Game name (and type): 'Murder in the Dark' (hiding game)
Alternative types: games played in the dark

Handwritten description of the hiding game 'Murder in the Dark' composed for Dr Dorothy Howard by Helen Lucas, an eleven year old student at East Camberwell Girls Secondary School, in 1954-1955. Lucas describes 'Murder in the Dark' as a game requiring a minimum of three players and a dark room with many hiding places. She explains that one child assumes the role of the 'murderer', who counts to one hundred while the other children hide. The 'murderer' attempts to locate the hidden players, who scream when found, and guess their identity. Lucas notes that if the 'murderer' successfully identifies the child, they exchange roles in the subsequent game.

One of a collection of letters describing a children's game written to children's Folklorist Dorothy Howard between 1954 and 1955. Dr. Howard came to Australia in 1954-55 as an American Fulbright scholar to study Australian children's folklore. She travelled across Australia for 10 months collecting children's playground rhymes, games, play artefacts, etc. This letter, together with the other original fieldwork collected by Dr. Howard during this period, is preserved in the Dorothy Howard Collection manuscript files, part of the Australian Children's Folklore Collection (ACFC), Archive Series 3. The ACFC is an extensive collection documenting children's folklore and related research.

Physical Description

Handwritten game description in blue ink on paper. Comprises two sheets. First page features a letterhead printed in black ink; second page features a border ruled in red pencil.

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