Can You Solve This TikTok Puzzle and Escape the Murder House?

The "Escape the Murder House" puzzle has gone viral on TikTok. It seems easy enough, but it’s definitely harder than it looks! Think you can solve it?

Abi Travis - Author

Aug. 14 2020, Updated 6:45 p.m. ET

escape the murder house puzzle
Source: iStock/TikTok

It’s easy to watch a scary serial killer movie and think, “Eh, I could escape from the bad guy, no problem.” If you’ve ever found yourself feeling similarly cocky, then we have the puzzle for you. All you need is a pen and a piece of paper … and some serious smarts. 

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We’re talking about the “Escape the Murder House” puzzle that is currently going viral on TikTok. On its face, it looks simple enough, but we’ll admit that we spent a good chunk of time trying to solve it ourselves and, well, let’s just say we’re not quite as confident about our chances in a scary movie situation anymore.

tiktok escape the murder house puzzle
Source: TikTok
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The Escape the Murder House puzzle is going viral on TikTok.

From what we can tell, the earliest iteration of the now-viral challenge was uploaded on July 31 by TikTok user @yaicha93. They recorded the video with a voiceover explaining the simple premise of the puzzle. Here are the rules:

You start with a 4x4 grid of squares. Draw yourself in the lower right-hand corner, then draw the escape route at the top of the square in the upper left-hand corner. Write the word “killer” in every room except for the one you start in. In order to solve the puzzle, you must escape the murder house (duh). You can travel from room to room moving only in cardinal directions (i.e. not going diagonally). 

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You defeat a killer as soon as you enter one of their rooms, but you can’t reenter a killer’s room after they’ve been eliminated because those rooms are now active crime scenes (yeah, it doesn’t make a lot of real-world sense, but just roll with it). Your challenge is to defeat every single killer and make it to the escape. Sounds pretty easy, right?

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How do you solve the Escape the Murder House puzzle?

Well, this is definitely one of those puzzles that seems like it’ll be a breeze until you actually make an attempt to solve it. As @yaicha93 points out in the original video, it always seems as though you’re left with one killer who can’t be defeated without breaking the rules of the puzzle.

However, if you listen very closely to the actual rules of the puzzle, you might find the solution. The rules state that you can’t reenter a killer’s room once you’ve defeated them. However, they say nothing about the room you start the puzzle in. A few very clever TikTok users have also picked up on this rule and provided their own solution.

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In fact, @yaicha93 gives a pretty big clue when they say that they’re “always left with one more killer.” That indicates that you need to enter one room more than once, and since it can’t be a killer’s room, it has to be yours! Once you figure out this trick, the puzzle is actually pretty simple to solve.

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In fact, there are multiple solutions, all of which start with exiting your room, killing a killer, then reentering your room. Let’s also not dwell on the fact that once you’ve killed a killer, you are now a killer — that’s making things a bit too complicated.

Now that you know how to solve the puzzle, challenge your friends to solve it! And pay close attention to how they do, just in case you ever find yourself stuck in a horror movie situation with them.

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