Introduction: How to Make a Victorian Crime Scene

Picture of How to Make a Victorian Crime Scene

It's 1895. An unremarkable London brownstone has been made quite remarkable by a horrific crime.

The Victim is Miss Nettie, a relatively unknown Spinster, described by her neighbours as one who rarely goes out but receives the oddest visitors at all hours of the night. The constant rocking on her squeaky rocking chair drove them slightly batty, and when it occurred to them that they hadn't heard the incessant noise for two days straight, they suspected something was off and called........wait, they didn't have phones.... they summoned for help.

Sherlock https://www.instructables.com/id/Education-never-en...

is on the case, as well as Victoria Forest...

https://www.instructables.com/id/Victoria-Forest-ak...

They discover their Victim hunched over in her chair, fireplace still burning, very strange photographs displayed about and an unusual smell of wet wool and .... popcorn. The gruesome death is seemingly apparent, as a large, wooden needle has impaled her straight through her heart, sticking out of her back a good 6 inches. Unbeknownst to Sherlock and Victoria, it seems as though she knew the Good Doctor(and I don't mean Watson), and had most likely been visited by him, who most probably befriended her, as she was knitting a scarf that looked just like the type he favours. At the beginning of the scarf, down on the floor just near the tassles, was a mug... with a Tardis on it!.... How peculiar!! But not as peculiar as the glow-green liquid inside....

Was she poisoned and fell on her knitting needle? Was there foul play with a nighttime visitor, possibly someone looking for the Doctor?

Step 1: Building the 2 Walls of the Room

Picture of Building the 2 Walls of the Room

After reading that, this might seem a weird segue.

I'll keep it to a minimum:

A bunch of sticks, screwed together, braced with angles and a cross bar to create two interior walls.

How's that for brevity?! : D

Actually, these came out really nice and I did some planning but the pictures are pretty explanatory.

The walls are approximately 7' H and a little over 5' wide.

I pre-washed/dried the fabric so it wasn't so new-looking. I tried to buy one fabric that would look like gothic wallpaper and another that would serve as wooden wainscoting.

Step 2: Creating the Wallpaper and Wainscoting

Picture of Creating the Wallpaper and Wainscoting

Staple, staple, staple!

I really stretched the stuff so it would be nice and tight. I went along one edge first, then the opposite, working from the center out.

The wainscoting was the same method; I even added a chair rail! I stapled the beige fabric onto a piece of strapping and rolled it a couple of times, then secured at the ends with nails.

Step 3: The Finished Walls

Picture of The Finished Walls

I wanted the walls to be at 120 degree angle, so I made a piece of plywood to represent that, and drilled 4 holes through it with corresponding holes down into the walls. When I set it up, I put lug bolts through that, also adding two 2 x 4's behind, facing outward, along with a quick-release clamp to brace the inside corners together.

Step 4: The Gothic Fireplace

Picture of The Gothic Fireplace

I started with a huge box from a vacuum cleaner, a picture for my inspiration, and went to town, cutting, taping, painting, and duct taping. I made good use of empty scotch tubes for the columns and a long box from tube lights for the mantle.

Step 5: The Finished Fireplace and the Beginnings of Miss Nettie

Picture of The Finished Fireplace and the Beginnings of Miss Nettie

I have a styrofoam head that has a base, so I put a white turtleneck onto it and used gather stitches to lock it in. I then stuffed the shirt with leaves, tacked some white pants to the shirt, stuffed those, threw on a long blue dress and let her hang out in Mr Tidwell's front yard for a day.

Step 6: It's Halloween, 11:00 in the Morning. I Have a Lot to Do!

Picture of It's Halloween, 11:00 in the Morning. I Have a Lot to Do!

I hung some disturbing pictures on the wall with fishing line from the top, then raised them up, with my car as a prop, and angled them with the triangle that I made earlier. I braced it with the two 2 x 4 legs, the clamp and even bungeed the top to my car rack for good measure. I didn't want my Crime Scene to create any new victims.

Cobweb, a raven candle holder, some old books, and candle-lit fireplace to complete the look. I set up two tables as we were giving out a pretty big variety of treats(detective toys, glow teeth, candy, popcorn, and witchy finger cookies.)

I set up most of the pumpkins that were finished, and just had to wait for the rocking chair to arrive. Oh, I also lined the tops and sides of the walls with lights, and obviously rolled out a rug to greet the trick o' treaters.

Step 7: My Rocking Chair Arrives...

Picture of My Rocking Chair Arrives...

...so now I can set up Miss Nettie, the Victim. I stopped the knitting of the Fourth Doctor's scarf at the red stripe so that I could feed a few yards of red through and cascade down over her, to form a pool of "blood" on the ground.

I ended up moving her later, because as it got dark she was kinda hidden from view.

Yummy cookies!!

Step 8: Completed Scene, Replete With Detective and Forensic Scientist

Picture of Completed Scene, Replete With Detective and Forensic Scientist

Trick o' treating starts at 5:30, so it won't start to get dark for another 30 minutes.

Step 9: At Dark

Picture of At Dark

The pictures don't do it justice, but it was a lot of fun! And all the visitors really appreciated the effort!

Oh, and here is my Instructable that I entered for the Pumpkin Contest.

https://www.instructables.com/id/The-Life-of-a-Pump...

I'd love it if you could vote for me for that, and this one too!

Oh... and naturally I entered the costume contest for Sherlock and Victoria's costumes as well...

Thanks!!!!

: D

Hope you enjoyed!!

Comments

jmwells (author)2014-11-06

Was the chicken supervisor a prerequisite??

cdstudioNH (author)jmwells2014-11-07

Yes.

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