Its been a while since I personally did a horror/creepy themed escape room so I was quite excited about Haunted at Project Escape in Middlesbrough. Our group was greeted and welcomed by James, our lovely host for our game. He explained all the usual things associated with doing an escape room such as health and safety and those dreaded directional locks. He then went into the story of the room:
"A hospital stands abandoned after some stomach churning rumours of what a doctor did to his young female patient before he fled to avoid the repercussions. He was never found and brought to justice and her body was never recovered. Ghost hunters think that means her soul will be trapped there, but you don’t believe that sort of thing, do you?"
With this story we were let into the room with a walkie talkie and a lamp and our game had begun.
Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead
We found ourselves in a dark reception area. The lamp now made sense. We had to gain access to the girls room. We quickly solved the puzzles in this room and opened the door. Obviously with this first room being slightly dark the puzzles were easier (As is the case in any darker room I've experienced) but it worked well and I always love a room that essentially has a build up to the harder puzzles later in the room. The female patients room was quite a big room so our group immediately split into two smaller groups. Its become muscle memory really to do this. Our group started unravelling the mystery of the room. There was a couple of potential scary moments, one of which included putting a hand in somewhere, but our group weren't really phased by it. This room contained quite a few puzzles all ranging in difficulty but we smashed through them as a team and found ourselves unlocking the next area quite quickly (Though it didn't feel quick when in the room). It also turned out that we solved a puzzle without solving it and then went back and solved it later. The room built up over the time we wee in there and the final few puzzles were very clever.
Whilst this room isn't advertised as a full on horror room it has so much potential to become one of the scarier escape rooms in the country. I think what they have now probably works for them as hardcore scare fans are unlikely going to pass through their doors often, but if they ever wanted to up the scares in the room they could easily do it and with more places making rooms scarier over Halloween, I wouldn't be surprised if Project Escape do this too. The scares we got in the room were very simple and easy for a singular host to do but even something as simple as turning lights on and off would add that little bit extra. Obviously this is all just personal opinion and its from someone who enjoys scares.
Overall Haunted was a really enjoyable room with some creepy themes that work really well. The puzzles were great fun and they were a great mix of easy and hard puzzles. Its not the scariest room (And isn't advertised as such) but the small scares in the room are well timed and enjoyable for any level of scare fan. I want to say a huge thank you to James our host for being such a brilliant host and w will be back to do Sherlocks Mysterious Manor.
Project Escape have two locations, Middlesbrough and Hexham. Middlesbrough is home to The Empty Cabin, Haunted and Sherlocks Mysterious Maor and Hexham is home to The Cursed Attic and Sherlocked: Case of the Hexham Heads. For more information and to book tickets you can visit the Project Escape website.