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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

CTMHV gets into Halloween spirit with outdoor murder mystery, “Masked for it”

by Sylene Argent

On Saturday evening, just as the eerie shadow of darkness blanketed the grounds of the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village, those lucky enough to get a ticket, participated in the annual murder mystery event.

  This year’s Halloween extravaganza, titled “Masked for it,” transformed the area of historical homes and buildings along the walking path of the Heritage Village into a small hamlet. And, its residents just experienced the death of the mayor’s son in 1918, while the Spanish Flu was in outbreak.

  The sleuthing guests at the CTMHV were able to visit 15 stations set up inside some of the historical buildings to interrogate volunteer actors about the instance that left everyone wondering if the mayor’s son died by murder or the Spanish Flu.

  Lisa Wacheski, Curator & Manager of Education for the CTMHV, said guests wanting to participate in this year’s murder mystery had to preregister. With the event a popular fall tradition locally, many wanting to enjoy the experience had to be placed on a growing waiting list.

  In order to keep guests socially distanced, the local Museum hosted four sessions to break visitors up. In addition, visitors were separated into ten groups. Everyone was required to wear a mask and six-foot social distancing markings were placed where needed. The ring of a school bell alerted the groups when it was time to change stations.

  The annual murder mystery event is one that is a popular fundraiser for the CTMHV, with great weather in 2016 leading to a record attendance of over 700, she noted.  

  This year’s murder mystery was again written by Cassandra Marujo, who has written the murder mystery events for the CTMHV for the past several years. Normally, Marujo would pick one murderer for her plot, which would only be announced at the end of the evening when all participants were able to submit their clue sheets. This year, however, she wrote a different ending for each of the four sessions held, so visitors were not able to leak information to friends or relatives who may be participating at a later session.

  This was one of the first fundraisers the CTMHV was able to host during the pandemic, with car shows and indoor gathering opportunities cancelled. Unfortunately, the organization has had to cancel the annual New Year’s Eve Party, where the winning raffle car ticket is typically drawn. This year’s raffle car is a 1962 Thunderbird, but it will not be drawn until the New Year’s Eve Party in 2021. The same number of tickets will be sold as usual, Wacheski, assured.  

  Looking ahead to the holiday season, since the Museum cannot host its annual Christmas and Craft show this year, due to social distancing requirements, the CTMHV will host a Santa’s Workshop in its Gift Shop, from October 22nd to December 20th, for some of its vendors, who provided items for the event.

  Funds raised through CTMHV fundraisers typically support its Children’s Education Program.

  For more information about the CTMHV or its upcoming events or raffle, log onto


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