If solving mysteries and tracking down terrorists sounds like a good way to spend some time, then Douglas is the place to be this weekend for an escape room fundraiser.
The Boys and Girls Club of Douglas is replacing its annual haunted house with three escape rooms operating in train cars found at the city’s Locomotive Park. A fourth escape room set up at Jen’s Books in downtown Douglas for younger participants will feature an “Alice in Wonderland” theme.
Leah Gremm, resource development director for the Boys and Girls Club, said the group decided to offer the escape rooms instead of the haunted house because of the growing interest nationally in escape rooms.
“Not very many people were coming (to the haunted house),” she said. “Interest (in the escape rooms) has been really good so far.”
Usually, people taking part in escape rooms are locked inside and given clues that will eventually lead to their release.
In Douglas, the participants will be asked instead to solve a mystery focusing around a shadowy group of terrorists who have planted a bomb on the train.
“We’re not locking anyone in,” Gremm said. “There are mysteries in each railcar that tie into all three of the rooms.”
In one of the train cars, participants will be tasked with finding the bomb set by the terrorists, while in the others, the mystery will surround the identities of the terrorists and their targets.
The experience will begin with visitors picking up their tickets in the park’s visitor center before moving to the park’s dining car, where they will get treats and drinks, along with their first clue.
“That clue will let them figure out which car they’re going to, the sleeping car, day car or the caboose,” Gremm said.
Each mystery should take 60 to 90 minutes to solve, she added.
“Then, they can come back and do a second and third car, if they want to,” she said.
Gremm said the scenarios for the escape rooms were developed by a team of people.
“Around here, we call it ‘purple unicorning,’” she said. “People shoot out funny ideas and we just go with it. Some of it sounds intriguing and some of it is really silly. We just hope that people will realize it’s just a game.”
Organizers hope to raise about $4,000 for the Boys and Girls Club’s operation with the admissions fees from the event, which run $30 per person at the locomotive park and $15 per person at the “Alice in Wonderland” room at the bookstore.
The money will be used to fund ongoing operations at the Boys and Girls Club, which has more than 380 members.
The escape rooms will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at EscapeDouglas.eventbrite.com.
For more information, visit the Boys and Girls Club website at BGCDouglas.com.