People Share Stories of Discovering Passageways And Rooms That They Had No Idea Were There.
People on Reddit were asked: "Was there ever a 'secret passageway' or 'secret room' at your home, school or workplace? Did you ever find it? If so, what was there?" These are some of the best answers.
Sadly it was a school lease, I took the place but had to sublet it to a friend for the summer cause I was going home. So I literally "took possession" and then handed the keys over to him.
So I finally move in months later and I ask him about the door, and he says, "oh me and the girlfriend call it the bathroom door, the guy was right you don't want to open it." So WTF, of course I open it. Almost immediately after he's gone. Turns out they called it the "Bat Room" not the "Bathroom" door.
Door couldn't be open for more than 10 seconds when bats come flying out of the door. Only 3 or 4 but even one bat is [nuts]. Turns out he had opened it and had way more than that when he did, and had to get professionals to remove them and clean up the damage and didn't want to tell me (or me tell the landlord). So at least he had the number of the guys who did the removal handy. They asked me "if we will ever learn."
2. My high school had a vast network of tunnels starting under the stage. Found a sex couch, 2 bongs, 40 years worth of set pieces and the original plans for a highway [that] cuts through my town.
3. I was a maintenance guy/custodian for a highschool, and my shift started about an hour before school let out and ended around 11:30 at night. I couldn't clean anything while students were in my areas, so I would go to the storage closet, and climb up the ladder to ventilation room. It was the area you needed to go to replace air filters. The room itself used to be for team meetings for basketball games before renovations, so it was huge. Also near the IT room, so it had wifi.
Best part was that someone had pulled up a chair from the auditorium and put it in a space around the corner, so I would go up there for an hour if I had nothing to do, chill in a comfy chair and browse reddit. Got even better when I found a good tennis ball, would play wall ball in this giant cement room.
4. My grandparents had a built in bookshelf that could be pulled out of the wall to reveal a small space (about enough to fit 3 skinny people in). I never knew about it until a game of adult hide and seek and my uncle hid there, and my grandfather scolded him for revealing it.
5. The closest thing I've ever had to a "secret room" was the tornado shelter in my last house.
When my wife and I moved in, we went into the garage and discovered a trap door on the floor. The door lead down to an underground tornado shelter. There were no lights. The stairs creaked horribly, the air was thick with dust, and the echoes sounded like something was walking towards you. To make things even worse, you had to go down the stars backward, so you couldn't see whatever evil monster was waiting for you in the dark.
I told my wife "That tornado shelter is scarier than a tornado. I'm never going down there."
But later, we actually had a tornado warning. We grabbed flashlights and sleeping bags and rushed down there. It turned out, once you walked around the corner, the super creepy tornado shelter was bright pink and covered in lady bug stickers. Apparently the last owner's little girl used it as a play room.
6. There was a tile in our kitchen that you could lift up and there was a hole down to the laundry room in the basement. We usually just used it to talk to anyone that was down there, or a laundry chute if we were too lazy to go downstairs.
7. I used to live in suburban Detroit where people had immense fear of breaking and enterings. So, when we moved into our new house, the landlord showed us the 'special cabinet.' One of the cabinets in the office room off the living room was actually a passage-way tiny to a small room with some water bottles, gas masks, other important survival things. It had room for about 2 or 3 people.
Needless to say, we never used it.
8. My first apartment was a crummy 100-year-old five bedroom above a bar and a bowling alley in the downtown. Very loud & Sunday morning hangovers were awful because of league day. Bowling balls nonstop. RolllllllCRASH. Not fun.
Anyhow, in the corner of my bedroom was a little 2'x2' padlocked shut. Landlord wouldn't tell me what was in there, just that I shouldn't be opening it. Was a little creeped out by it if I'm honest but that landlord was the type to fix a roof leak with duct tape and a garbage bag so I knew I wouldn't be getting anything more out of him.
So I'm hypnotised by this door. I try hiding it behind my computer desk but it won't stop calling to me and the padlock made the desk sit funny so I wound up moving it back.
I was going to get in there.
Came up one poker night that my roommate Tim had a set of bolt cutters in his room, lord knows why. We were just tipsy enough to try it. So the five of us pile into my room, drinks & cigarettes in hand, and Tim chops off the lock. The moment of truth.
We try to open it, but it won't budge. It's locked from both sides. What the hell is back there? My roommate Jacob decided he was going to channel his grandfather and pry the door open with his bare hands. And he did. Took him five minutes, bracing himself against the wall, but the door flew open and the bolt, wood block, screws and all fell down into the crawlspace.
