Tips for Horror Escape Rooms

2021.01.28.

Escape room game businesses are the same as any other business in that they need to be constantly evolving. Since their inception, over sixteen years ago, these game have evolved into a huge number of themes and genres. Only the creators imagination is a limit as to where and how you can transport a group of players over the course of an hour. One genre that is proving ever popular is "horror." With games becoming more complex and with the introduction of actors, the horror escape room game can run from the mildly spooky to the down-right bloody and terrifying.    

Many of today's games incorporate huge amounts of theatre and the game itself is set within a performance of any number of actors who's purpose is to help add ambience to the original narrative, and flesh out the story in such a way as to increase the sensation of fear and desperation, as the clock counts down the minutes to something truly horrible happening. In our experience there are two types of horror escape room games. There's a majority where you'll find minor scares like jump scares or some other form of action designed to make a player slightly stressed. 

But then there's a whole other type of game, where the object is to frighten or terrify the players This is accomplished with various theatrical tricks and genuinely scary characters. Some of these are remarkably realistic and not for the faint-of-heart. They use copious amounts of fake blood, gruesome props including realistic body parts, and have no problem chasing players who are sometimes so afraid that they completely forget the "safe-word" that would make it all stop. What ever type of scary escape room game experience you're after, we recommend you take note of the following tips before you go inside. 

Be Aware Of What You Signed Up For

Please think it through before you go into a horror themed escape room game. Yes, we know you'll be with your friends and right now, before you book, you're probably thinking how bad can things get? Keep in mind that you'll be in an enclosed space. It's probably dark. If you have any medical conditions which might be adversely affected by jump scares or feelings of claustrophobia, then now's the time to speak up. If you have any issues with anxiety, or are pregnant, then we don't recommend horror escape room games as a good idea.

Don't Expect Hard Puzzles

The thing is that people have a hard time concentrating when they're on the point of peeing themselves! Anxiety and fear are not conducive to clear thinking and allowing players to perform at the best of they're abilities. You'll find that the lighting will be darker meaning that visibility will be greatly reduced. This will also unsettle you. If you're a lover of complex puzzles and riddles, then maybe you might want to give horror escape rooms a wide berth. 

Watch Out For Hidden Clues 

Pay attention to both the lighting and the soundscape. In a small or cramped darkened room, there are things that'll lead you out and on to the next task. Actors might also make suggestions. Make sure that you're paying attention. 

Believe In The Narrative

To get the most of the game, you'll have to fully invest in the narrative. It's OK to be terrified as that's the whole design of the game. Just because you already know that the zombie in front of you is merely an actor, should reduce the fear factor. Let the whole game wash over you for a totally immersive experience. Also, don't try and wreck the game for the other players by being anything less than engaged. 

Try Not To panic

Having said the above, try and keep a little voice going in the back of your mind, that constantly telling you that it's only a game. There will be points within the game, when you'll be genuinely afraid. Remember these games are designed by experts to get the maximum fear going within your shaking bones. And they know exactly which buttons in your sub-conscious to press for maximum effect. We find that if one person has a panic attack, it adds to the over-all stress the whole team is feeling.

Be Prepare For Some Standard Scares 

On the whole the best way to really scare someone, is with a slow build up of tension. This takes time and persistence. But there are ways you can achieve a pretty good result in a short time. These include the well tested jump scares, which along with creepy sounds, flickering lights and gruesome props can all achieve a believable effect. Another great idea is to somehow split the group up. One person alone is so much easier to terrify and generally freak out. 

Remember That Your Safety Comes First

There's no shame in demanding a stop. If you start to feel unwell, or that your mental state is getting overly stressed, then please don't hesitate to call a stop to the proceedings. In truth, things can get pretty intense in the dark. So just say enough is enough. Keep in mind that the purpose of the game is as an escape room. Not as a house of horrors.

Wear Comfortable Clothes And Shoes

Yet another no-brainer. Sometimes horror rooms can require crawling and and/or running. Wear clothes you don't mind getting a little dirty as there's plenty of situations where you might get fake blood or anything else on them. The same goes for shoes.

Don't Hurt The Actors

In the heat of the moment, when the fear-factor is going off the scale, we have heard of incidents where the players became so agitated that they struck out at the actors playing the zombies or whatever. Just don't touch the actors. And don't go swinging any objects at them or punches. They're just employees doing a great job. In fact doing such a great job that you're terrified! Just chill and leave out the violence.

Don't Run In The Dark!

Because there's a time factor in escape room games, it means that at some points in the game-play, you're going to be in a huge hurry. But at these points, please refrain from running. We've seen all sorts of injuries. From players running head first into walls to panicked players tripping over whilst running away. Always move in a controlled manner, no matter if you have a chainsaw killer chasing you. 

We find that there's a definite correlation between the sheer fear generated whilst playing, and the jubilation once the game is over. Those players that have survived being scared to death are so grateful to finish that you really can get the impression they have really escaped from a REAL killer. We love horror escape room games. Though we create the theme and decoration, the fear actually comes mainly from within each player. It's their own fears and hangups they inject into the game.
 

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