Unlock Masquerade: The original armchair treasure hunt that started in a children’s book – lives again


Intervirals Spotlight: The Unlocked Series
It was a children’s book designed to inspire the imagination of kids everywhere with its paintings and also promised an exciting real world treasure hunt for all ages – to find a real amulet buried within the geographical limits of England.

Written by Kit Williams in 1979, Masquerade was the story of how Jack Hare was delivering a treasure that the Moon had sent to her lover, the Sun. However when Jack finally reaches the Sun, he discovers he has lost the treasure and here is where the reader takes part. The reader would need to look at the paintings throughout the book and solve the clues that would hint at a particular location in England. Upon arriving at the location, the first person there would be able to dig up and unlock the buried treasure – a golden hare amulet with jewels, estimated to be worth $30,000. The treasure was sealed away in a ceramic structure as to prevent discovery by people walking over the amulet’s location with metal detectors in hand.

‘The idea was to bury something in the cold wet earth. It was the romance of it, that whatever people were doing, that jewel was waiting for them.” – Kit Williams, Daily Mail UK.

masqueradeEventually in 1982, the riddle to the puzzles in the book was solved by two teachers who then had to proceed to Ampthill Park on either the Spring equinox or Autumn equinox. A equinox occurs about twice a year and means the day is roughly split in equal – there are about twelve daylight hours and twelve night-time hours.

As instructed by the riddle, they then had to find a statue within the park and when noon struck, they had to dig into the ground where the statue’s shadow touched the ground. The two teachers started digging into the ground, didn’t discover anything and walked away. The buried treasure actually laid undiscovered in the dirt they had dug up and was found by someone else.

Fast forward to 2009, Australian Kate Mulvany contacted the author Kit Williams to discuss creating a stage adaptation of Masquerade due to her love of the book while she was only a child in hospitial undergoing treatment for cancer. He gave permission saying she could create the play but only if she added her own childhood story to it as well.

As a result, the play starts with a mother reading Masquerade to her child in hospital but Jack Hare seems to run into his own problems too, causing a collision between both worlds.

Masquerade (the stage adapation/play) runs for 120 minutes from the 7th to 8th of January 2015 (previews) and regularly from the 9th to 17th January 2015, at the Drama Theatre in the Sydney Opera House, Australia.

Masquerade: The Stage Adaptation Ticket Information –

Free Artist Talk by Kate Mulvany and other artists – 17th January 2015 –  http://www.sydneyfestival.org.au/2015/artist-talk-performance-and-the-personal

Source: Daily Mail UK – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2121867/Its-Masquerades-hare-runs-goes-public-display-time.html#ixzz3Nf7JGwao

Has anyone read Masquerade? Or has another book inspired you to go on an adventure? Leave a comment below.

– Essa


P.S. Also, a warm welcome to Escape Game France who has a list of locations where room escapes can be played in France – http://www.escapegamefrance.fr/escape-game-france/

Part of The Unlocked Series @ Intervirals.


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One thought on “Unlock Masquerade: The original armchair treasure hunt that started in a children’s book – lives again

  1. […] Spotlight: The Unlocked Series It’s been 35 years since Kit Williams wrote Masquerade, a children’s book with hidden clues that lead to a golden amulet in the shape of a hare and […]

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