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“There were as few dissonant elements as they could possibly manage and that really contributed to me being able to play my character as if she was me.”
Roz Horton
“It’s now a week on and I’m still dreaming that I’m my character. At the time I was dreaming I was my character. It was so immersive that I forgot that I was me.”
Rachael Eyre
“I've never enjoyed being petrified so much, and that was before I saw the ghosts.”
Mike Jones
“I can honestly say in more than 20 years of LARP I have never been in-character for that length of time.”
Gary Longford
“It’s a whole different level of interactivity.”
Roz Horton
“God Rest Ye Merry was a haunted house ghost story of the highest calibre.”
James Osborn
“The sheer quantity of props in terms of letters, photos, pictures, sounds, smells, puppets, stunts; all of that made the scenario - the whole event - incredibly real.”
Simon English
“...extraordinary, immersive, visceral.”
Roz Horton
“It was like being inside a movie, that’s the best way I can describe it.”
Simon English
“Just got back from an absolutely amazing weekend of ghosts, curses, sermons, Christmas dinner, secrets, incest, secret daughters, terror, burning witch, ladies jumping out of windows, psalms and redcoats... everyone involved in any way is an absolute star of the highest order.”
Neil Webber
“It’s the most immersive LRP I’ve been in.”
Simon English
“From the moment of arrival to the end credits the experience was intense and thrilling.”
John Shockley
“So much more immersive, so much more believable, so much more interactive than any of the other games I’ve ever played in.”
Rachael Eyre
“I have never been to a LARP before that created such emotion within me.”
Alexis Celnik
“Needless to say we didn’t go and check, nor return to the room, nor sleep a single minute more of the night.”
James Osborn
“It’s made me come to re-evaluate my relationship with the medium as a whole and with what I can expect from a game and to take away from a game.”
John Shockley
“Scary, immersive, incredible, interactive, massive suspension of disbelief. I just think the entire team have done an amazing job and completely raised the bar for any style of interactive storytelling and I don’t think anything will scare me quite as much as this did.”
Rachael Eyre
“Looking back at the event now, whilst I initially [wrote] about lots of the amazing scenes and special effects that happened, it's the emotional experiences and the character interactions and relationships that I find I'm treasuring the most in my memories of the weekend.”
Jules Fattorini
“...all three of the Fear-Love-Grief triad were present in abundance...”
Roz Horton
“...I just think that God Rest Ye Merry is going to turn out to be the game that other games aspire to be when they grow up.”
Laura Mitchell
“GRYM has really raised the bar for an event, it is so far beyond anything I’ve experienced before I have nothing to compare it to.”
James Osborn
“GRYM was one of the best experiences of fiction (books, film, plays all of it) I've ever had.”
Neil Webber
“Crooked House redefined what I thought was possible in LRP.”
John Shockley
“I’m really grateful I was able to take part in this game I think it will be talked about in LRP circles for years. I’m relieved because I don’t have to be terrified anymore for quite a while; sad because I don’t expect other games to match up and sad because the event organisers won’t do anything for at least the next few years.”
Roz Horton
“To me it was a near-perfect interactive experience and I can’t see how it could have been bettered.”
Roz Horton
“I want more emotions, I have contacted several people who played the game to see if I can convince them to roleplay in other worlds alongside me so that I can try and continue a small part of what I felt there.”
Alexis Celnik
“There were times during the game when it was very difficult to tell if I was myself or I was my character. It felt very, very real.”
Rachael Eyre
“...the best roleplay event I’ve ever been to!”
Adam Gould
“Upon reflection, it’s still one of the stand-out immersive events that I have attended in my life. Much more than just a game. The level of emotional involvement that I think we all felt throughout the weekend was spectacular. Visually and sensually memorable in every way.”
John Shockley
“This is the most immersive event that I’ve ever attended...”
John Shockley
“It’s very hard to ignore the smell of the trenches when you’re standing at the top of the stairs or in a corridor, it’s just incredibly jarring.”
Simon English
“All of the design was unified behind a single goal, which was the embedding of the emotional impact of the narrative and the immersion of the participants in the event. To my mind it worked spectacularly well.”
John Shockley
“I’m quite sad because I’m fairly certain it’s going to be a long while before I’ll be at an event that’ll reach that same level of brilliance.”
Simon English
“...it’s left an emotional legacy behind in that there was a camaraderie shared amongst some of the players that I think we’ll continue to share...”
John Shockley
“The effects were almost literally out of this world.”
John Shockley
“I feel much more alive having wired my nervous system up to the mains for 48 hours. I think this game’s achieved a higher order of magnitude of reality through the design and it’ll be a benchmark against which other games are measured.”
Roz Horton
“I'm having trouble articulating just how exceptional and enjoyable this event was...”
Jules Fattorini
“The visual design of the event was coherent, incredibly detailed and I can only describe it as a triumph. A number of times over the weekend I found I was questioning exactly what it was I was seeing.”
John Shockley
“The best ghost story I’ve ever been in.”
Simon English
“It will be talked about and praised for many years to come, as the best, as a pioneer and as something you missed out on if you weren’t there.”
James Osborn
“There are games that constitute the stories that we tell one another... Those moments when something so extraordinary happens that it lives on for years after and becomes something more...”
John Shockley
“...tightly plotted and extremely well crafted.”
James Osborn
At the start of 2015 we ran a one-off live-action game called God Rest Ye Merry. It was a ghost story set at Christmas 1954 about an extended family returning to their ancestral home for the first time in years.

We hired a sprawling, creaky old mansion on Exmoor and filled it with props, documents and special effects. Then we led our players into our world. They stayed there for 48 hours without a break.

We used psychological trickery, computer game technology, video, audio, smells and stunts to put our players through the wringer, and they came out of it in some cases profoundly emotionally affected.

It was a difficult event to capture, because putting a camera crew in would have ruined the mood. This website goes behind the scenes to try to break down what we did, how, why, and what our audience thought of it.

Statistics

Cast & Crew

22 players, 14 crew, 3 stooges

Return Packs

250 documents (56414 words)
156 images
533 pieces of paper sent out

Prop Documents

73 documents (38253 words)
206 images

Video

20 MP4 files, 4 hours of video

Audio

66 MP3 files, 36 hours of audio