Wondering whether escape rooms are always designed to leave you shaking in your boots?

Want some insight into the scary elements of horror-themed escape games?

Looking for tips on how to survive such an adventure?

Fear not, as we’re about to let you in on whether these intriguing puzzle games are always meant to be scary…

And how taking part in an absolute terrifier can turn you into an intrepid adventure-seeker!

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Overview of the blog post

We’ll cover everything you need to know, including…

  • What are escape rooms? (for first-time players)
  • Is every escape room scary?
  • Thrilling elements that are found in both non-horror and horror-themed rooms.
  • What makes scary escape rooms…scary?
  • How to prepare for and survive a scary escape room.
  • The risks and benefits of participating in a scary escape room experience.

So you can take a call on whether you want to venture inside one of these hair-raising experiences or not…

Escape rooms 101 (skip if you’ve already played)

Escape Rooms 101

Team up and take part!

So you’ve never tried an escape room? No worries – let us summarize the idea for you… 

Family memories incontent banner 1

Here’s the deal: escape rooms are live, interactive puzzle games where you and your team are locked in a themed room and must work together to solve a series of challenges in order to “escape” within a set time limit (usually 60 minutes).

For example, in our sci-fi adventure Cryosleep, you’re placed inside a “spaceship”, from which you must find a way out before your time’s up (and there’s a whole storyline explaining why you’re aboard the ship in the first place, and what happens if you can’t escape).

Are escape rooms always scary?

Fantasy Spirit Nightmare Dream

Let us be clear about this: NO. Escape rooms are NOT always scary. It depends entirely on the theme and storyline of the adventure.

For example, if you were to go through the kid-friendly escape rooms in Pittsford, you’d find numerous non-scary and family-friendly adventures.

Let’s now take a closer look at how the experience can vary and some examples of non-scary escape room themes.

How the experience can vary

The truth is that escape rooms come in all shapes and sizes! Some are designed to be terrifying, while others are themed on adventure, mystery, or even comedy

In short, there’s an escape room out there for everyone, whether you’re a horror junkie, an adventure lover, or a plain old puzzle enthusiast.

Factors affecting the level of fear

Age: Escape rooms are usually tailored to a specific age group, which can affect the level of scariness. For example, family-friendly rooms suitable for audiences with young children might be less intense than those aimed at adults.

Personal fear tolerance: Everyone’s different, and what may be terrifying for one person might be a walk in the park for another. Your personal tolerance for fear will play a big role in how scary an escape room is for you.

The theme of the room: The theme is a major factor in determining the level of fear. Horror-themed rooms (like our horror game set in 1968 Florida) will likely be scarier (well, duh!), while adventure or mystery-themed rooms might focus more on puzzles and intrigue.

Examples of non-scary escape rooms

  • Magical games with witches and wizards.
  • Pirate treasure hunts.
  • Time-traveling adventures.
  • Sherlock Holmes-inspired mysteries (investigative, but not scary).

Thrilling elements that can be found in both non-scary and horror-themed rooms

Group of Friends Escaped Escape Room

From the ticking-clock nature of the experience to having to keep your eyes open for clues – numerous features make escape rooms a thrilling experience.

However, as we shall see, there’s a difference between pleasantly thrilling and downright chilling.

Atmosphere and setting of the room

Regardless of the theme, the atmosphere and setting of an escape room can be a significant part of the experience. 

Both adventure and horror-themed rooms feature immersive environments, with attention to detail that can transport you to another world.

Physicality involved in escaping the room

Many escape rooms require a certain level of physical activity, such as crawling, climbing, or moving objects

This can add an element of excitement and challenge to both horror and adventure-themed rooms.

It’s what makes mystery games a unique activity to enjoy with your friends.

Time pressure

The ticking clock is a staple of escape rooms, whether they’re scary or not. 

The pressure to solve puzzles within a limited timeframe can create a thrilling experience, keeping your adrenaline pumping from start to finish.

Thrilling…but not chilling

These elements of an escape room experience aim to raise the stakes to challenge you to bring your A game.

They’re incentives for you not just to be a passive bystander but an active participant in the experience – which is a key draw for escape rooms, especially in team building events.

But in no way should they end up scaring you.

What makes scary escape rooms scary?

Skull Head Halloween Skeleton Bone

The “horror checklist”, if you will…

We’ve just seen how all escape rooms are definitely not scary – that scary adventures are just one type of experience that you can choose to participate in, or give a miss.

