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Once Upon A Murder

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

Guest Info

What you need to know about the Ball and the other guests attending…

Who to expect at the Grand Ball

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 the 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 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 grow his palace collection of possessions. At what point will his princess say enough is enough?

JASMOOR • Princess. Feeling left out by all of the excitement around the search for a new princess, Jasmine is left to herself and her palace.

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.

 

Unfamiliar with fairy tale characters?

Click on the characters’ names above to follow links to the stories where these characters originated.

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Costumes

Click through these pictures to get some ideas on costumes and creations for the characters in Once Upon A Murder!

Get inspiration for your costumes here, and check out the tabs on the side to find costumes resources!

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Decoration Ideas

Check here for ideas on how to deck out your castle for the GRANDEST of all Grand Balls!!!

THE ENTRANCE

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

• Have a red runner up to door. You can order one here.

• Create a balloon arch out of pink, white and silver balloons for your princesses to walk through.

• Have castle guards and/or Prince Charming greet your guests as they enter.

• Park a fairytale stagecoach outside.

• Hang your “Stagecoach Parking” sign (included in packet) to direct your guests where to park.

• Hang a “Once Upon A Time” sign as your guests enter.

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

• Have an Oink Realty sign in the yard.

• 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.

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

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

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

• Make some banner flags to fly for your kingdom of Happily Ever After (directions and templates included with mystery).

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Inside the Party Space

Use stone wall scene setters to easily and inexpensively give you castle walls.

• 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.

• Make a chandelier out of hula hoops – CLICK HERE 

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

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

• Have 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.

• 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.

• Make Fairy Dust lanterns and place throughout the party space. Find directions here. 

• Hang a large mirror with a sign above it that reads: “Who is the fairest of them all?”. (Designed sign included with packet – you just print it out and hang on/by mirror.) We printed ours on clear paper and hung it directly on the mirror.

• 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.

• Hang 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.

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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.

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:
• Fairy Dust Lanterns.

• Twinkling 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

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Setting Your Table

• Set table with fairytale stagecoach placecards for each guest. SEE 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.)

OR, create your own placecards (designs included in mystery).

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

• 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.

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

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Create a Photo Spot! 

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 “Happily Never After”.

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

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Setting the Scene

Looking for decoration inspiration for your party? Here’s a video to help!
Click below to start!

Food & Music

What type of Grand food to make for your Grand Ball!

The Menu

If serving a meal, consider a grand buffet for your Grand Ball.

• There are many, many recipes on the internet for this theme. Simply decide what you would like to serve (roast chicken, lamb, 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 below)

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IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CHARACTERS!

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

• Create a Castle Cake (see many examples here).

• Make Rapunzel’s Tower Cupcakes

• Gingerbread house

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

• Poisonous Apple Pie or Carmel Apples.

• How about some edible magic wands? Recipe here.

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

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Setting Your Table

• Set table with fairytale stagecoach placecards for each guest. SEE 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.)

OR, create your own placecards (designs included in mystery).

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

• 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.

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

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Check out our playlist selections for this mystery!

Click on the image to get to our Spotify Playlist for this party!

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Host Information

Ideas, tips, tricks, etc. to help you go above and beyond for your Once Upon A Murder party!

Sending Special Invitations

Along with this mystery, we have included templated, editable design that allows you to enter in your party information and print out on parchment (suggested) and create a scrolled invite for each of your guests. This is one way to be certain your guests are excited for what’s inside… and for what’s to come at the party!

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Check out some of these movies or t.v. shows! These productions depict some of the fairy tales and fairy tale characters that you will find in Happily Never After and its genre. Not only will they help get you in the mood for throwing the party, but can provide inspiration and ideas on other things you may want to do when hosting your Happily Never After Party!

Check out: Tangled, Snow White and the Huntsmen, Mirror, Mirror, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Aladdin, Once Upon A Time (t.v. series), Grimm (t.v. series), Cinderella, Shrek, and Hoodwinked. Or you can pick your own from this list of fairy tale movies.

ALSO, Check out Our PINTEREST BOARD for loads more ideas for your  Once Upon A Murder Party!!!!

Find these and many, many more by CLICKING HERE!!!

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CREATE A PHOTO SPOT

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 “Happily Never After”.

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

  

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Throwing a las minute party?

