I Tried to Solve a Murder for Halloween…with Vancouver Mysteries

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Morbid Planet Vancouver Mysteries
Team Holmes and Watson. Picture: Erin Chapman.

Despite being a vampire and horror fan, each year when Halloween arrives, I don’t really do anything exciting. Partly, due to lack of planning on my part. I prefer to curl up at home with some popcorn and a couple of good films. I decided this year would be different. This year I went on a Vancouver Murder Mystery!

If you want to go out, having Halloween fall on a weekday makes things more challenging. This year I was determined to do something fun that I have never done before so I reached out to Vancouver Mysteries.

Full disclosure, I covered Vancouver Mysteries last year in my Vancouver Halloween post and they generously offered me and some friends to come play a complimentary game. Due to my grandma’s failing health and her passing away earlier this year, I wasn’t able to make time for it. I chose to feature them last year as it seemed like something fun, no one suggested it.

I reached out to Vancouver Mysteries last month and they were still willing to honour their offer from last year. I signed up for a mystery night on Saturday October 26, 2019 and decided this would be my post for Halloween on Morbid Planet. What better way to celebrate, than doing something in your own backyard.

I have never done anything like this before, except years ago, I took part in a murder mystery dinner. It wasn’t the same kind of thing at all. Vancouver Mysteries involves hitting the pavement and exploring downtown in search of clues to solve the case. For our game, we had to solve the murder of Jimmy Capello.

Prior to the event, I had to assemble my team and pick a name. I went with the name Holmes and Watson simply because I am a Sherlock Holmes fan. Hell, my turtle’s name is Watson so that gives a little insight into my level of fandom. Holmes and Watson consisted of my mother, her dog, two friends and myself.

Murder Mystery Night

We met Detectives Roze and Colond downtown at the Vancouver Lookout for our briefing for the Halloween Murder Mystery. They were in full character like something out of an old Humphrey Bogart movie. I loved the red Converse shoes.

Morbid Planet Vancouver Mysteries
Vancouver finest, the detectives in the know. Picture: Erin Chapman.

They were very welcoming and methodically checked in all teams and had waivers signed by all participants. All teams were briefed on the case and given their own Murder Mystery kits before getting let loose on the hard downtown streets.

Morbid Planet Vancouver Mysteries
Vancouver Mysteries makes sure you are fully equipped with the tools to solve a murder. Picture: Erin Chapman.

I didn’t take photos on purpose of the locations we visited because that would be cheating for future sleuths. I will say, you always need to keep your eyes open, as you may miss something important! Clues are on every corner and back tracking costs you precious time.

Teams are released onto the streets in waves. To see which order, the detectives test you with a little crime trivia. We were the third team to go when I guessed which famous detective was known for saying, “Go ahead, make my day.” If you don’t know, this would be Dirty Harry who was played by Clint Eastwood back in the day.

We left at 7:15pm and had to be back no later than 9:15pm. That gave us two hours to solve the crime. Whoever made it back first with their entire crime report completed and marked, would win. In all honesty, we weren’t playing to win, more to just enjoy the experience as a group.

Part way through the journey, we were requested to post Holmes and Watson on Instagram so this is what we did. I managed to get a nice lady passing by to snap the photo for us.

Morbid Planet Vancouver Mysteries
Notice our crime fighting dog had his own blue police light while exploring downtown. Picture: Erin Chapman.

We were doing okay until we reached the ninth challenge. All of us were stumped. Too much time was being wasted and that was our downfall. At that point, we tried to solve the next clue and then realized it was 8:45pm. We knew there was no way we would finish in time so we all decided to pack it in and walk back.

Surprisingly, there were already a few teams back when we arrived at 9:03pm. We handed in our police report and were given a score sheet. As you can see, we only got 25 out of a 100. This wasn’t bad, considering that meant we got all the challenges we actually did right.

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Our final score for the game. Picture: Erin Chapman.

At this point my mum and her dog were tired. My watch said we clocked about 6 km for the night. We knew we didn’t win and decided not to stick around for the finalities. We thanked the team for a fun night and caught a cab home.

Game Information

Games are quite reasonably priced at $32/player plus fees and taxes. You can book year round, but I would recommend booking ahead for Halloween to beat the rush. Vancouver Mysteries describes their games as:

The games are played in teams of up to 5 players – one team can play alone in our daily games (every 15 minutes, 7 days a week) or multiple teams can compete against each other in our Mystery Nights or in a private game. Each team gets a game kit with everything they need to play the game: tools, a map, and a game book. Each team works their way through the game book, completing challenges and collecting clues along the way. The objective is to solve the mystery using the clues. Points are also earned by completing the game with a 90 minute time limit or – in multi-team games – being one of the first teams back.

https://vancouvermysteries.com/about-vancouver-mysteries/faqs-vancouver-mysteries/

Book your Vancouver Mystery on their website. They are very prompt in emailing you back and I loved the confirmation emails to ensure everything was still good to go closer to the booked date. I hate it when I have to follow up with businesses yourself.

My Review

I think the whole team at Vancouver Mysteries is very professional from the booking agents to the detectives. They were well organized and meeting at Lookout Vancouver made it easy to find everyone.

I remember at the beginning, the detectives said smaller teams were better. After doing the game, I can see why. Less cooks in the kitchen kind of thing. Also I would recommend reading every bit of literature they give you in the beginning before you set off on your adventure. This would be a big help.

I would also recommend doing the adventure during the day if you can. I wasn’t thinking, and booked us on a Saturday night due to my work schedule. Doing this in the daytime, would have made it easier. Trying to read your materials by flashlight made it a little harder and we found out after we missed some things. On the bright side, the weather was good. No rain, just a little chilly.

The clues and materials were laid out well and easy to understand. We would sometimes forget what we were carrying around when something stumped us. Our trusty bag had everything we needed.

I would totally recommend doing a Vancouver Mysteries game for a fun evening! The whole experience was a positive one. Book with a couple of groups of friends and make it a bigger challenge. After browsing their site, I would love to try their Spy Game one. I am a huge James Bond fan girl.

What are you waiting for? Check out Vancouver Mysteries now!

To all my readers at Morbid Planet, I hope you have a fun and safe Halloween. Don’t be afraid to explore your city, you never know what you will find.

Notes:

  1. I covered Vancouver Mysteries last year in my Vancouver Halloween post: Erin Chapman, “Morbid Planet’s Halloween Countdown: Day 7, Vancouver, Canada,” Morbid Planet, October 18, 2018, accessed October 28, 2019, https://morbidplanet.com/2018/10/18/morbid-planets-halloween-countdown-day-7-vancouver-canada/.

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Erin Chapman

Erin is the owner of Morbid Planet and Morbid Shopping. She also is a writer and co-admin for Vamped.org., a vampire general interest online magazine.

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