I had a few friends from uni come to visit over the weekend and we did something that apparently is quite unusual. I say this only because when I tried to explain what we were going to do to people at work, they looked at me like I was crazy. When I told people at work that Fern, Elliot, Naomi and I, they all thought it sounded insane. One person just turned to me and asked if it was some sort of cult thing. I did explain to her that it definitely wasn’t a cult thing but she left looking even more visibly concerned.
But the thing that reveals a lot is that when announced to Fern, Elliot and Naomi that we were all going to be locked in a room for an hour to escape, they all responded with: sounds like fun.This is why we are friends.
I think Fern only made it to Leeds to begin with since burritos were on the table as the lunch option. If burritos hadn’t featured into the day’s activities, I doubt there would have been any weekend plans.
Ignoring Fern’s undying love for the burritos from Tortilla, the day ended up being spectacular. I went into the locked in game with reasonable but not overly high expectations. I think my expectations had lowered somewhat when we ended up getting lost on the way and then found the place behind another building in a slightly dodgy looking area… Next to a building with eyes. It was lowered further when we all nearly got run over by the RAC van that was clearly too wide for the dodgy back alley.
We arrived for our game about half an hour early because there was nowhere around the site to sit and have a coffee so we had given up and committed to the idea of sitting around in the building of the game and waiting out our time there. As it was, the women let us in almost immediately once they had explained how the game worked. We (I) chose the Nursery Nightmares game. When we first went into the room, I was a little underwhelmed. I say this because the room did not look like it held enough to take up an hour. I was wrong. The room was quite small with a handful of items of furniture. I’m not entirely sure of the back story to the room as I couldn’t really hear the dialogue on the TV when it started but not knowing it didn’t really detract from how enjoyable the entire game was.
As soon as the timer started, we all went crazy. Our original plan to take a quarter of the room each just went down the toilet. We all just went back and forth between things without any real pattern and it turns out none of us are particularly good at looking carefully for items. I’ll give an example, there was a doll house in the nursery which Naomi and Fern had been looking in. They had decided they had found everything in it. We were a bit stuck later on so I went to look back over the doll house, lifted the roof and immediately found a letter, so I looked through the whole thing. Turns out I’m not very good at searching either as Elliot went back through and found something else later on. We all clearly made the right choice in not pursuing a career as a detective.
I don’t want to write too much about the room in case some random people end up doing it. Writing everything about the room would ruin the fun. I will say there was a secret room. We figured out the code to one of the locks, opened the wardrobe and freaked out. We lost it. There was a passage to the creepiest room in the world. The first thing you could see as soon as you walked in was the perfect horror movie doll right in a corner.
I hate dolls. It spoke if you touched it.
Everything was just a bit weird. I loved it. Fern had the first jump scare of the day when she found a disembodied hand in a drawer. I was doing a crossword puzzle at that point so all I heard was her yelling and I had no idea what was going on.
I can’t judge for reacting badly to things. I had the worst/best reaction of the day. According to the women running the game, ours was the best exit they had seen.
I will give the lead up to the last few minutes. We had worked out the last of the puzzles and were in the process of trying to unlock the safe which ended up having the solution to the directional padlock. This safe had a three attempts and then a five-minute lockout system. We were in the last 7 minutes of the game… and managed to get locked out of the safe. We knew the combination but had the cards the wrong way round. So we had to wait. Now as the seconds ticked down on the screen in the room, it was intense. We managed to get in, solve the puzzle for the directional lock and then I worked the lock as Fern read out the directions.
By this point I was losing it. We couldn’t lose. I wouldn’t be able to cope if we didn’t scrape out. I had been staring at this lock and finally it clicked open. I was so happy. I pulled it off, yanked open the door… and screamed my head off. What I hadn’t been expecting was for something to be right outside the door. In hindsight, if I had heard the back story to the room that type of thing might have been expected, but I was so in the moment this horror movie figure outside the door on a sheet just scared the life out of me. Fern and Naomi didn’t see the figure, what they got was me violently screaming in a way that alarmed so much they started screaming too. Elliot at this point for some reason was looking around the room and hadn’t even been paying attention to our escape so had no idea why the three of us were screaming.
I can appreciate a good jump scare so seconds after, I was in hysterics. I was still shaking and completely on edge, but it was fantastic. It kept me amused for the rest of the day. I just wish there had been a video of us leaving the room. I have never screamed like that in my life.
In our success picture, I look very sheepish. This is because this picture was taken moments after we left the room and I was still recovering from my minor heart attack.
I’m ready for the next game though. We’re all going to do one in Sheffield at some point. Next time we’ll be ready to search properly…
And I’ll be ready for the jump scares.