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A Ghostly Gathering

The winter of 1940 had been mild on Mad River Mountain, so mild that the ski slopes were still green far into the tourist season. Few guests came to the Red Cedar Inn. Who wants to visit a mountain resort just to stare at the scenery? Ma and Pa Krandle, the charming elders who own the rustic little lodge, always said that things would change when the snows came, and they were right.

Flakes began falling from the sky just a few days before Christmas, though too late to fill the rooms and get skiers on the mountain. Things looked dire. Out of the blue, Viola, the Krandle daughter who went to Hollywood and became a big star, telephoned with a plan. She and her husband, Bertie Mandel, would bring their whole crew to the Inn to broadcast a radio show across the Midwest, maybe even as far as New York City. They would dazzle the nation with tales of majestic mountains, streams packed with fish, and a traditional family Christmas in the wholesome state of Ohio. They would put the Red Cedar Inn on the map.

Now it is Christmas Eve, and many guests have joined the family for the big show. The looming threat of war, so much on peoples’ minds of late, seems very far away, and everyone is pitching in to decorate the lodge. A great Christmas tale is brewing, and like any cherished Yuletide story, it’s not about presents, or snow, or even about sipping warm cider by the fire. It’s about memories, and people, and the things they bring with them....

A Ghostly Gathering: The LARP is based on Midnight Syndicate's acclaimed holiday album, A Ghostly Gathering (used with permission).

Reserve a Character in Advance

Here is the cast list for A Ghostly Gathering: The LARP.  The setting is a ski lodge in Ohio in 1940.

Event attendees:    If you would like to reserve a particular character in advance, email your top 3 choices
LarpsByFYI (at) and please put "Ghostly Larp" in the Subject line. Or, ask
                                 us to choose one for you, based on your criteria.

Family and Resort Staff

Jacob “Jake” Krandle (age 70): “Pa” Krandle is the patriarch of the Krandle family, and co-owns the resort with his wife, Moira. His days of usefulness seem to have been declining since his last birthday. Increasingly he must delegate physical labor and repair jobs to his children and the handyman. Still, he remains ever the epitome of the Christmas spirit on the mountain.

Moira Krandle (age 68): “Ma” Krandle is the matriarch of the Krandle family and co-owner of the resort. She has managed the finances and scheduled the entertainment since she and her husband first opened the resort after the War. Moira has no tolerance for laziness and can appear all business at times, but she is a very pleasant hostess and her children love her.

Benjamin “Ben” Krandle (age 27): Third child of the Krandles. He is the trail manager on the mountain. Ben is a good man and capable with his hands, but he is not as charming as his parents. Some controversy surrounds Ben’s future regarding the resort. He has worked here all his life and expects to inherit the business, but many agree that the place would probably thrive in more discerning hands. He can play a mean fiddle.

Lieutenant Claude Krandle (age 25): Claude is back from the Army. He volunteered for service over a year ago and has been training at Fort Lewis, in Washington State. Before enlisting, he was a champion skier and member of the ski patrol, and has rescued many skiers stranded on the mountain. It was thought he would apply for the Olympics, but the winter events have been cancelled due to the conflict in Europe.

Robert “Bob/Bobby” Krandle (age 23): Bob is on Christmas break from the University of Toledo, where he is studying to become a doctor. Always good at the books and clumsy on the slopes, Bobby never seemed to fit in at the resort. He was popular in high school and even tutored some of his older siblings in their studies. At the resort he mainly helps in the kitchen, waits on tables, and even serves as veterinarian for the horses.

Evelyn “Evie” Krandle (age 20): The youngest child of the Krandles and the darling of the family. Some say she has the talent of her sister, Viola, and the charm of both her parents put together. She works the tavern at the resort and performs on the stage, but not even her lovely voice can attract the needed crowds. Evie says she won’t leave her parents, but how long before the mountain just isn’t big enough for her anymore?

Grace Babcock (age 36): Grace is a ski instructor and amateur artist who enjoys painting and sketching. Art doesn’t pay the bills, however, so she helps keep the guests from falling on their faces. She is very independent yet savvy enough to appear a bit untrained in order to boost other peoples’ egos on the slopes.


