SCV visits the ‘Upside Down’

Adult services librarian Morgan Lazo holds a lock and a figure of Dart from "Stranger Things," props for the Newhall library's upcoming escape room. Matt Fernandez/ The Signal

Fans of the hit Netflix show “Stranger Things” will soon be able to experience the fictional town of Hawkins and the parallel world of the Upside Down for themselves, thanks to the Santa Clarita Library. 

In September, the Canyon Country, Valencia and Newhall libraries will hold “Stranger Things”-themed escape rooms. The Valencia library previously hosted “Stranger Things” escape rooms in July, but they were exclusively marketed toward teen patrons. 

“There was a lot of interest on social media, and I had a lot of parents asking me why it was only for teenagers,” said Morgan Lazo, adult services librarian at the Old Town Newhall library. “We didn’t expect there to be as much interest as there was, so right now, we’re working to make it as accessible to as many people as possible. We just wanted to try it out, and it’s been a very successful experiment so far.”

Lazo said participants can expect a lot of fun brainwork, as well as props specific to the show that help create an authentic 1980s vibe, like a presidential photo of Ronald Reagan, which schools of the era would have had.

The escape room experiences are expected to happen in half-hour blocks, depending on how fast participants solve the puzzles, with groups of six to 10 people. Based on how many people show interest and how many groups are able to do the rooms, the library is also considering setting aside more days for people to participate. 

Even though the escape room is intended for adults, the library welcomes family participation. 

“It’s not going to be a scary escape room, we’re just going for the fun part of the ‘Stranger Things’ theme,” Lazo said. “I think escape rooms are so popular because you can be competitive and try to figure out clues before other people and also you can work together. Escape rooms have such a great atmosphere and you’re not just escaping from the room, you’re escaping from mundane life for a while.”

The Valencia branch is scheduled to host its escape room on Sept. 9 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The Canyon Country library is scheduled to host its room on Sept. 12 from 4 to 6 p.m. The Newhall library will is scheduled to host its escape room on Sept. 13 from 1 to 4 p.m.

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