Solve the code and get rid of the ‘Mummy’s Curse’ to escape the locked room

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, October 28th, 2015 at 9:11 PM


“We’re locked in a room and the Mummy’s Curse will trap us here forever unless we get rid of the curse and unlock the code.”

Imagine how much you love puzzles? Now imagine being locked inside a room that is a giant brainteaser and you only have a half hour to figure out how to escape.

Just in time for Halloween, the Department of History, Anthropology and World Languages bring you the spooky, live puzzle game, “Locked Room Event: The Mummy’s Curse.” 

Archeology month is a state and nation wide event, which is celebrated in Pennsylvania. The end of October marks the end of archeology month, as well.

“Pretty much throughout Pennsylvania this month, different universities or historical societies are doing things in honor of archeology month,” professor Stacy Dunn of the Department of History, Anthropology and World Languages Department said.

Dunn talked about the locked room events and how they’re a fad seen in quite a few major cities. “People will sign up for a particular time slot and will be brought to a room, which is themed in a particular way. They shut the door, you are locked in and have an hour to get out.”

The one being put on here at Edinboro is going to be on a smaller scale; in Hendricks Hall’s MASS lounge area, room 119. Students can sign up for different time slots, ranging from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursday [today], which is the last day of the event.

“It’s not like a physical trying to get out of the room, like pushing a table. Before you get in the room, they give you a briefing, [for example they will explain] there is nothing in the electrical sockets or there is no need to break anything,” Dunn said.

“Also for safety reasons, they have an extra key to the door in an emergency box, a camera to watch the whole time and often they have some sort of walky-talky or PA system to ask for hints, but that will kind of lower your score.”

The “Mummy’s Curse: Locked Room Event” requires teams of three and each team has 30 minutes to complete.

“They show up, get their little briefing, then we put them in the room and they have the half hour to solve it. Then, we have a little time afterward before the next one to reset the puzzle room. Also, because of safety things, we cant actually lock the door, so instead we have alarms for it,” Dunn said.

Dunn talked about some of the larger “locked room” events she has done. One was a cabin in the woods theme where a serial killer kidnapped everyone and locked them in a room. There was a journal of a previous victim of his who had tried to escape and only got part way out. There was a locked cabinet, a couple of locked boxes with a key, but it was behind plexiglass. The locks on the box were a combination of words, letters and numbers.

“It’s definitely more on the brainy side of things rather than a difficult [physical] challenge.”

Dunn also mentioned that rooms like the one she described typically run from $25 to $40. The “Mummy’s Curse” will be $6 a person and is being used as a fundraiser for the Anthropology Club.

“During the semester, we tend to do a bake sale or fundraisers and we put the money towards doing a trip as a club. Basically, anyone who participates in the fundraiser, like someone who staffs the table or helps set up things, can benefit from the funds. We will use that to offset the cost for when we go to museums in Pittsburgh, or sometimes activities need a little bit of material cost.”

The anthropology club is a smaller club and they are trying to raise awareness. “We don’t hit the numbers that some of the other clubs do and it depends how much we push promotion or extra credit for attending the event. I’d love to have more people come do this stuff... find it is kind of hard at this place in general to get people involved because so many people are trying to do classes, jobs and family — time is limited — which is why we have our membership pretty open,” Dunn said.

The anthropology club puts on a wide variety of activities and events. “We do other things that aren’t archeology specific, like Dr. Barbian will do something related to forensics. We’ve had Dr. Nachman give some talks about his research as a cultural anthropologist, but we get the club to do this because they are generally interested in this sort of thing.”

The “Locked Room: A Mummy’s Curse” event will run Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with time slots available for sign up at 11 p.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., or 6 p.m. The cost is $6. Teams of three required.

Anna Ashcraft is The Arts Editor for The Spectaor. She can be reached at

Tags: events, halloween

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