High above the lights of Hollywood, past velvet ropes and through secret passages, the depths of the Magic Castle became home to an elusive pop-up escape room for a fleeting moment. Haunting had the honor of being locked away (and escaping!) Mysterium in a preview before its official three-night run.
A radio message, a mystery, and suddenly you are thrust almost a hundred years back in time. Set during the formative years of the Prohibition Era, when magic shows are at the height of popularity and escape artists are at war to prove who is the bravest and best, Mysterium follows the world-famous magician and escape artist of the same name set to perform his final illusion. Locked in a trunk, bound by chains, it soon becomes clear that Mysterium is the victim of sabotage, by a jealous rival out to end his career… and his life. With no way to escape, it is up to your team of show-goers to free him. Only you can save Mysterium by finding the five keys hidden throughout the theatre before he runs out of air. Art Deco details and soft lighting are a backdrop as you solve well designed puzzles while the clock ticks to the beat of the record player.
Brought to life by Creative Directors Jen Ovadia and Josh Stern, with the help of technical designer Todd Kreisman, Mysterium was a thoroughly magical experience. While escape artists (or escape room enthusiasts) will recognize the use of codes, lights, and keys, magicians will recognize materials used in the puzzles such as cards, rings, and hidden compartments. The non-linear game-play featured a wonderful blend of technical aspects and nods to the history of magic.
A grand total of 72 tickets were offered exclusively to members of The Academy of Magical Arts. Teasers were made available to members 45 days prior to the event’s opening night and tickets vanished within 38 minutes. With such high demand, it can be no surprise that there is talk of bringing another escape room to the Magic Castle in 2018, but rumors have not been confirmed. Mysterium was both cohesive and thrilling, hopefully another run is on the cards!