Story by Gisselle Hernandez, Staff writer
Imagine being locked in a creepy morgue-themed room and you only have 60 minutes to rack your brain to find a way to escape.
Despite how unnerving it may sound, photographer Todd Ferren thought confining people in such a room would leave them wanting more. According to more than 1,000 reviews on the Talon Falls Screampark Facebook page, they did.
The Escape game, which started out as a point-and-click computer game, is one of the most recent adventures that Ferren has devised at Talon Falls Screampark in Melber, Kentucky, less than an hour from Murray.
Talon Falls Screampark is known for its mazes and attractions, the Dead End Haunted House, the Sinister Circus and the Blood Creek Hayride. More than 5,000 people have visited the Screampark and knowing how much of a hit Talon Falls was in the four-state area, it was a no-brainer to open up the Escape games, Ferren said.
The way the Escape game works, depending on which specially designed themed room it is, two-10 players are locked inside a room and must open the door in under one hour by collecting clues, solving puzzles and decoding riddles that are all hidden within the room before “their fate is sealed.” According to their website, anything that is not glued or bolted down can be moved and may be an integral piece in figuring out how to escape.
“It requires observation, teamwork, creativity, communication and courage,” Ferren said.
The game has three modes: easy, medium and hard.
Those who aren’t able to escape during the allotted time are given the option to come back and finish at another time or the staff will show the answers to how they could have gotten out.
Those who do finish in one hour or less are given the prize of the experience itself and earn the option to purchase an exclusive “I survived Talon Falls!” T-shirt.
The game caters to a variety of audiences from 12-year-olds to college-aged students and older adults but is mostly popular between 18-35 year olds.
According to a Facebook review, the experience was “the most awesome mind boggling experience.” Many others who had participated commented in a similar fashion, saying that they will definitely revisit.
Ferren expects the game to become the most popular between Sept. 25and Halloween night, which is the time frame the Screampark will be open.
“The Morgue,” which is themed after an old, abandoned hospital, opened on Aug. 7 and “Uncle Buck’s Boathouse,” which is described as less creepy and more family friendly, opened on Aug. 14. Operators at the Screampark are working on “Death Row” which simulates the experience of being trapped in a prison cell.
The Escape game is open every Friday through Sunday and reservations must be made in advance. The first game starts at 4 p.m. and the last one starts at 10:15 p.m. By October, Talon Falls plans to have extended their days and hours of operation. The games are $25 per person.
Ferren plans to open up more Escape games this winter at Talon Falls.
The goal of the game is to challenge the minds of all ages and strengthen relationships through teamwork.
“Most importantly, we want it to be fun for everyone,” Ferren said.
More information can be found on their website, www.talonfallsescape.com.