Kelly's Corner: The time I escaped a serial killer

My sister and I have gone on many adventures together, most of them your typical sister outings – going to the mall, movies, grabbing a bite to eat. But I never, in a million years, thought I would live to tell the tale of how we escaped the hands of The Columbia Killer. I’m all for a good game, but The Columbia Killer had a different kind of game in mind. We don’t know how we ended up in his basement, but we could hear the thunder and lightning rumbling above us. To make matters worse, the storm knocked the power out. Go figure… The lightning was the only source of light we had as we tried to figure out how to escape. We didn’t really have much of a choice but to play this little game – unless we wanted to end up six feet in the ground…

Don’t worry about my sister and I. If you’re reading this, we came out of the whole ordeal unscathed. We were able to take a breather in a booth at Olive Garden once we figured out where we were. After all, we’d gone through a lot over the last hour. We were starving! I think it’s pretty obvious at this point, but none of this actually happened. But it was pretty believable, right? We did escape a serial killer, but it’s not what you think. If you read my last column, you’ll remember my sister and I went to a riot room and smashed stuff. Well, this time around we went to an escape room, something people are a lot more familiar with.

I know there are probably a ton of escape rooms in Columbia and the surrounding areas, but we chose to try The Final Door Escape Room Columbia. This was my first time doing any type of escape room and it was quite the experience. Our room was called Blackout and we had to escape The Columbia Killer by figuring out a handful of clues or else we would die, to put it bluntly. Oh, and we were in complete darkness aside from our headlamps and the “lightning”. We had an hour to escape the killer and with literally one minute to spare, we solved the last clue. I don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t make it in time other than just not being able to get out, but we didn’t want to find out. We just wanted beat the clock. I’m not going to give any spoilers because I highly recommend trying it out, but I will say this: I’m very proud of myself. I stuck my hand in things I never thought I would stick my hand in and felt around in total darkness for these clues. And on top of that, I was on my hands and knees crawling around the room mainly to avoid running into my sister. I have two bruises on my knees to prove it. And I’m not afraid to admit, we did need some help, but we weren’t totally clueless. The game master is watching us as we are trying to solve each clue and if they see us having some difficulties they’ll chime in and help us out a little. For a lot of the clues, we were on the right track – we just needed a bit of a push. It’s a great room to choose if you’re like me and it’s your first time trying an escape room. It’s difficult, but not as hard as some of the other rooms they offer. One of the rooms has to have at least four participants due to its difficulty.

And if you’re good with numbers then you’ll enjoy Blackout. A lot of your clues have to do with cracking different codes, which is where my sister and I kept getting stuck every now and then. In my opinion, Blackout was just the right amount of difficulty. And for some reason – I guess because of my love for scary movies – I was waiting for something to jump out in front of me. No one jumped out and scared us, but a blood-curdling scream made my sister and I almost jump out of our skin.

We didn’t do this, but during your game you can have alcohol hidden in the room while you play. I wonder how many tipsy/drunk people have been able to escape before their time is up…

I give this experience a 10/10. Everyone who I’ve described the room to has been amazed, possibly a little creeped out by what we had to do in order to win/escape. But that’s what makes it fun! Plus, I got to spend quality time with my sister. It’s always a good time when we hang out. I don’t know what our next adventure will be, but we’re going to take a break right now. We’ve both tossed around the idea of starting to “play” tennis again – neither of us are that good at it. Maybe we’ll go on some walking trails. Who knows? But I do know that if I ever have to escape the basement of a serial killer again, my sister would be the person I would want to be stuck with. 

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