Jacqueline Monahan



By Jacqueline Monahan

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The Basement: An Escape Room To Die For

A door opens and you walk into a dark room. You are instructed to put a black hood over your head. A voice tells you a horrifying story of capture and cannibalism. You are locked into The Basement, a madman’s lair where you are given 45 minutes to try to escape. You need light, clues, codes, and keys. Your team of 2-10 captives must unravel non-linear intel to advance into freedom.

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The Basement - Photo credit: Jacqueline Monahan


Photo credit: Jacqueline Monahan

Someone hopes you don’t make it. If you don’t, you’re toast. Literally. Well, possibly, but you could end up as a rib roast or brisket as well. The madman is a cannibal and he’s hungry. Scared? That should make you really, really, really work as assembling clues (lots of them) that will inch to closer to release.

In grim, grey surroundings, you walk in near-dark until you figure out how to acquire a flashlight. Then, you almost wish you didn’t. The area is blood-stained and ominous. Screams pleading for help can be heard in another room that you must discover – there’s no doorway to it…


Your journey actually starts when you drive up to the square stone and steel building set a little off the street. It gives off a prison-like vibe that is appropriate for what you will experience. If you’ve never done this before, your greeter will explain what an escape room is, and advise you to use the restroom now because you will be locked in once the “game” starts.

Your humble correspondent did just that, noting the four serial killer portraits hanging in the ladies room. Charles Manson, Ed Gein, Ted Bundy, and Myra Hindley stare out from the black and red walls, reminding you that Disneyland, this ain’t.


Cellphones are not allowed, and personal property must be stored in lockers before entering. Your black hoods appear in a dull spotlight, hanging on a black wall to your left. Once on, you are engulfed in pitch-black, hearing only the words of your tormenter and his maniacal dare. Escape within 45 minutes or be gassed and then consumed. His cursed name will not be divulged here. You will learn it soon enough when YOUR life is on the line.

So, what happened to your humble correspondent? She took the immersive, interactive challenge, wore the hood, sought out clues, aided in the rescue of a handcuffed captive, had minimal success with locks and…time ran out. She’s communicating this last warning from a giant roasting pan on her way to be devoured (think Eddie from the Rocky Horror Picture Show).

But first, a photo to commemorate my failed attempt at escape. Much more chomp than champ.

jacq john basement

The author and guest before they were the main course

The complexity of the multiple clues is impressive. Hats off to anyone who manages to make it out of the madness. There is a current success rate hovering around 34%.

Escaping The Basement requires teamwork. Teambuilding clients include AT&T, Nike, ABC, Warner Brothers, National Guard, Target, UCLA, Google, Carmax, Cedar-Sinai Hospital, and Starkist Tuna (Sorry, Charlie). It is more advantageous to embark on this experience with more rather than less victims, I mean, people. The record is a little over 29 minutes to put all the clues together and escape.

Brave souls looking for an eerie challenge should check out YouTube and The Basement website for further information. You know what to do – or so you think.

The Basement
3440 Polaris
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(866) 993-7227