And that's what it was, a crawlspace. A deep dark one into the first floor attic. By now it's about 2am. I grabbed a flashlight (in the days before smartphones, people actually owned them) and ventured in. It was about a two foot drop down to the floor and the ceiling was maybe 5' high. First thing we noticed was the vintage 1960s bowling alley chairs sitting off to the side, covered in dust and grime. Tim wound up salvaging & restoring two of them, I think he wound up selling them when he moved to Toronto.
The crawlspace extended into the dark and got very narrow, we had to walk single file. Cobwebs and dust everywhere, and I'm 6'3" so a very uncomfortable trek. We hit a wall after about 8m but it widened again and there were little crevices to the left and right. I came across a plywood trapdoor, so of course I opened it and slid down.
So I'm climbing down over this big greasy heavy machinery but it hasn't clicked yet where I am. I get down to the ground, which is a pretty immaculate hardwood. Really weird contrast between these huge dirty machines and the perfect floor. Then I noticed the bowling pins.
We were in the bowling alley. I called my roommates down, only two of them came. We found our way out into one of the lanes. Nothing was locked up. We pilfered chips and candy bars, making sure no one was passing by. Snagged a couple of pins on the way back up, I still have one somewhere.
It became a semi regular hangout for us and our friends, late at night after the bars closed. Eventually someone figured out how to get everything switched on and we even bowled a few frames here and there. Didn't steal too many snacks, didn't want things getting too suspicious. We got people coming over just to see the crawlspace and the alley. It was a time.
The landlord never said a word.
9. My house had a secret room in the attic. It's a really old house and the former owner was a pretty wealthy banker. The room was used as an opium den, and when the stock market crashed he hung himself in there.
10. I used to live in a big old house in the mountains of California. When I was 8, I was rustling around in some big bushes up against the side of the house and found a boxy structure with a heavy door. To the left of the door, someone had scrawled "The Lost World" and drew the Jurassic Park logo.
As a Jurassic Park fan and budding young buccaneer, this intrigued me. Did this door lead to some kind of lost world? Was it hiding a fabulous secret?
I spent three years trying to find out, but the door was always shut fast and locked with a big brass padlock. My schemes to invade, including digging under it from beneath the front porch, were failures.
Finally, not long before we moved, I found the door unlocked and ajar. Flush with success, I crept inside...the well house. A cramped, stuffy little room containing only the well pump, spider webs, and a smaller door to the space under the house.
It was anticlimactic, but it did give me three years of childish fancy.
11. It wasn't really that secret, but as a child it felt like it was. In my friend's house, what looked like a bunk bed actually had a door where the bottom bunk was, which lead to a secret toy room. I loved it in there.
12. My family moved from California to New Mexico when I was eight years old, arriving in the dead of night only a few days before Christmas. Our new house was a large, multilevel structure in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains, and my younger brother and I insisted on exploring the entire interior as soon as we had climbed out of the car. This endeavor led us absolutely everywhere that we could walk, from our parents' bathroom to the back corners of the kitchen pantry... but as we poked our heads into one of our shared bedroom's closets, we found something unexpected.
"What's that?" I remember my brother asking. "Max, what is that?!"
The detail that had caught his attention was little more than a literal hole in the wall. It was about three feet square, bordered by some kind of moulding, and absolutely pitch black on the other side. The two of us stood and stared at the space, both feeling somewhat uncertain about what we had discovered, before turning and running back upstairs to find our parents in the living room.
"Mom! Dad!" I yelled, barreling towards them. "There's a... there's a cave or something in our bedroom!" I don't know why I thought this would be news to them - after all, my father had been living there for over a month already, and he certainly would have been made aware of any caverns connected to his house - but they played along as though it was new information.
"A cave?!" repeated my father. His voice adopted the tone that I would later learn to recognize as being a part of his storyteller persona. "You mean we moved into a house with a secret room?"
The term hadn't yet occurred to me, but I immediately went along with it. "Yes! Yes, it's a secret room, and it's in the closet."
"What's inside?" my mother asked.
My brother and I glanced at each other. For all of our outspoken love of fantasy and adventure, we had both been hesitant to go spelunking without permission. "We... couldn't get in," I eventually replied, suddenly feeling embarrassed. "Also, we couldn't see anything."
"Now, would the Hardy Boys just give up like that?" asked my father. He left the room for a moment, and when he returned, he was carrying a matching pair of flashlights. "Go try again," he continued, "and then let me know what you guys find!"
