Venue Review: Satan's Grotto
Satan’s Grotto. Nope, that is NOT a spelling mistake! You read that right: this is no ordinary grotto. And this is definitely not a grotto to take the kids to sit on Santa’s lap!
XScream events has, once again, invented an incredible, scary experience. However, if you visited their Halloween Horror Maze and think it’s similar, you’re in for a surprise. They’ve completely transformed the tunnels under Five Guys in the centre of Croydon into Satan’s Grotto; a wintry, Christmassy series of escape rooms with live actors to add to the experience.
Check Out Croydon took 6 sixth-form students to try out Satan’s grotto, to see if they could unlock the codes, save Santa and escape in under 60 minutes.
Fuelling ourselves with Five Guys fast food, we arrived at our allocated time. The black doors (to the left of Five Guys) lead into an industrial looking corridor, with graffiti-ed walls. As you descend down the stairs, the ominous feeling begins. Fortunately, a friendly face is there to tell the group the guidelines for the game; and health and safety etc.
Entering the first room felt a bit like going through the wardrobe into Narnia. Except perhaps a little scarier. We immediately started looking to crack the code, conscious that we were against the clock (our team leader was put in charge of carrying the timer).
Now, to tell you any of the secrets would be to ruin the surprise. Suffice to say that the acting was so authentic and the tension so great that I think we all took turns to scream. At one point, I was so scared that I discovered an agility to move backwards out of a tunnel that I never knew I had.
The final room was the climatic point of the experience. It had us all frantically trying to crack the code to save Santa and escape. ‘Team work makes the dream work’ and, thankfully, we did finally manage to get out. Our hearts were racing and we were totally s**t scared but it was brilliant and we all agreed that it was a lot of fun.
Well done, XScream Events on bringing a totally unique and different Christmas event to Croydon!