British Columbia

Ahoy, mateys! Man invites whole city to his house's pirate-themed escape room

Do you have plans this Saturday night? Josh Hoggan is inviting members of the public into his home for free to experience his pirate-themed escape room.

Josh Hoggan says it's a good way to make new friends

Josh Hoggan has transformed his home into a deserted island where pirates must search for buried treasure. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Calling all buccaneers!  

An open invitation has been sent to all of Kamloops, landlubbers and "old salts" alike, to become a pirate for a night. 

Josh Hoggan, computer programmer by day, party host by night, has turned his home into a pirate-themed locked room complete with buried treasure, a deserted island and an old map. 

"I absolutely love pirates," Hoggan told the CBC's Jenifer Norwell. 

The event is happening in Hoggan's home on Saturday Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. Hoggan is asking interested groups to message his page Adventure Kamloops on Facebook for address details. 

Tip: There are three riddles in this room that will help get buccaneers to the next room. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

How it works

As guests arrive, they will be split into teams using coloured bandanas. Groups will then be sent through the house at 10-minute intervals. The game begins with the participants being washed ashore after their ship has been scuttled. 

Pirate-themed items are scattered throughout the home and could be the location of important clues to solve puzzles and riddles. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

From there, teams complete a series of puzzles and riddles found on various piratey objects throughout each room to unlock the next room and, ultimately, complete the entire game and find the pirate's booty and the black heart skull.

Way to meet new people

This isn't the first time Hoggan has hosted public events in his home. He says he threw over 300 of them when he lived in Kelowna. 

"People always seem blown away about the fact that I open my house to complete strangers," he said. "Ninety-nine per cent of the time it's been absolutely fine."

Josh Hoggan of Kamloops, B.C., is offering an open invite for pirate-loving, escape room enthusiasts to come to his home and try his locked room. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Hoggan uses his home-based events to make new friends, and help others expand their social circles. He grew up feeling introverted and struggled to make friends.

He says when he felt he had the space and money to host events for the community, he found he liked having people around. Providing that space for others in the community to meet new friends in a safe environment became part of his passion. 

"I really have a firm philosophy that if you have the ability to host and welcome the community, you should," he said. 

Josh Hoggan has transformed his batchelor heights home into a pirates' playground. He's created a pop-up escape room and he's inviting members of the public to join him. People will have to solve a number of puzzles scattered around the house as part of Saturday's event. Daybreak's Jenifer Norwell stopped by for a preview. 5:20

With files from Jenifer Norwell

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