Students participate in Murder Mystery at Meadow Brook Hall


Sophie Hume

Students play characters and solve mysteries during the third annual Meadow Brook Hall Murder Mystery event on Tuesday, March 10.

Students got to live out their own version of Clue at the third annual Meadow Brook Hall Murder Mystery event. 

The event was hosted by Student Program Board (SPB) and held on Tuesday, March 10 at the mansion originally owned by founder and philanthropist Matilda Dodge and Alfred Wilson.

Chris Russell, president of SPB, said this event is great for students to find out more about Meadow Brook Hall, while having a good time with friends. Russell said the members of SPB were excited about this event since Mackenzie Hill, the annual events director, started the event three years back, and this was her last event. 

“My favorite part is just watching students break outside of their comfort zones and take on a character for the night,” he said. “You don’t hear students talking about their homework that evening or what their next final exam or midterm is going to look like.” 

Russell said it’s great to see people getting into their characters, enjoying the atmosphere and “checking out of all their college experiences.”

At the event, there were two mysteries guests could participate in: Cruising for Murder, a cruise theme, and Sin City, a casino theme.

The reason for having two themes, according to Russell, is to allow more people to play in key roles instead of having them all be extras.

“We can put 70 people in one room and give 30-40 people crucial roles to the narrative in each of those, or we could have everyone just doing one game and now all of those people are fighting for those same 30-40 roles,” he said. “It just cuts in half the amount of significant players within it.”

Upon entering, guests were given different envelopes which contained information about their character and what their role would be before and after the “murder” took place. Russell said the envelopes also contained different objectives for guests to complete throughout the night to add to their character and their overall experience. 

Emma Brownell participated in the Sin City mystery, and she said it was meant to be a Las Vegas casino setting. The envelope she received contained the character known as Lucy Legs,” a showgirl who was dating the resident Elvis impersonator. 

“I think the best part of it was the people because some people really got into their roles,” she said. “It was so, so fun just to see how we would interact with each other even though it was all fake and we just got our characters that night.” 

This event was also the first time Brownell had ever visited Meadow Brook Hall, so she was able to receive a tour in the 45 minutes before the event started. 

She said the atmosphere of the mansion really adds to the whole experience of the event.

“It added to the character the most,” Brownell said. “It puts you in the mindset and it makes you feel like you’re really high-end.”

Russell said being in the mansion increases the ambiance of the event. 

“The amount of time and effort that we have to put into decorations and things like that is substantially reduced,” he said. “You wouldn’t want to do something to a place that gorgeous, so it makes that part of it minimal.” 

Russell said SPB plans to continue hosting the event in future years with more murder mysteries to keep guests on the edge of their seats.