Niall Coleman, Editor
At The Gown, we are privileged to receive all the freebies and perks that come with being a student journalist. Free tickets, press passes, interview slots – and sometimes free wine to boot. But when we were offered tickets to Escape Belfast – “Belfast’s New Puzzle Adventure Escape Room Experience”, we jumped at the chance. So, here it is: our Editor and VP Welfare got handcuffed to a radiator so you don’t have to.
The premise was simple – and perhaps the only simple aspect of the night. After a short meet and greet, courtesies were cast aside in favour of blindfolds and handcuffs. We had been captured by Belfast’s notorious serial killer, “The Preacher”. In what felt like a fusion of Saw and a twisted Halloween game, captives must work together to escape the confines of his sordid den. Lead into a small, darkened room, the game began when the blindfolds were removed. There began the struggle to escape – a series of puzzles, locked doors and clues, each one as complex as the last.
The set-up was impressive. Blood, guts and scary props adorned the home of The Preacher. Progressing through the game, the level of effort organisers put into the game was obvious. From the blood-stained walls to the smoke machines and a rusty safe, the surroundings were as close as you could get to the ‘real thing’ in Belfast’s Donegal Road.
With only one hour to escape the three rooms, tensions ran high. A small team would scramble to work their way out of the room in time – for this, The Gown would recommend teams of four to five people. On that note, we would also recommend bringing along some common sense – a must have to those hoping to actually complete the game. For those groups who finds themselves stuck, a clue can be requested from your captor, at the expense of three minutes from your escape time.
To say this game isn’t for beginner’s is an understatement – thankfully the organiser was on hand to assist when things got tough. That being said, Belfast is rife with Halloween events much like this – horror houses, graveyard walks and ghost tours. Of these events, The Gown would recommend the Preacher – the effort behind putting this game together places it a league above the rest. For groups of work colleagues, halloween parties or simply groups of friends, The Preacher offers a real challenge to Halloween lovers who wish to take things a little bit further. Our verdict? 10/10 – would escape again.
Don’t just take our word for it. For booking and enquiries, contact Stephen Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org