Murder Mystery Party Kit Details

The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign - Mystery Party Kit


Preview Game Kit

The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign

Add intrigue to your next party with this murder mystery game, set in a haunted castle.
Format: Mystery Party Kit
Setting: A haunted castle
Players: 8-12 (Standard Game)
13-30 (Expanded Game)
Time: 90+ minutes
Ages: Adult / Teen
Something sinister stalks the halls of Shufflemore Manor...


The Barony of Shufflemoore Woods is being plagued by wolves - or perhaps only a single wolf. The creature or creatures have been responsible for all sorts of deviltry, including the disappearance of livestock and, most recently, of Mitchell and Susannah Miller's youngest daughter. Now, several residents of the Barony have retreated to Shufflemoore Manor, seeking the protection of Baron Castaign. Several visitors have also appeared, including a trio of wandering Gypsies and a hunter who has offered up her services in tracking down and slaying the beasts that are terrorizing the Barony.

A Reluctant Protector

This party is divided into two primary segments. During the first portion of the evening the guests arrive at Shufflemoore Manor, just as a terrible storm begins building up outside. The players in the adventure include Baron Castaign and his family and servants, villagers and common folk from the surrounding Barony, and various travelers who are passing through. Though the Baron himself is a gloomy, somber man with no love for company, propriety and decorum dictate that he must provide accommodation for those in need. With the storm gathering outside, Baron Castaign reluctantly offers to feed everyone dinner and let them spend the night.


After dinner, the guests retire to their rooms to sleep. Shortly before midnight, they are awakened by a shriek of terror and find that the maid, Luella, has been killed in her bed, drained of all blood. Suspicions are immediately raised that one of the company is, in fact, a vampire. Now the players must use their wits and skills to find a way to escape from the castle before the monster in their midst kills them all.

Solving the Mystery

Guests must work together to identify the murderer. A terrible evil stalks the solemn halls of Shufflemoore Manor, and only the most clever and lucky of Baron Castaign's guests are likely to escape with their lives!


There are 12 primary suspects in this mystery, however only 8 are required to play the game. The host or hostess will play the role of the Narrator, a gamekeeper and guide who is there to run the game. Read the "How To Play" section for more information on how to play an expanded game with more than 12 guests.

Male Roles

  • Baron Venedict Castaign: Lord of Shufflemoore Manor and the nearly forgotten Barony of Shufflemoore Woods, Baron Castaign is a somber, silent man, prone to melancholy and introspection.
  • Desmond Othas: A peasant who ekes out a living cutting wood and performing rough carpentry in the Barony of Shufflemoore Woods, Desmond wears rough clothing and carries a hand axe.
  • Winston Phipps: Butler and manservant to Baron Venedict Castaign, Phipps is a formidably competent and icily professional butler.
  • Edgar: Caretaker and groundskeeper of Shufflemoore Manor, Edgar is an ill-kempt, lazy drunkard whose primary goal is to do as little work as possible while still collecting the pittance the Baron pays him.
  • Curtis: A Gypsy juggler and husband to Maven, Curtis is an outgoing entertainer always ready and able to put people at ease with his clever wit and well-timed jokes.
  • Mitchell Miller: A simple farmer who ekes out a livelihood in the Barony of Shufflemoore Woods with his wife Susannah, Mitchell has fallen on hard times with the disappearance of his daughter Krista. He has come to Shufflemoore Manor to petition the Baron's aid in locating his daughter.

Female Roles

  • Esmerelda: A Gypsy girl and occasional dancer who travels the land with her brother, Curtis, and his wife, Maven, Esmerelda is bright and vivacious, a lively sort of person who always has a cheerful comment and smile, even for strangers.
  • Maven: A Gypsy seer and wife to Curtis, Maven is wise and mysterious. She always seems to know more about people than she is inclined to let on.
  • Susannah Miller: A soft-spoken woman, Susannah is the wife of the farmer Mitchell Miller. She has recently lost her young daughter, Krista, and is heartbroken and distraught.
  • Luella: One of the maids of Shufflemoore Manor, Luella is a cheerful young woman who has aspirations of traveling to some place more cosmopolitan and compelling than Shufflemoore Woods.
  • Constance Castaign: The sister of the Baron, Constance Castaign is a dour and devoutly religious spinster.
  • Tatanya: A hunter and tracker of some skill, Tatanya is a taciturn woman, more at home in the wild than in a baron's castle. She dresses in rugged clothing and carries a pistol, something of a novelty for a woman in this time and place.

