A new, independent puzzle room is opening this month with a Harry Houdini theme set in 1920s Detroit.

Fifth Wall Escape Room invites adventure-seekers inside to try to solve puzzles and ultimately find their way out of the room within an hour.

Escape rooms aren’t new to the area. There are active amusement facilities all over Metro Detroit with themes like Sherlock Holmes, zombies and a jail break. Chief operations officer of the Fifth Wall Society Sherry Gershon said their attraction is unique because of its Detroit story themes.

The game is suited for two to 10 players, and the puzzles range in scope and size. One puzzle can lead to another and so on.

“You can have little puzzles, actual puzzle pieces with words or images that will lead you to another clue,” she said. “There will be combinations of numbers to figure out and that will give you the key to unlock ... open up the box, there’s a key or a clue in that box to lead you to another thing.”

Each of the rooms will have a Detroit connection, Gershon said. Once the Houdini puzzle room is running, there are plans to build two more. They chose the historic Detroit/Houdini theme because the performer died at Detroit’s Grace Hospital on Halloween in 1926.

Players will be given background on the days leading up to Houdini’s Detroit death, it will describe the game room as a “trap” that was built to challenge the escape artist.

The narrative is that the builder of the room had it sealed off 90 years ago, it was “rediscovered” and moved to the Fifth Wall Escape Room to 1930 Hilton in Ferndale to “experience it as Houdini would have in 1926.”

Gershon said she expects Fifth Wall will open as soon as next week, but an exact date isn’t pegged yet. Pricing will be cheaper on weeknights compared to weekends, but she said it will average about $25 per person. No cell phones are allowed inside the game.

“Each room is so individual and unique to the theme of the room that they have to be curtailed and there’s puzzles and mysteries that could be inside doors, inside walls, so you have to do a lot of trick stuff in order to create these rooms” said Gershon, who adds that once they see attendance start to decline, they’ll build new puzzles for the room so repeat customers can be challenged again.

She said they’ve been working with a master craftsman to custom build every detail.

“It’s a 100-percent art deco room ... it’s absolutely beautiful.”


Twitter: @melodybaetens

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