LENOIR — Participants of Downtown Lenoir’s Haunted Halloween Mystery Heist have a chance to win a grand prize of $1,000 in cold, hard cash if they can crack the case of “whodunnit,” first.

In Lieu of the Mad Matter Pumpkin Patch Parade, which typically draws 2,000 kids to downtown, the city is hosting a more pandemic friendly Halloween activity this year.

Matthew Anthony, Main Street Community Engagement coordinator, said the city of Lenoir has partnered with several downtown businesses to bring an interactive mystery game to the streets of downtown in conjunction with Halloween.

Anthony said the game is played on an app that participants can download on their phone, where a blend of real life clues and augmented reality shape the mystery solving experience.

The game-plot is similar to the game of CLUE, but instead of a murder mystery, participants will have to solve the case of which suspect is plotting to steal one of Lenoir’s most famous sculptures, he said.

“The suspects are cartoon caricatures based on people from Lenoir that we all know, like one of the commissioners and several other people locally,” Anthony said.

“One example of the clues could be something like- ‘we saw several of the suspects going into one of the buildings,’ you would then take a picture of the door and the app, using augmented reality, would put fingerprints on the door, and you would have to match it to the suspect,” he said.

“This is also a family event, so we’ve made the game with varying levels of difficulty within the one challenge, so it will require some team work,” he added. “There are points in the game where children can participate and it still be fun, and feel like they’re getting things right too.”

The game starts Monday, Oct. 25 and stops at midnight on Halloween.

Anthony says people can play at their leisure, but those looking to score a cash prize have to beat the clock, and need to play the game during business hours.

“The winner is determined by an accumulation of points gathered, and for some clues you have to interact with business owners,” he said. “The game includes points for creativity (like wearing costumes for some photo ops), plus the time it takes you to play.”

The game will give you a chance to solve it at the end, but will not notify participants if they’ve won.

“The winners will be announced live on the radio at Kicks 103.3 on Nov. 1 at 7:45 a.m.,” Anthony said.

Rick Wakefield, who owns Dead People’s Stuff in Lenoir, said he jumped at the chance to partner with the city for the event.

“It goes right along with my store,” he said. “I hate they had to cancel the parade, and I wanted my business to be a part of something for families to be able to get out and do through all of this.”

Anthony says the game will take around an hour to an hour and half to play if played through in one session.

Teams of two to 10 can sign up to play, and the game will also include a second place and third place winner.

Second place will receive $350 and third place will receive $150.

Early registration for the game is $10 per team, and $20 after the early registration period.

For more information, visit www.downtownlenoirnc.com

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721

Reporter Candice Simmons can be reached at (828)610-8721