By Casey Neill
Grab a torch, keep an eye out for clues and make a great escape in Dandenong.
Jayson Lowe, 22, was in the shower when he came up with the Bradshaw family tale that guides the Time is Key escape room challenge.
With help from wife Leesa, 21, he brought the ghost story to life in an Alexander Avenue warehouse.
Two to six ‘paranormal investigators’ have 90 minutes to find their way into the locked Bradshaw Manor and work their way through a series of puzzles to solve a supernatural mystery.
“Jayson went to an escape room for his bucks night in April,” Leesa said.
“For my birthday in July, he took me to one for a surprise in Oakleigh.”
They returned the following day to complete a second room and loved it so much they decided to create their own.
“It just happened really fast from there,” she said.
“Four months after that we were open.”
That was at the end of October.
“People have been booking in advance. Every Saturday from here to March is booked,” Leesa said.
“I think the greatest thing about all this is we weren’t expecting it.
“We’re really enjoying it.”
Dandenong was close to home and “we also wanted to have one that was closer to everyone in Gippsland and the south-eastern suburbs”.
“The closest one to us is Oakleigh and all the others are in Melbourne,” she said.
Jayson and his grandfather built the room and a pulley system designed to spook.
“Jayson’s already finished the planning on our second room,” Leesa said.
“It’s going to be a creepy circus theme.
“I am planning a kid’s room.
“We haven’t really heard anything about a kid escape room before.
“They’ll more be searching for things than figuring out problems.”
Also in the pipeline is Bradshaw Manor 2, continuing the original story.
“Jayson was working at a bank as a first stage collections officer,” Leesa said.
“He just sat at a desk with a computer and he was so bored by it.
“He’d always wanted to run his own business and be his own boss.
“He loves creating things, so this was perfect for him.”
Visit www.timeiskeyescape.com for more information.