13th Hour Escape Games – The Cookhouse [Review]

The Cookhouse is one of the best escape rooms in Northern New Jersey. Here are our recommendations for other great escape rooms around Northern New Jersey.

[At the time of this review, 13th Hour Escape Games was called Haunted Scarehouse.]

Where you’re on the menu.

Location: Wharton, NJ

Date played: September 11, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per ticket

Story & setting

The murderous Hayden family cannibalizes their victims in the The Cookhouse. We’d been caught trespassing on their property and now we had to figure out who had been killed there last in order to win our freedom… or become their next meal.

In-game: An old and disgusting blue refrigerator from the 1960s. It's chained and padlocked shut.

In The Cookhouse, the old appliances hadn’t been touched or cleaned in years. The set looked exactly the part. It was a small and uninviting, but oddly charming 1960s kitchen.


The puzzles required us to closely observe the set and connect these observations to tangible interactions.


The incredibly weird and quirky kitchen set a fantastic tone for The Cookhouse. The look and feel of the space were impressive.

In-game: An old 1960s kitchen with a disgusting blue cooking range.

There were transitions and surprises hidden within The Cookhouse that delighted us.

Two different tech-driven interactions were unexpected, fun and funny.

Haunted Scarehouse added a brilliant extra touch with their introduction and conclusion.


The Cookhouse included many locks with the same digit structure. It then relied repeatedly on a similar puzzle design for each of these locks. Thus in the beginning we had to try every solution in multiple places and by the end the gameplay felt repetitive.

One area of The Cookhouse focused on a single set piece and consequently felt under-utilized.

Should I play Haunted Scarehouse’s The Cookhouse?

The Cookhouse was an unusual interpretation of a mundane space. The aesthetics made us want to both shy away and also interact. It was strange like that.

The Cookhouse was more funny horror than actually scary, but to enjoy it, you had to be ok with a bit of gore, of the not-too-realistic variety.

If you’re new to escape rooms, The Cookhouse will show you how to observe, connect, and open. If you’re looking for more creative and complex puzzles, we recommend The Great Room.

Enter The Cookhouse for an entertaining space and the particularly fun moments within.

Book your hour with Haunted Scarehouse’s The Cookhouse, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Haunted Scarehouse comped our tickets for this game.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: