Being locked in a room might not be everyone’s idea of a good time but the ‘escape room’ craze has made waves across the country and the first of its kind in Halifax now has its eyes set on an iconic spot in the town centre.
The Escaporium, owned by Angela Nicholls and Mark Wood, opened its first room last month in a converted mill on Square Road and will reveal a second in the revamped Piece Hall later this year.
Each room has a theme and groups are tasked with combing the room to look for clues to solve puzzles within a given amount of time.
Angela and Mark observe the players through cameras and offer tips if teams are struggling.
Mark said: “We’re thankful for the Crystal Maze because when somebody asks us ‘what’s an escape room?’, we would reply ‘you know the Crystal Maze?’.”
The couple, both from Halifax, had the idea for the second location on a visit to the Piece Hall last year.
Angela said: “We walked in and thought ‘you what would be really good in here? An escape room! Halifax needed something like this, it needed something for older people to do that didn’t just involve drinking and eating. It gives you something to talk about after, to take the mickey for missing this bit or that bit.”
While the first room took on a prohibition-era gangster theme, the forthcoming Piece Hall game will have a Haligonian history theme.
It will be packed with local artefacts from Quality Street tins to gibbets, and the couple have researched old Halifax Town kits from the 1950s, including the brief spell when the Shaymen played in the same colours as Burnley FC.
The next room planned for the converted mill site will be a “alien autopsy” Area 51 themed game and there is capacity for as many as 10 others.