Escape Room coming to Southern Maryland

California, MD- Locked in a room for 60 minutes, there’s no escape unless you can find your way out. Teamwork is crucial. Problem-solving skills are a must. Thinking your way through puzzles and clues will help you execute your escape.

Escape Rooms are a new rage across the country and there will soon be one right here in Southern Maryland. Escape from the Past is slated to open this fall in California.

The idea behind Escape Rooms is to work with your teammates to find clues to help you solve a series of puzzles to make your escape before your 60 minutes is up. It’s an evening of fun for couples, friends and families or even with your co-workers for a team building exercise.

Escape from the Past will feature two rooms when it opens this fall. One room is specifically unique to Southern Maryland because it’s based on the legend of the Moll Dyer Witch. The idea behind this room is to travel back in time and locate Moll Dyer’s diary and help prove she was never a witch. The second room features the popular 80’s movie, Back to the Future. You’ll travel back in time to Doc Brown’s laboratory and you have to find your way out in an hour before Doc returns to avoid a rift in the space-time continuum.

Ruth Tonkyro and Trisha Radocaj are co-owners and long-time friends. The women started planning Southern Maryland’s first Escape Room back in December. “I went to an Escape Room in Chicago and I told her, ‘we need to do this!’” Radocaj explained. After that first visit, she was hooked. “I went to one in Indianapolis a few days later, then one in Ohio and then we visited the one in Alexandria.”

Tonkyro and Radocaj said they’re using some of those rooms for inspiration but they’re designing their own puzzles and own unique themes. Radocaj said, “The goal is to have two rooms open at one time, while a third is under construction.”

Neither women have experience running a business before, however, both of their husbands and Radocaj are engineers, so they have the talent to design the Escape Rooms. They’re also doing most of the construction on the rooms themselves. But the end goal remains the same, “We’re trying to make it so you have to work together. It’s an adventure where you don’t have to leave town or pack for a trip. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush.” Radocaj noted.

Tonkyro said the idea behind the Moll Dyer Witch was the perfect fall theme and would garner a lot of local interest. “There are so many different variations to the story so we can change it up and it has such a pull in the community.”

If you haven’t experienced an Escape Room before, Radocaj said give it a shot. “You don’t have to be a math whiz or a historian—you just have to use logic and communication.” Tonkyro said it’s a great evening out. “It’s a change from going out to dinner or going to the movies. It’s also great for birthday parties, bachelor or bachelorette parties. You don’t know how well you work with people until you do something like this.”

Eventually, the women hope to accommodate children. “We’re not going to start with that but once we really get going it’s something we’re aiming to do.” Radocaj said. Tonkyro also hopes the corporate offices and contractors take advantage of Escape from the Past for a fun team building exercise. “We’re a prime spot for corporate offices and once we get going we plan to offer package deals for businesses.”

Whether you have visited an Escape Room or have no idea what to expect, Radocaj said try it. “People are excited and happy to have something like this around here. Come have an adventure with your friends.”

Escape from the Past plans to open Sept. 30 with Doc’s Lab. The Moll Dyer room will open a few weeks later. Escape from the Past is located at 22595 Three Notch Road, above Rick’s Jewelers. Visit their website here

Contact Joy Shrum at

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