Escape St. Alban’s returns for another season of mystery and fun

An exterior shot of St. Alban's. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Those that know local history are well aware the largest bank heist in Canada to that date happened in Bath.

It was the year 1945 when the quiet village of 300 was targeted by a gang of professional thieves.

In the spirit of that historic events, Adolphustown’s St. Alban’s Centre created its own escape room, housed inside the historic church. After a successful debut, Escape St. Alban’s is back for another summer of mystery and mayhem.

The size of the haul back in ’45 must have surprised the four unlucky crooks, as they made off with $351,000 in cash and negotiable bonds and securities (equivalent to over $5 million today according to the Kingston Whig-Standard). They were caught. Time was served by some of gang, one died behind bars and another died of gunshot wounds and was found in a Mississippi ditch. It’s still not clear if all the money and market paper was ever recovered. The Royal Bank Branch in Bath – still there, but in a new building west across the street – hasn’t been robbed since.

“The speculation remains on why all the funds weren’t recovered, and what might have happened in the aftermath before OPP cruisers swarmed Bath. That uncertainty has inspired our Escape St. Alban’s game decades later,” says Escape overseer Sharon Miller.

Human scale Escape Games are a growing phenomenon over the past decade, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic when people mostly stayed home.  They are a modern take on ‘Clue’ and other mystery games, but without the dice, board, or murder by pipe wrench. Instead, players follow planted clues and try to connect the dots to solve the mystery and recover the ‘missing’ money and negotiable securities. The proceeds from running Escape St. Alban’s game sessions have helped pay for needed renovations to the 144-year-old limestone church.

“Our first seasons have been very popular,” says Miller.  “And we know the real-life adventure appetite is still there, so we expect another busy summer of sleuthing, with or without Sherlock Holmes regalia. Those interested can book their date and time slot directly on our website at ”

The church is located at 10419 Loyalist Parkway.

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