Why do we love being scared or creeped out? There’s something about horror movies that causes us to suspend our disbelief and be thrown into a bizarre world that would be truly terrifying if it were real. Scary escape rooms allow us to immerse ourselves in those bizarre and terrifying environments.

Here’s what we looked for in our ratings:

Atmosphere: Is it the lighting appropriate? Is there ambient audio that makes you want to look around? Are there other effects like smoke, dripping liquids, moving shadows, or animatronics?

Story: Is there a good reason for us to be there? Is there a better reason for us to not be there? It should make sense in both cases and the staff member should sell us on it before entering.

Actors: Though not 100% necessary, it certainly helps to not know when a figure will approach from the shadows, appear in a window, or bang on a door.

In no particular order, here are our top scary escape rooms in Ontario:

New Haven Orphanage (Burlington)

Confundrum earned themselves two spots in this lists because of their use of live actors who seem specially trained at sneaking up on you. Combine that with a dark room, flashlights, and stories about missing orphans and you have yourself the perfect recipe for a scare.

Twisted Wood – Confundrum (Burlington)

As mentioned above, Confundrum seems to recruit the sneakiest of staff who will be behind you before you realize it. This darker space combines children, arson, and live actors to create an experience that will have you looking over your shoulder repeatedly.

“Lost and Found” at Perplexity (Mississauga)

Although live actors don’t enter the room, they are involved in personalizing this dark story just for you. Missing kids, creepy stuffed animals, and a call from beyond the grave will lead you to uncover a dark story you won’t forget.

“The Lab” at Khronos Gauntlet (Guelph)

Time is running out. The infected have escaped and your gas-powered generator won’t last the hour. As time goes by in this abandoned research space, the lights begin to dim and it sounds like they’re closing in around you. Maybe they are.

Review of “Taken” – KW Escape (Kitchener)

The immersion for Taken begins as soon as you enter the facility. A mad man is on the loose and if he finds you, you’ll find yourself handcuffed in his dark lab. KW does a great job of having a scary character interact with you. You know he won’t really murder you and so he finds other ways to interact with you that could set you back. We loved their approach to a masked murderer.

Let's Play A Game

“Let’s Play A Game” at Alcatraz (Hamilton)

Enter the world of a mad man. The dim lighting and plastic sheeting hide what’s between spaces. Is it a rack of tools for exploring the human body? Or is it the mad man waiting for his next victim? Alcatraz integrates deep thought into their puzzles so bring your brain and nerves of steel.