murder, and, in return, takes her to new heights of ecstasy.
And for your reading pleasure (maybe): Midnight Hour by Mary Saums
Willi Taft, a feisty studio singer in Nashville, is bored with her life. More excitement than she wants comes her way when a local P.I. lands her in the middle of a murder investigation. Soon she suspects the killing is related not only to a twenty-year-old crime, but to her own past as well. When bullets and rumors start to fly in her direction, she finds herself abandoned by friends, shunned by business associates, and targeted for murder. But why? For the answers, Willi must walk alone down the thin line between life and death, where past and future meet, the Midnight Hour.
I learned a lot from this detective work! It was a fun little project.
Do you have any other Midnight Hour themes you’d like to share? Please comment!