Murder at the Deadwood Saloon

 It’s the First Annual Deadwood Poker Tournament!

For weeks, people have been pouring into the small western town of Deadwood for the biggest poker tournament this side of the Mississippi. From outlaws to marshals and saloon girls to southern belles, everyone has made this small western frontier town THE place to be.

As the festivities of the poker tournament conclude, a celebration party is planned at the Deadwood Saloon to award the prize money for the tournament and to celebrate what is hoping to be a very financially successful venture for the saloon.

With a smattering of bandits, bankers, saloon girls, sheriffs, gamblers, east coast debutantes, and of course a few of the locals, this is guaranteed to make for a very interesting evening indeed.

 You would be a fool to miss this celebration!

Download Mystery Intro

Guest Info

Guest Breakdown

For 20-80 guests: 7+ males, 10+ females, 2+ gender-neutral For 15-20 guests: 6-8 males, 8-10 females, 1-2 gender-neutral For 10-15 guests: 4 males, 6-8 females, 2-3 gender-neutral For 8-12 guests: 3-4 males, 3-4 females, 2-4 gender-neutral   * The upgrade is only able to upgrade the 15-20 guest version to the 20-80 guest version. The upgrade DOES NOT work with any other size of party.

For 20-80 guests: 7+ males, 10+ females, 2+ gender-neutral For 15-20 guests: 6-8 males, 8-10 females, 1-2 gender-neutral For 10-15 guests: 4 males, 6-8 females, 2-3 gender-neutral For 8-12 guests: 3-4 males, 3-4 females, 2-4 gender-neutral   Clean versions are void of references to extra-marital affairs, alcohol and/or illegal drugs. Teens and/or more conservative groups often use clean versions for their mystery of choice. * The upgrade is only able to upgrade the 15-20 guest version to the 20-80 guest version. The upgrade DOES NOT work with any other size of party.

The Cast

*Note that the cast listed below is provided only to give an idea of the types of roles available, and not presented in any order relevant to the plot. Not all cast members are included in every version.

  • Harry High-Stakes

    Saloon Owner

    As the organizer of this grand event, Harry has a lot at stake if it is not successful!

  • Henrietta High-Stakes

    Wife to Harry High-Stakes

    Spending less and less time at the saloon lately, could Henrietta be into something or someone else?

  • Gambling Jack

    Gambler

    The best hand in poker either side of the Mississippi, Jack has not lost a major tournament in the last five years. Until now.

  • Anna Belle

    Wife to Gambling Jack

    Known as her husband’s good luck charm, some say Anna Belle is the reason Gambling Jack never loses.

  • Mitch Maverick

    Traveling Businessman

    As the winner of the tournament, many question how a businessman could have such great card skills. Could Mitch be the next poker phenomenon?

  • Holly Hickok

    Gambler

    A real southern belle with a flare for poker, many wonder what a girl like Holly is doing in the Wild West?

  • Clay Coldwell

    Gambler

  • Motgomery Money

    Land Investor

  • Elizabeth Money

    Wife to Montgomery

  • Minnie Money

    East Coast Debutante

  • Jesse Wales

    Outlaw

  • Black Barbara

    Outlaw

  • Sheriff Sam

    Deadwood Sheriff

  • Banker Bob

    Bank Owner

  • Banker Bonnie

    Banker Bob's Wife

  • Taffy Garrette

    Saloon Girl

  • Sally Starr

    Saloon Girl

  • Poker Alice

    Poker Dealer

  • Billy-The-Bartender

    Saloon Bartender and Bookkeeper

  • Marshal Dalton

    Federal Marshal

Party Tips

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***In virtually every mining camp and prairie town a poker table could be found in each saloon, surrounded by prospectors, lawmen, cowboys, railroad workers, soldiers, and outlaws for a chance to tempt fortune and fate. ***

 

The Usual Suspects:

