Review: Handmade Mysteries in Brighton

A bizarre night out with a crazy lady in red.

Last night I got all immersive with some wonderful creatures. I kissed a rabbit, stroked a skull, got down on my knees, and danced to Chris De Burgh.

lady chastity's reserveI’ve heard about escape rooms a few times over the last year but haven’t really had the chance to find out more. As I get a night out so rarely these days, the thought of being locked in a room with no bar has always put me off. After a friend recommended Handmade Mysteries at The Black Lion in Brighton I thought it was about time to find out what it was all about.

I’ve always been a massive fan of immersive theatre since I first discovered Punch Drunk at The Big Chill festival many years ago. By total accident we crawled under a fence trying to get into a back stage party and ended up in a world of totally insane make-believe. We had no idea it was actually theatre and though we’d gone through some kind of black hole to another dimension. Since then, we’ve always made a beeline for any events with immersive entertainment and had an absolute blast discovering heaps of it at BoomTown this summer.

Brighton escape roomLady Chastity’s Reserve was a fantastic night out and is a great idea if you’re looking for something different in Brighton

Without giving the game away, we spent a fair amount of the challenge looking over our shoulder or grabbing hold of each other and screaming. When you arrive, you are greeted by your peculiar host. A fine gentleman from days gone by, who guides you through some rather odd back doors to the waiting room. Here he introduces you to the story of the rather bizarre Lady Chastity.

handmade mysteries brighton reviewA series of challenges await you. My team mates, a group of mums in our 40’s, were all foxed by many of the clues. Once in the escape room you are free to do as you wish. The host is just on the other side of the door so there if when you need him. We kept him busy!

mysterious padlockI thought the game was brilliant. You can arrive early at The Black Lion pub, which is also haunted by some mystical spirits, so a great venue for this particularly spooky game.

It’s a good idea to get there at least 10 minutes before the challenge so you can enjoy your own spirits (or wine, or beer), from the bar.

Be warned: The challenges really are quite tricky, so it’s pointless going half cut, as you won’t have a clue what’s going on. It’s also quite dark in there for anyone who’s scared of the dark. They are happy for you to take drinks into the escape room but in all the excitement I put mine down and didn’t find it again until the end.

bones and skulls


We had no idea what to expect, so when our host handed us torches I wondered if we would just be stumbling around in the dark for an hour. I was right!

If I told you the story it would totally spoil the game. You really have to experience it for yourself.


lady chastity's reserveAs a kid I was a massive fan of The Adventure Game and always wanted of meeting that crazy bloke and the Gronda Gronda grumbling plant. I was fascinated by the final space walk and where the players ended up if the dreaded Vortex caught them. I always wanted to go on this show and thought I would be excellent at the challenges. Many years later I discover that I’m actually rubbish at this sort of thing!

The challenge was perfect. Although we didn’t manage to complete it in the allotted hour, we had great fun trying. Some of my team mates were slightly disappointed to hear that there was a 70% success rate and that we fell in the unfortunate 30% of losers. But it didn’t bother me. It was lots of fun trying.

Handmade Mysteries

If you’re looking for an unusual night out in Brighton, check out Handmade Mysteries. We’d love to do another challenge so can’t wait for a new game to get immersed in.

A bizarre night out with a crazy lady in red and some wild mares.

Crystal Maze on crystal meth



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