The scariest room in LA?
There is one scene in your mind that is busily following you. It has initially appeared in your dreams, the scene of an abandoned house, but it has started chasing you during the daytime. This house seems to be calling for you, it attracts you with an unknown force…What’s wrong with it? Is there anyone living there?Does he or she need help? You cannot survive it any longer, it’s driving you crazy…You start surfing and accidently you find the needed location…You reach the place. You open the door and…become trapped. You have only one hour to escape until your personality starts to change.
It was with an air of trepidation that we approached the imposing building that houses Zoe in Fullerton, just outside of LA. Having read a number of reviews claiming this was the scariest experience in LA, and reading stories of groups that ran from the building and forfeited their game because they were too terrified to continue, there was much discussion between us as to whether this was actually something we wanted to do. I’m glad we did.
Zoe manages to immerse you in her world from the start. Having been duly warned by the internet that I might pee my pants in terror, I took the advice given and embarked upon the creepiest toilet experience of my life, with what felt like hundreds of severed doll heads staring at me. And that was just the start.
As I signed the waiver stating that I agreed to be touched, I kept reminding myself that this was America, and I was unlikely to actually be physically harmed, and continued to remind myself of this as we were led into Zoe’s house, blindfolded, and I felt the touch of a hand that wasn’t Gord’s on my face. I managed not to scream, but once the blindfolds were off, I am not afraid to admit I insisted it was to be Gord sticking his hand into darkened holes and going through newly opened doorways first. Except when something was already in the room with us…then I was happy to be first through the door.
To be honest, the puzzles within Zoe aren’t particularly difficult, and there aren’t many as you move through the space. They are all logical and fit in with the context of the space, but the real challenge is managing to remain calm and think critically despite the fear/super creep factor. I found that even the simplest task can become daunting when you’re in a darkened room, watching an evil spirit stalk toward you.
This is where Zoe really excels. Everything about the room is designed to fully pull you into little Zoe’s world. The use of lighting, or lack thereof, at key points draws you into the space, forcing you to double check corners, and look over your shoulder. Despite the darkness, however, there was always enough light to solve whatever puzzles you might be working on. Even the smells in the rooms serve a purpose in helping to guide you through the experience.
Little Zoe is there to guide you along the way if you’re stuck, but she can be a little hard to understand. Don’t worry though, if you’re really struggling, she has other ways of helping you get back on track.
Was this the scariest room in LA? Hard to say; I’m generally not a fan of the horror themed rooms, so we didn’t really try any others that might compare. I will say it certainly got the adrenaline flowing, but was also one of the most fun, albeit terror-infused, escape experiences I have completed to date. Our experienced team of two managed to complete the room in just over half an hour, with only minor jumps, and no pants peeing.