Masquerade murder mystery connects literary-minded students

Students discussed the mystery in a game of masquerade-themed Murder Mystery at 7 p.m. in the White Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Maya Adams

By Claire Van Zee | Reporter

The Bill Daniel Student Center’s White Room doubled as the ballroom of fictional Bloodsworth Castle Tuesday night as around 15 students gathered for a masquerade-themed murder mystery party.

The event was hosted from 7 to 9 p.m. by Baylor’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, an English honor society.

Prior to the event, students received an email explaining the theme of the party. The email assigned each student a character, which was associated with a color for them to wear, and gave them a taste of what the night would entail.

This year, the mayor of Bloodsworth invited the townspeople, or the attendees, to a masquerade ball through a suspicious invitation they all received mysteriously in the mail.

“You are alarmed, as you didn’t purchase your ticket — it was placed in your mailbox in an unmarked envelope. Somebody wants you there, but you don’t know who or why. This is where your story begins,” the email, sent to students beforehand, read.

The game was played in three rounds. Upon arrival, Bentonville, Ark., senior Delaney Pollard, president of Sigma Tau Delta, gave everyone an envelope with numerous clues, some of which are intended to share while others are meant to be hidden.

The first round takes place before the murder and establishes the motives of each of the characters. For about 30 minutes the attendees circled the room becoming acquainted with one another’s characters, and further developing their own personal stories.

The second round is when the secrets really began to emerge, as attendees received pre-murder clues and post-murder clues. The secrets hidden during the first round became apparent as the participants each attempted to figure out who would have the motive to kill.

About halfway through round two, the victim left the room and died.

“There’s been a murder,” Pollard said.

Orange County, Calif., freshman Ava Dunwoody, a junior member of Sigma Tau Delta, revealed herself as the victim.

“Help me figure out whodunit before the murderer gets away! Interrogate everyone, analyze the evidence and solve this case,” Dunwoody said, acting as her character.

From then on, characters used their post-murder clues, which included information such as their blood type and where each person was when the murder took place, and they each began making accusations trying to figure out what happened.

During the third and final round, everyone went around the room and made their official accusations until the murderer, played by Houston sophomore Nathan Thomas, was exposed.

“I think towards the end, pretty much everyone was leaning towards me, but there was no concrete evidence,” Thomas said. “I’ve been to the event once before and it’s fun every time.”

Sigma Tau Delta hosts a murder mystery event every semester. Past themes of the event have ranged from The Great Gatsby to Edgar Allen Poe.

“This is typically our biggest event to draw people into the club,” Pollard said.

The event appeared to be a member favorite as well. Upon arrival, Dunwoody said she was excited to see everyone from the organization and interact with them in a way where they got to portray characters and become part of a story.

“It’s really fun to experience that with a bunch of people who have the same passions as I do,” Dunwoody said.

For more information on Sigma Tau Delta, visit the group’s website.