Thinking of joining The Mad Fox Society? Your initiation will involve puzzles, cryptic clues and only a 15% success rate! Secret societies like this might sound made up, but here are four real-life organizations with an equally interesting story:
The Knights Templar
Re-popularised in the public imagination by the Da Vinci Code, The Knights Templar were formed in the 12th century by nine knights who vowed to protect pilgrims from danger on their travels, as shown in the imagery of their seal above. Much mythology surrounds the history of the Order, but one of the most pervasive beliefs is that they once owned The Holy Grail. Do you think it could be true?
Skull and Bones
Not really all that secret, but nonetheless exclusive, The Skull and Bones society branched off from other debating clubs at Yale University in 1832. Interestingly, ‘Bonesmen’ were given nicknames like ‘Long Devil’ or ‘Thor’ and documents suggest they measures dates from 322 BC and have their own official time which is set 5 minutes ahead of other clocks.
The Grand Orange Lodge
Established in the 19th century, this organization was essentially aimed to protect Protestants against religious persecution and was known for its use of ‘secret signs’ and ‘pass-words’. Its unusual name comes from its founder – Prince William III from the House of Orange who was of Dutch decent, although the Lodge itself was based in Ireland. Wider impacts of the family name have been the breeding of carrots from their natural purple colour (now popular again as ‘heritage carrots’) and the fact that Holland’s soccer team still plays in orange uniforms today.
The Order of Odd Fellows
This, quite frankly, amazingly named society was actually set up as a way to avoid the complicated initiation process of joining the Freemasons. Officially founded by King George IV of England in 1812, the society claims to trace its origins back to 1066. Quite how old it really could be is debatable, but it’s fair to say this altruistic society of friends has stood the test of time – at one point it held Winston Churchill as a member and in fact it still exists to this day!
Sign up for our Real Escape Game, to try and join Toronto’s Mad Fox Society, and be prepared to ‘outfox the fox’ if you want to be part of this most exclusive of clubs!
Image credit: Seal of the Templars by Thomas Andrew Archer and Charles Lethbridge Kingsford – find out more on Wikipedia