Mystery Weekend

March 3-5, 2017

Watch a mystery unfold before your eyes at Mohonk Mountain House, the birthplace of Mystery Weekends! Performers act out each scene in front of you, and it's up to you and your team to solve the crime.


In honor of our 40th year of mysteries, we take you back to the 19th century and the early days of Mohonk Mountain House. Release your inner sleuth to solve multiple mysteries this weekend as we explore the lifestyles of the rich and famous 1800s-style.

In the 1970s, Mohonk Mountain House was the place where Mystery Weekends got their start. Join us as we present classic elements and all-new wrinkles to baffle and confuse. Highlights include a Mystery Dinner, an original puzzle hunt by Greg Pliska, an escape room, and more!

For reservations, please call .

Our 147-year-old Victorian castle resort in the heart of the Hudson Valley rests beside a glacially-formed lake surrounded by thousands of acres of pristine wilderness. In winter, discover our open-air ice-skating Pavilion and 35 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing (weather permitting). Inside we feature an indoor heated swimming pool, comprehensive fitness center, and yoga, meditation, and fitness classes. These exciting activities are included in your overnight rate, as are delicious meals. We also feature an award-winning Spa that offers a variety of treatments, an outdoor heated mineral pool, and a solarium for relaxation and renewal.


  • Sign-up at the Registration Table on the Ground Floor across from the Central Stairs from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • If you don’t make it to the opening dinner on Friday, don't worry. The events on Saturday can exist on their own and the answer card will reflect this.
  • Be on the lookout: you never know when a mysterious stranger may deliver your puzzle hunt packet.
  • On Saturday the Mystery will continue to unfold at 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. so don’t miss these events!
  • Each team presents a creative solution on Sunday Morning for a chance to win prizes. There will be five minutes per team presentation, with teams called at random. Prizes are given in two categories: “most accurate” and “most creative” solutions. Individual solutions will be accepted at the Front Desk for “most accurate.” There will also be prizes for the team or person who gets free from the Escape Room with the fastest time. Also, Greg Pliska will award prizes for the winners who solve his original puzzle packet.
  • Use your imagination for any other props, costumes or supplies you might need to break the case.

Please note:
This program is not recommended for children under age 12. Parental guidance is suggested.
There is a $30 per person program fee for participation in the Mystery Weekend program.


Mystery Weekend Events:

Friday | Saturday Sunday | Mystery Hosts

Friday, March 3

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.  Team Registration
in the Lake Lounge

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.  Afternoon Tea and Cookies
There’s something suspicious in the air! Register on a team from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and begin to plan your strategy to pursue potential suspects. Tea and cookies will be served from 4:00 p.m. -  5:00 p.m.

Please note: This year you can participate on a team or as an individual or couple. If you are on a team you will be eligible to win a prize in the team performance on Sunday, otherwise all other contests (the written solutions to the Mystery, the Greg Pliska puzzle hunt, and the fastest time out of the Escape Room) are open to all guests that are part of the program. Costumes are encouraged as a way to add to the fun, but they are not required. All prizes and winners will be revealed on Sunday.

6:30 p.m.  A Mystery Dinner
The year is 1894, and Frederick and Louise Vanderbilt are hosting a weekend-long party at Mohonk Mountain House. Guests George and Edith Vanderbilt are also invited to enjoy the landscapes, which are the subjects of Frederick's paintings. But George and Edith don't share in the jovial mood. You’re invited to mingle with both sets of Vanderbilts and their friends, including distinguished Vassar professor Percy Longfellow. You'll be fussed over by Frederick's Vanderbilt's loyal butler Horace, and his fortune-hunting maid Charlene. Katherine Kerry, a society reporter on the scene, has a keen eye for observation that cuts past the glitz and gaiety; before dessert is served on the first night of the festivities, a body is found.
Sign-up required. This will be a Chef’s signature banquet style dinner.
This is a standalone event. If you don’t make it to the opening dinner on Friday, don't worry. The events on Saturday can exist on their own and the answer card will reflect this.