And we’ve looked at some thrilling elements like the room setting and time pressure that are present in all rooms.

Now it’s time to look specifically at horror-themed puzzle adventures and see what makes them scary.

Elements of fear in horror escape rooms

Several elements can contribute to the fear factor in scary escape rooms, including:

  • Suspenseful music: Eerie or intense music can set the mood and build tension throughout the experience.
  • Low lighting: Dimly lit rooms can make it difficult to see clearly, creating an atmosphere of uncertainty and fear.
  • Ambiguous surroundings: Unclear or disorienting environments can evoke feelings of unease and apprehension.
  • Sense of isolation: Being separated from the rest of the group or feeling trapped can be nerve-wracking.
  • Jump scares: These are unexpected moments of intense fright strategically placed throughout a horror escape room, upping the scare-o-meter.
  • Presence of actors: Actors playing creepy characters can add an extra layer of fear to the experience.
  • Time pressure: In the context of the storyline and the other chill factors, the ticking clock can heighten anxiety and fear.

Mythical Escapes Asks: Knowing what you know now about horror escape rooms, do you think they’d be a good place to visit when you’re bored

How to prepare for a scary escape room

Man Board Drawing Muscles Strong

Inspired by what you’ve read so far, you decide to take on a horror-themed mystery room adventure.

Is there any way you can toughen yourself up for the game?

Here are a few pointers.

Mental preparation

Preparing mentally for a scary escape room can be crucial to your success. Here’s how:

  • Remember to have fun: Always recollect that the goal is to have fun and challenge yourself, not to be genuinely terrified.
  • Remind yourself it’s just a game: Keep in mind that the experience is fictional and designed for entertainment purposes.
  • Relaxation techniques: Practice deep breathing, visualization, or other relaxation techniques to stay calm under pressure.

Physical preparation

Comfortable clothing and shoes: Dress for the occasion with clothes that allow for movement and supportive footwear in which you can move easily.

Proper hydration: Stay hydrated before and during the experience to keep your mind sharp and your body functioning optimally.

Bringing a friend: Having a buddy by your side can provide moral support and help you feel more secure.

Tips and tricks to beat a scary escape room

Hacks Tricks Tips Smart Move

Now you’re inside the actual room. This is what it’s all been building up to. The next 60 minutes.

How do you face down the fears and find out all the clues in time to win?

Here are a few strategies to help you do just that:

Strategies for staying calm

Focusing on the puzzle: Concentrate on solving the challenges at hand to keep your mind occupied and less susceptible to fear.

Communicating with your team: Work together and communicate effectively with your teammates to boost morale and confidence.

Taking breaks: If you start to feel overwhelmed, step back and take a breather before diving back in.

Strategies for escaping quickly and safely

Mapping out the room: Get a good grasp of the layout and locations of key objects to stay organized.

Keeping track of clues: Write down or remember important clues to avoid overlooking critical information. Keep objects that are clues in one place where anyone in the room can easily access them.

Using teamwork: Collaborate with your teammates to solve puzzles more efficiently and share insights.

Are scary escape rooms safe? Are there any risks in playing them?

Check Mark

Spoiler alert: Scary escape rooms – like all escape rooms – are generally safe to take part in, and the risks…whether mental or physical…are minimal.

That said, let’s address a few of the risk factors that we, as a long-standing escape room in Rochester NY, have often been asked about.

Physical risks

While the physical risks associated with playing an escape room are generally low, it’s still possible to trip, bump into objects, or overexert yourself. 

Players should be careful when navigating the room and follow any safety guidelines provided by the staff.

Psychological risks

Some players may experience heightened levels of anxiety or stress during a scary escape room, especially if they have a pre-existing condition that makes them more susceptible to these feelings. 

Players should be aware of their own limits and take breaks if needed.

How to mitigate these risks

To minimize risks, players should follow all safety guidelines provided by the staff, communicate any concerns with their team and also with the staff beforehand, and know their own physical and psychological limits.

It’s also important to take breaks when needed and to ask your game master for help immediately if you’re hurt or feeling nervous or overwhelmed.

Take a look at our safety measures for your peace of mind.

The benefits of participating in a scary escape room experience

Boys Playing Scary Escape Room

Taking part in a scary escape room can have numerous benefits, such as:

  • Building confidence by facing and overcoming fears.
  • Stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing new challenges.
  • Bonding with friends or colleagues through a shared experience.
  • Developing problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
  • Enjoying a thrilling, adrenaline-pumping adventure.


