TCHS Rampage

Temple City High School


October 17, 2016

The Basement: an escape from reality for Trac and Chen

backgroundListening to her own pounding heartbeat and the faint sounds of her friends’ breathing, Sophomore Rachel Trac’s neck hairs shot up, as the loud sound of the exit door locking echoed across the room. The chill in the dim room tingled Junior Ivy Chen’s nose, and as she scanned the dusty tables for clues, her arms began to form tiny goosebumps.

At The Basement in Sylmar, Trac and Chen attempted to escape the simulation with nine other friends earlier this year. The venue offers three different escape rooms, including the Basement, the Boiler Room and the Study. The group of friends attempted the basement course, which is a level four out of five on difficulty and intensity. They had only 45 minutes to use the clues and exit the room.

When Trac first booked the tickets, she was excited and ready to face the complicated task. However, as the days inched closer to the day of the event, she became worried and jittery.

Walking into the basement, Trac was uncomfortable, since part of the experience involved being trapped in a pitch black room with bags over their heads. Finding each of the clues was challenging for the group of friends to solve, and the pressure slowly built as time started to run out.

“Overall, it was an eye opening experience, since I had never been to an escape room before the Basement,” Trac said. “Although I was really nervous walking into the facility, I was somewhat excited at the same time.”

The basement has trap doors, hidden items and clues scattered about. Each escape room has a backstory about the kidnapper Edward R. Tandy, and in Trac and Chen’s case, they were trapped in his basement.

Chen’s experience in the basement was similar to Trac’s. She was tense, since for a moment, the only sound she could hear at first was the employee giving instructions. She also felt as if something was grabbing onto her in the cramped room.

“It was really fun because it’s like living in a horror movie, but you know it’s fake, but at the same time, the adrenaline is there,” Chen said. “You feel hyped to get out of the basement, and it made it even better that my close friends were there with me.”

Sound effects and decorations made the experience more realistic for Chen and Trac.

Customers must book tickets ahead of time on their website, and prices vary depending on the day of the week. Although Chen and Trac did not succeed in escaping, they would readily attempt to escape the basement again, and both recommend The Basement as a Halloween activity.


About the Author

Emily Hsu


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