How to Play

Follow these steps to host this mystery:

  1. Each guest will each assume the role of a particular character
    Mystery Parties involve a combination of improvisational acting, storytelling, and creative problem solving. Each guest will play the part of that character throughout the course of the game. Each character has specific personality traits, goals, secrets, and information, all of which are included in the character sheet; a big part of the fun is getting into character and taking on a new, exciting role.

  2. A mysterious Event will occur
    At some point during the party, an Event will occur that will force the players to come together in order to solve a problem or unravel a mystery. Traditionally, the Event in question will be the murder of one of the characters (as played by a guest), but the parties crafted by Playing With Murder often use this basic framework to accommodate different types of Events, thereby ensuring that your guests will be surprised and entertained (even if they are veteran murder mystery party players).

  3. Solve the mystery!
    Your guests will need to use the information that their characters know (as well as additional clues that are provided during the game) to solve the mystery or overcome the problem posed by the Event. Typically this culminates in the guests voting on the identity of the murderer, but again, different parties will have different specific goals. All of our parties also come complete with additional subgames (treasure hunts, unique character goals and special puzzles) that are guaranteed to keep the action intense and your guests motivated and focused.

Expanded Game For Large Groups

If you have extra players, there are two ways that you can accommodate everyone:

  • Investigator Role - Additional players have the option of playing the role of "Investigators". In this role the players are not suspects and do not have character backgrounds but can question the suspects and try to solve the mystery along with the other players. Expanded Games include a PDF guide that explains how to use the Investigator role, as well as printable character sheets and name tags for anyone that is playing an Investigator.
  • Multiple Groups - It is also possible to break your guests up into groups and play multiple instances of the game at the same time. The game will more or less happen the same way; the host makes announcements and each group moves their game forward simultaneously based on the host's instructions. It's good to have one assistant in each group to answer questions and facilitate gameplay within the group. This method provides a more intimate experience for your guests, who get better acquainted with a smaller group and participate in a more digestible story.

    Please contact us if you'd like more information about how to run your party using the Multiple Groups method.

Both the standard and expanded games are included with the purchase of any game kit.

Read more about Expanded Games here

First time hosting a murder mystery party?

Visit our How to Host a Mystery Party page to get step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your murder mystery party.

What's Included

The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign is a 96-page downloadable PDF file that you print at home. It includes the following features:

  • An introduction that explains the basic principles of running a mystery-party and provides specific tips on props, menu items, sound effects, combat and special tips to help make your party exciting, memorable and easy to run
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to prepare for your party
  • A detailed party guidebook that will walk you through the event in a simple, easy-to-understand format
  • Instructions on how to run the party for a large group
  • 20 pages describing the rooms in the Baron's castle, each with its own special dangers, obstacles and puzzles
  • Nametags and character sheets for each player - the character sheets include tips on costuming and role-playing, as well special goals and information unique to each character
  • Fully customizable invitations, complete with RSVP cards and guest lists
  • 45 gorgeously illustrated full-color item cards representing the different objects that the players can find and interact with in the castle
  • Voting sheets
  • Customizable awards for your guests
  • And much more!

With your purchase of The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign you will also receive the following:

  • Step-by-step printing instructions
  • Four mp3 audio effects for use with your party
  • Instructions on how to use these audio clips to best effect

Playing With Murder offers several audio files for use with each of our Mystery Party Kits. The audio clip below provides a sample montage of the sound effects included with The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign.

Play audio sample:


Alternative content

The specific audio files for The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign include:

