Halloween Room Review - The Orphanage

31 Oct, 2023

A Chicken's Guide to Lucardo's Scariest Escape Room Experience!



Hi, I’m Madeleine, I’m a game host at Lucardo Rawtenstall, and I avoid horror at all costs. I’ll say “nope” to any scary movie suggested to me, shy away from haunted places at night-time, and even the mere thought of visiting a horror-house will probably give both me and my cat nightmares for a week.

So, this Halloween, I went to play The Orphanage at Lucardo Manchester. Yes, I know that’s their scary room. And yes, I did know it was scary before I ventured in. Honestly, I don’t know what came over me - perhaps I just got swept up in the spirit of the spooky season. Anyway, I’m here today to give you a full review of The Orphanage, all from the eyes of a complete and utter chicken. Aka me. Cluck cluck.


If you’re a fellow nervous bean wondering whether The Orphanage is the game for you, you’re in the right place. Or if, conversely, you’re a horror enthusiast curious to find out more about the hugely popular, thriller-themed game at Lucardo Manchester, you’re welcome to join us here too. Let’s go!


A Creepy Day Out

For the room, I had assembled Adam, Ellen, and Alex to join me, who you’ll no doubt know as my fellow game hosts at Lucardo Rawtenstall. These three were my trusty teammates and protectors for the day, and together we made the short trip from one Lucardo to another for the game.

Once we arrived at the Manchester site, we were thrilled to see our hosts for the morning would be our friends Sarah and Marc. These two are awesome (and sympathetic) game masters and - while their pre-game, somewhat amused assurances that I’d “be okay” didn’t fill me with the most confidence at the time - I’m definitely glad they were there to guide us through the “experience”.


What is The Orphanage?

As you’ll find from the Lucardo website, The Orphanage is clearly marked as a scary game. Themed around an abandoned Victorian establishment for girls, the game’s video trailer also makes us aware that much of that terror is coming from the room’s gothic themes. Think creepy dolls, unnerving playground games, a general sense of eeriness. While other horror-themed escape rooms may tap into gore, threat, monsters, or even axe-wielding live actors to bring the screams, I can confirm the menace in The Orphanage is much more on the psychological side. After all, what really happened within these eerie, hallowed halls?

TripAdvisor reviews of The Orphanage include phrases such as “not for the faint hearted,” “did terrify us all” and even that it “absolutely scared the daylights out of me”. Teams I’ve chatted to at Lucardo Rawtenstall have also expressed the game got their adrenaline pumping high, so I was honestly intrigued from the get-go.

Now, before I give you my review, I need to preface this with a bit of a disclaimer… for integrity’s sake. I work at Lucardo and, when you work in an escape room, you hear a lot about different games – that’s from players and colleagues. Prior to playing The Orphanage, I was vaguely aware of some of the “elements” that the game utilizes to achieve the horror-feel. In other words, I had been leaked some spoilers before the game. I don’t think this affected my experience at all – in fact I’d be lying if I said they helped me feel braver going in – but keep reading for my full and honest review regardless…


I am here, as a self-confessed chicken, confirming that I loved The Orphanage. Yes, there were many parts of the room that totally scared me – such as unexpected jumps, disturbing props, and storyline features – but I was never once tempted to reach for that “Press to Exit” button. Instead, I just cowered in the corner.

The puzzles in this room were all really fun and engaging, but it was the storyline that got me completely hooked. I found myself super intrigued to find out what had happened at the old orphanage, and loved how the narrative played out as the game went on. It was like being in a gothic thriller movie, which felt so exciting. I won’t go into any further detail than that so as not to ruin the game, but I will say one thing: if you’re looking to be scared, but still want to have that sense of fun and mystery along the way, this is definitely the room for you.

So, would I go back and experience it again? Sure! Has it made me consider taking on some of the other horror rooms I wrote about the other week? Not really. But am I proud that I did it? Of course!

And the spoilers I’d gotten? Honestly, I was still scared.

Is it For You?

But that just brings me to my next matter. If you’re also an anxious player looking to book The Orphanage, I would always encourage reaching out to the team at Lucardo Manchester to discuss it with them. Especially if you have any particular triggers, the lovely bunch there would be more than happy to chat and help you decide whether or not the game is appropriate.

My second tip? Play The Orphanage as a team of at least three. The game will hold up to six players, and I found playing as a four gave me a good enough number of teammates to hide behind experience the game with.

The End?

So, in summary, The Orphanage is a fantastic game, mixing the right amount of creepiness with intriguing puzzles, and a storyline to send shivers down your spine. Especially if you’re looking for a frightfully fun activity to play this Halloween, I’d certainly recommend you reach out to the team at Lucardo.

And, with final, special thanks again to Marcus and Sarah for being awesome hosts!

To book your next escape room adventure in Manchester or Rawtenstall, visit lucardo.com. For any queries, you can call us on 01706 551600. Be sure to also stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram, as well as the blog, for many more fun insights, news, giveaways, and more!

Written by Madeleine Lily