One of NJ’s most shocking murders is now an interactive game
It might seem like an odd basis for a game, but the infamous Hall-Mills murders have been fashioned into a combination podcast/geo-caching adventure/stage production/mystery solving experience called Ghost Hunt.
The backdrop is the sensational, unsolved double murder of the Reverend Edward Hall and his mistress, Eleanor Mills; they had been shot and posed under a crab apple tree in Franklin Township in 1922. Frances Stevens Hall, the reverend’s widow, was charged with the murders, but was ultimately acquitted. The trial caused what is considered one of the first examples of a “media circus” due to the amount of press coverage the sensational story of religion, passion, infidelity, and murder engendered.
The interactive adventure is described on its website as an “Asynchronous Multi-City Theatrical Geo-Adventure That Re-imagines the Hall-Mills Double Homicide of 1922.” There are two ways to participate: you can physically follow geo-caching coordinates to locations, primarily in New Jersey (but one is in Venice, Italy) to artifacts that hold clues as well as QR codes to listen to audio recreations and stories of the people and events surrounding the sensational murders and aftermath. If you don’t feel like traveling to the locations in person, there is a digital version that can be played from the comfort of your couch by following an online map.
In order to try to solve the mystery in person, you need to download the geo-caching app here. Ghost Hunt was created in a collaborative effort by production companies Thinkery and Verse and the Butch Mermaid, based off their stage play, Thou Shalt Not. The adventure went live earlier this month and is available to play now.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.