  • The background noise of an ominous thunderstorm and the howling of wolves
  • The struggle and murder of the hapless victim, alone in the upper story of the castle at midnight
  • Wolves at the door, frantically snarling and scratching in their attempt to reach the guests
  • And more!
Mystery Party Reviews
Overall Average Rating:
21 reviews
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11 12 201805:23 PM
  • more than 1 month(s)
  • Game Rating:
This was the BEST night!
This was everything we wanted and more. Our Youth Group had so much fun! It was exciting, and you will not be disappointed by choosing this Murder Mystery. Overall, this was an awesome time!
  • We kept it simple and had pizza and soda.
  • We had our event the weekend after Halloween, so all of the decorations were 75% off! This was perfect because we were able to buy more items to really set the mood. We had a fog machine and Jack O Lantern strobe lights. We had rubber bats and rats which will come in handy if you choose this adventure.
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11 05 201805:36 AM
  • more than 1 month(s)
  • Game Rating:
Fun Night
Last night we celebrated our annual Halloween party. We used The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign. This was our first ever murder mystery. It was for a group of 15 kids. I added more villagers and vampires to fit our group, but mostly kept the storyline the same. The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves and playing in the dark made it exciting for them. I added a scavenger hunt to the beginning and the kids loved it. You need a big space for this game be prepared for that.
  • We mostly served appetizers and for the main course we served split pea soup (which was amazing) and spaghetti. For dessert we served cheesecake and cookies.
  • I made little books for each of the players that contained their character information, their item cards and life cards (my adaptation) as well as space to solve the logic puzzles that they found when doing the scavenger hunts that I created.
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11 04 201801:02 AM
  • more than 1 month(s)
  • Game Rating:
Costumes, Acting, Murder Mystery, Escape the Room!
This murder mystery is one of the coolest ones out there. I feel like it almost deserves to be in a category of its own because it combines the dungeon master narrator and combat elements of d&d, escape the room puzzles, the scares of a haunted house and costume dinner party. This should absolutely be the mystery you choose if you are ready to put in the extensive time and effort necessary to prepare. I knew what I was getting into from other people’s helpful reviews so I didn’t mind at all when I ended up putting in probably 20 hrs preparing over the span of a month including 2 late nights leading up to the event. My housemate also put 8hrs into building the catacombs out of the junk in our basement (see the picture and video). Totally over the top prep but the screams of both guys and girls when they went through was so worth it :D

Having the assistant was crucial to keeping the plot moving forward seamlessly. You simply don’t have time to inform the dead guests what they should be doing while still narrating for the main group.

I coordinated with murderers over group text and told them their cue for the attack in the library and tunnel 2 when the lights went out. They were supposed to poke their target in the neck with two fingers. It worked perfectly and not even the victims could tell who had done it to them.

In the end we lost all but 3 of our humans to the perils of Shufflemoore Manor. But Venedict, Constance, and Mitchell were saved by the protection of the Day Chapel!

Everyone absolutely raved about how much fun they had and we stayed up until 4:00AM recounting the night from each of our perspectives. A lasting memory was made!
  • The Cocktail was apple cider spiked with dark rum, cinnamon schnapps, butterscotch schnapps, and a dash of lemon juice.
    ½ gallon apple cider
    1 cup dark rum
    1 cup cinnamon schnapps
    ½ cup butterscotch schnapps
    3 Granny Smith apples, cut into large chunks, threaded onto toothpicks as garnish
    1 lemon, juiced 2 tbs
    The butter beer was ladled out of a hollowed-out pumpkin with chunks of dry ice tossed in the bottom to make fog come billowing out the top. It was a spectacular centerpiece and tasted delicious!

    I assigned a dish for each of the guests to bring to relieve that part of the preparation from my shoulders.

