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Escapism: Do you dare take part in a real life thriller?

Deb Carr

Hands up if you like Horror Movies? How about playing a part in your own grisly show? Ok I know this blog is ‘chic’ and horror stories might not quite fit in with the theme, however we are all about things to do in Sydney and this little story is fun, so imagine this: One room. One team. 50 minutes and you better act fast or it’s all over red rover. I’m talking about a real life, seriously scary, thriller!

So the story begins when I was invited down to try out Escapism, which is a new venture in Sydney by Strike Bowling!

Escapism is a challenging and interactive real life game where you, and your team, are trapped in a room, and have 50 minutes to find a way out. Everything around you could be a clue - and you're not getting any hints from the outside world. Together you need to find hidden objects, solve riddles, crack clues and beat the clock to escape the room. So the story begins….

I was supposed to put together a team, however my team members couldn’t actually make it today so decided I’ll just go by myself anyway. I rocked up and told the crew that I would be reporting on this all by myself. I think they all thought I was quite mad, especially as I am the first person to ever do this alone. OK you can stop applauding now and continue when you finish reading this post.

Butchers's Burrow Escapism

I was made very welcome by the crew who gave me a glass of bubbles and maybe was the reason I was so confident to go into a mystery room called “The Butcher’s Burrow”....eek!

I was then introduced to my instructor who gave me a brief of what to expect i.e. I’ll be locked in the room and I have to escape to save my life. What he didn’t tell me the room would be dark….very very dark, very creepy with some horror sounds and music to make it even scarier. I will come to that shortly. I would also be watched via hidden camera and be given a phone to use if I got too creeped out and needed to get out, or if it took too long to find the clues, they would ring me and drop a few hints.

Now remember, normally there would be 4-6 people in a team so there are combined skills to work out the clues and in this case it was me, alone, just me! I was also told that there are emergency buttons if it got all too much and I needed to get out, however once you press that green button the game is over.

Was I up for this? Hell yeah!

So my phone and camera are confiscated, I am then blindfolded and led by a team member around the bar area to purposely disorientate me. That worked! Total confusion and rather scary in itself!

Next, I am through the Butcher’s Burrow and I’m told the story; I’ve been kidnapped when I was in the forest, I have no idea how I got here, I can smell the fear in the room, there’s a severed hand on a plate and I might be next! Now is not the time to be afraid. He will be back soon to claim his next victim (ME), so GET OUT QUICK! Then the door SLAMMED! I’m alone blindfolded with horror music and sounds to keep me company! This was actually rather freakish!!

I take off my blindfold and I’m a bit freaked out because I can’t see! It’s black except for a very, very dim lamp.

Now I am not going to give away here what clues I found but I will give you some idea of the experience. Firstly, my feet stick to the floor, which I later found out, was ‘blood’ and when I took the blindfold off and knew I was in this place by myself, it was a little weird. I eventually found ways to see as I desperately scrambled for clues to escape.


I also stumbled across some very gory bits and pieces, which is not for the weak of heart I must say. When I eventually found my way out of this dungeon of horrors, I was mortified to discover I was in another room and I had not actually escaped at all. Now I had to find more clues and my way out. Was the 50 minutes up yet? Surely it is and I can get out of this nightmare.

At times, I actually believed I was in a desperate position needing to escape a sadistic murderer, like you see in the B grade horror movies. Then “HERO DEB” would take over and I imagined if I were in this reality I would have to stay, very, very, very calm and level headed!

I am pleased to report that I am still alive and I think Escapism is fun, mind provoking and an excellent team building exercise, accept Yours Truly didn’t have a team so she took on the challenge by herself.

Oh, yes! What is really creepy about the whole experience are the sound effects, and if you want to know what they are like watch the video below.


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