Once Upon A Murder is a murder mystery dinner or banquet in which each of the XC kiddos play a part in how the mystery unfolds.
This murder mystery experience is designed to be easy to run and fun to play for all the guests involved. The game is played with most of you having active roles in the game and each guest having objectives to complete. These objectives keep the party from being pre-scripted and allow you to draw your own conclusions as to the motives and the identity of the murderer. This format also allows for great mingling and insures that all of you feel included. Before the night is through, each of you will have discovered that you have a motive for killing the victim and be inclined to protect your innocence as well as seek out the murderer.
To add to the experience and suspense of the night, the murder actually happens during the party, not before. The victim is also allowed to play along after they ‘die’, since they have no clue who murdered them.

Assigning the Characters
For us characters won’t be “assigned”, we will draw for them at team camp. If anyone chooses not to go to camp they will get a character that is left over if they are coming to the banquet.
With 30-40 guests: 8-14 Male characters, 16-20 Female Characters, 6-8 Gender neutral. So, as we have way more girls than boys we use use more characters that can be either such as dwarf or the big bad wolf for example.

• Because this party is dependent on a minimum number of people attending, I need to know ahead of ahead of time which guests are attending before drawing for characters, that is why I have an RSVP for dinner. After drawing for the character at team camp you will get a packet for your character that gives you who you are to portray and other information about your character and how you fit into the scenario. If you say you are coming and draw a character please make sure you come. You may be the killer or the victim. If you don’t come it ruins it for everyone. If an emergency comes up please give me as much time as possible to find someone to take that character.
• The killer will not know they are the murderer until they open their second envelope at the party. There are a number of things you get when arriving at the party in costume, two envelopes with instruction are part of that.
• The victim will not know they are the victim until they get to the party. The victim will not have a list of objectives for after the murder. If the victim wishes to play along after the murder, they can do so with an identity that I can give them after they are “killed” at the dinner.
• This mystery is suitable for youths and/or church groups. It is what the company deemed the “clean” version which is void of references to alcohol or illegal drugs and intermarital affairs. Although this mystery does not have references to some topics; blackmail, bribery, murder and deceit are still part of the game.

A few of the guests that will be played are listed below.
PRINCE CHARMING • Prince. The leader of the kingdom and heartthrob to many, this dashing young man will have numerous decisions to make – all of which will affect the outcome of the night.
FELICITY • Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. Still doting over the disappearance of her goddaughter, Felicity continues to hope that Cinderella will reappear and everyone will live happily ever after.
GRISELDA • Cinderella’s Stepsister. After much animosity, Griselda has earned Cinderella’s trust and her place in the castle as an attendant. Now that Cinderella is gone, will Griselda be next to disappear mysteriously?
RAPUNZEL • Princess. Desperate to get out of her tower, this maiden may have more than one offer on the table… the question is which one will she pick?
SNOW • Snow White. With hopes of moving out of the forest, this princess hopes to soon be known not as the daughter of a queen that is evil, but as the wife of a prince that is charming.
HERB • Dwarf. Like a brother to Snow, Snow’s dependence on Herb is endearing to some and annoying to others. NOSY • Dwarf. Ambitious and inquisitive, this dwarf can’t keep their nose out of anyone’s business. Be hopeful you are
not the murderer, because Nosy will be out to expose you!
ALADDIN • Prince. Royalty by marriage, Aladdin continues to use his power to acquire more than he can handle. At what point will his princess say enough is enough?
JASMOOR • Princess. Feeling betrayed by her husband’s new found love of wealth, this wife won’t settle until her love is on the top of Aladdin’s wish list.
JINN • Genie. Put in this world to grant Aladdin’s wishes, Jinn can’t solve Aladdin’s problems single-handedly, but they will try…
BELLE • Beast’s wife. Suspicious of her husband’s actions, Belle is not the only one who is questioning what Beast is doing in the woods.
BEAST • Belle’s husband. Once feared for his appearance, Beast has taken on a new identity as prince. While his physique may have changed, that doesn’t mean his temperament has.
HANSEL • Orphan. In love with a princess, the only way Hansel can gain her affection is to prove he will adequately provide for her.
GRETEL • Orphan. Left behind as a child, Gretel will not allow for her beau to do the same.
RED • Little Red Riding Hood. This is one girl who is certainly not distracted or lost. Red will use her will and wit to make
sure she and her grandmother are taken care of.
GRAM • Red’s Grandmother. Aging and helpless, this grandmother once fought off a wolf with the help of the woodcutter – will history be able to repeat itself?
AXE • Woodcutter. Protector of Gram and Red, Axe refuses to seek his own happiness until he insures Gram and Red are provided for.
TEETH • Big, Bad Wolf. After earlier wishing to devour Red, now he hopes to marry her. Red has other plans for her future, but it is unclear what her beholders intend.
RUMPELSTILTZKIN • Imp. Known for trickery, scheming and deception, Rumpelstiltzkin’s tactics may be just what this kingdom needs to find out who really is behind Cinderella’s disappearance…
HAMLET • Little Pig. This seasoned realtor knows a thing or two about building and selling houses.

Dinner Schedule
Stage One: The Guests Arrive
• Guests’ will get name tags, receive a bundle of money and their (A) and (B) envelopes. These envelopes tell you what your objectives are and give you some information specific to your character and the part you play. You can open your A envelope only at this time, do not open the B envelope. After that you will go to the photo booth and get your costume pictures taken. Don’t share your information.
Stage Two: Introduction
• After all of the guests have arrived, you will be assembled for the Introduction. I will hand Prince Charming the Introduction and ask him to read it aloud to everyone.
• Guests will mingle and complete your first objectives during dinner. (from the A envelope)
Stage Three: Murder & Investigation
• When guests start to settle down, and I am certain the victim has completed all of their objectives, the murder will happen.
• The victim will fall down “dead”.
• After the victim has “died”, I will hand Nosy masking tape or chalk, so they can outline the position of the body on the floor or ground.
• Nosy will read an Investigation sheet explaining what will happen next.
• After that guests will open their (B) envelopes, which contain new information and objectives for each of you to complete now that the murder has occurred.
Stage Four: Evidence Presentation
• I will allow time for the guests to settle down and for Nosy to collect all of your evidence.
• When you have completed your objectives, I will hand Nosy the evidence packet. With everyone assembled, Nosy will present the crime scene evidence/findings to the guests.
• Evidence will all be placed on a table, so that it can be seen and inspected by everyone.
• You will have some additional time to review the evidence.
• At that time you will be handed a ‘Who Dunnit?’ answer sheet that you will complete return them to me during this time.
Stage Five: The Solution
• When all the ‘Who Dunnit?’ sheets are collected, I will calculate who the winners are using a tally sheet.
• Nosy will read aloud the solution.
• Certificates are then awarded for those that figured out who the murderer was, also for best costume, best actor/actress, most money left and a few others.