Harry Potter Library Escape


In this Harry Potter-themed escape room, the students will be challenged to solve puzzles, decipher clues, and use their magical abilities to unravel the mystery and escape the room. They are transported to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and embark on a thrilling adventure through the wizarding world.

In this story, students will help to find the lost Diadem of Ravenclaw, the final Horcrux. Set within the hidden Room of Requirements, which has taken the form of a library, students will have to use their skills and knowledge to solve puzzles and unlock clues in order to find the diadem. For added immersion, consider showing the relevant scene from the film to set the scene before beginning the escape room.


  • UV pens (very cheap on ebay)
  • Clue cards, ideally laminated. The file names include printing instructions. One set per team
  • Home made wands with UV light (see below). One per team.
  • Scrap paper and pen to take notes. A couple per team.
  • DIY Mandrake (could be replaced by a picture of a Mandrake)
  • 5 pebbles painted with runes
  • Rewards in the forms of Ferrero Rocher Snitches
  • A toy plastic tiara/diadem
  • somewhere to hide the prize, e.g a locker, lockable drawer or box

The Wands could be made in 4 levels of difficulty, from easiest to coolest:

  1. No wands, just UV keyring torches
  2. take the lid with mini torch of a UV pen like this, put tape around it and paint it.
  3. Take the mini torch out of a UV pen like this, put some wiring down the middle of a split stick, attach the switch at the bottom of the stick, put tape around it and paint it (this what we did)
  4. Same as above but using a soldering iron and glue gun. Instructions here.

The students absolutely loved the wands even though they were not very polished, so I would definitely recommend level 2 to 4. 

A magical wand with a UV light in the tip that is revealing UV writing.
UV wands


Marauder’s Map

To kick off the escape room, each team is given a wand, a folded Marauder’s Map, and a Map Story. The teams must read the story and locate the places mentioned on the map in the correct order. The map should be printed in A3 and, when shone with a UV light, reveals numbers written in the rooms. The lines and full stop under the story serve as a hint that it is a Dewey library code, such as 432.834. Using this code, the teams must find the corresponding book in the library.

Magic items

As they progress through the escape room, teams will find the Magic Items document and need to search for two magic items that are hidden in all four boxes: the wand and time turner. By adding the numbers corresponding to these items together, teams can uncover another Dewey code that leads them closer to the Lost Diadem.

A search the difference game with Harry Potter items.


At the following station, teams will find some stones with painted runes on them. They must use the Rune Alphabet sheet to translate the runes and form the word “Charms” (or “Flying” for one team). There are also numbers written in UV light on the runes that show the order, but most teams are able to solve the puzzle without this hint. Once they have deciphered the word, teams must search the shelves in the library for the one labelled “Charms” to find the next clue.

Runes linked to letters.
An example library sign with Harry Potter subjects.

Wand Movements

Players must solve the character Riddles and find the corresponding pictures for Dolores Umbridge, Remus Lupin, the Marauder’s Map, and the Pensieve. By following the arrows underneath these pictures, players can uncover the Wand Movements for the Locomotor spell. A wand movement chart and wands with UV lights complete this task. However, it may be difficult for players to spot the UV writing due to the weakness of the wands, so it may be helpful to highlight certain symbols with boxes or lines to indicate where numbers may be hidden. Some red herrings may also be placed underneath other spells to add an extra challenge.

An overview of Harry Potter spells and their wand movements.

Hedwig’s Eyes

In the next step of the escape room, players will encounter a piece of paper with numbered wing outlines and a cutout of Hedwig the owl. To solve the puzzle, they must place the owl within the wing outlines and use the numbers visible through the holes in the owl’s eyes to fill in the corresponding numbered lines at the top of the paper. For added difficulty, players must also match the colours of the wing outlines and lines to solve the puzzle.

The activity worksheet for Hedwig's eyes to find a number code.
Hedwig’s eyes

Story Cards

In the final challenge of the escape room, players will be faced with an envelope containing 7 story cards and an alphabet decoder. To solve the puzzle, they must arrange the cards in the order of the story and use the decoder to translate the symbols. This will reveal the word “Mandrake,” signalling the successful completion of the escape room. (When you print out the alphabet decoder from the final PowerPoint slide, you need cut it into four pieces for players to use during the game.)

Harry Potter story cards to be sorted in the right order.


For the final clue of our escape room, we were fortunate enough to have an art assistant create a realistic-looking paper mache Mandrake in a flower pot, where we were able to hide the clue. If you don’t have access to a Mandrake, you can simply print out a picture of one to use as a prop. The final clue was a picture of a locker with the combination needed to open it. If you don’t have a locker, you can also use a normal lock and hide a key instead. Inside the locker, players will find a plastic tiara and some Ferrero Rochers with wings attached to resemble golden Snitches from the Harry Potter series. These small touches really added to the overall immersive experience of the escape room.

A homemade model of a Mandrake plant.


Main Idea and Hogwarts Story: http://www.programminglibrarian.org/programs/harry-potter-escape-room

Magical items: https://www.pottermore.com/features/magical-objects-of-the-wizarding-world

Marauders map: http://www.britta.com/hogwarts/year6/prep/map/MapWithInstructions.pdf

Hedwig/Dobbie’s eyes: http://www.queen-of-theme-party-games.com/Harry-Potter-treasure-hunt-game.html

Story cards: Lucy Kinsley – https://lucylou.livejournal.com/596984.html#/cutid1 

Wand movements:  https://wellsaidcreations.com/products/wand-motions-guide

Magical people and riddles: