Have you ever wanted to wake up handcuffed to a radiator in a dark room with a few strangers and a series of clues that could lead you to freedom, like in the movie Saw?
Of course you haven’t. Who would? But I did, sort of.
Recently I tried out the newest interactive attraction – dubbed ‘The Preacher’ – at Escape Belfast, a local entertainment experience set up and operated in the heart of the city. The idea of an escape room experience, if you’re unfamiliar, is to lock a team of people in a room and for them to use teamwork to figure out a way to escape using the clues dotted around the play area, all against the clock.
This particular room at Escape Belfast offers participants a chance to prove their mettle against a series of deviously designed clues, red herrings and, that old faithful of hindrances, darkness, all within a creepy horror setting – severed hands, blood spattered walls, satanic symbols – and to make things more difficult you only have an hour to do so, otherwise you’re locked in forever.*
You enter – blindfolded – into the room, the doors are slammed shut and you are left to you own devices from there. I don’t want to give away anything lest I spoil some of the surprises or inadvertently give away the solutions to the clues, but I will say the tasks are trickier than you might think, teamwork is essential and escaping requires some serious outside the box thinking. And in one case, inside it.
If you’re after a scare and wish to engage your brain a bit (ok, a lot), get yourself down to Escape Belfast. From their website: simply put this is a horror movie – but rather than passively watching, you and your friends are the main characters. Surrounded by a gruesome set and immersive story line, players must determine their fates by solving cryptic clues hidden throughout the rooms.
Sadly, our team didn’t work out the clues in time and I’m writing this, chained to a radiator in the dungeon of a serial killer. Shame.
Prices start at £14 per person with group discounts available.
“The Preacher” is waiting at Escape Belfast, 23 Donegal Rd, BT12 5JJ. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.escapebelfast.com
*ok, not forever.