  Harry High-Stakes—Saloon Owner. As the organizer of this grand event, Harry has a lot at stake if it is not successful!    Henrietta High-Stakes—Wife to Harry High-Stakes. Spending less and less time at the saloon lately, could Henrietta be into something or someone else?    Gambling Jack—Gambler. The best hand in poker either side of the Mississippi, Jack has not lost a major tournament in the last five years. Until now.    Anna Belle—Wife to Gambling Jack. Known as her husband’s good luck charm, some say Anna Belle is the reason Gambling Jack never loses.    Mitch Maverick—Traveling Businessman. As the winner of the tournament, many question how a businessman could have such great card skills. Could Mitch be the next poker phenomenon?    Holly Hickok—Gambler. A real southern belle with a flare for poker, many wonder what a girl like Holly is doing in the Wild West?    Clay Coldwell—Gambler. A once known poker-great, Clay may no longer be lucky in cards, but he may be proving to be lucky in love.    Montgomery Money—Land Investor. Arriving just this last night, word is Montgomery has his eye on purchasing the saloon and is using this traveling opportunity to seize it.    Elizabeth Money—Wife to Montgomery Money. Although Elizabeth has been here scouting land prospects for her husband all week, she is still not used to the rough and rugged ways of the West.    Minnie Money—Debutante. As the sheltered daughter of Montgomery and Elizabeth Money, Minnie’s first trip out west has been an adventure that has taught her a lot about the wild ways of the West and the people it breeds.   Banker Bob—Bank Owner. After the Bank of Deadwood was robbed earlier this week, Bob suspects the culprit is someone in need of ante money for the poker tournament. Will Bob take justice into his own hands to punish the bandit?    Banker Bonnie—Wife to Banker Bob. Desperate for Bob’s attention, Bonnie will do anything to get it. Anything.    Jesse Wales—Outlaw. Is Jesse here to meet up with old acquaintances or is this purely a business trip?    Poker Alice—Poker Dealer. Alice makes her living dealing cards at the saloon, but could she be hiding more than her love for her favorite bartender?    Sheriff Sam—Deadwood Sheriff. Although Sam is considered the law enforcement of this town, it has been said the only way to get anything ‘enforced’ is by padding Sam’s wallet.    Marshal Dalton—Federal Marshal. The Marshal was assigned to Deadwood to insure that there is no unlawful activity at the poker tournament. With outlaw rule becoming the way of the West these days, it is time the federal government put some order into place.    Sally Starr—Saloon Girl. Because of Sally’s strong allegiance to both Harry and Henrietta High-Stakes, Sally will see to it that the saloon thrives at all costs—but what price is too high?    Taffy Garrette—Saloon Girl. Taffy is the eyes and ears of the saloon, someone who might know a little too much about what is about to go down.    Black Barbara—Outlaw. Barbara has been in town all week and no one knows quite why.    Billy-The-Bartender—Saloon Bartender and Bookkeeper. Billy knows the saloon life from every side of the coin and has his own suspicions about who is holding the saloon back from succeeding. 

More Tidbits about the Wild West You May Want to Know…

 
WHAT SALOONS SERVED: In those hard scrabble days, the whiskey served in many of the saloons was some pretty wicked stuff made with raw alcohol, burnt sugar and a little chewing tobacco. No wonder it took on such names as Tanglefoot, Forty-Rod, Tarantula Juice, Taos Lightning, Red Eye, and Coffin Varnish.Also popular was Cactus Wine, made from a mix of tequila and peyote tea, and Mule Skinner, made with whiskey and blackberry liquor. The house rotgot was often 100 proof, though it was sometimes cut by the barkeep with turpentine, ammonia, gun powder or cayenne.The most popular term for the libation served in saloons was Firewater, which originated when early traders were selling whiskey to the Indians. To convince the Indians of the high alcohol content, the peddlers would pour some of the liquor on the fire, as the Indians watched the fire begin to blaze.But the majority of western saloon regulars drank straight liquor — rye or bourbon. If a man ordered a “fancy” cocktail or “sipped” at his drink, he was often ridiculed unless he was “known” or already had a proven reputation as a “tough guy.” Unknowns, especially foreigners who often nursed their drinks, were sometimes forced to swallow a fifth of 100 proof at gunpoint “for his own good.”
SALOON GIRLS: The saloon or dance-hall girl’s job was to brighten the evenings of lonely men starved for female companionship. Contrary to what many might think, the saloon girl was not a prostitute. Their job was to entertain the guests, sing for them, dance with them, talk to them and perhaps flirt with them a bit – inducing them to remain in the bar, buying drinks and patronizing the games.Most girls were refugees from farms or mills, lured by posters and handbills advertising high wages, easy work, and fine clothing. Many were widows or needy women of good morals, forced to earn a living in an era that offered few means for women to do so.Earning as much as $10 per week, most saloon girls also made a commission from the drinks that they sold. Whiskey sold to the customer was marked up 30-60% over its wholesale price. Commonly drinks bought for the girls would only be cold tea or colored sugar water served in a shot glass; however, the customer was charged the full price of whiskey, which could range from ten to seventy-five cents a shot.In most places the proprieties of treating the saloon girls as ladies were strictly observed, as much because Western men tended to revere all women, as because the women or the saloon keeper demanded it. Any man who mistreated these women would quickly become a social outcast, and if he insulted one he would very likely be killed. While they might have been scorned by the “proper” ladies, the saloon girl could count on respect from the males. And as for the “respectable women”, the saloon girls were rarely interested in the opinions of the drab, hard-working women who set themselves up to judge them. In fact, they were hard pressed to understand why those women didn’t have sense enough to avoid working themselves to death by having babies, tending animals, and helping their husbands try to bring in a crop or tend the cattle. In the early California Gold Rush of 1849, dance halls began to appear and spread throughout the boomtowns. While these saloons usually offered games of chance, their chief attraction was dancing. The customer generally paid 75¢ to $1.00 for a ticket to dance, with the proceeds being split between the dance hall girl and the saloon owner. After the dance, the girl would steer the gentleman to the bar, where she would make an additional commission from the sale of a drink.

