Red Lantern Escape Rooms: Midnight on the Bayou
“You haven’t set foot in Bayou High since graduation, but this carnival-themed reunion sounded fun. Though it is a little strange they’re holding the event on the old Boudreau property at the edge of the swamp where, decades ago, several students died in a barn fire. And it is odd that all the carnival workers are mysteriously absent, with the exception of your reunion host, who keeps nervously glancing at that creepy old chest…” (Red Lantern)
Welcome to the Bayou
Red Lantern brings a taste of a ghost-filled Louisiana to Brea, CA, in their gorgeous 1,000-square-foot escape room, “Midnight on the Bayou.” My team and I came to the Boudreau property for our school reunion and were subsequently tasked with figuring out how to help the spirits of the barn fire casualties move on from their version of Limbo.
Walking into the expansive, incredibly stunning set, I was transported to a Louisiana bayou property, complete with alligators lurking in the water. The area was decorated for the reunion with school paraphernalia, strung lights, and a tribute to the students who died long ago. Soft music played as our reunion host welcomed us and reminded us of the story of the barn fire. He asked us to help him unlock an old, crusty trunk in order to get the party started, but told us to be wary of our apparently haunted surroundings.
Scattering about the lavish bayou set, my friends and I started finding clues and solving puzzles. At first, we were chaotic and put things together willy-nilly, but then we figured out that there was a much more logical way to go about helping the lost spirits. Following the threads, we helped first one, then all five students move on to a more peaceful afterlife – with only 15 seconds to spare!
Something for Everyone
In addition to the fantastic set and production design, “Midnight on the Bayou” offers a wide range of multi-part puzzles that incorporate many types of reasoning that kept my nine-person group busy throughout the experience. With so much to do, sometimes the threads got mixed up, but that was mainly due to my group’s lack of communication in the beginning. Once we got the hang of how the room was set up, everything fell into place nicely. While still including some combination locks, “Midnight on the Bayou” was brought to life with many extremely innovative clues involving sound, technology, lights, and even the reunion host. Several required the participation of multiple people, encouraging teamwork within the group.
Even though “Midnight on the Bayou” involves ghostly spirits, it is completely suitable for teens, in addition to adults. The carnival-themed reunion and the inclusion of some unexpected, lighthearted technology help establish a sense of fun and play. Be sure to get there a little early to enjoy games in the Red Lantern lounge, or to solve the mini-puzzle that opens the jar of candy sitting in the lobby!