Mystery room opens at Historic Jefferson College for local armchair detectives

Published 9:50 am Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NATCHEZ — Inside Historic Jefferson College a mystery waits to be solved by you and up to seven stalwart sleuths.

Joining one of the nation’s hottest trends in entertainment, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History property has created a mystery room filled with challenging puzzles and brain teasers.

Similar to other escape rooms opening throughout the nation, the mystery room in one of Jefferson College’s historic buildings lets participants use their problem-solving and observation skills to determine who killed Major Holbrook.

Email newsletter signup

“You have to hunt for clues that are hidden, take observations, solve puzzles and unlock a series of locked boxes and cabinets until you finally come to the answer,” HJC Site Director Robin Person said.

Inspired by the popularity of other mystery rooms created at the Manship House, a MDAH property in Jackson, Person designed and created the room loosely based on historic characters at the college.

One of two people buried in the college’s cemetery, Major Holbrook came to Jefferson College in the 1800s and later died mysteriously.

“We have tried to weave in as much accurate history as we could,” Person said. “Major Holbrook was a real character from Jefferson College and we refer to real events that occurred, although not necessarily at the same time.”

Would-be sleuths follow the story line by discovering journal entries from Major Holbrook’s diary.

Although the scenario involves some historical events, the fun is in working together as a team to solve the puzzle.

“It challenges you,” Robin said. “ It is fun to play detective.”

Person said the mystery room is a good team-building exercise for small groups.

The mystery room can accommodate from three to eight participants and must be reserved in advance.

The cost to participate is $10 per participant, Person said.

The room, which is available through April 28, can be reserved  at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Other times can be arranged by appointment, Person said.

For more information or reservations call 601-442-2901 or email

The goal is to solve the puzzle in under an hour, although groups who have tried to solve the mystery have yet to meet the goal, Person said.

“Everybody who has tried it has has loved it,” Person said. “It is something new and exciting. Natchez has nothing like this.”