Saloon Girls

 

You can always accessorize with:

  • Feather boas
  • Long beads
  • Fake eyelashes
  • Fishnet leggings
  • Other stockings
  • Saloon girl dresses
  • Beaded headband
  • Feathers
  • Garter (gun optional)

 

 

Find your perfect dress or accessory below

 

Debutantes and Southern Belles

 

Ideas on what to wear and how to accessorize!

  • Extravagant dresses
  • Hoop skirt
  • Petticoat
  • Umbrella
  • Fan
  • Lace gloves
  • Big hats
  • Victorian style dresses
  • Ruffles and bows
 

 

Check out these dresses and accessories!

 

Cowboys and Cowgirls

 

 

    Some ideas of what to include in your outfit are:

  • Boots
  • Spurs
  • Shoestring tie
  • Vest
  • Cowboy hat
  • Mustache
  • Holster
  • Guns
  • Bandanas
  • Belt Buckle (the bigger the better!)
  • Facial Hair
 

 

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

Gents

 

Some ideas for accessories include:

  • Hats (bowler, derby, slouch, gambler and more)
  • Vest and Coats
  • A Timepiece
  • Mustaches
  • Ascot Ties
  • Suit Coats
  • Bow Ties
  • Suspenders

 

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

 

Check below for some Men’s Costumes

 
 

Hats

 

 
 

Mustaches

   

Outside the Saloon

  • Place real hay bales outside the entrance. If you have a saddle, put them on or around the bales of hay.   • Construct a hitching rail outside the venue and (if at all possible) a horse trough or tin bath equivalent will almost certainly result in someone getting a dunking before the saloon closes.     •  Make a hitching post using a wooden palette and a sign (included with the mystery).     • Create a sign post with different directional signs. You can have signs pointing people to: The Bank of Deadwood, telegraph office, jail, stagecoach, etc. (There are directions and templates on how to do this with the mystery.     • Make and hang a sign for your saloon. (Instructions and templates included with mystery purchase.)

 

    • You can order some really cool saloon doors:     • OR, construct your own saloon doors. Find out how to do so here.     • Not up for building? Order your saloon door here.     • Cut out cowboy and a cowgirl silhouettes and hang them on the windows.  

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

Inside the Saloon

  • Place oak barrels and/or growlers around the party space.     • Make a Saloon Bar out of a picket fence, 2 palettes for sides and a large piece of plywood for the top!     • Create “old” liquor bottles by adding labels to empty bottles. Use them as props and/or to “stock your bar”. (Designs included with purchase.)

   

    • If you can find/obtain large cable spools, use them for saloon tables!

   

      • Hang “wanted,” “reward” and other themed posters all over the walls. (These templates and two more included with mystery purchase.

   

      • Print out and hang other “saloon” signs. (These templates and two more included with mystery purchase.)   • OR, you can make your own saloon signs on wood! Simply cut a wood palette to the dimensions you want and paint your design on!

   

    • Create your own branded beer and/or sarsaparilla (root beer). (Label designs included with purchase. Just adhere to beer or root beer bottles.)   • Set up a poker table for the tournament. (Note: you do not need to actually have a tournament or play poker. Some hosts find this is a fun activity to do before, during or after the mystery.)

 

    • Don’t forget to give your guests a place to use the bathroom….

     

    • Use scene setters to create your saloon wall or a western scene.

   

  • Wagon Wheel Tables

   

 

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

A Little Western

• Bandanas, bandanas, bandanas! Order a plethora of bandanas and use them for everything! You can make banners out of them, use them as napkins, as apart of a table arrangement and/or runner, etc. The ideas are endless and having them handy will only aid in your decorating!

 

    • COWBOY HATS! Order them in bulk (we found some here) and  use them to decorate within the party space. We:

  • Took down photos on walls and replaced them with cowboy hats
  • Had them hanging on coat racks
  • Turned them upside down and served chips out of them
  • Used them in table decorations
  • Spray painted them gold and had them as awards
  • Had them avaiable for props at our photo spot
  • Had them available for anyone who forgot a hat!

    • Compile an assortment of western objects and create displays around the party venue. Place them somewhere where everyone will see them – by the food, place where you get your nametags, etc.

