Want a little murder and intrigue with your B & B stay? How about a suspenseful mystery that lasts overnight and into the next morning, in historical accommodations, with dinner AND breakfast included?
We had the distinct pleasure of experiencing this just outside Astoria, OR. The Officer’s Inn B & B, located in Hammond, OR, offers personal accommodations while educating its guests with the rich history of the community. Built around 1905, the 6-bedroom home was a place where officers and their families stayed while stationed in nearby Fort Stevens, an active military base from the Civil War through WWII. The owners have taken great care to decorate the house with original military memorabilia.
The Officer’s Inn hosts several murder-mystery events throughout the year. It was great fun getting to know the other guests, while participating in an unfolding story (of which we were a part!) where you didn’t know who was innocent….or guilty! The Inn has a reputation for being haunted, and so for my husband in particular, this was a treat. Me, ghosts? Meh, I could take ‘em or leave ‘em.
We arrived and checked in at 4pm, and were shown to our room, with instructions to be dressed and ready for dinner in the main dining room at 6 pm. While the dress code was not formal, we did have to show up in our Sunday best. Social hour was at 5, and we were encouraged to attend, but it wasn’t required. Of course, we wanted to get to know the other guests we would be having fun with, so we were dressed and downstairs tout suite!
After a little mingling, some of us retreated to the sitting room, where a Ouija board on the coffee table hinted of what was to come! Perhaps a supernatural phenomenon was to be experienced later in the evening!
We were called to dinner. Over a scrumptious cordon-blue and mushroom risotto, the conversation continued uneventfully, until during the dessert course, when I began to notice that people were being summoned one by one into the kitchen.
Then my husband was called. He was led into the kitchen, and I reared my head to see exactly where he was going. It looked as though he was going ‘through’ the kitchen into a back room. He returned a couple of minutes later, and I implored him to tell me everything.
I received a spooked look and pursed lips that only uttered, “I can’t say.” He averted my gaze.
Then it was my turn. I was led into the same room, a small office on the other side of the kitchen. Here is where the proprietor, a friendly curly-haired man, preceded to hand me a short script, with my character’s lines as he gave me a brief run-down of the part I was to play this evening. My excitement grew when I found out it was to involve fake dynamite and a lot of screaming.
After everyone had had their fill of delicious food, the night’s spooky events began to unfold. Below is a photo essay of what transpired that evening:
Tape recorder with a spooky voice: ‘This haunted house once bore witness to a murder-suicide.’ Suddenly, a tremendous CRASH was heard in the parlor. We all rush to see what caused it.
There’s something around her neck, but she’s still breathing! Seems they didn’t finish the job. Lay her down on the dining room table so she can get some air! Hushed and hurried conversations about what to do next ensue.
This is where my husband and I enter the story. While the commotion was going on around the beautiful maiden, we were whisked down to the dungeon in complete darkness. I felt something being strapped around my waist, and my hands were being shackled above my head and angkles tied together. I waited for my cue…then…..
I continue screaming as the other guests on the main floor hear the ruckus and hurriedly descend the stairs to investigate. The lights in the dungeon come on. Several guests gasp in horror.
Oh, thank God! We got here just in time, or she would’ve been killed! My husband took the dynamite off me as he feigned off accusations that he was trying to off me. More hushed and hurried conversation about who else could’ve done this. A ghost? A nefarious murderer among us?
“That’s it for this evening, folks,” the proprietor said. “In the meantime, try to have a good night.”
The Next Morning
We all gathered for breakfast. Mmmmm, bacon quiche and herbed hash browns. Coffee and mimosas to top it off. Many of us chatted excitedly about whom or what caused the harrowing events of the night before. Conspiracy theories bounced off the walls like ping pongs.
Then…an argument escalates between the redhead (who seemed REALLY interested in the Ouija board the night before) and the proprietor. They rose from the table in anger, and proceeded to reveal that they were secret lovers, and that the proprietor was cheating on the redhead with….
The beautiful maiden! The redhead pulled a gun out of her purse and brings the maiden to her untimely end.
Distraught, the proprietor swiftly grabs a shot glass full of poison and begins to drink it. But not before the redhead adds insult to injury.
“Don’t drink that poison before I’ve had the chance to end YOUR life, as well!” She takes aim at him.
Mystery solved! It wasn’t a ghost after all, but a redhead scorned! She tried (but failed) to conjure up the spirits to do her bidding for her, so she had to take matters into her own hands. The two “dead” people got up, covered in fake blood and took a bow as we all clapped.
But then the question remains….is this place REALLY haunted?