by Chené Koscielny

It is the year 1652 in Geneva. You (and your fellow apprentices) work for Michée Chauderon, a natural healer who is about to be burnt alive on the Plaine of Plain Palais after being accused of witchcraft.

You have exactly 60 minutes to prove her innocence and save her from a torturous death.

For the next hour, you will have to use your imagination, creativity, common sense and logic working together to find clues, open locks, decipher codes, solve magic puzzles, find hidden doors and overcome obstacles to find the evidence that will prove the innocence of your employer. Can you do it?


THE SETTING: Academy of Magic and the Elemental Stones

The true story of the last woman to be executed for witchcraft in Geneva is the dramatic setting for Academy of Magic and the Elemental Stones, one of the escape rooms at Escape in Time, located in the rue de la Cité, in the heart of the old town.

The historical backdrop is combined with the latest technology to create a fascinating high tech experience. The 8th escape room on the Genevan escape room circuit, but one of only two featuring the latest technology.

The 800-square metre room is equipped with electronic sensors and guests are given magic wands – á la Harry Potter style to activate technical clues in addition to the more traditional puzzles, locks and traps, to help find the elemental stones, which will save Michée from a certain, slow death.



Our team of six intrepid apprentices are warmly welcomed by Australian-born owner and entrepreneur, Vesna le Roux, who also owns the Swiss Nail Spa in town.

A serial escape room player, Vesna decided to open her own after gaining experience around the world. She came up with the concept for the room herself and employed puzzle masters and technicians to help her create a unique experience. The mother of two boys, aged 8 and 10, loves the flexibility of her new role as escape room animator and her boys think she’s the coolest mum ever!

She makes us feel immediately at ease offering us a drink from the bar at the entrance.

After patiently explaining the rules to us, she guides us to the entrance of what for half of us is our very first escape room experience.

We are handed our magic wands and a few lanterns, which we are warned will not last very long and have to be used wisely…



OK, so as I mentioned, many of us are quite new to this and it takes us way too long to solve the first puzzle, which actually allows entry into the room! (Apparently this is quite unusual…) My advice to you is to “Think outside the box!”



Once inside the room it’s hard not to be impressed by the magnificent props and backdrop created by the same artist responsible for the scenery at the Grand Theatre de Geneve. With sound effects including the horrific screams of poor Michée Chauderon being tortured at the staple, this creates a terrifyingly realistic atmosphere.



Adrenalin pumping we set off frantically opening drawers, turning locks, trying to decipher codes and waving our magic wands. Working together, we rely on the younger members of our team to focus on the high tech clues and the small print (some of us left our reading glasses at home!) while the rest of us scour every corner of the room, turning over, shaking and inspecting everything we can lay our hands on.

Slowly and with not an insignificant amount of help from Vesna, who watches the action through hidden cameras and intervenes when needed, we manage to solve one clue after the next until we finally find the last stone just in time!

Although Vesna is very diplomatic, I’m sure we were quite rubbish, but that doesn’t detract anything from our enjoyment. We had loads of fun!


DIFFICULTY: I must admit, I did fee relieved upon learning that the room had been rated 4 out of 5 for difficulty on Tripadvisor by experienced escape roomers. Maybe we were not so bad after all!

AGE: The room is designed for players aged 15 and older or 10 (accompanied with adults).

ADDITIONAL ROOMS: Vesna is also working on adding a room aimed at children, Jumanji, and a second room for adults based on the theme of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho! We can’t wait!



ADDRESS: 9 Rue de la Cité 1204 Genève.

COST: CHF150 for a maximum of 6 people.

LANGUAGE: English or French.

AGE: 15 and older or 10 (when accompanied by adults), although my 9-year-old would have been terrified!).

OPENING HOURS: 10am–10pm, Monday-Sunday.











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