Murder, Mystery and Intrigue in the Bernese Oberland

Amateur sleuths will be dusting off their magnifying glasses Keystone Archive

From mid-October until April, the Park-Mattenhof hotel in Interlaken will be the scene of dastardly deeds as it prepares for a season of whodunit weekends.

This content was published on October 20, 2001 - 11:59

For 14 weekends Herbert the Hacker will wreak havoc in the hotel as up to 80 guests lift magnifying glasses to puzzle over the identity of the serial killer.

A troop of 20 amateur actors who form the Fata Morgana Mystery team, will don costumes and act out the grisly scenes while budding detectives try to decipher clues and trap the culprit.

The theme of this year's whodunit weekend is the Belle Époque, with the scene set in 1912. Guests are invited to dress up in early 20th century outfits, with suggestions ranging from suffragettes to Alpine tourists, and glamorous prostitutes to dapper pimps.

The guests receive a brief about the killer's latest movements and a synopsis of the situation two weeks before the weekend. If they really want to throw themselves into the swing of things they can adopt a new name and identity for the whole three days to match their chosen outfit.

Their task is to work out who of the 20 actors is Herbert the Hacker, a psychopathic killer who has already murdered three women.

On the Friday night of each weekend, as the costumed guests enjoy their dinner, Herbert strikes again. With the help of the local police force - again played by the Fata Morgana troupe - the guests have until Sunday to work out whodunit.

This year's Belle Époque mystery is the ninth time Fata Morgana have staged such weekends with past themes including an exotic mystery set in the Amazon basin where the culprit used poisoned darts to pick off his victims.

Guests are advised to have a strong constitution, a good dose of courage and a sense of curiosity.

by Sally Mules and agencies

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