Creating an Agatha Christie Inspired Mystery Room | Historic Dark Academia Comes to Life
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Watch the transformation of a traditional bedroom into a portal to 1940s Britain, inspired by Agatha Christie and the mystery genre. This room functions both as a bedroom and as an escape room, so you'll learn all about the props and puzzles we built for the game as well!
If you'd prefer to watch this discussion on YouTube (with lots more photos!) instead of reading through this whole, long post, please click here.
Now let’s see how I transformed this simple bedroom into an eye-catching 1930/40s inspired space that became the backdrop for some great murder mystery parties, as well as a really fun Agatha Christie themed escape room!
This room is located on the second floor of the house, as most bedrooms are, and when I bought the house, it was being used as a typical master bedroom, with a small closet and bathroom through two doors at the side.
I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie, and mysteries in general, so I decided to create an escape room in this space that looked as though it could have been the bedroom of Agatha herself. It’s decorated so it could actually be used as a bedroom, so if you’re here for tips on creating your own Agatha-inspired bedroom you will find everything you need. But there are also clues and secret compartments hidden all over this room! If you're a fan of escape room games, jump to the 10:30 mark in my video about decorating this room to see all the details about "The Dame Disappears" escape room and all the puzzles hiding in plain sight :)
Agatha Christie is one of the most famous mystery writers of all time, and many of her books are set in elegant British manor houses between the 1920s and 1950s. Although she wrote over 66 novels, there are a number of common detective-story tropes that readers will find repeated in more than one of her stories -- for example, the monogrammed handkerchief conveniently dropped by the culprit, or the partially burned letter in the fireplace, or clocks stopped right at the time of murder, this sort of thing.
So there is a lot of great source material to draw from for inspiration not only to decorate in a recognizable Agatha style, but also to set a murder mystery game in this room. In addition, Agatha herself disappeared in real life, for 11 days at the height of her fame. She claimed she had amnesia, but other sources seemed to show that she was actually mad at her husband for cheating on her … the exact details were never completely explained.
But, I thought it would be fun to think up my own ending for the story, and let the players of this game figure it out! So this room became The Dame Disappears mystery room, and teams of up to eight players had an hour in the room to find the clues that Agatha left behind and figure out where she went, and if she was ever coming back. You can see all the details about the game at the end of my companion video to this post, but first, let’s talk about how I created the vintage 1940s British atmosphere in this room.