In 2016, the Penn Wells was approached by Murder Mystery USA about partnering on a Murder Mystery Weekend at the Penn Wells Hotel. We immediately thought it could be a lot of fun. The historic nature of the Hotel lends itself to a mysterious vibe, especially in March and November when we decided to host our weekends. Don’t get us wrong, there’s no actual danger to be had when visiting the Hotel. But on a late fall or early spring evening, it can feel like a good setting for an elaborate, real-life game of Clue®.
We have hosted two Murder Mystery Weekends so far and have received good feedback from the participants, so we are looking forward to our third on March 9-11, 2018. Before our last Murder Mystery Weekend, Kevin Thomas from KC101 Hometown Industry spoke by phone with Margo of Keith and Margo’s Murder Mystery, and Margo provided a great flavor for what a Murder Mystery Weekend entails. If this kind of event looks like something you’d enjoy, check out our Murder Mystery Package page for more information on pricing and the date of our next weekend, or give us a call at 570-724-2111. With discounted off-season room rates and lots of meal inclusions, plus the event put on by the professional visiting cast, this package offers a lot of value.
Kevin: It’s KC101, we have a guest joining us on the phone. Margot from Keith and Margo's Murder Mysteries, and hello, how are you?
Margo: Good morning. I'm great. Hi.
Kevin: Hello. You are bringing a performance, a murder mystery performance- I guess you’d call it a weekend, to the Penn Wells in Wellsboro. So what's going on?
Margo: Well it's really, really fun. It's a weekend where people show up at the Hotel. They check into their rooms and then they all meet at a cocktail party Friday evening and nobody knows who the actors are, so there's a group of [20-50] people… They meet for a cocktail party, they're greeted by the murder mystery host and we give them a welcome letter. The welcome letter describes what's going to happen, and it gives them a bunch of funny questions to go and interview each other.
Not knowing who the actors are, we get everyone talking to each other over at the cocktail party and asking ridiculous questions, and they're also told they're allowed to lie to each other. You can make up an entire personality for the weekend if you want to and lie about yourself the whole time. But we get them talking to each other to try and determine who they think might be an actor and then they go to dinner and then during the dinner somebody gets bumped off, and it just happens out of the blue. And the detective races in. And the detective is like a very, very funny standup comic, Law and Order CSI-- but a real cop kind of person-- comes in and starts investigating everybody.
And then for the rest of the weekend, mostly at meal times, people keep getting bumped off. There's evidence and clues found that are kept in the clue evidence areas, so you can go look at it any time, and you watch each other and you listen to each other. And by Sunday morning or Sunday, yes Sunday morning, you have to hand in your answer saying who you think the killer in the group was and why you think they did it. And then we solve it, arrest the bad guys, and give a prize to the person or persons with the most accurate answer and booby prizes for the funny answers. But the real fun of it, is not knowing who you're talking to. The actors act just like the guests and the guests, a lot of the guests try to act more “actor-y” than the actors, actually. You end up having people following each other to the bar, going to watch who goes into what room, and if you want to go to the restroom during dinner you might have company waiting for you outside the door. You know it just gets very suspicious, and it's really funny and just a lot of fun.
Kevin: Well that sounds great and this is something that-- you're one of the owners of the company-- you guys have done thousands of these shows?
Margo: Yes, we have for 32 years, believe it or not.
Kevin: Have you been involved all 32 years?
Margo: We started it in ‘85 and we're still going, yup.
Kevin: Wow. And you've performed this all over the world these murder mystery weekends.
Margo: Yeah, I wouldn’t say all over the world, but all over the country and Canada. My partner went to Israel and did some-- we've done them, Oh, we do weekends, and we do dinners and corporate events too, but the weekends are really the most fun because you actually get to kind of move in with the people and be with them all the time. It's very fun.
Kevin: So for you guys it's a different thing every time you do the show too because you're working with-- everyone is kind of a part of the cast pretending they're not part of the cast.
Margo: Exactly, Exactly. So the more outrageous the real customers are the more fun it is, because the actors are trying to blend in and just act like regular guests.
Kevin: Sure. So this is an entire weekend at the Penn Wells, it starts Friday night, November the 10th a little less than two weeks from now and runs through Sunday brunch in the morning on the 12th. The package includes; your welcoming party, breakfast, lunch, dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. And sounds like a lot of fun and you are kind of like living this whole thing while you're there for the weekend.
Margo: It's like watching a movie but you don't know who the actors are.
Kevin: All right. Well it's kind of cool -- like you can go on what we call a staycation where you stay home or go on vacation you put yourself in.
Margo: You'll forget all about your real life until Sunday.
Kevin: You'll come out of this feeling like, you still won't trust people at work the next day.
Margo: It does carry on.
Kevin: Well if you want to learn more about it, or reserve called the Penn Wells. They'll get you the rates and everything 724-2111 and this sounds like a lot of fun, again November 10th through the 12th the Penn Wells in downtown Wellsboro. And looking forward, And where are you really from in the real world, Margo?
Margo: Well right now I live in New England, but we were in Los Angeles for over 20 years and then we started moving around. My partner goes around and does more of the weekends than I do. I kind of hold the fort down at the office.
Kevin: Are you going to be a part of the show or when.
Margo: Oh I wish. No I'm not. Our actors from New Jersey are coming out.
Kevin: They're going to be trying to match up your voice otherwise here.
Margo: Exactly. Oh, people do it. When we have repeat customers come on the weekends, especially in California we have people sitting in the parking lot taking note of who got out of what car with who.
Kevin: Oh, what license plate and everything. Yeah, real sleuths. All right. Give a call to Penn Wells 724-2111 if you want learn more. Thanks Margo, very nice talking with ya.
Margo: You're welcome. Thank you.
Kevin: We're KC101.
lot of valu