Question Board Chalk School

From jump scares to survival tips, here are some of the most-asked questions on scary escape rooms – answered!

Are escape rooms scary or creepy?

Well, here’s the kicker: escape rooms can range from light-hearted and fun to downright creepy, depending on their theme and design

So, while some escape rooms might give you a case of the heebie-jeebies, others will have you laughing your way through the challenges!

Note from Mythical Escapes: Our Cryosleep game is not very scary, but our Eat or Be Eaten game is!

Do escape rooms have jump scares or things that jump out at you?

Some escape rooms might incorporate jump scares, especially if they’re horror-themed. But not all rooms are designed to make you jump out of your skin! 

Adventure, mystery, and comedy-themed rooms usually focus on puzzles and intrigue instead of trying to catch you off guard with sudden frights.

Note from Mythical Escapes: Our escape rooms do have jump scares. Check out our games page to know more about the themes and storylines.

How can you overcome your fear of escape rooms?

Facing your fear of escape rooms is all about being prepared and staying cool under pressure. Here are some tips to help you conquer your escape room jitters:

  • Understand the purpose of the room.
  • Remind yourself it’s just a game.
  • Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Bring a buddy for moral support.
  • Focus on solving puzzles and communicating with your team.

Note from Mythical Escapes: Sometimes we want you to be scared, so just accept it 🙂

What makes scary escape rooms scary?

Scary escape rooms often have a combination of factors that contribute to the fear factor, including:

  • Time pressure
  • Suspenseful music
  • Low lighting
  • Ambiguous surroundings
  • Sense of isolation
  • Presence of actors

Note from Mythical Escapes: Our escape rooms have very immersive, dimly lit sets, complete with sound effects, and there are some jump scares in each of our games.

How can you survive a scary or horror escape room?

Surviving a scary escape room is all about staying calm and working together as a team. Here’s how:

  • Map out the room
  • Keep track of clues
  • Use teamwork and communication
  • Focus on the puzzles
  • Take breaks when needed

Pro tip from Mythical Escapes: Remember that you will always survive a scary escape room; it’s just a game, after all!

Where is the scariest/most terrifying escape room in the world?

Here’s our completely unbiased opinion – our very own Eat or be Eaten is the scariest escape experience ever!

That being said, it’s difficult to pinpoint any one room as the most terrifying one. 

Many folks say Midnight on the Bayou from Red Lantern Escapes is pretty scary. LA’s The Basement also has a reputation for being quite chilling.

Then, of course, there is the official SAW escape room in LA

Searching overseas? Check out Cabin Fever in London!

All of this is with the caveat that what is extremely scary for one person may not appear all that impressive to another.

For example, some players may find a jump scare-rich experience raises the horror level, while others look for a slow-burning, atmospheric adventure.

So, rather than search for “the scariest escape room”, just search for scary adventures near you and start playing!

Note from Mythical Escapes: As escape room enthusiasts, we feel that Los Angeles houses some of the scariest rooms worldwide. Of course, not counting our in-house horror game!

Is it dark in escape rooms?

Again, this depends entirely on the escape room and on your perspective.

If the game theme demands a dimly lit environment, the room will be designed that way – to be dark.

On the other hand, certain rooms may appear normally lit to some players but dark to others.

If you have questions about this, you should contact the company before booking!

Note from Mythical Escapes: Our rooms – both Cryosleep and Eat or Be Eaten – are fairly dark. Please contact us for clarifications about this.

Are escape rooms scary – conclusion

In conclusion, escape rooms can range from mildly spooky to downright terrifying, depending on the theme and design.

However, not all escape rooms are designed to be scary. 

There are plenty of non-scary escape rooms that focus on adventure, mystery, or comedy.

Ultimately, it’s all about finding the right experience that suits your personal preferences and fear tolerance.

If you’re specifically interested in bone-chilling adventures, seek out horror escape rooms near you.

And if you’re a horror enthusiast in Pittsford, NY, seek out our scary escape room that’s set in an abandoned meat packing plant!

Go try a scary escape room for yourself!

Now that you’re armed with all the facts, it’s time to face your fears and embark on an unforgettable escape room adventure! 

Check out our Rochester, NY, escape room for a spine-tingling experience that’s sure to challenge and entertain. 

Are you brave enough to take the plunge? 

Book your escape room experience today and find out!

Family memories incontent banner 2
Skip to content