Only a few minutes before, we were sure we’d be trapped in the mad philosopher’s room forever — or at least until someone let us out. Our team, composed entirely of interns for NewsOK and The Oklahoman, had shuffled through every paper in the room, taken paintings off the wall and done a bit of furniture rearranging, but still we had close to nothing. With 10 minutes to spare, morale was low.
Paighten: That is, until I found the last piece of the puzzle. Taking the final code from the philosopher’s page of ranting, I read it aloud. As our photographer typed the code into the electronic door lock, my team held (our) collective breath. This wasn’t the first time we tried the door. We didn’t know if it would be the last.
The room was silent when the lock clicked open, and we all screamed. We’d made it, and it felt good, so good.
Jessica: Escape OKC co-owner Andrew Gipson gave us two rules before entering the room: Don’t reveal any clues in our reporting and don’t break anything.
The premise of the room we were in, the Four Brothers room, is that a crazy philosopher obsessed with the elements has locked us in his study. Somewhere within the clues is a four-digit code to unlock the door. We were given no starting clue, just a quick “good luck” by Gipson before he closed the door.
So where do we start? We opened drawers, overturned the rug, the chairs, even the couch. We uncovered a small stack of handwritten notes. A riddle taped to the back of another object confirmed the emphasis on the elements.
We all got increasingly anxious when there were 20 minutes remaining and we had no clue how close we were to escaping. We tore apart the bookshelf, flipping through the pages of each book and a row of National Geographic magazines. Ten minutes later, we escaped.
Paighten: I wasn’t necessarily afraid when I received an email from Escape OKC asking if some of my friends and I would consent to being locked in a room and using the available clues and resources to get ourselves out. I will admit I was anxious, though, considering that plot line sounds a little too familiar to (the movie) “Saw.”
I was anxious, too, because I feared we wouldn’t solve the puzzle and escape. An avid video game player, I worried I couldn’t navigate similar sticky situations in real life. I put those fears behind me, however, because when else would I get to safely drop into a video game-esque challenge like this?
Gipson says there are many similar attractions in Europe, and it’s clear why the trend has caught on overseas. Escape OKC is exciting, frustrating and rewarding for anyone who considers themselves a riddle master, video game aficionado or “Saw” lover.
If you go