   

    • Make lassos from thick rope and hang as garland.   • Have small, tin buckets filled with peanuts.   • Use bandanas as napkins. You can even use metal sheriff’s badges as napkin rings (pin one in the middle of each napkin).   • Use a real cowboy hat, turned upside down and line with a check napkin to hold chips.You can place bowls inside the hats, too, if you are hesitant about napkins.   • Place a small bowl in the top of a cowboy boot and fill it with salsa. Use boots of different sizes to give your salsa bar depth and variety.   • Arrange bunches of wheat, daisies, sunflowers or wildflowers in cowboy boots, metal coffee pots or tin pitchers.   • Bring in camping or storm equipment such as oil lamps, lanterns and cooking pots to add to the theme.   • Use potted cactii for your table centerpieces.   • Soak the labels off beer bottles and use bottles as candle holders.   • Spray Paint rocks gold and use them to decorate.

   

 

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

Food and Recipes

 HERE IS JUST A SAMPLING OF IDEAS FOR FOODS THAT YOU CAN HAVE AT YOUR SALOON:

Snacks: beef jerky, pickles, licorice and old-fashioned, hard candy sticks are all authentic Old West snack foods. Trail mix and buffalo wings add a Wild West flavor to the appetizer menu.   Main Vittles: cowboy stew, pork ribs, steak, brisket, chicken fried steak, barbecue ribs, roast, chili, Virginia ham and buffalo steaks or burgers. Teens may enjoy sloppy joes and/or roasting hot dogs over a campfire.   Side Kicks: potato salad, cowboy potatoes, corn fritters and cowboy beans (slow-cooked barbecued beans topped with bacon and pineapple).   Sopping Material: corn bread, baking powder or sour dough biscuits. Real butter adds a nice touch.   Cowboy Sweets: Wild West dessert menus may feature Old West favorites that are still big hits today, such as berry pie, apple pie, pumpkin pie (for autumn parties) and strawberry shortcakes (for summer parties) made with sweet biscuits and topped with real whipped cream.   Belly Wash: Whiskey-infused drinks, margaritas, beer and/or Wild Wild West Cocktail (bourbon, peach schnapps and cranberry juice) for your saloon specials.   Non-alcoholic drinks popular with the times: cowboy coffee, tea, apple juice, lemonade, root beer (sasparilla) and cactus juice. To make cactus juice, pour cold lemon lime soda into a punch bowl and add lime sherbet.  

RECIPES:

Follow these links below to help you create the food you wish to serve. Cowboy Showcase– Check out this complete western recipe resource.   Chuckwagon Recipes– The Old West’s cooking at it’s finest.     Find recipes, templates and directions to make all the western goodies pictured above easily and affordably when you buy Murder At The Deadwood Saloon.   Includes: Ideas, directions and templates on how to make gold, money bags, bandana napkins, more elaborate nametags and recipes for Cowgirl Cocktails, On-The-Trail Cheesedip, Cowboy Chili, Desert Dessert, Cactus Cake and Sheriff Badge Cookies… and much, much more.    

 

  MENU: Along with purchase of the mystery, you will receive a designed menu that you can customize with YOUR own appetizers, entrees and desserts that you will be serving at your Deadwood Saloon party!   BEER/SARSAPARILLA: Serve up these Saloon favorites with their own, branded labels. (Label designs included with purchase. Pictured above.) Just adhere to the bottles and woohla!   “OLD” BOTTLES: Stock your Saloon with”old” liquor bottles. (Label designs included with purchase.)

Tips for serving up your food! • Purchase red gingham or burlap to use as tablecloths, table runners, etc. • Consider red plastic-ware. • Use bandanas or burlap for napkins. • Have mason jars for your guests to drink from. • Serve bottled and canned beverages from old tin tubs. • Give your food western names — Cowboy Chili, Old West Wings, Get Along Little Doggies (cocktail weiners),etc.

   

 

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

Music

  Saloon Music– Find some authentic tunes from the old west to play at your party. Find it here.   Saloon Music– We downloaded an album from Sqeek Steale on iTunes for some good saloon piano music!   Cowboy Music– You can stream music from this internet station.   Cowboy Music– Play real cowboy music by the original western sweethearts Roy Rogers and Dale Evans. Find it here.   Other classic country artists Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, June Carter Cash, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings are a few suggestions.   For Free Music– Visit your local library for a number of compilations from the time.  

<<Click on tabs to the left for more ideas<<

Hosting Tips

Download Intro

Testimonials

Purchase Murder at the Deadwood Saloon

Murder at the Deadwood Saloon includes:

Mystery PDF that includes: A Host Guide, A Schedule of the Night, An Introduction, Designed Invitations, Background Information, Character Descriptions, Character Objective Sheets, Name Tags, Evidence, Accusation Sheets, a Detailed Solution, Award Certificates, and more!

Download Intro