As the Original Murder Mystery Weekend marks its 35 year anniversary in 2016, it has seen 126 complex plots and over 10,000 murders, as well as being credited with kick-starting the murder mystery phenomenon which is now enjoyed globally. Invented in 1981 by Joy Swift MBE, the original murder mystery weekend has satisfied more than 150,000 guests. The original formula is distinguished by complex plots, spine-chilling scenes and unbeatable drama with nine actors in character for the entire weekend. For this special anniversary year, Joy has developed a new series of bloodcurdling plots with 31 murder mystery weekends planned at UK hotels.

The 2016 weekends will take place at the characterful and historical hotels of the PH Hotels and Four Pillars Hotels collections including the 17th century Wotton House in Surrey, the Edwardian Horwood House in Buckinghamshire and the stunning Oxford Thames Hotel, which is created around two medieval barns and a 15th century manor house. Two night murder mystery weekend packages start from £290 per person. 

The first plot of 2016 will be based around a fictitious society called “The Increadybles” and the scene setting will be the inaugural meeting of the members of this society.The drama starts on Friday evening with a three course dinner, where the first of three murders will be committed. The following day an incident room will be set up, where about ten pieces of vital evidence will be exhibited and guests can discuss ideas and interrogate the suspects. This room will become a hive of activity over the weekend with evidence building up to about 60 pieces by Sunday morning, building more tension, mystery and intrigue. On Saturday there is another surprise murder during the day and in the evening, there is a themed party with dinner, dancing and a final murder. On Sunday morning everyone is gathered together by the police, who explain the motives of the suspects, point out key clues of the many murders, and reveal the murderer and award prizes to the few guests who will have detected the complete solution. 

Prices include a welcome cocktail reception, two nights' accommodation with dinner, breakfast and lunch on Saturday, afternoon tea, full entertainment and a murder weekend programme including a Saturday night party.

Joy Swift originally came up with the idea for murder mystery weekends when she was working for a chain of hotels in North West England. The first one was held at The Prince of Wales Hotel in Southport and met with enquiries from The New York Times, The Daily Mail, The Washington Post and TV programmes wanting to cover the next 'murder'. Joy hadn't planned a second, but was soon arranging the next murder weekend and that was the beginning of Joy's 35 year career in 'murder'.