I insert the crystal into the machine, and it whirrs and vibrates in recognition. Yet, my progress isn’t accepted by all in the room. The heads of the dolls begin to move on their own and the lights dim. I put my hand to my necklace and remember the strength it is meant to offer me. But my strength had already begun its slow dissipation, almost one hour prior—the moment I walked into this study room. The lights continue to fade until the room is bathed in a thick darkness. I smell the scent of death just inches from my face—and when the lights return, the Weeping Witch is standing directly in front of me, claws extended, ready to consume my remaining life.
The Weeping Witch is the newest escape room from Cross Roads Escape Games, joining their other incredible and memorable rooms: The Hex Room and The Fun House. This room breaks the boundaries of traditional escape rooms by elevating the experience with a strong narrative, diegetic puzzles, and most notably, The Weeping Witch herself joining participants in the room as an actor. Participants have an hour to solve the puzzles to cleanse the curse that has been haunting all who step in the room. It is easily one of the best escape rooms in the world, and it’s my current favorite escape room, with The Blair Witch escape room falling just below that. This is not one to miss.
The narrative is simple: each participant is afflicted by a curse, and they have been invited by a well-known professor to utilize Madam Ruby’s Curse Extractor to aid in removing said curse. However, removing a curse is not as simple as you may believe and The Weeping Witch does not want these curses removed. Listen for her crying, because it is in these cries that she lures people close and then slowly sucks the life from them. You have an hour to end your family curse before the Weeping Witch consumes your soul.
The puzzles perfectly match this narrative, driving the story forward. Utilizing some of the best parts of Cross Road’s prior foray into immersive experiences with The Séance, the puzzles here feel magical and otherworldly. Doors will open on their own, items appear from the unknown, dolls will come to life, and puzzles burst into brilliant color upon activation. While there are some numbered and word locks, the majority of the puzzles involve the clever use of placing the right items in the correct locations, chanting wards and spells, or calibrating equipment. It’s a combination of magic and science that fits well in this room, and feels like the perfect blend of The Weeping Witch’s predecessors: The Séance and The Psych Ward.
This room can be played perfectly with six people. We played it with three and while we escaped with four minutes remaining, we did need a few nudges in the right direction from a ventriloquist dummy on a shelf. We’d recommend playing with at least four or more to have the best time. But even if you need the help, the dummy system is a nice way to get clues to the audience in-world without breaking the immersion.
Beyond puzzles, it’s the theatrics that set this room apart from others. This room truly feels like an immersive horror experience. Fog erupts from the floor as machines come to life, the lights flicker, dim, and go out as the room progresses, the sound design perfectly layers a sense of dread over the action as the cries of The Weeping Witch grow in intensity—a harbinger of her return.
Participants won’t simply think to solve puzzles, but rather they will engage, play, and participate in the narrative. They will need to chant protection spells, engage with their surroundings, and explore new areas to progress. This is a theatrical experience, just as much as it is an escape room. While we won’t spoil some of the best parts, the theatrics are best displayed in a room with mirrors and in the ending, which climaxes in a perfect crescendo of fear and strength.
A final nod must be given to The Weeping Witch herself, which is absolutely frightening. At the start, you’ll know when she’s going to appear, and as her cries fill the room and the lights dim, she moves around the room, creating perfectly timed jump scares that startled every single member of our group. Yet, as time progresses and The Weeping Witch grows desperate, she will start appearing in unexpected locations, creating the best scares I’ve ever had in an escape room. She knows how to scare, and the jump scares are one of the best parts of this room. It’s the perfect level of scares for any haunted house fan. Finally, to note, The Weeping Witch will never touch anyone in your group; the fear comes from dread, not from contact.
In conclusion, The Weeping Witch is a theatrical and immersive escape room. It perfectly combines the jump scares of a haunted house, the theatrics of immersive theater, and the puzzles of escape rooms to create one of the most hauntingly innovative experiences we have ever experienced. It’s scary, but definitely survivable for any haunt fan. The Weeping Witch herself is a great addition, adding some frighteningly fun scares into the room. Ultimately, the theatrics were my favorite part, creating numerous magical moments where I was left in awe, wondering how something was accomplished. This is a must-play, continuing the winning tradition of Cross Roads Escape Games.
The Weeping Witch opens on Friday, September 9th, 2022 with ticket prices of $38 per person. It’s 60 minutes long for 3-8 players over the age of 14. Please be aware that the experience contains flashing lights, fog, jump scares, and loud noises. For more information, please visit Cross Roads Escape Games on Facebook, Instagram or their website. For information about similar events, check out our Event Calendar.
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