It started like any other Friday: I was in the kitchen, rushing down breakfast. Then a striking black envelope, with a wax seal, fell through my letterbox – apparently from an organisation called The Archive of Unsolved Mysteries. Curious, I opened it to find a letter saying I had been recommended to the organisation as the keeper of a secret package I receive (I only found out in the last one it was by our wonderful webmistress Bat). There were also documents to familiarise me with the case, including a crime scene report, autopsy report, newspaper articles, diary notes, witness statements and a letter.
Thankfully, HorrorCultFilms wasn’t caught up in something we shouldn’t be. Instead, it was an immersive experience from Mysterious Mail: a UK based company offering people the chance to be the lead in their own horror. Across three mailings, across the next two weeks, unsuspecting recipients receive a series of enigmatic items including intriguing reports and artefacts that, when pieced together, tell a hell of a tale. It’s also one people experience in both the real and cyber worlds, with them also getting access to an online portal containing some disturbing, and well-made, media.
The first thing I noticed about Mysterious Mail was how strong their attention to detail is. All of the paperwork looked very authentic, which added immensely to the intrigue, and helped me suspend my disbelief. Then there’s the writing quality itself, with each piece adding something to the story whether its clues, plot points or character development. During my time with it, I filled pages of my notebook jotting down every little thing that may prove important – something I also do when I read detective novels. The video and audio clips hosted on their website were also professionally put together, with obviously experienced actors and filmmakers. Then when the final package came, including among other things the item itself and an errie last letter, it was a fitting payoff to a fantastic experience. As per everything else, it was also a cool keepsake.
Mysterious Mail responds to nominations, and let gifters reveal their identity at the start or end (although you could always pick yourself rather than giving your friends all the fun). At the moment they have one adult option, entitled A Most Peculiar Package, with more to come. There’s also a children’s one called Pharaoh’s Curse. I know I had a tonne of fun with it, even if the various people I kept talking about it with didn’t. The perfect present for the horror fan in your life, who already has any Bluray you can think of and is happy to try something different.