The green lighting swirls in a disorienting pattern and tables and chairs are shrouded with blood-covered tablecloths.
The clock is ticking. If you and your friends cannot sort through the series of codes, clues and locks to get the information to shut down a computer and stop the release of a virus, then it will be released and send the world into a zombie apocalypse.
You have 45 minutes to accomplish this task… good luck.
This is the premise of the “Patient Zero” escape room that was run as a Campus Activities Board event on Oct. 21.
The other room “Boom!” involved solving a murder mystery and disarming a bomb. The rooms were set up in the kitchen of the 1787 room and the formal lounge respectively. They are a part of the Escape Rooms traveling productions. Escape Rooms have home mazes in states across the country where they run hour long puzzles in permanent rooms.
Lawrie-Beth Cussing works as one of the traveling agents who brings the Escape Rooms experience to colleges around the country. When she’s not running rooms, she works as a zombie in one of the new puzzles at the Virginia Beach location.
“I love travelling really. Most students love the experience and I haven’t seen a lot of disappointment…except for when they think that the puzzle is too hard,” Cussing said with a laugh.
She mentions that at the Virginia Beach location, they host a room called “Heist,” that is very difficult, with only a 15 percent success rate. Cussing also commented on how much she would love to come back to Castleton with the program, as everyone was so “genuinely kind and fun” to work with.
Yells of “None of this makes sense to me!” and “Wait! Wait! Over here!” could be heard bellowing out of the rooms while students worked to solve the problems facing them. Splitting up into different groups to tackle the various problems, some worked to find codes that would open locks while others searched the room for clues that will lead to the next step of the puzzle.
“When I walked into the room, it looked like it would be easy, but it definitely was not!” said student Karly Paquette. “We used every clue that we were given and ended up winning. Overall, it was a really cool experience and I would definitely do it again.”
Bre Morse, president of CAB, said that she “would definitely have them back.”
“They will have new rooms next semester and so I see no reason not to,” she said.
A total of 41 students participated, which Morse says is a great turnout for a weekend CAB event. She said that although a lot of students would prefer to do large events such as concerts, the deans of the school prefer there to be small weekend events, not only to help entertain students who choose not to go out drinking or partying on the weekends, but to help and persuade students to not go out at all.
“The first-year class this year has helped a lot. They really love CAB events and are getting the word around,” Morse said.
With more and more students attending events, CAB is able to get more feedback about what events students truly enjoyed. The student board of CAB members is already asking to have Escape Rooms back again, which will give the opportunity for anyone who missed out this semester a chance to experience it for themselves.