Washington attraction offers problem solving, family fun

Published 9:23 pm Sunday, September 18, 2016

Last-century typewriters, dusty bookshelves, revealing black lights and top-secret locked chests.

Washington residents can now step into this scene of a thriller with Washington Bookstore’s new “escape room,” a puzzle-based, real-life, teamwork-based search for clues.

Participants delve into an Indiana Jones-esque setting in the back of the bookstore, uncovering clues and discovering hints to take them to the next ones. The goal is to find the key to open a small door and discover what’s inside.


JUST LIKE INDY: The escape room in the back of Washington Bookstore gives off an eerie, old-timey vibe. Barnes said he was inspired by the Indiana Jones movies.

“A lot of people still don’t know about it,” manager Tim Barnes said. “It’s kind of just a work in progress right now.”

While the escape room is usually geared toward families, Barnes said he’s seen it appeal to children and adults alike.

He and business owner Ronald Lundy opened another escape room in Greenville earlier this year, and the two are hoping to translate the interest in that location to the smaller Washington location.

“You never really know what to expect,” Barnes said.

Barnes said he thinks the escape room will give residents another option for something to do in the downtown area, as the small-town atmosphere can be a little quiet for some.

“It’s fun,” he said. “It’s something different and definitely worth trying.”

As for the near future, Barnes said he and Lundy plan to continue working to get the word out to residents about the escape room. If the attraction’s success grows, the long-term plan would be to turn one room into a full space, much like one of the stores downtown, Barnes said.

He said he would like to see the room turn into a movie theater-type setup, with different themes in each of the multiple rooms.

“The vision would be to eventually grab a storefront,” Barnes said. “We would like to have that as an attraction in the downtown area.”

For more information about the escape room, visit Washington Bookstore, 221 W. Main St., Washington, or call 252-515-2226.

TOP SECRET: Participants of the escape room must utilize their problem-solving skills to uncover a series of clues.