    Cocktail - Butter beer (cider)
    2 bottles red Wine
    Greek olives
    Dried fruits
    Flat Bread (focaccia)
    Vegetable soup
    3 rotisserie chickens
    Key-lime Tart
    Stewed pears
  • Our South Philly row home was the unsung hero of this production. It already has a very old style aesthetic so it took little extra decoration to make it feel period. Also the weather obliged us with a torrential downpour all night
  • Watch my video
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28 10 201805:56 PM
  • more than 1 month(s)
  • Game Rating:
Many hours spent on understanding and set up
This was a very hard party to put together compared to other murder mysteries. It took multiple rooms, and so much studying of the script to pull off. My guests said they enjoyed it but preferred the traditional style of a murder mystery. I missed playing a role in the party. This is probably the 5th or 6th murder mystery party I've thrown for our Annual Halloween party.
  • Roast Beef Sliders, Spiked Apple Cider, Jekyll & Hyde drinks, cheese & crackers, veggie, and fruit trays
  • I was able to use some old castle faux walls and skeletons for the dungeon, lots of tea light candles for lighting, a YouTube video of a castle during a thunderstorm on the TV.
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20 04 201808:01 AM
  • Game Rating:
The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign
Having previously purchased and run two other playing with murder events I was a little surprised when I read through the full game. To work effectively it was considerably more complicated than the others! However, my bunch of mixed gender 14 year olds loved it and mostly solved all the puzzles. it did take coordination to keep resting the spaces as the moved around the house and garden. The weather even put on an authentic storm for us which added to the complication. All round a great party but definitely best to allow time to think through all your locations and have an adult in reserve for resetting spaces to allow kids to find clues fresh.
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02 12 201805:43 PM
  • Game Rating:
Awesome Group Event
The Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign was more of a team building event which worked great for our High School Youth Group. The character sheets were well laid out with costuming suggestions and enough information for everyone to get into their character. I loved the strengths and weaknesses assigned to each character and how those were used by the group to overcome obstacles with in the mystery. We were able to easily adapt the set-up suggestions to our church to make the most of the story. Some rooms were more elaborately decorated and some were very simple. The Catacombs were so much fun!
  • Finger foods to allow the characters to move around and talk to everyone.
  • Strobe lights, thunder sound effects and only candlelight set the mood for the dinner.
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14 01 201812:18 AM
  • Game Rating:
Creepiest thing ever, but AWESOME!
So me and my drama class went into the dark, creepy basement of the church we practice in, and had all the lights off, one lamp in the "great hall" and various windows/black lights in other rooms. Our group had quite a few people, and I was Tatanya. This is amazing and highly recommended!
  • Cheetos, Lays Chips, Oreo Cookies
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18 11 201704:13 AM
  • Game Rating:
Terrible Castle of Baron Castaign
The party seemed a little daunting at first to plan but it worked out great . Overall, highly recommend for someone in search of a good challenge. We have had other parties that were boring and didn’t make a whole lot of sense. This story kept everyone engaged and the ending was satisfying.

Other notes: After the murder, we let the murder victim “haunt” people pretty much any time the rest of the game instead of how it was indicated and it turned out to be so entertaining! The victim can also help the narrator of some extra fun. We did not do the catacombs and did a party game to suppliment the goal of the area instead; it did not seem worth the effort.
  • Appetizers! We did an app party with drinks. It provided extra flexibility for timing and better conversation than a sit down dinner. The butler was a great bartender and the maid made sure everyone got enough to eat. It proved to work wonderfully so that the characters could mingle.
  • We set up with tons of candles in some rooms and black lights in others to keep the mood ominous. Plenty of our creepy Halloween decorations helped set the scene.
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11 07 201708:22 PM
  • Game Rating:
Murder Mystery Event at Ella Johnson Library
Ella Johnson Library hosted their second annual Murder Mystery event on a Friday after hours at the library! Teens had to register ahead of time and pick up a character sheet, so they could come in costume the night of the event. Over 20 youth came for a pizza dinner while they mingled in character. Once the first murder occurred they had to go room to room in the castle picking up clues and hoping to survive to "dawn". To accommodate for the large group, owner and author Ken Blumreich kindly developed a new character bundle for us so everyone could have a role. Thank you!
  • A dining room, great hall, dungeon, servants quarters, a library, chapel and secret tunnels were all decorated with props painted ahead of time by teen volunteers.
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26 10 201710:55 PM
  • Game Rating:
Fun Times @ Shufflemoore Woods
We did this as a Team Building Event. It was a lot of prep work but worth every minute of it in the end! The planning committee was very excited about the event and our co-workers caught the fever as well. We didn't reveal a lot about the characters to the team, only to the individual and so the surprise of everyone walking in with their costumes was awesome! Everyone participated to the full extent, taking their roles seriously and playing their parts to the fullest. It was interesting to see how the team worked together to evaluated what was going on to deduct the best course of action. We would definitely do another mystery party, but maybe not one that is quite this extensive.
  • We went with a Ukrainian dinner theme paired with wine and punch. We included vegetarian dishes as well. The wine was our link to the times as there is a wine cellar involved in the mystery.
  • We decorated each room with it's own props as suggested. We had skeletons and bones in the jail and catacombs. We drew pictures of the fireplace and wine barrels on construction paper and taped them to a large box, it worked very well. we had a lot of candles and lanterns for lighting (not lights on in the room). we played a thunderstorm throughout the evening from the computer. Our characters were all dressed for their parts, including our one who had 2 characters to play! It was awesome!
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09 03 201710:43 PM
  • Game Rating:
Son's 15th party
We hosted this party for my sons 15th birthday. We had 8 boys and they had a fabulous time, were still talking about it the day after. They were genuinely pretty scared as they made their way through the creepy castle.

