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Entertainment for bookworms. Harry Potter, Witcher, Dracula - these characters you will meet in escape rooms!

Entertainment for bookworms. Harry Potter, Witcher, Dracula - these characters you will meet in escape rooms!

Anna Kryśkow |

How was your holidays? Were you polite enough for Santa to bring you presents? If you like books (like me) and think they are a good gift for any occasion, I have a suggestion for you - we will combine escape rooms with books. Yes, it's possible - check it out for yourself!

Browsing the world's escape room databases, I came across rooms inspired by the works of writers I've known very well for years. Therefore, I thought "I wonder how many such rooms there are!". And I must admit with satisfaction - quite a lot! 

I decided to collect the most interesting rooms in this article. Here are the countries that inspired their national works to create escape rooms. 

USA 

Don't Enter 1408 (short story by Stephen King), Lincoln, NE

Stephen King is one of the most popular horror writers nowadays, not only in America, but all over the world. His name is well known among bookworms and movie fans. He is the father of the terrifying clown, the crazy Jonny with an axe and the murderous car - I can list his works for a long time! So it's no surprise that King also inspires escape room creators. 

1408 is one of King's many great short stories. It was first published in 1999, and in 2007 it was directed by Mikael Håfström. In my opinion - a great idea for a horror escape room! 

Hannibal The Serial Killer, Myrtle Beach, SC

The Silence of the Lambs is already a classic of horror cinema. Who doesn't associate the character of crazed psychopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter - psychiatrist, serial killer and cannibal? Thomas Harris, born in Jackson in 1940, released the first part of the series about the murderous doctor in 1981. The second part, Silence of the Lambs, saw the light of day seven years later. Since the beginning, the murderous psychiatrist has aroused the interest of creators, so numerous companies, series, as well as other literary works and comic books were based on Harris' works. Also escape rooms - like the one in Myrtle Beach, SC. 

Outsmart Hannibal in 60 minutes, or become his dinner!

The mystery at Innsmouth, Seattle, WA 

If we're talking about H.P. Lovecraft's works I have to confess - I'm not objective. As a big fan of Lovecraft's works and lovecraftian mythology, I always find an opportunity to weave the master of weird fiction into an article. However, I'm not the only one - Providence-based Howard Phillips Lovecraft has many fans around the world, and his works are surrounded by a kind of cult. The American writer created an amazing, fantastic world filled with terrifying creatures. This dreamlike universe has inspired writers, filmmakers, computer and board game developers, musicians, artists and many others for more than 100 years. 

Although Lovecraft's mythology includes dozens of characters, its most popular representative is the Great Old One Cthulhu - an octopus-shaped winged creature of the deep, lord of dreams and cosmic deity. Hence the mythology bears his name - Cthulhu mythology. 

Seattle-based Escape Room The mystery at Innsmouth is inspired by the highly acclaimed Arkham Horror board game.

France 

Phantom of the Opera (Le fantôme de l'Opéra), Limoges

Phantom of the Opera is one of my favorite books, so I was even more pleased to see that someone created an escape room based on it. This beautiful and scary gothic novel was written in the early 20th century. Its creator - Gaston Leroux, created a character that was to leave a mark on pop culture forever. The ghostly resident of the opera house - the Angel of Music, disfigured, hiding his face behind a mask, moving silently throughout the opera house like a ghost, was the inspiration for films, as well as numerous plays and operas. 

If I ever have the opportunity to visit the French city of Limoges, Le fantôme de l'Opéra escape room will be my must play! I hope to solve the mystery of the theft of one of the opera singers' jewelry. Beware, masked thief! 

The Three Musketeers (Les Trois Mousquetaires) 

At the castle Château du Lude in the French town of Le Lude, one of the attractions is escape rooms inspired by Alexandre Dumas' trilogy about the four musketeers. The series, published between 1844 and 1850, tells the adventures of Athos, Porthos, Aramis and d'Artagnan, 17th century French warriors. 

The Château du Lude offers 2 scenarios based on the adventures of the musketeers - La halte des mousquetaires (eng. The Detention of the Musketeers) and Dans les pas de notre invité (eng. In the Footsteps of Our Guest).

United Kingdom 

Dracula's tomb, Hull 

Whoever does not associate the character of the Transylvanian Count Dracula has probably lived on the moon his whole life. Vampires have been present in our culture for centuries, always bringing both fear and curiosity. The popularity of vampires and the boom in TV series and books is noted for the 20th century, when famous screen adaptations of Bram Stoker's works (Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens, 1922; Dracula, directed by F.F. Coppola, 1992), there have been numerous new series inspired by vampire characters (Twilight, Vampire Chronicles, Vampire Diaries) and many others more or less faithful to this 19th-century work. 

Although Bram Stoker was Irish, the book was published in London. Dracula's tomb in Hull, England, shows a very different story of this notorious count. Who is brave enough to discover Dracula's long-buried secret? 

