Are escape rooms scary?

Are you nervous about trying potentially scary escape rooms? We tackle your seven biggest concerns, dispelling myths about confinement, surprises, frightening decor, and more.

Are escape rooms scary?
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Do not index

Are escape rooms scary? 7 Common fears and questions

Have you ever been curious about what's behind the closed doors of an escape room but felt too jittery to step inside? It's easy to think they're all about spine-tingling scares, especially with how escape rooms are sometimes shown in movies or TV. But the truth is, these experiences come in all flavors.
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Most escape rooms don’t aim to scare players out of their wits. Sure, some escape rooms — usually those with a horror theme — aim to be spooky or even downright scary, complete with live actors to amp up the fear factor. And, yes, the thought of being in a closed space can be unnerving for some, making any escape room feel a bit claustrophobic. The majority of escape room experiences, however, are about cracking puzzles, unraveling mysteries, and diving into adventures or historical settings.
This article is here to help you pick an escape room that matches how much thrill you're looking for, by breaking down some common worries and showing you the wide range of experiences available.
Are you an escape room newbie? Check out our post: “What is an escape room.”

Why some escape rooms are so scary: Variety in themes

How scary an escape room is depends on the theme and narrative woven into each experience. Creators of these immersive puzzles have honed the craft of storytelling, turning ordinary rooms into worlds brimming with suspense, mystery, and intrigue.
Through suspenseful narratives, realistic settings, and sometimes live actor interactions, these rooms elevate the experience from a simple game to an adventure. This dedication to theme and atmosphere can cater to those seeking an adrenaline rush as much as to those looking for a challenging puzzle.
On the other hand, some rooms are intentionally designed to dial up the scare factor, often drawing heavy inspiration from horror movies and psychological thrillers. Crafted to envelop players in an atmosphere of tension and fear, these escape rooms utilize dark plots, eerie settings, and the occasional supernatural element.
The goal isn't just to challenge players with puzzles but to provide a heart-pounding experience that tests their nerves as much as their intellect. This variety in themes and experiences makes escape rooms a versatile activity, appealing to thrill-seekers and puzzle lovers alike.

Are all escape rooms scary? Addressing common fears

Diving into an escape room can be a mix of excitement and anticipation, especially for those new to the experience. Are all escape rooms designed to scare you out of your wits, or is there more variety to them than meets the eye? Let's address some common fears.

Fear 1: Unexpected jump scares

One of the primary reasons escape rooms can be intimidating is the fear of jump scares. While some horror-themed rooms might employ this tactic for a sudden adrenaline rush, it's not a standard across all escape rooms. Many experiences focus more on puzzle-solving and team collaboration rather than startling players.

Fear 2: Being locked in

The thought of being physically locked in a room can be daunting, however, escape rooms always feature emergency exits for safety and comfort. Players can leave the room anytime they need to.

Fear 3: Claustrophobia

The fear of feeling trapped in a small space is common. Escape rooms vary in size and design, with many offering spacious environments to explore. If claustrophobia is a concern, inquire about the room's layout and size before booking. Want to know more? Read up in our guide to escape rooms and claustrophobia.
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Fear 4: Fear of failure

Some people fear the embarrassment of not being able to solve the puzzles. But, escape rooms are supposed to be challenging yet fun, and there's no shame in asking for clues. The goal is to foster teamwork and enjoy the experience, regardless of whether you "escape."
Curious how you can best an escape room? We’ve got you covered in “How to win an escape room.”

Fear 5: Dark and creepy settings

Not all escape rooms are dimly lit or have a creepy ambiance. Many are brightly lit and themed around adventure, mystery, or historical settings, providing an engaging experience without the scare factor.

Fear 6: Paranormal themes

While some rooms feature ghosts or supernatural elements, plenty of other themes are available. From detective stories to science fiction, the variety ensures something for everyone.

Fear 7: Intense scenarios

The idea of being in a high-pressure scenario can be off-putting. It's important to remember that escape rooms are controlled environments. The intensity of the scenario balances with the knowledge that it's all a game, allowing you to immerse yourself in the experience at your comfort level.
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Choose the right escape room for your comfort level

When picking an escape room, consider the theme, difficulty level, and any specific fears you might have. Don't hesitate to contact the venue beforehand to ask questions about the experience. Whether you're looking for a lighthearted adventure or a thrilling challenge, there's an escape room that's right for you.
Are you feeling inspired to conquer your fears and dive into an adventure?
Morty is here to guide you through the world of escape rooms. Whether you're a first-timer seeking a non-scary experience or a thrill-seeker on the hunt for your next adrenaline rush, Morty offers an extensive selection of escape rooms tailored to every comfort level and interest. Simplify your search, compare themes, read community notes, and book your next escape room adventure with Morty.


Are escape rooms really scary?
Not all escape rooms are scary. The level of scariness depends on the theme of the room. Many focus on puzzles and adventures rather than instilling fear.
Do escape rooms have jump scares?
While some horror-themed escape rooms might include jump scares, not every escape room will have them. Many rooms feature puzzles and atmosphere rather than startling effects.
Are escape rooms bad for people with anxiety?
Escape rooms can vary in intensity. If you have anxiety, consider starting with a less intense theme and communicating any concerns with the staff. Many find the puzzle-solving aspect enjoyable and anxiety-reducing.
How do you survive a scary escape room?
Staying calm, working as a team, and remembering it's all a game can help you manage fear. Use hints if you're stuck, and remember, you can always exit the room if you feel too uncomfortable.

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Co-founder of Morty, super app developer.

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