Guests and Performers

Viola Krandle-Mandel (age 29): Second oldest of the Krandle children, and a star of stage and screen. She performed often at the resort as a teenager and was discovered about seven years ago by Ted Bellows. When opportunity knocked, Viola wasted no time in answering the door. She left for Hollywood right away and hasn’t been back since. Her return is rumored to be as much a publicity stunt as it is a rescue of the resort.

Bertram “Bertie” Mandel (age 37): The older of the famous Mandel brothers, entertainers who have made several albums and pictures together. Bertie has been doing more work with his wife, Viola, of late, but the crowds always ask the boys to perform the old favorites. Bertie is best at songwriting and playing the piano, and leaves the lion’s share of the vocals to his wife and his brother. Bertie wrote the cherished holiday song, “Snowy Christmas.”

Henry “Hank” Mandel (age 32): The younger of the famous Mandel brothers, and the duo’s handsome singing sensation. When performing comedy, Hank often plays the straight man, but when the music starts, he takes center stage. Together, Bertie and Hank have made a number of films famously known as the Roadway Flicks, which often focus on two singing brothers and their improbable adventures in exotic locations.

Ted “Bingo” Bellows (age 48): Ted manages Viola Krandle and also the Mandel Brothers, a famous singing duo. Though an avid skier, this is the first time he has returned to the mountain since he discovered Viola right here at the resort, seven years ago. He keeps his three stars busy performing mainly on the East and West coasts, but Viola insisted on coming here to help out, and he was forced to acquiesce. Always the professional, he has thrown himself into producing and directing the resort’s big holiday show.

Milicent “Milly” Paluski (age 24): Milly is personal secretary to Mr. Bingo Bellows, who apparently relies on her for errands of every kind. While reliable and intrepid in pursuit of her duties, some cannot help but perceive the occasional jibe aimed at Bingo.  A sharp one, she is.

Johnny Serafin (age 34): As a popular singing cowboy, Johnny is famous for his rendition of “Reindeer Ruckus” and several other unconventional tunes. While he has done well on radio, his forays into moving pictures have not been very successful. Lately, Westerns have been more about gunfights rather than singing, and the studios have not been willing to gamble on Serafin’s ability to handle dramatic, gritty roles.

Della Dellacourt (age 26): Della is a comedienne and aspiring actress who is known for her stage characters, Daisy Ditz being the most popular. Della is very funny, but it’s tough for a woman to make it in comedy these days. She’s not part of Bellows’ stable of big stars (the Mandel Brothers, and Viola). The resort booked her for the holidays some time ago, and now Della is a bit of a sore thumb in the show.

Ron Clevenger (age 41): Ron is the engineer in charge of broadcasting the show from the mountain to the rest of the country. He’s also wiring the stage lights and sound system, and has already set up a mobile transmitter near the mountain’s peak, which should get a clear signal to the station in Columbus... hopefully. Ron is the first to admit that the resort’s location is a challenge, but he promises that the signal will go out on Christmas, come hell or high water.

Rose Saxby (age 51): Rose and her husband Lester used to come up to the resort quite frequently, but he passed away two years ago and this is her first visit since. She still lives near Toledo where Lester was a very successful tin and tin products salesman (business was good, and Rose wanted for nothing). Lester was 20 years Rose’s senior, and the clumsier skier of the two, but he still loved the mountain.

Mercy Adler (age 30): Mercy is from Bellafontaine, the county seat. She checked in unexpectedly last night and has largely kept to herself. She is very pretty, and rumor has it that she is here to meet a fella—perhaps a married fella. It wouldn’t be the first time a big spender stashed a lovely dame up at the resort for a little getaway.

Graham Keene (age 63): Mr. Keene is the manager of the Logan County Bank and an old friend of the Krandle family. His visit is quite unexpected, stirring up the rumor mill. Is he here to give Jake and Moira some very bad news? Is the bank moving to foreclose? Will credit be denied? Is payroll (or the entire resort) in jeopardy? Graham seldom comes up to visit the Krandles without bringing his own family, so why, oh why, is he here?