Doctor Frankenstein, London

Doctor Frankenstein is an alchemy amateur, possessed by madness and a desire to rule life, who sacrificed his youth to prove that death can be defied and its effects undone. 

Did Mary Shelley - the young creator of Doctor Frankenstein and his famous Monster - have any idea that her imagination would become a timeless hit? This more than two hundred-year-old story continues to have its fans - especially during Halloween. Perhaps nowadays young people are most likely to dress up as Marvel or DC heroes, but there is always at least one Monster! 

London's Doctor Frankenstein is a slightly different take on the story of the mad 19th century doctor. 

Some say that the inspiration for the character of doctor Frankenstein came from Johann Conrad Dippel, a German scientist, who was born in the Frankenstein castle. Could they be right? In the mystical world of steam machines and airships, you have only one hour to revitalize a homunculus and unravel Frankenstein's mystery. You will follow in the mad scientist's footsteps to complete his final experiment and attempt to reanimate the body of Frankenstein's Creature!

Poland 

White wolf (Biały wilk), Szczecin

I am particularly pleased with this item. I've been a fan of The Witcher for years - both the one from the computer games from CD Projekt RED and the book one, created by Andrzej Sapkowski. 

The adventures of the Witcher Geralt began to be published in the form of short stories in 1990, which immediately gained a fan base. An important turning point for the Witcher was the release of the third part of the game The Witcher III: Wild Hunt by the Polish studio CD Projekt RED. The game was very well received around the world (if you like computer games and have not had the opportunity to play the 1st and 2nd parts of The Witcher - I sincerely recommend it!). Another important event for the character was the release of a TV series. Netflix's 'The Witcher' has as many fans as haters, but as of 2019, the character is once again experiencing a renaissance. 

For years, there has been a room inspired by Andrzej Sapkowski's work and CD Projekt RED's vision in Poland's Szczecin. I know from certain sources that a second room inspired by this burly monster hunter is being created - I'll keep you posted! 

Spain 

Don Quixote (El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha), Madrid

An errant knight who wars with windmills, traversing the world with his faithful squire. A comical figure to some, he evokes pity in others. For me, his adventures amused me to tears when I first read the adventures of Don Quixote in elementary school. Whatever one may say about this cool-headed hero from La Mancha, he is a character who has become firmly entrenched in the consciousness of Europeans and has been known for more than 4 centuries (Miguel de Cervantes wrote the first part in 1605)! 

A Madrid-based escape room company has paid tribute to this adventurers by creating the escape room Mystery of Don Quixote

In 1605 Miguel de Cervantes wrote the first part of Don Quixote. To this day, there is an unsolved mystery associated with this edition: The mystery of chapter 43. Historians say that when the first edition was printed, the manuscript went from chapter 42 to 44. Where was chapter 43? Why did it disappear? 

The mystery of Don Quixote was the company's first escape room a The Rombo Code in Madrid. It has an intermediate level of difficulty, which makes it ideal for people who are new to the world of escape rooms, however, I'm sure that the more advanced, especially fans of the misguided knight, will have fun here!

Timeless titles 

There are some themes and books that we love and that have become firmly entrenched in pop culture. No matter what part of the world - most countries with an escape room base have at least one (though it's never 1!) room inspired by these characters! 

Sherlock Holmes 

This eccentric detective celebrated his 135th birthday this year! Despite the passage of time, interest in his adventures has not diminished, as evidenced by the numerous film adaptations, series created on the basis of the adventures of the British brilliant detective, as well as games, comic books, novels in which Sherlock Holmes is hosted. I have read many detective novels, including a huge number of stories by Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle, the father of Sherlock Holmes. When I go to a crime escape room and can get into the role of this famous detective to investigate, I'm overjoyed! 

Harry Potter 

Many kids of my generation dreamed of a letter from Hogwarts and a career as a wizard. The whole world went crazy about Harry, the boy with a scar on his forehead. The British author - J.K. Rowling, wrote 7 books, based on which 8 films were made. Over time, other series taking place in the same universe began to be created, including Fantastic Beasts. 

The Harry Potter books are one of the best-selling series of all time. By 2018, worldwide sales of the seven books exceeded 500 million copies. Since so many people love Potter, it couldn't be missing from the escape room industry. The number of rooms inspired by this magical world can be quietly counted in the hundreds or even thousands. 

That's it!

What are your favorite escape rooms inspired by literature? Let me know, I'd love to put it on my list and visit!

Anna Kryśkow

Anna Kryśkow

Editor-in-chief, Writer

Journalist and indologist by profession. Writer, marketer, tarantulas keeper and urbex explorer by heart. In the meantime I’m playing escape rooms and board games, and I wonder how I find time to sleep (still dunno). I was born to write - my favorite forms of expression are extensive articles preceded by a long research, and horror stories (for some it’s the same).

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