A Puzzling Development
Greg Pliska's puzzle hunt will be delivered to your room on Friday night. You have until Sunday morning to solve it. 

9:30 p.m.  Party Time! Dance and Reception
Are you ready to waltz? Try to maintain that smile even though there is a killer (or killers) on the loose.  Keep your eyes open.  Stay close to your friends (and closer to your enemies).  Let's hope there are no unsavory gate-crashers who try to turn the tables.

Overnight  Be Sure to Lock Your Doors
Who knows who might be lurking in the hallway!

Saturday, March 4

8:00 a.m.  The  Breakfast Buffet
The worst part about death is…well, it’s just so final. The list of fatalities grows. Your fate is in the cards.

9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.  Escape Room:
“The Missing Blueprints”

Daniel Smiley wants to surprise the Old Boys Golf Club with the design of a new tower at Sky Top. But he hid the plans to keep it a surprise and now he can't find them! Hurry as you help Daniel retrace his steps and find the blueprints by solving a series of puzzles and clues before his meeting begins. 
Sign-up required. Event is held repeatedly throughout the day.
This is a standalone event that is not part of the rest of our mystery story, but you must be a part of the Mystery Program to participate.

10:00 a.m.  Is This Just a Show?
Before our investigation commences on the second day, you and the other guests will be treated to a magic lantern show presented by famous medium Florence Cook. Her projected images will feature the history of the Mohonk property and the Smiley family. Once the lights come up it is revealed that there is more evidence than we first assumed. Fingers are pointed and accusations mount. Katherine Kerry, the intrepid high society reporter, manages to restore order. At least for a little while.

Noon  Lunch
Doesn't scandalous behavior make you hungry?

5:00 p.m.  Murder’s Never Perfect 
Things always come apart sooner or later. And when two people are involved, it’s usually sooner. It's your last chance for clues, so keep your eyes open.

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.  Dinner
Eat, drink, and be merry for tonight... who knows what could happen?

9:00 p.m.  Dance if You Dare! 
Join your teammates and enjoy the band Breakaway before fine tuning your solution.

Sunday, March 5

8:00 a.m.  It’s Time to Fill Up at Breakfast
You’ve been up all night burning the midnight oil, sleuthing and perfecting your solutions. It’s time to put it all together and prepare for the limelight! Life is not a dress rehearsal!

10:00 a.m.  Team Solutions Presented
It’s your last chance to roll for those high stakes as you and your teammates act out your solution. Be creative, be bold, and be imaginative. 

11:00 a.m.  Mystery Solved!
Watch as our suspects reveal themselves. After, the winners of all the contests will be revealed and prizes awarded.

Noon  Farewell Lunch
Reward yourselves for a job well done! Bid farewell to new friends and daring detectives, and enjoy your final Mystery meal.


Murder Café,  our Program Host for the weekend, brings theater directly to you with an extraordinary mix of skill and talent. A professional repertory company since 1998, Murder Café delivers original scripts, period costumes, one-of-a-kind production design, and marketing and publicity skills that ensure each event's success. Their public shows are scheduled year-round throughout New York's Hudson Valley, along with fundraising events, company parties, country club dinners, banquets, and casino entertainment. 

Greg Pliska, a composer and musician, has been solving and creating puzzles since he could read. He is a puzzle writer and presenter for public radio’s “Ask Me Another,” and he now creates puzzle hunts for corporate and academic clients. His composing work includes the Broadway play Sylvia and acclaimed productions for New York's Shakespeare in the Park. His recent work includes orchestrations for the film The Infiltrator, the CBS Evening News theme, and the new IMAX theme. Greg has created an original puzzle treasure hunt for Will Shortz's Wonderful World of Words at Mohonk Mountain House for the last 10 years and brings a new mystery puzzle to the Mountain House for Mystery Weekend's 40th anniversary.

See you there!

For reservations, please call .

Please note: This program is not recommended for children under age 12. Parental guidance is suggested.

Please note: There is a $30 per person program fee for participation in our Mystery Weekend program.