Once Upon A Murder

A Timeless Tale of Treachery
and Treason in a
Kingdom Far, Far Away

After the mysterious disappearance of Cinderella, Prince Charming is
throwing a ball to find a new bride. Some of the Kingdom residents
question how the prince could move on so quickly, while others are
jumping at the chance to earn their spot as the new princess in the castle.

As the evening escalates, a killing occurs in the palace … 
leaving you to write the final chapter.

Will you finger the fairy godmother whose magic cannot
give her the outcome she desires? The prince who has used his
riches to alienate others? A devious dwarf who may know
too much? Or perhaps a pouting princess who is plotting
to win the heart of Prince Charming.

In a kingdom where jealousy, betrayal and deception
are common story lines, it will be up to you to find the
felon so that everyone can live happily ever after.

Download Mystery Intro

Guest Info

Guest Breakdown

With 20+ guests: At least 6 male, 8 female, 1 gender-neutral (roles that can be assumed by either a male or female guest).

With 15-20 guests: 6-7 male, 8-9 female, 1-4 gender-neutral

With 10-15 guests: 4-6 male, 6-7 female, 0-2 gender-neutral

With 8-12 guests: 3-5 male, 5-6 female, 0-1 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.

With 20+ guests: At least 6 male, 8 female, 1 gender-neutral (roles that can be assumed by either a male or female guest).

With 15-20 guests: 6-7 male, 8-9 female, 1-4 gender-neutral

With 10-15 guests: 4-6 male, 6-7 female, 0-2 gender-neutral

With 8-12 guests: 3-5 male, 5-6 female, 0-1 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.

Clean versions are void of references to extra-marital affairs, alcohol and/or illegal drugs. Teens and/or conservative groups often use clean versions for their mystery of choice.

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.

  • 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 years of animosity, Griselda has earned Cinderella’s trust and her place in castle. Now that Cinderella is gone, will Griselda be next to disappear mysteriously?

  • RAPUNZEL

    Princess

    Desperate to get out of her tower, this trapped temptress 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 prince that is charming.

  • HERB

    Dwarf

    Like a brother to Snow, Snow’s dependence on Herb is endearing to some and annoying to others.

  • HERB

    Dwarf

  • NOSY

    Dwarf

  • ALADDIN

    Prince

  • JASMOOR

    Princess

  • JINN

    Genie

  • BELLE

    Beast’s wife

  • BEAST

    Belle’s husband

  • HANSEL

    Orphan

  • GRETEL

    Orphan

  • RED

    Little Red Riding Hood

  • GRAM

    Red’s Grandmother

  • AXE

    Woodcutter

  • TEETH

    Big, Bad Wolf

  • RUMPELSTILTZKIN

    Imp

  • HAMLET

    Little Pig

Party Tips

THE ENTRANCE

  • Have a trumpet sound effect announce guests as they arrive.

 

  • Have a red runner up to door.

 

  • Have castle guards greet your guests.

 

  • Park a fairytale stagecoach outside.

 

  • Make a castle façade with styrofoam (Pictured below. Instructions included in packet.)

 

  • Lay out wood planks to create a drawbridge leading up to your entrance. (Look in the discount bin at your local hardware store for inexpensive wood.)

 

  • Make a black construction paper chain to simulate large chains for your drawbridge or dungeon.

 

  • Create a dragon out of carboard boxes and spray paint to guard your castle.

 

  • Make flags for your Kingdom (Pictured below. Instructions and template design included in packet.)

 

  • Have stone signs around the venue. (Pictured below. Instructions included in packet.)

 

  • Create an “enchanted forest”outside the party space – Litter space with fairies, gnomes, elves, etc.

 

 

<< Check the tabs to the left for more ideas!!!  <<

INSIDE THE PARTY SPACE

 

 

  • Hang plastic shields, swords, axes, etc. on the walls (find some at a local party store).

 

  • Make an elaborate ballroom floor with plastic “marble” laminate tiles (found inexpensively at local hardware store). You can piece them together on an old sheet of plywood.

 

 

 

  • Consider hanging paper lanterns from the ceiling to illuminate your space.

 

  • Hang as many white twinkle lights as you can find to give your party a magical, mystical feel.

 

  • Have the Prince Charming’s riches on display.

 

  • Create a throne by spray painting a chair gold. Add a bit of regalness with a velvet cushion or accent.

