Quick-thinking students escaped a Halloween “crime wave” on the night of Oct. 26 by using their puzzle-solving skills. Their slower counterparts weren’t so lucky.
As part of the “Halloweekend” festivities put on by the Office of Residential Life & Campus Activities, the west campus residential advisors and residential life coordinators constructed an interactive escape room based on the horror film, “The Purge.” In the film, all crime is legal for a brief 12-hour period, and nobody is safe.
True to the film, participants entered the escape room in groups of four or five and had to solve three puzzles at three different locations in Bemis Hall and McGregor Hall in order to save themselves.
To add some Halloween fright, they combined the escape room with a haunted-house atmosphere. As groups walked from room to room, RAs dressed as purge participants waited behind corners and in dark hallways to increase the fear and intensity. If a group didn’t complete the whole course in 20 minutes or fewer, they would succumb to the imaginary purge and return to Bemis.
Hailey Dennis ’19, the RA of Montgomery Hall, served as a guide for groups, leading them through the course and giving them hints if they got stuck. According to Dennis, this event was a labor of love from the residential life staff.
“The residential life staff — both the RAs and the RLCs — really do care about our residents, and we all wanted to create the best experience possible for them,” Dennis said. “All the west campus RAs and RLCs worked incredibly hard to bring this event to life.”
The RAs were split into groups to design different aspects of the course, such as the scripts, the puzzles, and the route itself. On the night of the event, they all arrived three hours early to set up, decorate, and make sure everything was running smoothly, and they all stayed after to take it all down.
This was Dennis’ second year serving as an escape room guide, and she said that every group she led over the past two years was different.
“The one thing that remained consistent from group to group is that we always laughed — and screamed — together,” Dennis said. “It was hard work, but definitely worth it.”