Murder in the Dark

Get enough playing cards for all participants, making sure there is only one king and one ace. The player who gets the ace is the “murderer” and the one who gets the king is the “detective”. Each player gets a card, but no player knows which cards other players hold. The lights are turned off, leaving the room pitch plack. The “murderer” taps someone on the shoulder, “killing” him. The lights come on, and the detective has to deduce who the murderer is. If he guesses wrong, then the lights go off again and there is another “murder”. The murderer wins if he kills the detective, and the detective wins if he outs the murderer.

As with most kids’ games, there are local variations. How do you play Murder in the Dark?

That sounds a lot like Wink/Handshake Murder to me.

You get a bunch of people together. The wink murder you sit in a circle and everyone closes their eyes. Whoever is running the game taps a couple people on the shoulder and they are the ‘murderers’. When everyone opens their eyes you all stare around the citcle and whoever winks at you… kills you. You have to die dramatically (eg grabbing throat and falling backwards with a scream of agony). Anyone can guess who they are, but you cannot guess if you are ‘dead’ and you cannot give hints to others. If you guess and are wrong, you ‘die’. If you are right, they die.

Handshake is very similar only everyone walks around shaking hands and the murderers squeeze when they shake, or they run their finger up the inside of your wrist. Same rules with guessing who is the murderer.

I loved that game when I was in Guides.

We played MitD this way.

A dectetive is chosen and a ‘lightperson’ is chosen.

Dectective leaves room and the lightperson kills the lights.

The lightperson selects the killer.

The Killer then kills someone and we always had lots of prop weapons. Jump ropes or belts to ‘strangle’ someone. (ok leave wrapped around their neck) Plastic knives and toy guns. The victim got to make a lot of noise which if you are sitting the in the dark with you eyes closed it was really scary fun to sit there and suddenly hear someone choking or a cap gun go off and someone moan and die. The the killer sat down and the lightperson turned on the lights. (usually with some sort of verbal cue) and then everyone yelled for the dectective.

Then the questioning would start. Now all the possible victims really don’t want to help the cop at all. That’s why you keep your eyes closed because you don’t want to give away who is the killer. The cop would ask each person where they were at the time of the killing and each person would try and make the cop believe they were the killer. If someone was stabbed you might say ‘I was sharping the knives in the kitchen.’ or you may make an obvious lie and say it like a little kid lies. The cop gueses and if right the cop became the lightperson and the killer the dectective. If not the killing continued and we all knew that the killer really must kill the wrongly accused or it would make it easier on the cop.

Hm. I thought Murder in the Dark was more popular. Gods know I liked lurking around in the dark!

Zebra: Sounds like your version was live-action Clue. “Zebra, in the drawing room, with the lead pipe!”

This osunds similar to a game we used to play called ‘Mafia’ (Yes, of course I know the mafia doesn’t really exist - of ocurse they don’t…). Basically you take a standard deck of cards, count out the number of cards as you have people. Include exactly 3 aces in the deck you are dealing from, shuffle, and pass out the cards. Those with the aces are in the mafia, there is one moderator who facilitates the game, and the rest of the players are the townspeople.

The moderator tells everyone to close their eyes (They are going to sleep for the night). The three mafia members do this and then open their eyes and using whatever silent means of communication decide on one victim for the round. They make this decision known to the moderator and pretend to go to sleep again (ie close their eyes).

The moderator wakes everyone up (tells them to open their eyes). Tells everyone who is ‘dead’ and let’s them start talking. Basically at this point people try to decide who is in the mafia. The mafia of course play along, but throwing everyone off as best they can. At the end of the round, the group must come to a majority decision on one person they think is in the mafia. The moderator has everyone go to sleep (close eyes again) and announces whether or not this person is in the mafia. Either way they are ‘dead’ and can not participate any longer. The mafia pick another victim, and the cycle repeates it self.

The game continues in this manner until one side or the other wins by being the only team with members still alive.

This game is a hell of a lot of fun because you get really deep into the psychology of fooling each other and breaking people’s non-verbals and other tells. I ruled at this game because I could play people so easily.

I played Mafia differently. I may be remembering wrong, but I think we did this:

You get as many cards as there are players (excluding the moderator) including one ace and two kings. If you don’t get one of those three cards, you’re a normal person. The ace is the doctor, and the two kings are the mafia. Everyone goes to sleep (closes their eyes). The moderator wakes up the mafia, who decide who to kill. After they go back to sleep, the doctor wakes up and saves someone. Then everyone wakes up. If the person killed and the person saved are not the same person, the doctor has no effect. If the doctor saves the person who was killed (or really just near-fatally wounded), then nobody dies that round. The moderator says who died, and everyone tries to guess who the mafia and doctor were. I don’t think you really won or lost, but just kept playing.

We pllayed a simpler version that we called “Killer.” You count out the right amount of cards, and include just one ace. Shuffle and deal, leave the lights on, and whoever gets the ace is the killer, who kills, as above, with a wink. If you’re killed, you announce, “I’m dead.” If someone thinks they saw the killer wink, or just wants to guess, they can accuse. If they’re right, they win; if they’re wrong, they’re dead.

The best games started with a good size group (20-30) and made it to two left.

Well, this place has several variations.