Midnight mystery: A spooky whodunit at Ayala Museum

Let’s admit it. Not everyone can survive the pressures of Halloween. Between wracking our brains to come up with a costume that’s cool yet still unique (you can’t always be a mouse, duh!) and creating a new movie marathon lineup every year, it takes a lot of creative effort to participate in the festivities. Let’s not forget to mention the mental distress that we put on ourselves for an entire weekend of horror. But turning it into a competition always makes things a little more interesting. After all, who doesn’t like winning, right?

Back for a third year, Ayala Museum opens its doors for another unforgettable Halloween experience. If you like haunted houses minus the running and the screaming then “Midnight Museum 3: Murder in the Museum” happening on Oct. 28 might just be your thing. In partnership with the geniuses behind the Mystery Manila escape room games, all four floors of the museum will be transformed into a “crime scene,” investigating the death of the senior curator of Ayala Museum. Guests get to pinpoint whodunit based on clues hidden all over the museum.

Criminal minds: Strategize your way to solving the mystery.

But if mind games are not your thing, purchasing a regular admission ticket gives you access to the Ayala Museum at night and to some interesting Halloween activities as well. Go trick or treating at the Brew Kettle and Taters booth or simply treat yourself at the Artwork Silkscreen Station where limited-edition designs will be available. Take notes for next year by going on the Spooky Shorts Marathon where crowd-sourced one- to five-minute horror/suspense/Halloween-inspired short films will be screened. But if you’d rather do the scaring, the one-minute horror stories open mic might just do the trick. If all else fails, coming in your best costume should be just as fun. You might even win the Young STAR Best In Costume award, and who knows what kind of treats will come with it?

To get into the Halloween spirit, Young STAR sits down to talk to Errol Magdato, one of the partners for Mystery Manila, and Spike Acosta, marketing associate of Ayala Museum about the inspiration behind the game and what to expect.

YOUNG STAR: We just really have to know: is the storyline of the murder mystery game based on a real-life scenario?

ERROL MAGDATO: The storyline isn’t true but the characters and their positions, their job descriptions, are.

SPIKE ACOSTA: Well, no one has died here in the museum. (Laughs) Each time we have a midnight museum event, it’s not just about people having fun. We also want the people to know more about the museum. Before, it was more about the exhibits that we have here, but this time with Mystery Manila, we want guests to know how things are done here and the people behind it.

“The story and the way you solve (the mystery) are not as linear because you’re free to explore to arrive at a solution. There’s no one way to solve it. You can do it in any order and still end up with the right answer.”

How is this murder mystery similar or different from a regular game at Mystery Manila?

ERROL: Instead of being locked inside a room, you’re locked in an entire museum with four floors to explore. There are a lot more things to examine and decide on. At the same time, we had the pleasure of having some actors that you can interview and interrogate. That adds a new element to the mystery solving experience. The game mechanics are kinda similar. You have to use your wits to solve some puzzles. But the story and the way you solve (the mystery) are not as linear because you’re free to explore to arrive at a solution. There’s no one way to solve it. You can do it in any order and still end up with the right answer.

What are some of the costumes the guests can come in?

SPIKE: The obvious one is Sherlock Holmes. Actually, anything as long as it’s comfortable to wear since there’s going to be a lot of walking around. If you guys are coming as a barkada, you can even dress up as the group from Scooby Doo.

Give us one clue on how to prepare for this year’s Midnight Museum?

ERROL: Come with a group that you’re comfortable with and have good dynamics with. It really helps if you have someone you can throw ideas at and bounce around solutions with.

SPIKE: Have fun with the mystery. Don’t overthink it too much. It’s an opportunity to explore the museum in a different light and get to know the people in the museum. The mystery is just part of the fun.

Midnight Museum 3: Murder in the Museum is happening on Oct. 28 at the Ayala Museum starting 7PM. Tickets are available at P850 in Ayala Museum and Mystery Manila branches. For more information, visit www.ayalamuseum.org.


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