Can you escape Hogwarts?


Animals, wands and spell books lay scattered around the escape room for people to search through. Photo by: Lindsey Eaton

Kara Toay

Spells are waiting to be cast as pictures of Hogwarts and members of the wizarding community, such as Victor Krum, line the walls, and books and potions fill the bookcase of a Hogwarts professor’s office. Witches, wizards and muggles will see these magical objects as they search for clues to escape the room.

A “Harry Potter and the Library Escape Room” event will be held on April 21 and 22 in room 223 of the NMU Olson Library, hosted by the student group Friends of the Library.

It costs $1 to attend, and attendees receive a commemorative button whether they escape or not, said Tiffany Stachnik, Friends of the Library vice president and senior German studies major.

The event is open to groups of five people, and groups of less than five will be combined. They will have 30 minutes to look under or around objects for clues that will allow them to escape the room. Objects will either be able to be picked up or they will be fixed in place, Stachnik said. The 30-minute time slots for the event will be from noon to 6p.m. on April 21 and from 7p.m.on April 22.

“The premise of the escape room is you just look for something weird or out of place or anything that could have a clue on it and proceed from there,” Stachnik said.

The group went with a Harry Potter theme because the escape room is being held in the library and the Harry Potter series is popular, Friends of the Library President and junior history major Tori Zremski said.

“Who can resist a Harry Potter escape room?” Zremski said with a laugh.
The group wasn’t focusing as much on the plots of the novels, but chose to set the scene of a professor’s office for an overall theme of the series, Zremski said.

“There are a lot of things in there that you would maybe find in a potion or Hogwarts professor’s office. There’s books, and potions and pictures of Hogwarts.

There’s an owl with real feathers,” Zremski said, adding that knowledge of the books is not necessary to participate. The group wanted to hold an event that people could do while studying for finals, Stachnik said.

“We just wanted to hold a stress relief event that people could enjoy and wouldn’t cost too much,” Stachnik said. “If I wasn’t running it, and we weren’t in charge of it, I would be doing it,” Zremski added.

The proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the Friends of the Library, which is a student organization on campus that is designed to promote library resources and help students have a good relationship with the library. The group promotes the use of MelCat, which allows students and community card holders to order books from any participating library in Michigan and use the circulation desk to help find books and other resources, Zremski said.

“[We] want to see the library grow and expand in the NMU community so that people feel safe and comfortable in the library,” Zremski said.

For more information about the escape room or to sign up, visit