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Prepare yourselves, family, because the most terrifying Halloween escape room is about to be created in your own home, but before you start to be scared, you will need to consider several important points:
1. THE PLACE
You must choose where you really want to be terrified. The easiest option is to choose a medium-sized room in your house. This could be the living room, a bedroom or even an old attic.
Keep in mind that the darker the place, the scarier it will be.
2. THE MYSTERIES: PUZZLES
Puzzles are the heart and soul of an escape room. Without them, there wouldn't be the opportunity to work together with fun and fear and create an unforgettable experience.
You can use lots of different things to devise your puzzles: newspapers for encoded messages, fluorescent paint, invisible ink with lemon, pages with abstract problems or symbols drawn on the wall with chalk or charcoal.
Below are eight ideas for puzzles that you can use to set the mood in your horror escape room.
The alphabet in sign language or a series of symbols that could be translated into English is quite effective. It is easy to find the symbols, you just have to translate them using a table, on a piece of paper or anything else suitable that you have at home, and that's it!
Going through a small tunnel on all fours or building a column so that the ceiling does not collapse can be quick and fun tests that are very effective.
You can always rely on the classic jigsaw. Use a spray paint to write or draw clues on the pieces of the puzzle. Players must collect the pieces and, once they have them all, fit them together to discover the hidden message or evidence.
A very simple test that can be used is the popular riddles in which the answer will lead you to solve the mystery. You can also use wordsearches, crosswords, or similar puzzles. Remember not to make them too complicated. Players should be able to solve them in no more than 5 minutes.
You can always hide keys and other objects in secret compartments, false bottoms, boxes and even a rucksack. It's a simple and very effective activity.
To get to another room, you can create a door that is decorated the same as the wall or inside the furniture and, by opening it, you can discover a new phase in your adventure.
Did you know that da Vinci used to write backwards? Here's an idea for another test: turn your back on the text and use a mirror to decipher the message written in reverse. It's an unusual and fun activity.
You can use a torn printed newspaper that is missing one of the pieces so that the entire message cannot be read. By putting all the pieces together, you can find the desired code or message. Simple and effective!
3. BACKGROUND STORY
For a totally immersive game, your escape room needs a setting and a mission. Solve a murder, discover the black sheep of the family or who is the villain that used the last of the toilet paper are just some of the ideas that you can develop in your family escape room.
If you can't think of one, below is an idea that you could use for your escape room:
CLUEDO: The 1985 murder mystery game
A group of bizarre characters are invited to dinner at a mansion. The unknown host turns out to be the blackmailer who has been stalking them for years.
During dinner, all the lights go out for a second and the blackmailer, apparently murdered, appears in the centre of the room.
Now, the guests must find out who the culprit is when everyone had a motive to commit the crime.
Imagine how much fun it will be when all of you accuse each other so you don't get caught. Keeping a level head and discovering the murderer will be the crucial objective.
4. THE ORDER OF THE PUZZLES
The game can be linear, where the tests are performed one at a time in a specific order, or dynamic, where the tests can be done in any order you want. It is very important that the answers are revealed as the game continues so that players do not end up lost with puzzles that may not seem connected to each other.
5. THE GAME MASTER
You can't have an escape room without a game master. This person is in charge of giving clues to the players and directing them if they have gotten lost or off-track.
If you are the family's game master, you can prepare the clues in advance and have them ready for when you need them. Try and make the clues as ingenious and elaborate as possible for a truly immersive game.
Obvious clues are not recommended and it's so much more fun to embellish them a little and create an authentic experience for the players.
Another important detail of the game master is the outfit and the role they adopt. You can dress up a bit, take on the role of a character that introduces the story, and guide the players in your own original way.
And with this, you now have everything you need to start creating your own horror experience at home. The best family escape room is the one created by your own genius so let your imagination run wild and have fun!