From A Haunted Plantation To A Locked Room
The minds behind Haunted Plantation have a new off-season project: escape rooms.
Noa Laporga and Angelina Khan opened their Unlocked Escape Room at Ward Warehouse last week. So far, Unlocked has one room, The Killer’s Experiment, with a second set to debut within a month.
Haunted Plantation frequently is touted as the scariest haunted house on Oahu, and The Killer’s Experiment follows suit with a horror theme. Here’s the plot: You’re trapped in the lair of a sadistic serial killer, and you have 60 minutes to find your way out by solving a series of puzzles.
“Escape rooms are growing as far as popularity, and we have been to a lot of them in the Mainland, and we wanted to try to do something like that and raise the bar as far as production value of the room,” Laporga says.
“We think if you dress the place up and do a good job at designing the rooms that people will feel more immersed in the experience,” he adds.
Other escape rooms they’ve seen, Laporga explains, tend to be plain rooms with just a few items here and there. He and Khan wanted to create an elaborate setting that felt lived in.
In addition to Haunted Plantation, the pair also has put on a number of other haunted attractions, including last year’s interactive zombie play The Outbreak Experience, and they run an effects company that creates Halloween masks and items for haunted simulations.
Putting together their first escape room, though, was somewhat of a departure from their previous work. While most of what they do is based on supernatural forces, this one is grounded more firmly in reality. In creating a backstory for The Killer’s Experiment, they researched real-life serial killers and drew details from true crimes.
“This one was fun for us to do because it is a serial killer — there could be some psychopath out there that does this kind of stuff,” Laporga says.
So far, they’ve signed a lease to run Unlocked at least through early next year. And meanwhile, they’re also gearing up for the Halloween season, and will return with both Haunted Plantation and Outbreak in October.
While The Killer’s Experiment does have an element of horror, it’s “not scary scary,” Laporga says. “People can handle.”
“We (wanted) to make (an escape room) a little more exciting by doing what we love to do best — which is scary things,” he says with a laugh. “Adding this element of fear gives people a reason to want to hurry and get out.”
For more information and to book a room, visit youhave60minutes.com.