It all happened on a boisterous night in Bransford, Connecticut. Four families had received an invitation to Greywood Manor, a mansion where a string of murders took place and the killer was never found. Knowing this, stupidly, each family allows curiosity to consume them and they all prepare to enter. And because of that mistake, what waits for them will be their biggest surprise yet, - murder….
Earlier that night...
“Do you think it’s smart to attend this party? Nobody even knows who sent the invites. This sounds like the beginning of murder.”
“Now Katherine, don’t you think you are being a bit dramatic? This isn’t some conspiracy or mystery like you are always saying. I bet this is just a new neighbor trying to meet everyone.” Mother says.
"Mom how would you or anyone know that? Wouldn’t a new neighbor sound friendly in the invitation? Have you ever thought about how creepy and eerie it sounds?”
‘Hello, Arrowwoods! We welcome you to a night you truly won’t forget, everything we have planned is truly to die for…’
“Hello? Doesn’t that raise any red flags? How did they even know our last names? They tell us right in the invitation they want to strike. Why aren’t you guys looking more into this?”
“I’ll admit their wording is a bit peculiar, but who are we to judge? Maybe they’re eccentric. We have an odd daughter living right here with us. What do you think honey?”
Katherine’s mother turns to look at her husband.
"I think it might be interesting to see these ‘new’ people. I agree with your mother you may be overdoing this. Not everything is behind a mystery.”
"In this town, there is always a mystery. And tonight, I’m going find out what it is – at any costs."
Both parents smile at each other, then at Katherine.
"Sure, now let's get going, something tells me this is going to be a night to remember," Dad says.
Cue the thunderstorm sound effect.
After a rather uneventful drive, the Arrowwoods arrive at Greywood manor which is lacking on a cheerful appearance.
Katherine immediately gets ready to banter.
"Now this, this right here, this is what I’m talking about. They want to kill us! Who in their right mind would move into here knowing about this history of this place? They’re inviting us to our doom. Let’s just do the logical thing and turn around.”
“Now Katherine don’t be silly, we’re already here, - besides, the Underwoods are expecting us.”
Katherine gives her mother a confused look.
"The Underwoods. It’s their last names, it was on the back of the card. Now come on, other families have arrived. I never asked who else got invitations.”
"I can’t imagine why,” Katherine mutters.
Katherine’s parents laugh once again and leave the car. Each family has all arrived. Each sharing curiosity and excitement in their faces, without knowing what really awaits.
The Johnsons, The Brownings, and The Rutherfords are all in attendance. The families all greet each other, still unaware of who invited them.
Murmurs roam the hall as they all enter the house. Everyone takes guesses at who they can be. And before they can murmur more, Katherine being the observant detective she is, notices a family just up the stairs staring down smiling. Could they be any more creepy?
“Look, up there!” she shouts.
Everyone becomes startled but quickly switches their attention to the top of the stairs where the Underwoods reside.
“Greetings all, we are the Underwoods, welcome to our home. My name is Blake, and this is my son, Chester, and my wife Elaine. We moved here a couple of days ago and to get the awkwardness out of the way, we hosted this dinner party to get to know you all…
Katherine’s mother whispers to her.
“See Katherine, no ulterior motives. Just nice, friendly, people looking to meet new friends.”
“Yeah, it may seem so, but something about them doesn’t sit right with me.”
Katherine’s mother sighs and smiles.
“Never a dull moment with you Katherine.”
“….. So, let’s enjoy tonight, and eat!”
Everyone smiles and claps. Even Katherine, but suspicion never leaves her face. All the guests round the tables and sit down. Ready to eat, and already enticed by Blake’s calm demeanor.
To break the silence going on, Katherine speaks up.
“So how are guys liking Branford?”
Elaine speaks for the first time looking at Katherine sweetly to answer the question.
“I don’t know about Chester and Blake, but I love it here. It’s so what’s the word … cozy. I’m actually from here.”
Katherine raises her eyebrow.
“From Branford, or this house?”
“Both! I grew up here. It’s from generations down.”
“Interesting, so you must know about all the murders that went on here and how the killer was never found.”
