Tips for creating body outlines

When people play a murder mystery – they often ask us for help when it comes to creating that “chalk outline” effect.

So here are our top tips for creating that “authentic” looking chalk outline.

Solid Rough Surface:

So long as the surface is solid and rough, like a slate or concrete floor, then  crime scene chalk will provide the quickest and easiest dead body outline for you – these are just £2.49 to buy and one stick should be enough to draw right around your dead body outline and leave you a little bit extra to thicken up the lines.

Smooth surfaces:

Things get a little more difficult when it comes to laminate flooring or smooth tiles.  Firstly – how smooth is the area, and how windy will it be, will the dust just blow away?

If you are fairly certain you can get away with a “powder” on your surface, and have a surface, like laminate, that you aren’t worried about staining then why not run lines using a simple powdered substance like flour or talcum powder.  You could even grate chalk using a nutmeg grater if you have nothing more suitable to hand.  When your party is over you can simply sweep the floor and give it a mop and it’s all cleaned up.

*Tip – Avoid using sugar as it gets sticky and attracts more bugs.

Soft surfaces:

When it comes to carpet, you might not want to put flour or talc on the pile.  These substances may not “lift” fully (and give you a nasty static shock from the vacuum cleaner when it does).  So instead, use a substance that you KNOW likes carpet – like good old “shake’n’vac” – the powdered air freshening powder you sprinkle on the carpet to make it smell better.  This may make your crime scene smell a little floral, but you can be sure your dead body won’t be a lingering special effect!

Wind / unusual shapes:

If you’re in a windy zone, or concerned that you have a carpet that won’t like even carpet freshener – then mark out your dead body using masking tape.  It’s low cost, removes cleanly and although it provides a fairly straight edged dead body, it does the job.  It’s also better if you want to create a “sitting dead body” effect as you can run the tape across the “gaps” between floor and seat to create legs that might not have been apparent had you used powder.

You can buy different coloured tape as gaffer tape, and some people prefer a black outline in gaffer tape – but do be sure you buy a “low tack” variety as you don’t want to leave glue all over your soft furnishings.





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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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