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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

CTMHV’s ‘Murder Mystery’ asks ‘who done it?’


by Garrett Fodor

(Photos courtesy of the CTMHV)

Getting into the spirit of Halloween, area residents, who enjoy unraveling a good mystery, were asked to put on their detective hats on Saturday evening to help solve a murder as part of the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village’s (CTMHV) annual and interactive murder mystery event.

  This year’s murder mystery was titled, “Deadliest Catch.”

  In the eerie darkness of the cold, fall night, event participants were able to travel back in time as they walked along the winding path that connects the historic buildings onsite, collecting clues enroute to help them decide upon the suspect that may have committed the crime in the play. 

  The annual Halloween extravaganza transformed CTMHV back into the 1890s, as attendees were tasked with investigating the ‘death’ of one of the town’s most hated people, Luke McCain. The fisherman was slain by the same tool he uses – a fishing hook. The sleuthing guests at the CTMHV were able to visit stations set up inside some of the historical buildings onsite to interrogate volunteer actors about the instance that left everyone wondering who was responsible for Luke’s death.

  Adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines, event attendees had to pre-order their tickets for one of the four showings. Two showings took place on October 23 and two more will take place on October 30. Showings were limited to seven groups of 14 people, with each session being capped at 100 people. Everyone had to wear masks and maintain social distancing when possible. Each group was also located in a different building, and when the school bell rang, they would leave and move to the next site to interrogate another character in the play.

  “After our first two sessions, we are thrilled with the turnout,” Cassandra Marujo, said, who is the Secretary of the Board of Directors for the CTMHV and writer of the murder mystery.

“I have written the last seven mysteries, and seeing the turnout and support has been great. This year, the response has been great and we are receiving a lot of positive feedback with smaller, more personal groups. And, we are seeing so many new people here as well, and everyone seems to enjoy it. We are seeing everyone from children to adults participating and having fun and it’s great to see.”

  Marujo noted that previously they would have up to 800 people on the grounds, investigating to determine who the guilty party was in the event. Then, a big reveal would take place that would name the play’s murderer. Now, with the more intimate setting, she noted they have different stories, so information and clues cannot be shared in passing from one group to the next or to family members between sessions. 

  “Our village is one of a kind with all different types of buildings, it really creates a huge ambience, especially with the pieces inside the buildings as well,” Marujo said of the Heritage Village. “There’s no other place that you can just walk through, and we like the fact that our murder mystery kind of creates this village, it comes to life. We make a town name and we have people in each building that live there and that work there. So, it kind of creates a whole experience for our visitors which is really nice.”

  Marujo said she is glad people get to experience some of the historic pieces the CTMHV has to offer. She hopes next year, they are able to switch back to a hybrid mix between the groups and one big investigation. She also noted the event could not have been made possible without the support of the community, including the cast members and volunteers within the organization who helped make it possible.

  For anyone interested in attending one of the October 30th sessions, Marujo said they can sign up and purchase tickets online or by phone. Details can be found on its website, CTMHV.com

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