Not a bad room, but not one we enjoyed
In 1887, the Earl of Claybourne created the challenge chambers as a 60 minute test of worth for potential suitors for his only daughter. When they both mysteriously disappeared, stories grew of foul play. After decades of abandonment, Claybourne Manor fell victim to a series of bombings during WW2. A recent excavation has uncovered the original chambers but with a haunting unearthing. Dr Alan Harris and your team of Paranormal Investigators have been called to verify the supernatural claims. Is the source of the disturbance linked to the the stories of foul play? Reconstructing the actual challenges maybe the only way to discover the truth.
Strangely this room is located at a golf club in the club house. We arrived at the club house, told the bar person why we were there, and in return were given a sign with our room name on it and told to wait for someone to collect us. When we were collected we were taken into an empty room of the club house where we watched a briefing video which gave the usual health and safety and the backstory of the room. Then we were lead up to the room.
I’m not really sure where to start with this room, not only were you there to escape but they also had an additional scoring system. We were told that the idea of the room was simply to get a key from one side to the other, solving and unlocking padlocks along the way to make this possible, however in the end there was more to it than that. It was a bit overwhelming to work out where to start in this room as there was so much going on. So once again we adopted the divide and conquer strategy where we all just went in our own directions to see what we could find.
We were making steady progress, focussing on the easier puzzles first and leaving the harder ones for later, for when our GM would hopefully return. When he finally did we had some assistance on things that were a sticking point and we moved along ok.
We finally got out with some time left, not all of the padlocks on the wall had been unlocked and another big puzzle was still unsolved which frustrated me no end as we knew how to do it, we just had to have done all the wall ones. We questioned the GM about this and he said “Yeah you don’t need to do that one, no-one has ever done it”. Now to me, if there is a puzzle in your room that no-one has ever completed then there is something wrong with the room.
This was not a bad room, so please don’t think that is what I am saying, but we really didn’t enjoy it, in fact I left with a headache. Too many areas of the room were frustrating and this will go down as a room that we probably should have avoided.
Every single puzzle involved a padlock in one way or another, now as I’ve said before I don’t mind a good padlock but this took that to the extreme and I’ve never seen so many in one place.
The puzzles weren’t bad, some were very ambiguous, some were easy, and some were hard. A good mix I guess but it all felt a bit overwhelming and like they just tried a little bit too hard to keep you occupied for an hour.
Looking at the story I guess this room works, but it wasn’t a beautiful room by any stretch of the imagination, nor did we really feel immersed. We were very much just in there to try and get out. This room is designed to be played against another team completing an identical room which probably adds to the fun, but as we did it as just us we didn’t have that.
No wow factors, no excitement. Just too much crammed into a small space.
Clues or nudges were delivered via a phone that was given to you when you went in. The GM seemed very aloof and on entering the room he told us “I’ll be back in 20 minutes and will see if you need any clues”, well that made us feel really special. When we did get clues they weren’t overly helpful and basically just fed back to us what we already knew.
You can see what they are trying to do here and you’ve got to give them credit for that, but it was just lacking in all areas. It really did just feel like a little money maker they had on the side and padlocks were the answer to everything.
They really need a storage area for belongings, or at least tell you where you can put your items as we nearly didn’t get out due to some bags being placed in front of something pivotal to your escape.
We did this as a team of three and I really wouldn’t want to do this with any more people than that as it would have been far too cosy.
Team: 3 people
Address: Horton Park Golf Club, Hook Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT19 8QG