That was all the prompting I needed. My brother and I ran back to our bedroom (incurring a shout of "Slow down on the stairs!" from our mother), turned on our torches, and got ready to mount a second expedition to the hole in the back of the closet. After a few false starts, we managed to climb inside and shine our beams around, at which point we noticed a switch on the wall nearest to us. Flipping it - the wisdom of which we briefly debated - illuminated the area, allowing us to see that we were in a fairly large crawl-space with a back wall that had been finished in a peculiar design of ornate hardwood.
An adult likely would have found it underwhelming. For my brother and me, though, it was the discovery of a lifetime. Over the years that we lived in the house, that secret room became everything from a hidden base to a museum gallery to a space station to an enchanted forest, with each setting being augmented by the "artwork" we'd draw on the three walls that weren't adorned with wood. It was the sort of place that was absolutely ideal for a kid with an overactive imagination, and years later, my father confessed that he'd thought the very same thing.
It wasn't the only reason he'd purchased that house, obviously... but knowing that his kids would love the place had helped.
13. I used to live in a very large house in northern Ontario (Canada) and there was a closet in the front hallway that if you entered you could make your way through and come out in the bedroom on the other side. It was like a mini hallway/passage between the walls from the front closet to the bedroom closest. Me , my siblings and my pets got many hours of fun out of it!
14. I janitored at a church with really nice bathrooms. They had the trash cans that are built into the wall. Recessed, I guess, where you just push the little, swinging-from-top-hinges, stainless steel door open, and you drop your paper towel inside. The base of it was actually a large door that held the trash can, so as the janitor, you just pop open the big door, remove the can, take out and replace the bag, and then close it all back up.
Late one night, when the big door once got stuck, I had to remove the entire apparatus. You just pop out the screws around the perimeter, and the whole thing slides out of the wall in one piece, about two feet wide, four feet high, and a foot deep.
Upon pulling it out, I realize that in the space where the apparatus just was, there's a lot of space going upward on the other side of the drywall. I peek my head inside and realize there's a small tunnel going straight up. It was just a little wider than a person, made of sort of a silver flashing that reminds me for some reason of air ducts, though I'm fairly positive it wasn't part of the ventilation system. Really, what it made me think of most was the laundry chute at home we played in as kids.
I figured out that it would be easy to shimmy up. It was narrow enough that by extending my arms slightly, I would stay wedged in place, but wide enough that if I pulled my arms back against my body, I'd start sliding back down, so no worries of falling out too quickly, or worse, getting stuck. I went up a few feet, then stopped because I couldn't see. The further up, the darker it became, and my body was blocking most of the light from the entry point below. Afraid of spiders, I decided to grab a flashlight, and then I started back up again.
I inched my way upward about ten feet, at which point the chute opened on one side into a narrow walkway. It was basically the space between the wall of the sanctuary on one side and the wall of the foyer on the other. It had a simple floor made out of particle board, which I took to mean I could probably walk on it without falling through.
The pathway went about 50 feet, then turned left. I figured I must be somewhere behind the back wall of the sanctuary -- that is, the back of the stage, the wall everyone can see while seated. It occurred to me that the baptism pool must be just about right underneath me, which was a little unsettling, but the floor seemed solid enough. I kept going.
The hallway ended at something really weird that I couldn't identify. It was on the left-hand side of the wall, taller than I was, circular within a larger square frame. It had a huge, conical metal thing coming out of the back. There were some wires coming out of it, and as best I could figure, I guessed like it was a giant speaker of some sort. This made no sense to me, because the sanctuary had a cluster of smaller speakers that hung from the ceiling.
And while I stood there trying to figure it out, there came the most earth-shattering noise I have ever heard in my life. Felt, really, because the whole floor shook, and my hand that was touching the metal apparatus vibrated horribly. The sound was a massive, deep, rumbly blast that I could feel in my gut, the way you feel when someone blasts one of those huge subwoofers in the trunk of their car. I thought the world was ending, followed almost immediately by the thought that maybe I was being electrocuted. I covered my ears, but it was still deafening.
And then the sound began to change. It took a good ten seconds or so for me to realize it was music. Organ music. I had wandered my way directly behind the massive speaker connected to the church organ -- which, it turns out, is how non-pipe organs work. The organist was a nice old lady who often came in the late evenings to practice, and she arrived while I was shimmying my way up the chute. Most nights, I enjoyed hearing her play while I worked, but let me tell you, having an organ go off while you're standing directly behind the speaker is a hell of a thing.
Weeks later, I found some building schematics which showed you can also reach the organ speaker access shaft through a crawlspace entry in the ceiling of the choir room, which I later learned that the maintenance man would get into every once in a while with a step ladder.
But I suspect that, even now, not many people know you can also get there from the secret tunnel behind the trash can in the men's room.