“It began one evening with a strange letter from a law firm I’d never heard of. Inside, I was informed of the passing of my Great Aunt Hanna – I didn’t even know I had a Great Aunt Hanna – and she had left a note for me. It was handwritten, and contained within a frail, ancient envelope. It was written in longhand, a warning about ghosts, and some coordinates that seem to be from a small island in the South Pacific. There was a map fragment of the island as well, but none of this makes any sense.”
The Mysterious Package Company is a members-only service that allows you to arrange “unannounced deliveries of a strange and otherworldly nature” that will draw the recipient into a quaint and curious story which might involve anything from crossword ciphers to medallions with cryptic symbols. With the slogan, “We tell stories you can touch,” here’s the company description from their Facebook page:
The Mysterious Package Company provides unique and custom-made gifts delivered by mail, and wrapped in a hand-crafted experience unlike any other. Custom made crates, letters and telegrams from long-lost relatives, and seemingly innocuous newspaper clippings add a richness to the curious goods contained within. Each experience is uniquely tailored to each person.
We are a members-only service. Membership is free, but you must fill in our application form in order to be considered as a member. We are more than simply a way to send packages, we are a community of like-minded people who believe that life needs to be less mundane.
An application does not guarantee membership.
It is the policy of The Mysterious Package Company to neither confirm nor deny our involvement with any specific packages. That would be telling.
This sounds really, really awesome.
There are some glowing reviews of the service: The Nerdery Public bought a package for himself so he knew the origin of the mysterious mailings, but he was still enthralled by the details and had a great time “solving” the puzzle. Mark Ramsden started receiving items when a friend arranged a package for him, so he had no idea where these things were coming from and was completely flummoxed. He detailed the whole thing in a series of blog posts titled, On Being Haunted, and it’s fun to read his accounts as he tries to figure out what the hell is going on. Strange Girl in a Little House got a different storyline, and there are several photos of the various package contents.
Having to apply for membership before seeing what the company offers is a little dismaying, but “The Curator’s” explanation in this article about the company makes a lot of sense:
membership is a layer of protection between the person sending the gift and the person receiving the gift. If one were to receive something unusual in the mail and do a web search for it and find out that, yes, it’s from The Mysterious Package Company, and it cost such and such, with a big buy now button, that would destroy the mystery. With membership, even if they discover that it’s from us, it’s a gift that you are unable to buy for yourself. This makes the experience priceless, something that we think our members appreciate.
If you need a gift for “someone who has everything,” this would be a very cool option.