 

  • For authenticity, print all of the materials for the game on parchment paper.

 

  • When the characters read the introduction, investigation report, evidence presentation & solution, have them presented on a scroll. (Follow directions on how to make a scroll invite—included with party packet.) OR have them sealed with a wax seal.

 

  • Have candles flickering about.

 

  • Hang a large mirror with a sign above it that reads: “Who is the fairest of them all?” – or write it on your bathroom mirror with washable paint.

 

  • If throwing party in daytime, use stained-glass window clings to transform your windows.

 

  • Tiny plastic fairies, dragons, gnomes and other fairy tale creatures may peek out from potted plants, behind curtains and from the tops of windows.

 

  • Consider garden gnomes in and around your party space.

 

  • Have a frog (stuffed or garden decoration) with a gold crown and a “Kiss me” sign by it. (Pictured below. Sign included with mystery purchase.)

 

  • Hang “reward”, “missing” and “announcement” signs in and around the party space (included with mystery).

 

  • A poster of a glass slipper or perhaps and ladies dress shoe decorated with the saying “Have You Seen this Slipper?”

 

  • Have a bowl full of red apples with a “POISON” sign on it.

 

<< Check the tabs to the left for more ideas!!!  <<

CHOOSING A COLOR SCHEME

Three popular color schemes for your party may be gold and purple (the color of regency), gold and silver or silver and white.

 

 

To pull the color scheme through to your whole space consider the following:

 

  • When decorating a large area or to make an area look more intimate and festive, consider draping white or gold gossamer across the ceiling, walls, and edges of the tablecloth. Combine two colors for a fabulous appearance.

 

  • A little spray paint can go a long, long way. Spray paint novelty items, vases, old wine bottles, etc. to help bring out the color theme and add inexpensive decoration to your party.

 

  • Have a tablecloth—whether plastic or fabric – the colors of your choice.

 

  • Accentuate your tablecloth with the alternative color by using paint pens or fabric paint to paint on decorative accents.

USING FABRIC
There are many ways you could use “fancy” fabric – shimmering, metallic, sheer, etc. – to decorate in a number of ways:

 

  • Drape brightly colored fabric on the walls like banners. (Purple and gold for royalty!)

 

  • Make a table runner.

 

  • Drape over furniture.

 

  • Create decorative pillows.

 

  • Tie to the back of a chair.
    Places to find fancy fabrics inexpensively:
    – Searching clearance bins at fabric stoes
    – Second hand shops
    – The fabric section at Walmart

 

 

LIGHTING
When considering the lighting for your party, you will not want anything too harsh or bright.


Consider the following and what might work best within your space:

  • Christmas lights

 

  • Candles

 

  • Electric candles set inside plastic lanterns and suspended from the ceiling or set on tables provide light.

 

  • Paper lanterns

 

  • Twinkle lights placed under fabric on tables

 

  • Twinkle lights strung throughout fake trees and foliage

 

  • Chandeliers

 

 

 

SETTING THE TABLE

 

  • Set table with fairytale stagecoach placecards for each guest. SEE HEREOR HERE.
    Your guests can take them home as favors. (You can also set them out by their money, objectives, etc. at the beginning of the night.)

 

  • Construct one long table for dinner. Use a brightly colored or metalbrc piece of fabric for a runner.

 

  • Drape table with gossamer and put white twinkle brghts underneath to illuminate.

 

  • Decorate the table runner with gold fabric paint.

 

  • Include jewels glued to the edges of tablecloths and gold- or silver-toned paper plates, cups and silverware.

 

  • Purchase gold colored plastic cups and hot glue fake jewels to the outside of the cups.

 

  • Use a centerpiece of white roses (fake or real) in a clear vase filled with sparkly gems or beads.

 

  • Finish off by tying a tulle fabric bow onto each chair.

 

  • Display your menu for everyone to see or have it at each place setting. (Menu template included with package.)

 

<< Check the tabs to the left for more ideas!!!  <<

CREATE A BACKDROP

Give your guests an unforgettable souvenier by setting up a photo area where they can capture a picture of themselves in character.

 

A few suggestions:

    • • Pick a place where there will be good lighting.

 

    • • You can make it as elaborate or simple as you want.

 

    • • Accessories and decorations can make the difference. Have some extra props on hand that your guests can pose with.

