For a few days preceding Halloween, a “haunted asylum” was set up inside the SM mall here in Bacolod. My lovely cousin tricked me into agreeing to go, by telling me it was just a room escape game, and only revealed the truth as we were leaving to get there.

I was nervous in the taxi ride over but once we arrived I saw that there were children who looked as young as 5 in the queue for the attraction, which meant either very lax parents, or it wasn’t going to be that scary. Turns out it was probably a combination of both. 

Before getting inside we were split into groups of about 12 and told to stay in line and listen to our guide’s instructions. We entered a corridor with “patients” staring menacingly at us, jumping up and down on hospital beds, and one girl with white contact lenses (pretty creepy) screaming “I smell fear!” at us and making hissing noises. Good start, but unfortunately it was pretty much the same in every room we entered, and the light was just a little too bright, which meant that no one really “jumped out” at you because you could see them all from metres away. There were more people in dirty white gowns shuffling around, and a lot of shouting… It possibly would have been more frightening if I could have understood what they were saying, but, not speaking Filipino, I had to keep leaning over and whispering to my cousin “What did he say??”, to be told something like ” He said he’s going to eat you.” which seemed far less intimidating after the delay in translation. 

The best part was kept for last, where we had to make our way down one final corridor, lined with spooky characters, with strobe lights flashing, making it quite disorientating. When the guide started to act more agigated and finally yelled “RUN!” the two teenage boys at the back of our group got so frightened they pushed their way past all of us to get to the exit first. 

We all left laughing and it was something different to do but for the price and the fact it only lasted about 10 minutes I’d say it was a little underwhelming. Afterwards we went to play laser quest, which, even though we got thoroughly trashed by the other team, I enjoyed far more.

Turns out there is actually an escape room game at SM, so I’ll try to get there before I leave too šŸ™‚


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