The Future of Ravenwood Castle Murder Mysteries

Every year at about this time I have the pleasure of gearing up for the coming Murder Mystery season. Even while the last shows of the previous season are winding down, I’m busy working with Denham, the founder of the Shadow Stalkers and host of our mystery events, to finalize a list of themes for the coming season. Once those themes are locked down I get to start on what has become one of my favorite parts of my job – writing brief story snippets for the announcement of each individual mystery event.

This year that process is bittersweet, as our initial announcement contains more than simply the storyline for an upcoming mystery. This initial announcement deals with an upcoming change to the mysteries themselves. To fill you in on the details, here is the nice Mr. Denham:

When you think of great partnerships, what comes to mind?  Laurel and Hardy, Martin and Lewis, Bogie and Bacall.  My personal favorite has been Ravenwood and Shadow Stalkers.  The castle has proven itself the perfect location for the kind of Murder Mystery event that nice Mr. Denham conjures up for his guests.

But . . .

All good things must end some day and that end is now in sight. Mr. Denham needs to return to his roots.  There is a long list of writing projects he needs to complete before his departure from planet Earth and game design is another neglected child that needs a little TLC.  Also, (after 70 years on the planet) I’m having dreams of trying to set up the clues and trying to negotiate the stairs at Ravenwood with a walker.  These dreams do not end well.

This announcement, then, is an official proclamation, a joint statement by Ravenwood Castle and myself.

There will be two more seasons with Shadow Stalkers and Ravenwood Castle. The 2019-20 season will feature 8 Shadow Stalker mysteries, followed by a shortened lineup of 6 Shadow Stalkers mysteries in the final 2020-21 season.  That nice Mr. Denham will be killed at the final show and laid to rest (and writing) shortly thereafter.

We are making the announcement now in case any of my veteran sleuths wish to bring friends or family members to a mystery where a customized trap, designed especially for their family, awaits the unsuspecting.

What I want to say more than anything else is this.  What awaits us in the future is not simply something good coming to an end.  In fact it will be something GREAT for the last two seasons!  I will be retiring with 30 years of mystery design under my belt and we’ll be throwing high heat and curve balls every show . . . so fasten your seat belts!  It’s going to be a bumpy and memorable ride!

First, I would like to thank Denham and the Shadow Stalkers. We’ve been putting these shows on together for seven years now, and I can honestly say it’s been an absolutely wonderful partnership. We here at Ravenwood Castle are looking forward to these next two seasons with the Shadow Stalkers, and are excited to see what Denham comes up with after his retirement from mysteries. If I know him, he won’t stay idle for long!

Secondly, I would like to assure all of our mystery fans that while this may be the end of an era, it is far from the end of our mysteries. We have big plans for the Ravenwood Detective Agency, and have been preparing for this day for some time. There are more mysteries to be solved, more worlds to experience, and more adventures to be had. Though the 2020-2021 season will be a shortened season for the Shadow Stalkers, it will remain a full length season for our Ravenwood Detectives. More about that when the time is right…

But for now, let’s focus on the final fourteen Shadow Stalkers mystery events. That’s fourteen more opportunities to experience the wonderfully twisted mind of the nice Mr. Denham. These shows are sure to book even faster than normal, so be sure to keep your eyes out for the event announcements. In fact, stay tuned right here next week for the announcement of the first mystery of the 2019-2020 season!

Jim Reed

Jim Reed is a lifelong gamer who started with the original red box Dungeons & Dragons. After spending 20 years in the corporate world, he decided it was high time that work be fun and struck out on his own. Jim now owns and operates Ravenwood Castle, and spends his days ensuring his guests have as much fun as he does.