“I’m going in and I’ve not even had a piss”
Second time this year I’ve been locked in an escape room with some of Manchester’s music scene regulars, second time we have failed to get out, here’s what went down.
Brought to you by House Of The Dead, Trapped Up North is the new horror escape room experience which has had participants shrieking with excitement since opening at the start of August. Based in the Grade II listed Great Northern Warehouse just off Deansgate, the production is slap bang in the middle of the city centre.
Having tried one of these type of games before it was good to have something to compare it to and first impressions give you an idea of the amount of effort that has gone in the structure.
Now, it’s difficult to talk about what actually happened without giving too much away but the main thing that stands out is the human input, the staff you will meet throughout your hour long tale of terror are all part of the show and makes a real impact.
There are 3 rooms to choose from, Cabin Fever, Quarantine, and Jigsaw, which we had the pleasure of being locked in. Described as a “makeshift torture chamber within the sinister world of The Judge, a prolific serial killer who has escaped from prison” the room has enough to give even the hardest Mancunian the willies. Our team consisted consisted of Jonny Dub, Chimpo, Jenna G, Black Josh and myself, Nanny Banton. Now I’m sure we may have run away from a few doormen in our time, however, escapism is none of our specialities. Three of the forenamed have already failed a similar game earlier this year so I wasn’t confident we were going to be successful, but we got stuck in.
First room was a doddle, worst bit was who dares to stick their hand through a dubious looking hole in a door but the sound effects and spooky whispers coming from all over the place start to get our hearts beating.
On to the second room, here’s where things start to get tricky. At one point we are just shouting numbers at each other and the props can lead you on all sorts of wild goose chases, but we stay focused and after fumbling our way through a number of puzzles, we did manage to find a mobile phone before making our way to the third room.
After scrambling on our hands and knees through a pitch black passage, we arrived in the next chamber. The props are just as impressive as the previous ones but some of them are really quite gruesome and could be seen as offensive, so be ready to be shocked. We pretty much turned this room upside down before making any progress but we managed to get out, only to find ourselves in a weird corridor.
Confusion, panic and worry have all pretty much kicked in by now but we are able to use the mobile phone to ask for clues and tips. These clues do come at a price though, payment being a rendition of My Heart Will Go On, pretty embarrassing that we all knew the words.
This corridor ended up being our tomb and we were unable to escape. Not quite sure if we were near the end or not but the team working there did say we were close and with only 30% of participants actually escaping, I’m not too ashamed of our performance.
As far as these things go, this is at the top end and the extra effort that has gone into production really make the difference. From start to finish the staff make you feel more involved with the scenario and help build the atmosphere. There’s a couple of things in there which people might find offensive and the claustrophobic amongst you may struggle with some aspects but just man up innit.
The rooms are running until Christmas Eve and House Of The Dead will soon be opening their real life house of horrors which we are hoping to have the pleasure of sampling.
More information can be found here houseofthedead.com