At least 750,000 people pass through Grand Central every day. Most visitors stop to take pictures while commuters continue on with their days and sidestep those photographers in a rush to arrive at their destinations on time. But the New York Social Network gets some visitors to stay a while with its Murder Mystery Scavenger Hunt.
The 90 minute scavenger hunt serves as a historical tour of the renowned transportation hub, which has been around since 1871. The founder of New York Social Club, Dave Cervini, wrote the murder mystery story and ensures participants get to see places they may not have known about otherwise. The network has hosts, like Lauren Barnwell, who greet participating groups and make sure the scavenger hunt runs smoothly.
“The story behind it is our good friend Mary comes into the city, she’s from Poughkeepsie, to meet up with some friends, meet up with some guys and she keeps everything to Grand Central,” Barnwell explained. “Like the good little millennial, she is she tracks everything on social media and who she’s with and where she goes. But our good friend Mary never makes it home and her body is found on the tracks. So, your goal is to find out how she was and why she never made it home.”
Groups must work together to solve the mystery. And if you come alone? No problem, hosts will make a group for you. The network was created for people to make new connections, before platforms like Facebook and Meetup existed.
“The purpose is just to bring people together,” Barnwell said. “You’re going to go to a place where people want to make friends and have a common interest.”
New York Social Network holds events almost everyday and the prize at the end of the Grand Central Murder Mystery Hunt is two free tickets to another event.