Last week we shared our ‘Get Me Outta Here’ party concept to pull off the best Halloween party for kids. Since room escapes are hugely popular at the moment, you can use the same concept since it’s pretty difficult to get away with locking people in a room in your house.
To recap, in ‘Get Me Outta Here’ you set a puzzle per room that has to be completed before moving on. Since the children’s games may be too easy (or not, we’ll let you decide), we’ve some slightly more challenging options for the adults; including ones you’ll be able to participate in too since the answers can reveal themselves at the end:
You might need
Your “victims” (guests) are all experimental doctors who have come to the home of Doctor Frankenstein, who is planning to use the scariest night of the year to create a new monster and has invited you to his house of horrors to help him with his experiments.
Upon entering you may wish entice them with a cocktail such as a Morgue-a-Rita or Bloody Brain shot (both described on HGTV) to get them in the party mood and explain your team’s goal for the evening, Dr Frankenstein needs them to gather three key ingredients for his experiment to make it a success.
Set the mood with plenty of candles, dim the lights if you can and have some fun. We’ve described three possible rooms and puzzles you might like to use, but be creative and try new things out we want your event to be frightening, but frighteningly fun!
Room 1- Dr Frankenstein’s library
We’d love this room to take place in any room which conceivably be seen as a library, be that your living room, office, or any sort of space where you have the freedom to hide word clues and puzzles.
It’s key that in the centre of the room is a wooden box with a 4 digit code padlock, this will help your guests understand that’s the end goal, the aim is to get whatever is inside of that box before they can move on.
You may wish to greet your guests with a premade video, or letter from the doctor which will set them on the right path, the last thing we want is for our guests to get stuck at the first hurdle.
We’d recommend starting with a riddle; we’re looking for a riddle with a four letter answer here, pick any you like but if you’re stuck here’s one to think about:
“I have a tail and a head, but no body”
Hopefully your guests will get the answer: COIN.
Next our guests will have to use Dr Frankenstein’s literature to work out how they can use this information, in the library books that you have placed ready in the room hide reference materials which will help them change that four letter word into four numbers, this could be very simply by using something called a Cypher hidden in a loose sheet of paper which will tell them A=1, B=2 etc. or could be more advanced by using a highlighter to emphasise a letter and a page number which they will have to find.
In our example, our Cypher will tell them the letter C=8, O=3, I=4, N=0, therefore our code is 8340.
They can then use the code 8340 to unlock the box which you can set as the code on the padlock (for advice on how to set the code there is many materials online), this will unlock the box and give our guests their first ingredient, this might be an instruction book for “how to make a monster”, a body part or anything as interesting (or gruesome) as you can think of.
Room 2- Igor’s quarters
Next we’re going to take you to the room of “Igor”, Dr Frankenstein’s assistant, the room should be well lit and as plain as possible; Igor doesn’t live in the best conditions as Frankenstein is not the kindest of bosses.
Igor could be a friend who’s offered to “act” for you, or could be a premade video if you can’t find a volunteer, Igor loves puzzles and challenges and won’t let your guests leave until they’ve helped him solve his latest challenge, after all, the Doctor won’t stand for Igor’s failure, so Igor has to solve the puzzle.
There are many options to solving this physical puzzle, it could be famous puzzles such as a Rubik’s Cube or the Tower of Hanoi, but we really like this simple one which can be done with a chess or draughts set.
The board must start empty, and we are challenged to put 8 pieces on the board. The only problem is, every piece carries the same attributes as a “Queen” and can’t be allowed to take each other, this means that no piece must be in line vertically, horizontally or diagonally. It’s very tricky and can keep people stumped for quite a while. Every time the team think they have it cracked, Igor will come and check with a ruler whether any of the pieces are in line, if they are, he should take the offending piece and whip it off the board with enthusiasm, after all, he doesn’t often get to take pleasure in others failings.
Ultimately, when the team have succeeded, Igor will be pleased and congratulate the team, at which point he can shut off the lights revealing a message or the next part of the game which you have laid out in glow in the dark tape. We chose another riddle to keep the team thinking.
Our riddle: “I can be stolen or given away and you will live, yet you cannot live without me.”
Hopefully when they give the answer “Heart”, Igor can hand over a heart which Dr Frankenstein will need in a box and the team have completed their second room.
Room 3- Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory
Dr Frankenstein’s laboratory would ideally be set in a kitchen, the utensils and appliances will give it the feel of a genuine human lab, and if you decorate it with Halloween themed paraphernalia can make your kitchen look particularly horrific, for extra fear lie some fake body parts on a chopping board and leave some blood stained cleavers lying around.
The challenges here require something a bit more physical or lateral thinking; we’ve put some suggestions together of how this might work.
Similar to room one, we’re going to use our other padlock to create a four digit code, but this time the numbers we need will be on physical objects we can’t quite get to and need to think creatively about how we can get to those objects.
For the first two digits of the code, they will be written on a ping pong ball which will be at the bottom of a tube which is stuck down, the tube should be wrapped in black tape to stop people just reading the numbers and it has to be narrow enough that they can’t just reach down and grab it. The creative answer would be to fill the tube with water, but your team might struggle for a while, especially if you don’t give them anything obvious to transport the water with.
For our second game we want to use magnets, this would either involve using a magnet to move another magnet with numbers written on through a maze, or realising that a number of magnets are hidden under a surface and that by placing a bunch of smaller magnets on top the team can realise they spell out the remaining two numbers. Again, be creative and try different things.
Finally use the code created to unlock the box, but this time, instead of containing the answer, we have it containing a set of puzzle pieces. Aldi have a great option to create a 112 piece puzzle for just £5.99 and you can put any picture, photo or image you want on there. Use it as your final clue for Dr Frankenstein, it could be a picture of the monster, a poem to summon the doctor himself or another final riddle but this is your big finale. Make sure you know how to wrap things up, maybe if the last room is the kitchen the “prize” is the opening of your fridge so the Halloween party can really start!
If you’re looking for an extra puzzle or your teams tend to solve these things too quickly, there are a number of other good puzzles and ideas around. We particularly like riddleministry.com who have a very creative number puzzle again good for opening locked boxes or providing access to other areas.
Scarier (spice up your night) ideas
If your friends like something more adventurous or want to have a real fright, consider some of the below options to take your game/ night to the next level.
- Ask people to crawl over/ under things in a dimly lit room, use silly string and netting to really make them think they’re experiencing something truly horrific.
- Blindfold your friends and get them to enter a well-padded room, tell them they can only come out once they’ve found a certain object or answered a series of questions.
- Encourage friends or family to act as “victims” to make your environment even scarier, fake blood, makeup and convincing costumes can add to this further.
Looking for something a little quieter? Hold a Halloween movie night! Next week we’ll share our favourite Halloween movies from family friendly to fright fest….