Written by: Lynn Wallich
Date: September 19, 2016
A “Mystery Tour!” The whole idea is built on concocting stories about various sites and creating the aura of a true mystery for the tourists. These stories could be suspenseful and add a degree of unresolved drama to the tour. Surely the cities that have ghost tours provide wonderful stories about the undead and the spirits roaming the area.
About thirty years ago, I remember stopping at a place called “Mars Cheese Castle” in Wisconsin. Upon arriving, I could not help but notice a huge bus parked in the lot with about eighty people going into the “Castle.” Now, before going any further, the “Castle” is exactly a castle-style building and retail store loaded with all things cheese, items such as hats, salt and pepper shakers, t-shirts that say “Eat Cheese or Die, cheese boards, cheese cutters, crackers, wine, and of course cheese curds, to mention a few items that are for sale. Upon entering the building I observed that the groups of people getting off the bus and entering the “Castle” were older. When asked where they were going, not one of the bus passengers knew where they were going or even where they were because they were on a “mystery” tour.
Of course the “Mars Cheese Castle” sign was big but the location, for some, was unknown.
This was a fascinating concept at the time since all the bus passengers were elderly and one could not help but wonder why they would pay to participate in a “mystery” tour when that type of trip would come soon enough? Think about it! Mars Cheese Castle could have been a site where numerous people met an early demise by consuming the wrong kind of cheese or not “eating” cheese and dying very suddenly. Remember the t-shirt “Eat Cheese or Die.” This shirt could be inspiring spirits to be lurking in the wine isles, no pun intended.
So here it is, thirty years later and I am part of the tour crowd. Unfortunately, the mystery part is still vague and not very exciting. Think about it yet again! Mystery tours can be far more exciting and thrilling than a simple bus tour. Let’s add some spice. The mode of transportation could vary such as boat, train, or limo to name a few. Also, the tour should not be about “simply arriving” at an unknown destination. A story could be delivered en route, creating excitement and anticipation. Heart rates need to rise and adrenaline needs to be pumped.
The “Mystery Tour” is all about the “story”–groundwork laid about the site and possibilities relayed regarding what could possibly happen or had happened. Move the hair on the nape of the neck to a standing position and make getting older exciting and worthy of mystery. Think of all the possibilities of adventure: Laser Tag, haunted prisons, museums at night, murder mystery dinners or simply “Cheese Castles.” Remember, the tour can be anywhere; it is the story that makes it worthy.