Five Sherlock Holmes Short Stories That Make for Perfect Escape Games

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Sherlock Holmes is the most recognisable fictional character in the world. The brainchild of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Holmes’ first story was published in 1887. There are over 56 short stories and 4 novels dedicated to the consulting detective. Sherlock Holmes has appeared in several films, series, and novels over the years.

Top 5 Escape Game-Worthy Sherlock Holmes Stories

Although several Sherlock Holmes mysteries can be turned into escape games, these are our top five picks.

The Adventure of the Speckled Band

One of the best detective stories in the Sherlock Holmes series, The Adventure of the Speckled Band has all the three elements of an interesting plot - a damsel in distress, an evil father figure, and mysterious death. The plot is best described as a “locked room mystery”, which is ideal for an escape game. Holmes and Watson must first figure out the nature of the crime and then find the perpetrator.

The Adventure of the Dancing Men

The plot follows Sherlock Holmes as he assists a man whose wife is frightened by an encrypted note that mysteriously appeared in the mailbox. The note depicts a bunch of small dancing figures. As more notes arrive via mail, Holmes must decipher the elaborate cypher and put the story together while finding the culprits. This is an excellent setting for an escape game since you don’t need too many locations to recreate the puzzle.

A Scandal in Bohemia

One of the most popular stories in the Sherlock Holmes franchise, A Scandal in Bohemia stands out for two reasons – Holmes’ elaborate disguise and the appearance of Irene Adler, who Holmes very famously described as “having a face a man might die for”. While the story has numerous great elements of social intrigue, Adler’s presence heightens the excitement. Several escape rooms in the UK have borrowed Sherlock Holmes’ stories and A Scandal in Bohemia can be added to the list.

The Hound of Baskervilles

One of the most iconic stories by Conan Doyle, The Hounds of Baskervilles finds Holmes and Watson investigating rumours about a beastly hound that is stalking the young heir to the Baskervilles fortune. The story has the right mix of mystery and supernatural elements that will surely satisfy your inner detective. The plot is perfect for creating an escape room since the various elements can easily be fit in a limited space.

The Five Orange Pips

This story revolves around a young man who has been receiving death threats from the Ku Klux Klan. What’s sinister is the way the threats were delivered, through five orange seeds. Holmes and Watson are on a quest to uncover the mystery of the five orange pips and find the people behind the ominous act. The Five Orange Pips is a gnarly plot that could be easily transformed into a hair-raising escape room puzzle.