Andrew McJannett-Smith is standing in the middle of a room with a corpse on a table and a bucketful of amputated limbs. "My wife is the one who comes up with all this," he said, gesturing to a body bag. "She is the genius."
McJannett-Smith and his wife, Traci, created Escape Expert in Dallas, a warren of six rooms with themes ranging from a haunted house to "The Matrix." Inside each room, people pay about $28 each to spend one hour trying to solve clues, figure out puzzles, open locks and finally escape. It's the largest escape business in Dallas, and it's also the most difficult to conquer. The success rate is less than 50 percent. "It's fun, and it's great team building."
For the McJannett-Smiths, it all started with Taylor Swift.
"My daughter's a Taylor Swift fan, and she told me, 'Dad, I want to go to Nashville,'" said Andrew. So the family went to Nashville. While they were there, Traci looked for something fun to do. She booked the family into a local escape room. "We had a fantastic time," Andrew said. "We didn't escape, but my wife had a great time, I had a great time, my kids had a great time."