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Ol' Hige! Riva Mumma! Escape from duppies this Halloween at Puzzle It

Published:Thursday | October 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMKimberley Small/Gleaner Writer
A scene from Ward 21.

This Halloween, Jamaicans can get in on the spooky Hallmark and candy fun from the Puzzle IT Escape Game. From October 26 to 31, self-stylised sleuths and those with an adventurous streak can test their logic with the Puzzle IT Escape Game - the Duppy Story Haunted House Edition.

Established in Jamaica two years ago, Puzzle IT was the first of its kind in the Caribbean. They now have two escapes rooms in Trinidad and Tobago, and one in the Cayman Islands. The concept - a team of persons are locked in a themed room speckled with clues on how to 'escape' in a specified amount of time.

"People are usually sceptical - but when they try it, everyone gets excited," general manager Kezia Ramsay told The Gleaner. Despite the initial scepticism, Ramsay believes the business is growing from strength to strength.


Ol' Hige & Riva Mumma


Last Halloween, Puzzle IT hosted their first Duppy Story. Maintaining their commitment to model their activities from local culture, Duppy Story was based on Rolling Calf and Annie Palmer folklore.

This year will feature the terrors of Ol' Hige (known as Sukuyan in Trinidad) and Riva Mumma, along with another uninvited but still special guest.

In addition to checking out the Halloween installations, those who have already 'escaped' can return for another adventure. Ramsay told The Gleaner that Framed has been redone and is now called Framed 2.0.

"We periodically change the rooms. When we're finished with Duppy Story, we're gonna redo Rum Hangover. After Christmas, we'll most likely redo Ward 21," she explained.


Team Building


"Apart from families coming, we have a lot of corporate clients," she said. "We offer a different type of team-building activity - rather than sit in a room and someone comes in to speak - people are looking for more engaging alternatives," she added.

Puzzle It currently operates three spaces, all of which are modelled by local cultural cues. The most difficult room is Ward 21, modelled from the ward for persons with mental-health issues at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus. Persons have one hour to escape from this room.

The second is the Rum Hangover Room. Though they tie in local alcoholic beverage brands, there is no actual alcohol involved to solve this room puzzle. This final room is called Framed, and runs for half an hour.