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Upper Deck offers escape room in Norwich

If you're looking for a place for some escape, you don't have much time left before Kristari's Study Escape Room is locked up forever.

The Norwich Upper Deck has been offering the escape room activity at its Stover Street location as a fundraiser and as of last week, only two teams had been able to successfully solve their way through puzzles that would allow them to unlock the “treasure,” said Upper Deck Norwich satellite director Jacqueline Armstrong.

The time limit on the escape room is 45 minutes. The clues and puzzles that must be solved in order for teams to advance through the room were planned a committee at the centre.

It took a couple weeks of work for planning the clues and puzzles and the actual building of it,” said Armstrong. “My husband Jason Armstrong is the brains and brawn behind it. Myself, our children and some students along with some committee members helped along the way.”

The story behind the escape room states that in 1961, the famously reclusive private investigator and confidante to Nikola Tesla, Kristari VanDelay passed away at the age of 91. He left behind no heir to his presumed massive fortune. He did issue a challenge, however.

Once a year a group of carefully vetted candidates could approach the study deep within his mansion and attempt to gain entry. Once they stood on the welcome mat, they would have one hour before a special lock, that can only be reset by a mechanical timer, would seal off the “treasure” for one year. For good measure, the room becomes electrified when the time resets to ensure no hangers-around.

For 56 years, groups have come and gone at the invitation of Kristari's mysterious executor, failing to solve the riddles of Kristari's study in time. A few have even perished in a attempt to buy a few extra minutes to sort through the clues in the bizarre room.

Will 2017 be the year Mr. VanDelay's fortune is finally claimed? Does it even truly exist?

The escape room is open July 10 through 14 and 17 through 21 from 4 to 9 p.m. and July 15 and 22 from 2 to 9 p.m.

Children 10 and under must be accompanied by an adult. The minimum group size is two and the maximum is six, with a charge of $15 per person. To book a time to attempt the escape room, call 519-240-6880.