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Mysteries abound at Escape Oshkosh

OSHKOSH – What do carnivals, mafia bosses and conspiracy theories have in common?

They’ll all vex guests of Escape Oshkosh, a new downtown business where customers are locked in a room and must solve a mystery in under an hour to get out. Oshkosh’s location is modeled after similar operations across the state, in Green Bay, Appleton and elsewhere.

It’s the project of co-owners Britney Racine and Sam Zamesnik, who took the idea from a friend’s escape room in their native Marquette, Mich. Their project features three rooms to escape from: one where your group must solve the strange disappearance of a conspiracy researcher, another set in a surreal carnival and a third in a prohibition-era speakeasy. Rooms are available for groups of two to eight people. Already, bridal showers and corporate groups have booked appointments at Escape Oshkosh, Racine said.

Each room is an elaborate world with clues scattered throughout. Solving puzzles leads to more clues, which can spring your group free of the room. Racine said they’ve tried to tell a story through their puzzles, which demand an array of skills to solve. Its carnival room, for instance, requires visitors to complete skill-based games in addition to cracking more cerebral problems.

Racine and Zamesnik have made plenty of headway in the short time they’ve been remodeling their storefront, at 146 Algoma Blvd., suite C. They’ve repainted walls and built out these rooms with carnival lights, dusty bookshelves and old newspapers to immerse guests in the experience.

The business is shooting for opening day at the end of May for its conspiracy and carnival rooms, and plans to open the mafia room later. They plan to be open by-appointment during the week, and for walk-in guests on weekends.

Reach Nate Beck at 920-858-9657 or nbeck@gannett.com; on Twitter: @NateBeck9

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