If you’re a reader of this site, or a watcher of my vlogs, you’ll know ALL about the House of Horror in Brentwood. It was a Halloween experience that shook me to my core. The first 12 rooms were pretty intense – Room 13 was INSANE. This year, the House of Horror has returned – but with a change of direction. Step forward the House of Horror Escape Rooms. When the warped mind behind the House of Horror Escape Rooms, Wayne Lennox invited me down for an exclusive first look inside – I was both excited and terrified.
Last week I took a trip down to Brentwood to see how the House of Horror Escape Rooms were shaping up, ahead of their opening on July 1st.
The front of the building looks as imposing as ever – the design hasn’t changed much since last year, the giant ‘House of Horror’ letters are weathering nicely. This bizzare ‘cabin in the woods’ certainly looks the part. I was escorted through the reception area into the first Escape Room – The Seance / Exorcism. As I strolled into the room, it geniuely felt like I was strolling into a Victorian room – dimly lit, antique furniture, and very much an ‘old smell’. Wayne was busy scratching an Ouija Board into an antique table. He beamed as he saw me taking in the room. It genuinely looks amazing. It was like being transported back in time.
Authentic scenes make for authentic screams in the House of Horror Escape Rooms
“How do you get that musty old smell?!” I asked.
“It’s all from the furniture, this is all old and reclaimed – the smells come from that!” replied Wayne. There are no smell pods – it’s a ‘REAL’ scent. As I looked around the room, there are so many little details. I really liked the creepy dolls house in the corner, there’s even a replica of the room you’re in inside it. I asked Wayne to keep some of the ‘clues’ around the room undisclosed because I want to go and do the rooms for real next month.
“So the story in this room is that Freya, the little girl has become possessed, and the people in the room have to try and work out how to exorcise her demon! The priest doing the excorsism has left some clues to how to build the incantation, and the team has to work together to piece it together” enthused Wayne.
There will be actors inside each room, and there will be around 6-8 guests taking part in the House of Horror Escape Rooms. Each escape room experience will last for around an hour and it’s priced at £25 per person. At the moment there will be three rooms ready for the launch, Wayne is aiming to have another 9 ready in due course and the dreaded Room 13 will be back for a limited time over Halloween. Whilst the trio of rooms are aimed at those aged 18+ at the moment. However, Wayne is planning on making some of the other rooms a little less extreme and suitable for the whole family. There’s a LOT of space inside the House of Horror, so there is a lot of potential to make the House of Horror Escape Rooms more of a ‘destination’ to spend several hours, rather than just go for a quick thrill.
Future plans aside. We moved on to one of the other House of Horror Escape Rooms – The Ranch. This room was probably the least complete, so I didn’t take any pictures because it was a work in progress. What WAS there were the beginnings of an old West Ranch. The guests have to complete a challenge to find a key to open the door to get inside – however, once inside, they might wish they hadn’t, especially when the ‘owner’ returns.. Even in the unfinished state, you can see it all coming together well – once again, Wayne has picked authentic props and set dressing. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it shapes up.
The final room is The Hospital. As you walk in, the stench of TCP hits you. This tiled room is smeared with blood, hanging corpses, discarded limbs and medical implements. It’s a pretty disgusting. As I took it all in, Wayne discussed the way they build up the gore in the scene.
“There’s going to be a LOT of blood in here – what you see now is just the start! We build it up in layers. There are some fresh footprints here, some ‘old’ blood here, fresh blood here. This is just the first layer, we’re going to have at least five layers in here.”
You can see all the effort and detail that’s gone into it all. Wayne has a background in directing – so he’s got an incredible eye for detail. As we chatted away he adjusted one of the corpses to make hang ‘just right’. The devil is in the detail, and there is plenty of it around the House of Horror Escape Rooms. Guests inside taking on The Hospital will have to find the antidote for the terrible infection that is spreading. With the wonderful attention to detail, and the fear factor of some live actors ready to ‘attack’ I think this room could be terrifying.
Room 13 is never far away from the House of Horror Escape Rooms
Our discussion soon changed to the infamous ‘Room 13’.
“We had SO many people wanting to take on Room 13 – there were queues for it every single night. Some people just came here for that! We even had people begging to go back in and try and complete it – It was MAD!” Wayne beamed.
“I think the appeal was in the unknown, and that you didn’t feel safe anymore – people enjoy being scared but it takes a new dimension when you feel at risk” I pondered.
“Yes – however all the guests were safe, all the staff in Room 13 were specialists in what they did, most of them were SAS trained, and had long lists of qualifications in what they did. They knew exactly what to do, and how to do it safely.” Wayne explained.
Final thoughts on the House of Horror Escape Rooms
I was blown away with what I saw at the House of Horror Escape Rooms – it’s shaping up really well. It was fantastic to spend some time with Wayne and hear all about his vision for the attraction. There’s so much to come, and a lot of smart ideas knocking around Wayne’s head, it could be somewhere very special if it’s all realised. The House of Horror Escape Rooms aren’t just for Halloween, it’s going to be open all year. Fusing the ever popular Escape Rooms and giving them a Horror twist is smart, creating tamer versions for all the family to enjoy is a stroke of genius. Wayne even mentioned his idea of doing special ‘Mother and Baby’ sessions for parents to meet up and have some fun with their tiny folk – stuff like is very popular in parenting circles, and it certainly beats having a chat in Starbucks!
I’ll be back at the House of Horror Escape Rooms not long after opening to roadtest the experience and share it all with you.. I might need a team, so if you fancy it – then do get in touch, we can escape the House of Horror together!
Tickets for the House of Horror Escape Rooms are available here, and you can keep up to date with everything on their Facebook Page. It opens on July 1st 2019.
I’d like to thank Wayne for inviting me down to have this exclusive first look inside the House of Horror Escape Rooms. This post isn’t sponsored, or done in affiliation – I’m just very lucky to do fun things like this every once in a while!