 

    • • An easy way to create a background is to use a “scene setter”. These affordable rolls of images transform your room instantly and make for a good backdrop to your picture.

 

    • • Make sure there is enough room to fit everyone in to the frame.

 

    • • For individual shots of guests, designate someone to be in charge of pictures as your guests arrive.

o Consider your character list and which character would fit the role of taking the picture. Ie, if you want mug shots, perhaps ask the investigator to be in charge of taking the pictures.

    • • For a group picture, take one just before the introduction is read or right after the solution is read (before people may start heading out).

o These are two times when you can count on everyone being around and attentive. 

 

BACKDROP IDEAS for the fairytale theme

    • • Create a “castle wall” backdrop using scene setters or directions in mystery.

 

    • • Decorate a deep blue sheet with some stars for a magical night feel.

 

    • • Create a throne by spray painting a chair gold. Add a bit of regalness with a velvet cushion or accent.

 

    • • Make a large banner that says “Once Upon a Murder”.

 

    • Have additional props for posing in pictures (crowns, tiaras, wands, trumpets, big glasses, pig ears, fairy wings, elf hats, etc.).

 

 

<< Check the tabs to the left for more ideas!!!  <<

THE MENU

 

If serving a meal, consider a grand buffet for your grand ball.

  • Decorate with elaborate place settings from silver plasticware and serving dishes (found inexpensively at a party or discount store).

 

 

  • There are many, many recipes on the internet for this theme. Simply decide what you would like to serve (roast chicken, llamb, et.c) and then search for the recipe that you desire.

 

  • Try to make your food something that is easy to prepare ahead of time and takes little to no preparation as the party approaches.

 

To pull through the theme for your party, you can name your foods to reflect the stories and storylines that are interwoven throughout Once Upon A Murder.

  • A Seven Dwarf Salad, The King’s Chicken Wings, Poisonous Apple Pie, Magical Mushroom Caps, are a few examples.

 

  • Some other words we’ve found: prince, princess, king queen, evil, elfly, cursed, enchanted, cruel, maiden, sleeping, loyal, true, storybook, whimsical, magical, mystical, etc. In addition, you can use any of the character’s names to describe your food and beverage.

 

Don’t forget to put your food choices into the menu (provided with the mystery) and display it for the guests! (pictured far below)

 

Accentuate your dessert table with any or all of these Fairy Tale themed desserts!

 

  • Gingerbread house – from Hansel and Gretel, who will be attending.

 

  • Have a basket of Little Red Riding Hoods Goodies – sticky buns, baked goods and/or sweets!

 

  • Poisonous Apple Pie or Carmel Apples.

 

 

In many instances, your dessert can act like your centerpiece for the beginning of the party… until you eat it!

gingerbread house
Find directions here Find directions here Create a gluten-free house!

 

rule

 

SETTING THE TABLE

 

  • Set table with fairytale stagecoach placecards for each guest. SEE HEREOR HERE.
    Your guests can take them home as favors. (You can also set them out by their money, objectives, etc. at the beginning of the night.)

 

  • Construct one long table for dinner. Use a brightly colored or metalbrc piece of fabric for a runner.

 

  • Drape table with gossamer and put white twinkle brghts underneath to illuminate.

 

  • Decorate the table runner with gold fabric paint.

 

  • Include jewels glued to the edges of tablecloths and gold- or silver-toned paper plates, cups and silverware.

 

  • Purchase gold colored plastic cups and hot glue fake jewels to the outside of the cups.

 

  • Use a centerpiece of white roses (fake or real) in a clear vase filled with sparkly gems or beads.

 

  • Finish off by tying a tulle fabric bow onto each chair.

 

  • Display your menu for everyone to see or have it at each place setting. (Menu template included with package.)
menu tavle goblet

MUSIC


To set the mood for your party, you he music for such a theme can come from one of the many soundtracks for the fairy tales. If this is not music you will listen to in the future, consider borrowing it from your local library.

Some fairy tale movies include:

  • Snow White and the Huntsmen
  • Red Riding Hood
  • Mirror, Mirror
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Aladdin
  • Once Upon A Time (t.v. series)
  • Grimm (t.v. series)
  • Cinderella
  • Shrek
  • Hoodwinked
  • Tangled

Hosting Tips

Download Intro

Testimonials

Purchase Once Upon A Murder

Once Upon A Murder 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