New Kirksville business looks to keep you trapped indoors

Kirksville welcomes it's newest business to the square, the Kirksville Escape Room. (KTVO: Riley Fannon)

Being locked in a room and given only 60 minutes to find your way out sounds like a scene out of a horror movie.

But over the last few years this "escape room" theme has been sweeping the country. The Heartland recently welcomed it's first escape room to the area.

The Kirksville Escape Room, owned and operated by Aaron and Stephanie Hollenbeck, opened on July 1 and looks to bring that same fun to the area.

It is located on the square in downtown Kirksville, but the Hollenbecks hope they can help boost the economy for the Kirksville area.

"My husband, he's really wanted to start his own business, and I really wanted to make a positive impact on the community," Stephanie said.

The Hollenbecks had the idea to bring the escape room to the area after they participated in other escape rooms in Columbia and Kansas City.

"We really enjoy doing escape rooms elsewhere and we realized that we were taking our business elsewhere," the Hollenbecks said."

The Kirksville Escape Room currently has one room in operation. It is a Victorian era room called "Mrs. Pearl's Parlor".

The inspiration for this room came from game designers based out of Canada but many of the items you'll interact with come from very local vendors, like My Favorite Memories.

They have their own "theme curator". Sal Costa has been keen in finding the right materials for the rooms.

"Something that you know is dated, you want to try and get as much dated stuff in there, that's the real thing. You can deal with a lot of reproductions but they don't have the feel, they don't have the wear on them and that's what you kind of look for," Costa said"

Once you and your group enter the room you are given 60 minutes to find all the clues and solve the puzzles in the parlor. It won't be a walk in the park as a few of those puzzles won't exactly help you escape but will lead to a second puzzle and so on.

If you do manage to escape, you will be forever remembered on the winners wall.

Now if "Mrs. Pearl's Parlor" doesn't sound like the fun room, you won't have to wait long as their second room is opening next month.

"So our second room, we're just announcing it today, is going to be "The Study" and there will be more info coming soon but it's going to have some ancient Egyptian feel to it. We're going to have some relics and reproductions in there. It should be a really exciting room," said Stephanie."

Plans for a third room as well as a room for younger children are in the works but no timetable has been given for those.

The Hollenbecks invite all challengers to take on "Mrs. Pearl's Parlor" and if you'd like to sign a group up for a try you can find the link, here.

They have also left contact information for anyone interested in learning more. You can email them at,

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