“We’re puzzle geeks,” explains Ellie, co-owner of Linlithgow’s new escape room, eeek! Along with her husband Euan (and with a willing father-in-law roped in for practical help!) they have created a unique escape room experience with a special Linlithgow twist.
For those not familiar with the concept of an escape room, they have popped up all over Britain in the past few years. It’s a fun family, team or group activity where you’re immersed in a room and as a team you have to complete a series of puzzles based on the theme of the escape room, in order to solve a problem and get out within a time limit.
eeek! is a bespoke set of puzzles lovingly created by Ellie and Euan themselves, so if you’re an escape enthusiast and like to try them all, this will be a different experience. Being a Linlithgow family-run business, their scenario has a heritage Mary Queen of Scots theme. You’re transported to 1587, one hour before Mary’s execution, and you have to save her and change the course of history! “You don’t need to know anything about Mary, or history, to enjoy the puzzles,” explains Ellie, “but if you happen to like history too, everything in the theme is historically accurate so it adds an extra element of enjoyment.”
eeek! is a bespoke set of puzzles lovingly created by Ellie and Euan themselves
It opened in January this year. I met Ellie at the premises, a listed building on Linlithgow’s High Street. You walk straight into a “dungeon” and it’s clear it’s been a labour of love. “I was looking for something different to do; I was an Executive PA in the Chief Constable’s office, and loved it but all my salary was going in childcare. I needed a different balance.” A family trip to Massachusetts last summer provided the tipping point; a cousin runs an escape room there, and encouraged Ellie to go for it. Having always loved puzzles, and wanting to do something more family-orientated, and with her youngest about to start nursery, everything lined up. On the plane on the way home, she made the decision; and six months, a lot of puzzling, planning and building later, Eeek! opened its doors.
There is currently one escape scenario, but Ellie and Euan plan to add another one soon.
And they are not stopping there! eeek! also offers a brand new concept - “Escape Dinners” - with a range of local eateries and venues. “It’s a game played in a restaurant (or other venue) by teams who come together for food, drink and puzzles! Our game is called “The Last Bottle” and is set in the prohibition era. Your favourite boozy establishment is being closed down, and you’re competing for the last bottle of wine.
Each table has the same clues and it’s a race to win the Last Bottle!” So far, their monthly game at Du Vin Bouchers has been a sell-out, and other dates and venues are being added at Mason Belles and the Star and Garter. They have taken the game to other venues and to private homes for parties. A meal out with a difference for a special occasion, group event or corporate team building!
You need to put this on your to-do list this summer! For more information, see www.eeekescaperooms.com.
Article published in Konect July 2019
Author: Helen-Jane Shearer