WESTMINSTER -- In the tradition of Clue and Shear Madness, Carroll's EnterTRAINment line is offering a murder mystery train ride tomorrow night, complete with violence, villains and victims.
The tours, which began as a joint venture between Carol Fearns of the Geyer's Theatre Shop Players and EnterTRAINment, were this year's addition to the Union Bridge train company's line-up.
"We thought we'd try it, and it's been going pretty good," said Linda Harman, EnterTRAINment's group sales director. "Most of them have sold out a week and a half to two weeks ahead of time."
Each murder mystery train accommodates 130 people.
Boarding the train as regular passengers, actors from the Geyer's Theatre Shop Players mingle with the guests in character. Although there is no set script, the performers have an outline of how the evening is to unfold.
"I have a whole book written on my character," said Mr. Lambert, declining to reveal who he portrays because it would ruin the illusion that he is a regular passenger.
"We have enough trouble [convincing people we are our characters], since we live in Carroll County and people know us," he said.
However, passengers are not just from the county, Ms. Harman said.
"We've had groups from Pennsylvania, Delaware and as far away as New Jersey," she said.
When everyone is on the train, the murder takes place amid the dining and dancing, and all the passengers are participants.
"We bring everyone into the story and make them a part of it," Mr. Lambert said. "When there are special occasions, like anniversaries or birthdays, we try to tie them in, too."
But not even the actors know who is going to die.
"We just do our job according to our character, and depending on who the murderer is, that's how the story ends," Mr. Lam bert said.
Passengers are given clue sheets to help solve the mystery. At the end of the trip, each fills out a subpoena for the murderer's arrest. All correct guesses are placed in a drawing to win another EnterTRAINment ride.
Although the 130 seats for tomorrow's ride already are sold, passengers can still sign up for the Aug. 28 performance. Seats also are available for the Aug. 19 and Aug. 26 matinees.
Tickets for the evening rides are $48.95, which includes a buffet dinner, open bar, DJ music and dancing, and the murder mystery performance. Afternoon matinees, at $39 for adults and $19 for children under 12, include a luncheon buffet, open beer and wine bar, and the mystery tour.
Evening trains run at 7 p.m. from Westminster to Thurmont and back. The afternoon trips leave Union Bridge at 11 a.m. and travel through the Catoctin Mountains into Pennsylvania and back.
L Casual dress is acceptable for all the murder mystery rides.
Advance payment is required for reservations.