From castles full of secret chambers to crazed squatters living in hidden crawlspaces, we count eleven of the creepiest rooms found in people’s homes!
11 – Singer Castle,
- Singer Castle has so many secret rooms and passages that the New York Times dubbed it ‘The Castle of Mysteries’.
- It was constructed on Dark Island in 1896 by the president of the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Frederick Bourne. If you’re thinking ‘Dark Island’ sounds like some ridiculous Scooby Doo destination, you’re half right because Singer Castle is packed with hidden secrets and booby traps – the kind Scooby and the gang might accidentally fall into.
- There are sliding walls that reveal stone staircases, paintings that allow hosts to eavesdrop on dinner guests, secret wine cellars and a trapdoor in the maid’s dormitory. There’s also a hidden treasure room accessed by latch disguised as a coat hook and a secret passageway that leads to an ominous black-gated dungeon.
10 – Hidden Tapes,
- In 2014, Reddit user lmbrjack found a hidden crawlspace while poking around in his attic.
- The crawlspace led to an ominous-looking locked door, behind which was a room that’d had its walls, floor and ceiling completely covered with soundproofing board and plastic tarp. There were four power outlets and a small raised area roughly the size of a single bed, which was strange for a crawlspace.
- Weirder still, Imbrjack also discovered a mysterious briefcase containing an old jewellery box, envelopes with paper currency from all over the world and four one-ounce silver ingots. There was also a sentry safe containing some six VHSC tapes. Unable to play them, he turned the horror movie fodder – I mean, tapes – into police, so their contents are still a mystery.
9 – Mont Sainte-Odile,
- Mont Sainte-Odile is a monastery located high up in France’s Vosges Mountains. Between 2000 and 2002, roughly 1,100 priceless medieval books and manuscripts mysteriously vanished from its library.
- Baffled police set up cameras to figure out who was behind it and discovered the book thief had been accessing the library via a long-forgotten secret passage and chamber. Using the hidden entry point, he would sneak in at night and stuff piles of valuable books into his pants—I mean, briefcases!
- Footage revealed Stanislas Gosse was behind the thefts. He’d somehow gotten his hands on a map revealing a secret chamber in the back of a cupboard that could only be opened by a hidden mechanism.
8 – Creepy Renovation,
- In 2012, stay-at-home mum Sarah bought a new home with her husband. Not long after moving in, the pair discovered a small hidden room accessible from the corner of their young son’s room.
- Because of the pitched roof and four-foot Alice in Wonderland-style door, it was impossible to convert the area into a functional section of their new home. Unsure of its function, they hid the weird hidden room behind their son’s dresser so he’d never know about it and proceeded to renovate the creepy room in secret so they could present it to their son on his fourth birthday.
- They worked on it in secret for a year while their son was at school and, when his birthday arrived, unveiled it as his new ‘Treasure Room’. Nice work, mum and dad! Now the monsters under his bed have a cool new pad!
7 – Nasty Surprise,
- In 2005, new homeowners Jason and Kerri Brown found a secret corridor hidden behind a bookcase. The couple were preparing to start renovations after scoring a great deal on the five-bedroom two-bath home.
- Instead of something cool, like a Batcave or a four-year-old’s Treasure Room, the corridor led them to an empty room with a weird note from the previous homeowner. The front of the note said: ‘You found it!’ Unfolding it, the previous homeowner explained that the house had a very serious black mould problem. It was so bad it had driven the family away and made his children very sick.
- The Browns immediately cancelled their move-in plans and sued the broker who’d sold them the house. The incident was like a treasure hunt, but with bad news in place of treasure.
6 – Dunnerden,
- Dunnerden is the Aspen home of Brøderbund Software co-founder Doug Carlston. From the outside it looks like an ordinary log cabin, but inside it has a staggering 1,700 feet of secret passageways – nearly six football fields’ worth!
- Doug Carlston is responsible for the successful puzzle adventure PC game Myst. His house reflects his personality, with its innocuous filing cabinets that conceal doors and dresser drawers that serve as passageways to other rooms. The bottom of his house is a labyrinth of eerie catacombs full of treasure.
- If you’re wondering where the scary part comes in, Dunnerden also has something called the Room of Doom, where guests are urged to stand on a rocky ledge behind a waterfall. There are only two ways out of the Room of Doom: swim through a chute or jump through the waterfall and hope you land in the swimming pool. Dr Evil levels of brilliance.