We had lots of fun transforming the house into the castle and sourcing and preparing props. It was a lot of work, about 3 days, but worth the effort for the fun that was had

It took me 3 readthroughs and 2 walkthroughs to really get the order of events and scenarios in my head and this was essential, because I couldn't read from the booklet in the dark. I enlisted the help of another adult to play Luella and the wolf and direct the unfortunate guests who died as to their next actions, I could not have done the party as smoothly without a helper - I'd say it's essential rather than optional if you want things to unfold seamlessly.

The boys will remember this night for many years to come - the event of the year they called it!

One thing to be aware of is that the party doesn't easily adapt to fewer guests, because the character sheets then refer to non-existent characters. So I had to read through everything carefully and write out the inconsistencies. This would have been heaps easier if the download was available in both word and PDF format.
  • The butler served Castaign Champagne to the guests during act 1 ( fizzy grape juice with a home made label)
    Main: Lasagne and salad
    Dessert: death by chocolate cake
  • We had a different room for each area and used LED tea lights stuck into cardboard tubes for the two torches to light their way. The dim light in the darkness made everything more scary. We turned the TV into a fireplace in the library and that worked brilliantly as we could extinguish it with the remote when the gust of air blew in from the secret staircase. I also downloaded some extra sound effects which added to the drama and tension of the night- stone scrapping as the fireplace moved aside and the stone wall raised; the sound of struggle and choking followed by an evil vampire laugh as each victim was attacked in the darkness. I had these downloaded on to my iPad and carried a portable speaker around as I narrated.
    We used garden trellis for the portcullis and dropsheets and tarpaulins to create the walls of the catacombs. Lots of bones, skulls, skeletons and rats, cobwebs, black hanging glaze to walk through and crunchy rusty things underfoot in the catacombs.
    I had an envelope with the names of all the characters in my pocket and after each attack in the dark I had a player draw a name at random to determine who the victim was.
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05 03 201705:12 AM
  • Game Rating:
Re. Social event
Left a review previously but this review isn't so much about the game rather the company / author. They reached out to me to ask for more information why the party didn't go well. Most impeccable customer service I have ever seen. I've never seen a company so meticulous about the customers enjoyment of their product.
  • Dinner
  • Music
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04 11 201707:38 PM
  • Game Rating:
Social event
Would advise you have people read through every character before you start. Do not have anyone play the irrelevant french maid.
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13 09 201602:10 AM
  • Game Rating:
14 yr Birthday Party with Teen Girls Everywhere
My wife and I left the house as more than a dozen teen girls entered.

Everything was planned, arranged, cooked, etc, by my teen daughters. (Ages 14 and 15).

I don't know any details, except everyone apparently had an extremely fun time.

My 14 year old teen doesn't post reviews, so I am posting something simply because I am happy the activity was a) fun b) able to be managed completely by my teenagers friends.

Money well spent.
  • Wife just told me they cooked more than two casserole dishes of cheese, cheese, mac and cheese... Whatever that is. And 4 gallons of homemade ice cream. Seriously?
  • I left the house to teen girls. Honestly, my ears couldn't have taken the high pitches if I had stayed. The mood set itself.
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06 08 201612:00 AM
  • Game Rating:
Sixteenth Birthday Party
The teens loved the story line and the puzzles. They wished it had been a bit harder to solve in some parts, and I wished that there was more of an outline format for each room so that I could follow it easier on the spot without having to read through the paragraphs. I read the script twice before the party, but felt like I almost had to have it memorized to have it run more smoothly. I think an outline would have helped. Also, If I had know that a key component of the storyline was what it was, I would have chosen a different storyline. (cant say more without spoilers.) Also, would do it at a church or somewhere larger than my home next time. Overall, super fun, even with the glitches. The sound tracks were great.

One thing I would have LOVED was a printer friendly version without all the border decorations on every page. I had to purchase new ink half way through. And, no one but me sees those pages anyway. It would be nice to have the option to print minimally.

I also created my own certificates for awards that could hold their photo.
  • Birthday girl wanted chinese takeout, so we served chinese food, salad, fruit salad, lemonade and snow cones. They loved it even though it wasn't themed exactly.
  • the storm/wolves track set a great mood. We did the party at 5:30 in the spring, so it wasn't dark enough, so next time I will wait until dark to make the effect more dramatic. Also, instead of makeup for wounds, we used red fabric to tie around their necks.
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