Once you order, in your mystery packet you will receive directions and/or printables to make unique and original decorations specific to your party!

Included will be:

• SCROLL INVITE DIRECTIONS & TEMPLATE (1 design)

• HOW TO MAKE STONE CASTLE WALLS AND SIGNS

• FLAG DIRECTIONS AND TEMPLATE (1 design)

• DESIGNED MENU (1 design you can personalize with your menu items)

• SIGNS (11 designs)
• Once Upon a Time (on front door) and Happily Ever After (on door as exiting) signs
• Kiss Me! (2 designs).
• Castle Parking, Privy, Prince’s Chambers, Grand Ballroom signs.
• Missing, Reward and Grand Ball Announcement posters.
• Simply print out and hang around your castle.

• AND MORE!

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Each month we highlight one of our customers who has posted on our blog and award them a FREE party!

To get your $5 coupon AND be entered in the Party Of the Month contest for a chance to win a FREE party, please email nompartyofthemonth@gmail.com

Don’t forget to add all the important details and party highlights that made your party one to remember! We love to hear about all of the hard work you, as host, put into your party. From the decor to the food, costumes, whatever. As well as how you and your guests acted (and reacted!) throughout the night! Everything that made your party one your guests will never forget — tell us about it! And be sure to attach some pictures!!!

Upon submitting, we will email you back a coupon to use for $5 off your next party AND enter you in our “Party of the Month” contest, where you could win a FREE party! Once submitted, you will not have to resubmit, but will be entered EVERY MONTH until your party wins!

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Tips

All of the information regarding how to run your Once Upon A Murder party can be found online at Night of Mystery. We highly suggest that you take time to look over our website and download the Once Upon A Murder preview file. Upon reading the introduction file, it will give you a better understanding about how the parties are run and what to expect once you purchase a full mystery file.

If you still have question, the Frequently Asked Questions page at Night of Mystery is a great resource or you can contact us.

Since our games are custom written for the size of the party (ie, we don’t just create a mystery with 8 characters and then keep adding more characters to it), each mystery size is unique unto itself. That being said, going from 10-15 version to 15-20 version, will not only add in more characters, but it will change the storylines of the existing characters, and vice-versa in going from a larger version to a smaller one.

Because of this, WE STRONGLY SUGGEST you get a guest count before formally ordering. You can do so by downloading an invitation, inviting your guests and then purchasing your mystery once you have a more accurate number of people attending. Unfortunately, if you find yourself purchasing the wrong sized party, you will have to purchase another version of the mystery for the size you want unless you are moving from the 15-20 version to the 20+ version.

You can download an invitation here before ordering.

Once you order, in your mystery packet you will receive directions and/or printables to make unique and original decorations specific to your party!

Included will be:
– SCROLL INVITE DIRECTIONS & TEMPLATE (1 design)
– HOW TO MAKE STONE CASTLE WALLS AND SIGNS
– FLAG DIRECTIONS AND TEMPLATE (1 design)
– DESIGNED MENU (1 design you can personalize with your menu items)
– SIGNS (11 designs)
• Once Upon a Time (on front door) and Happily Ever After (on door as exiting) signs
• Kiss Me! (2 designs).
• Castle Parking, Privy, Prince’s Chambers, Grand Ballroom signs.
• Missing, Reward and Grand Ball Announcement posters.
• Simply print out and hang around your castle.
AND MORE!

Each month we highlight one of our customers who has posted on our blog and award them a FREE party!

To get your $5 coupon AND be entered in the Party Of the Month contest for a chance to win a FREE party, please email nompartyofthemonth@gmail.com

Don’t forget to add all the important details and party highlights that made your party one to remember! We love to hear about all of the hard work you, as host, put into your party. From the decor, to the food, costumes, whatever. As well as how you and your guests acted (and reacted!) throughout the night! Everything that made your party one your guests will never forget — tell us about it! And be sure to attach some pictures!!!

Upon submitting, we will email you back a coupon to use for $5 off your next party AND enter you in our “Party of the Month” contest, where you could win a FREE party! One submitted, you will not have to resubmit, but will be entered EVERY MONTH until your party wins!

Check out some of our past winners here! Night of Mystery POM Blogs

Thanks again for hosting with Night of Mystery and we can’t wait to hear all about your party!!!

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