Gasps spread round the table. And Katherine’s dad speaks up.
“Katherine, that’s not your business to ask. That was very rude of you please apologize.” He says sternly.
“Why are you talking to me like I’m a baby? You know everyone has been wondering since we stepped foot in this place. I’m just brave enough to ask.”
Madison Rutherford (the Witch) butts in.
“Maybe it’s because you are a baby. You aren’t some investigator. You are ruining the night.”
“Nobody was talking to you, you blue-eyed, snot nose, bitch. You are the queen of being a baby.” Katherine fumes.
“Katherine! Language!” Mother shrieks.
“Vanessa (Katherine’s mother) you need to keep that beast you call a daughter on a leash. She clearly has no home training.” Heather adds. (Madison’s mother)
Vanessa quickly turns to Heather.
“Don’t you dare talk about my daughter that way you simpleton! You want to talk about home training? Where was your mother when you were spreading your legs like fire throughout high school? Does ‘weather heather’ ring a bell?
Charles Rutherford confused, asks what ‘weather heather’ means. Not before Heather starts to threaten her.
“Don’t you dare Vanessa! I will kill you! I swear to God!”
Like the boss Vanessa is, she continues to explain anyway, with a giant smile on her face and begins to sing.
“Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall, call weather heather and she’ll do it whenever!”
Everyone bursts out laughing. But then the laughing returns to arguing. Everyone is yelling now except the Underwoods who look in disbelief. Everyone is shouting about practically nothing until lightning hits and the lights go out, startling everyone.
“Everyone, please stay calm. The lightening just blew out the lights. The circuit is right down the hall. I’ll be right back.” Blake announces.
Blake walks down the hall and worried murmurs overtake the room. Then, not more than a second later, a loud scream is heard.
The lights then flicker back on.
And what everyone sees leads to more screams. Madison’s head is on laid across her plate, with a knife sticking clean out of her back.
“Omigod! My baby!” Heather wails.
“Who did this to our angel?!” Charles cries.
Everyone looks around scared, some crying, some yelling.
“What the hell is the meaning of this? Where is that bastard? Blake!” Charles yells.
Blake reemerges from down the hall.
“What’s all that noise? I heard screams, is everyone ok?!”
Although Blake wears an obvious look a concern Charles isn’t having it.
“Is everyone ok? My daughter is laying in a pool of her own blood on your table with a knife in her back, in your goddamn house! Ok is extremely far from what I’m feeling!”
Charles, as you can tell, is losing his shit.
“You killed her didn’t you!” Heather shrieks.
“My husband didn’t kill anyone. We don’t have anything against you all. I swear!” Elaine pleads.
Unfortunately, no one is believing her plea. Let alone each other.
“I freaking knew it! What did I say! They brought us here to kill us all, what have I been saying!” Katherine yells.
“Or it could’ve been you, Katherine! Admit it! You hated my daughter!”
“I did not kill her! And of course, I hated your daughter! There isn’t a single one of you in here that liked her! So, if I’m guilty, are all of you! For all I know you could’ve done it, you were just threatening to kill my mother 10 seconds ago!”
“Excuse me! I would never kill my daughter! How dare you!”
Another wave of shouting erupts in the room. Charles takes this moment to go and attack Blake but is held back by the other dads. Vanessa and Heather go back and forth. Elaine cries in a corner while everything goes haywire. And just when things couldn’t get any worse, the lights go off again.
A male voice screams out but doesn’t sound familiar to anyone, except the Underwoods. The lights flicker back on.
“Nooooooo! My sweet, sweet, boy! Chester!” Elaine wails.
“Oh no. My son! Who could have done this? Look! Do you believe me now? Someone murdered my son too and I promise you, I didn’t do this!” Blake cries out.
Katherine takes the moment to speak up.
“I hate to say it, but he’s right. What motive could he have for killing his own son? Or for killing Madison? He just met us all and despite living in this creepy ass house, he hasn’t exactly given us a reason to think negatively of him. He’s been nothing but kind. Blake and Elaine.”
“That still doesn’t rule you out, Katherine!” Heather yells.
