Far too often, someone asks us if they’re about to play a scary escape room only to accuse us of lying after we tell them that it isn’t a horror-themed game. The bottom line is this: if you’re nervous about your escape room, you might be spooked by anything and everything. That doesn’t mean that we designed the game to be scary, or even that we want you to get scared, it’s just a natural reaction. We’re not always trying to scare you, but here are some of the reasons you might be frightened in your escape room.
Solving a puzzle
It sounds a little silly, but it’s true; a lot of people get scared right after they solve a puzzle. Their fears are mostly justified because often when you solve a puzzle, we have to deliver a new piece of information to you so that you can work on solving the next one. At Escape Games Canada, we rely on automated doors or boxes to spring open and drop the next clue. The trouble is that when you solve the puzzle, these mechanisms suddenly detach and there’s often a loud and sudden sound. We don’t blame anyone for jumping when that happens; they don’t know to expect the sound, and tensions are already high from the adrenaline of trying to solve the game.
Not to toot our own horn, but it’s a compliment that people are so easily startled. It speaks to the realistic immersion that we’ve created with our intricate sets. We take great pride in our ability to distract players from reality one hour at a time. Behind each door is a little slice of an imaginative world where players get caught up in the alternate realities of their games. It’s no wonder people are startled if they’re suspending disbelief while they play, even though we’re not always trying to scare you.
Often, a trip into an escape room is a trip into the unknown. We’re not always trying to scare you, but stepping into a room where you’re not sure what’s about to happen can be intimidating. The fear of the unknown is powerful and drives suspicions. So, even if you’re told that a game isn’t scary, you might still be tense. Obviously, this fear is internal and beyond our control. We can tell you that there’s no reason to be afraid, but you’re the one who has to feel calm.
Just remember when you visit that there are plenty of things that might startle you. Even though we’re not always trying to scare you, we promise not to judge if you do, in fact, get scared.