Location: Fayetteville, NC
Players: 2-6 (We recommend 2-4)
Price: $26.50 per person
Time to Escape: 60 Minutes
Solve the murder. Release the ghost!
As a member of the Fayetteville Paranormal Crime Unit, you solved the infamous murder of Mr. Pennylock. Now, however, you’ve been called to return to his foreboding manor to investigate reports that Pennylock’s ghost has been haunting the manor, fueled by anger over the theft of his wife’s prized necklace! You only have an hour to find the necklace and set his soul to rest, otherwise, it will be trapped inside the manor forever!
From my conversations with enthusiasts from the area, and from speaking with the owner and employees of Xscape Factor, not only is this room “haunted,” but the historical building the business resides in holds a bit of spectral history as well. According to them, they’ve had some strange occurrences pop up here and there, ranging from strange sounds to Game Masters being locked in the rooms at night when trying to reset rooms after the final customers have left. It all helped to set the stage for a spooky escape experience!
The room itself was very well set up, with an excellent set design that included dim, flickering lighting, creepy Victorian photos on the wall, and antique looking furniture all around. Unfortunately, 30 seconds into our game, we ran into a freak accident where all the power surged for the whole building, leading us to find the necklace before we were supposed to, spoiling the hiding place for the ending. This, however, was taken care of quickly by the staff, who apologized profusely, then ushered us out and reset the room asap so that we could start again. Game flow worked excellently, and solving the mystery of who stole the necklace was a great meta-puzzle to work towards, and the non-linear nature of most of the room kept the four of us puzzling throughout. We required no clues, which is a testament to the room’s fair design. (Trust me, we usually need clues somewhere!) This isn’t to say the room is easy by any means, it was definitely a challenge, and we had to work through a lot of great conundrums to secure our victory!
The dreaded lockout safe makes a unwelcome return after being absent from our games for a blessedly long time. Per usual, we were so covetous of our 3 precious entries that we didn’t want to put in a certain code we’d found, and we were told we could only confirm a code with the GM one time, so our skittishness cost us a few precious minutes. Really, if a lockout safe is deemed necessary, (and they never are,) checks through the GM should be unlimited for this universal design flaw. There were a lot of laminated papers about, and though it wasn’t the worst thing, it did remove some of the immersion. A late game piece of tech was also pretty finicky, requiring quite a bit more specificity to it’s code than is usual for this type of puzzle. There was also one puzzle that identified a bit of information which required locating and reading a very particular article, which seemed to be overkill, and required an answer that was a fair leap of logic.
The spooky mystery of Haunted is a great mashup of the murder mystery and supernatural themes, with a exciting mix of classic and technological locks to keep players on their toes! Working through Pennylock’s office was a great adventure, requiring teamwork and communication, and I highly recommend giving it a shot, as it was definitely my favorite room at Xscape Factor. You can book your paranormal investigation here!
Full Disclosure: Xscape Factor provided Media Discounted tickets for our team.