It’s part theater.
Part psychology.
Completely engrossing.

By Carla Turchetti

It’s you and a group of people locked inside a room. Your goal is to use available clues to get out of the room before time is up.

That’s the premise behind the shows offered at Raleigh Room Escapes. The owners have theatrical backgrounds and once you and a group of people are locked in a room to play, the story becomes the framework. The supporting elements are lighting, sound, and actors.

“It was my first experience with an escape room,” says Amie Graham, a recent participant. “I was a little freaked out at first, but there was a lot of laughter and screams. It was definitely a good time and I want to do it again right away.”

The stories that set the stage in the escape rooms offer a dose of fright. The experiences are designed to be solved by groups of people, whether it’s a group of random strangers who bought tickets for the same time, a birthday party, a team-building event for co-workers, or just a fun time with friends.

“I have only done one other escape room and it was less interactive,” says Chloe Enoch, who went with a group of friends. ”I also liked how they analyzed the group and gave a report on how each person did in the room.”

Sociology comes into play as teams work together to escape. Data is collected during the show that looks deeper into the contributions of each player, including their strengths and weaknesses. That’s one of the attributes that make escape rooms popular with work teams.

“The room itself was fun and challenging, and afterwards we had opted for the analysis portion where they provided feedback on our team’s performance based on their observations while we were in the room,” says Jessica O’Keefe, who attended with a work group.  

Raleigh Room Escapes is in the midst of revamping each of its shows by coming up with all-new sequels. The old shows are being retired, and the new ones will debut this year. Tickets for shows are available online and the website offers guidance on which escapes are appropriate for children ages nine and up.

Spend time in a room with a zombie. Or in a devil’s tramping ground. And just try to escape. Consider yourself dared.

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