Who killed Lorenzo? Guests investigate at murder mystery dinner
HALLSVILLE - Lorenzo Moreno was partners with Vincent Valentino at the successful Sarsapilla Speakeasy, until his disappearance two weeks ago. So what's your alibi?
That's what guests at the Love You To Death Murdery Mystery Dinner spend the evening discovering.
When people go to the Victorian Country Inn for a murder mystery dinner, they are immediately transported to a different time period and become a different person, according to owner Barbara Spencer.
"This is like an escape," she said. "You're in a different era, you're in costume, meeting different people in a different environment. The experience is just one exciting adventure."
At check-in, guests are given their character name. There are eight characters in Love You To Death.
Vincent and Valerie Valentino are competing against the Capone family for territory in the midwest. Vincent owns the nightclub where the dinner is taking place.
Clementeen is one of Valentino's nightclub dancers. She's with Marco Malone.
Then, there is Al and Camille Capone and Bugsy and Lucille Moran. Bugsy is the Al's arch enemy.
Once guests figure out who they are, they are in character the rest of the night. Spencer has costumes for every theme she creates, and guests get dressed for the part before the investigation begins.
"Most murder mysteries don't have costumes," Spencer said. "I make it so that once you put on your costume, you're in that part, and you can stay a different person."
Once guests are ready, it's time for their mug shot. Spencer takes each person's photo as a keepsake for the guests.
After that, the players sit down to dinner and get their first clues and instructions in an envelope. Each character's envelope has a different message. It could be telling Lucille to pick a fight with Camille, or telling Vincent to throw a dance-off at his club, or even telling a character to shoot Bugsy. Different clues and instructions come with each course of the meal.
"It's not like a sit down dinner with strangers where you have nothing to talk about," Spencer said. "I give you objectives before and after so people stay in character throughout the dinner."
Once all clues and objectives are complete, it's time to point fingers and find out who murdered Lorenzo.
After a few flickering lights and a couple of cries of "you did it!', the guests get a confession.
Crystal Rodenbaugh, otherwise known as Camille Capone, was there for the inn's first murder mystery in 2011.
"I come for the experience," Rodenbaugh said. "It's totally different than just going to dinner because it's entertainment, it's fun, you get to meet other people and it's just something different to do."
Spencer started the inn as just a bed and breakfast, but she added the murder mystery events a year later. She writes each scenario and plans how the night will go.
"I decided to start the murder mystery dinner theater because it was something creative to do away from the serious aspects of my nursing career," Spencer said. "Since I started it, it's taken off like a wildfire."
The inn and dinner theater doubles as Spencer's house. There are three bedrooms for guests, including one with a secret passageway to a movie theater. Guests can choose to just stay for the bed and breakfast, or they can attend a murder mystery and choose to stay after.
Anyone interested in scheduling a private murder mystery dinner can email or call the inn.