“I told you already that I didn’t kill anyone! I may have disliked Madison, but what motive do I have from wanting to kill Chester? I didn’t even know him.”
Heather faces calms but still shows frustration and pain.
“So, what does all this mean?” Craig wonders.
(Craig is the father of the Johnsons’. Kiana is his wife, and Gia is his daughter.)
Katherine looks at Craig with intensity and says, ‘It means the killer is one of us.’
Like it was on cue, the thunder erupts, making the moment even more terrifying.
“Let’s leave before whoever this is strikes again!”
All the families run towards the doors but to their horror, the doors are all jammed shut and unable to open.
“What the hell! Why won’t these doors open?!” Ryan yells. (Katherine’s dad)
“Uh... I don’t know! They were never locked after you came in. So, I’m just as confused as you!”
“Sure, you are Blake. I don’t know what the hell is going on here but I’m going to get to the bottom of this. All of this would have never happened if we didn’t all come here.”
Fuming, Charles walks away with Heather and sits down on the hallway chair.
Everyone goes into panic mode, going back and forth on what they should do. But no one comes up with a plan yet. Katherine doesn’t even know what to do and she lives for this stuff.
To clear her head from the chaos, Katherine wanders over to Nathan Browning (son of Daniel and Jeanette) who hasn’t spoken all night. He stands to the side in a small corner with a frightened look on his face.
“Hey, how are you holding up? You know considering one of us is a bloodthirsty killer.”
“I um, I’m kinda freaking out here. I so did not sign up for this. I was expecting an adventure but instead, we are in the middle of a nightmare. And things just keep on getting worse. I so don’t want to die with people that talk about me and my family nonstop. I am literally in my own worse nightmare and it is killing internally that within seconds, I could die next.” Nathan finishes.
“Yeah, I know I’m petrified right now, but it did feel good to release all that.”
“Good. But hey, listen, you’re not alone man. I know everyone thinks I’m this brave, almighty, detective, but I’m shitting bricks here. This is real. I could die.”
“I get what you mean but I’m pretty sure not everyone trusts you, Heather did accuse you of murder, and her husband would for sure agree with her.”
“Oh, young one, you have so much to learn. When emotions have risen, everyone plays the blame game. Besides, she can’t point fingers at me without evidence. Everyone here is a suspect. And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trust anyone, not when lives are at stake.”
“We should join everyone to see if anyone came up with a decent plan,” Katherine suggests.
“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks for coming over to talk to me I really app-
“Where’s Gia?” Has anyone seen her?” Mrs. Johnson asks.
Murmurs fill the room and worried looks shared among everyone.
“I haven’t seen her,” Nathan says.
Katherine speaks up and suggests they go back into the dining hall to see Gia’s whereabouts.
“Maybe she went back into the dining room, let’s all check there.”
Everyone frantically searches the dining room, but Gia remains unfound. When Katherine turns to the table, she pauses, and her heart instantly drops.
“So weird question, did anyone move, Madison and Chester’s bodies?”
Everyone stops and gasps.
“What? No! What time would we have to do that? Charles hisses.
“Well someone moved their bodies because they aren’t here,” Blake responds.
Each family is more baffled then ever searches for more clues when a note catches Katherine’s eye that is specifically written for her.
“By now, you have found that you all don’t have much time. I’m writing you this note to let you know that you especially are in great danger. Someone among you is a killer and you must find out who before it is too late. Remember the ones you trust most may be the ones in charge of your downfall. I should know because it happened to me. The killer who struck before is here now and isn’t afraid to strike again. Please be careful who you trust. Your mistakes may become deadly. Use your detective work to solve this case and set you and everyone else free. I know you might want to tell everyone about this, but I beg you, please don’t. This will be the biggest thing of this case yet, so I ask you, ‘can you keep a secret?’.”
I wish you the best of luck
Hmm. Abigail doesn’t ring a bell.
Katherine mid-thought jumps when Nathan appears behind her.
“Oh shit, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just wanted to know if you found anything?”
Katherine quickly shoves the note into her back pocket.
“Oh. No. Nothing.
“Me? Yeah, I’m fine. Something just tells me that tonight is far from over.”
End of Part 1