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Easter egg found on Good Friday
April 9, 2010 1:48 PM   Subscribe

Ever since Pat and Diane Farla moved into the detached Victorian building three years ago, they'd wondered what lay behind the metre-long rectangle which lay alongside a wall.
posted by mattdidthat (113 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Um... No there isn't [more inside].
posted by ChrisR at 1:51 PM on April 9, 2010


What a relief. I was afraid it was an old well with a cat in it.
posted by bearwife at 1:51 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


There is more inside their house.
posted by kenko at 1:52 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh. *Facepalm*

That's a nasty trick to use in the text. For those that come after me, the [more inside] is the link to the content.
posted by ChrisR at 1:52 PM on April 9, 2010


Nice little story about Pat 'n' Diiiiiane.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:53 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


finding a priest hole under my house would basically be my dream come true. So cool!
posted by kalimac at 1:55 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sweet. New wine celler.
posted by chillmost at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2010


Uh guys, I played a lot of adventure games and I can tell you the right thing to do is to wall it up, set the house on fire and move far, far away.
posted by The Whelk at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2010 [38 favorites]


Not another post about a priest getting his hole.
posted by Babblesort at 1:57 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This comment on the article seems to lay the priest hole notion to rest:

We lived there 1981-96! The 'cross' is some rotten wood left over from 1986 building restoration that we didn't clear out... The house was a public house "The Barley Mow" late 1800s-early 1900s, and we thought the raised cellar sides are the stillages for the barrels. Gas lighting was added after construction, so there would have been ledges for oil lamps in the cellar.

We reckoned the house was constructed in the mining and industrial boom early 1800s, rather later than Catholic persecution. The front door used to lead into a hallway, with the door and stairs down to the cellar straight ahead - no apparent attempt to conceal. There are footings for an earlier, smaller building under the dining room, now covered with concrete - could have been anything.

But we like the way this story could run :-)
- D'n'A, Waihi Beach, New Zealand, 09/4/2010 00:26


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1263965/Family-discover-ancient-chapel-hidden-house-100-years.html#ixzz0kdfxLpeC

posted by newmoistness at 2:01 PM on April 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


C'thulu Ftagn!
posted by PenDevil at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


If it's 230 years old, it can't be a Victorian house can it?
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This article needs more footnotes, drug references, and minotaurs.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 2:03 PM on April 9, 2010 [18 favorites]


We lived there 1981-96! The 'cross' is some rotten wood left over from 1986 building restoration that we didn't clear out... The house was a public house "The Barley Mow" late 1800s-early 1900s, and we thought the raised cellar sides are the stillages for the barrels. Gas lighting was added after construction, so there would have been ledges for oil lamps in the cellar.

We reckoned the house was constructed in the mining and industrial boom early 1800s, rather later than Catholic persecution. The front door used to lead into a hallway, with the door and stairs down to the cellar straight ahead - no apparent attempt to conceal. There are footings for an earlier, smaller building under the dining room, now covered with concrete - could have been anything.

But we like the way this story could run :-)


How many times do you see the first comment being from someone halfway across the world who happened to live in that very same house? Internet makes the world a small place.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


and one Geraldo.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 2:04 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


So they found a Pub! Even better!
posted by The Whelk at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Party cavern!
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 2:11 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everyone down to the FUN PIT.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


BYOBroadswords.
posted by The Whelk at 2:13 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now THAT'S a bonus room!
posted by mazola at 2:14 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Daily Mail masquerading as a [more inside] link? That's downright heinous.
posted by Dysk at 2:15 PM on April 9, 2010


Wow! Now that's the way to spend an afternoon. Get drunk, then discover an ancient chamber underneath your house! Not quite as cool as finding The Secret Railroad, but it's close.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:17 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


This article needs more footnotes, drug references, and minotaurs.

Glad I wasn't the only one to think this. They need to nail down some rulers, stat.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:18 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


[Edited the post. It was a cute trick, mattdidthat, but it makes the site look broken.]
posted by cortex at 2:21 PM on April 9, 2010


The trick [more inside] link makes me feel like I'm discovering a hidden room of the Internet.
posted by Hoenikker at 2:21 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone could make that first post on the article.
posted by wuwei at 2:27 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow, no one had been down there since (perhaps) 1986? There must have been spiders!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:27 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't really want to know what goes in the internet's hidden rooms.
posted by The Whelk at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2010


Plus, don't they seem like the coolest, most fun family around? I love my extended family but we never go on any exploring adventures.
posted by moxiedoll at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


'There were also hooks hanging from the ceiling which could have been used to hang meat.

Ah, it's probably one o' them Dagon cults.
posted by gurple at 2:28 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


[more inside]
posted by mattdidthat at 2:29 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is awesome! I want to find something like that on my property!

Unfortunately, my property is a townhome built as part of a planned unit development in 1973, but maybe if I dig into the slab I can find some old Playboys or something? Part at my place! Bring jackhammers!
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:29 PM on April 9, 2010


people find cellar under old house, news at 11... wait... sorry not news
posted by HuronBob at 2:31 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


With a lead in sentence like:

A few drinks and a little idle curiousity have led to...

I honestly thought it was going to take a different direction.
posted by electroboy at 2:31 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


In addition to their underground discovery, the superstitious family think they may have released some sort of ghost or spirit after a mysterious photograph was taken shortly afterwards.
'After we discovered the basement, we went back upstairs and were taking some pictures,' said Gareth.

'We took a picture of Matthew's pregnant girlfriend Karen. When the pictures came out their was something white on the photo right by her belly.

'My mother thinks it's an orb, as the rest of the picture is clear apart from by her belly.

'And my nan Peggy is quite superstitious and she thinks it could be something there. It could just be a coincidence, but it seems quite strange.'


Why do you have to ruin a perfectly good story about finding a cellar, people?
posted by djgh at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2010 [15 favorites]


'It may well have been a Catholic priest hole - but it all depends on what the age was.'

Oh, dear.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:32 PM on April 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is it Poltergeist II?
posted by maxwelton at 2:38 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


'It may well have been a Catholic priest hole - but it all depends on what the age was.'

Funny, I heard the same thing from Bill Donohue earlier this week.

I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
posted by bpm140 at 2:42 PM on April 9, 2010


Unfortunately, my property is a townhome built as part of a planned unit development in 1973, but maybe if I dig into the slab I can find some old Playboys or something?

If the property used to be wooded, you'll probably hit the porn ...uh ... motherlode.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 2:42 PM on April 9, 2010


I constantly have dreams where I find a hidden room in my house. I am so insanely jealous.
posted by mmmbacon at 2:43 PM on April 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, come on, now, MeFi! You disappoint me. How can I be the first person here to make reference to House of Leaves?
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:45 PM on April 9, 2010


"Churchhill had a secret army of hand-picked men who stayed behind and would launch a sabotage operation in case the Nazis won the war and ruled Britain."

Whoah! Cite, please.
posted by Iridic at 2:45 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Anyone could make that first post on the article."

They could, but it seems oddly full of specific detail and non-fantastic elaboration to be the work of a random troll. If they were making it up, you'd think they'd confirm the wilder theory about it being a hidden chapel, instead of saying it was just a pub's cellar.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:48 PM on April 9, 2010


Or, for that matter, House of Pancakes.
posted by Dr. Wu at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Daily Mail again?! Are you lot just waiting until the UK is drunk/asleep and then slipping a sneaky one in these days?

Monday morning (UK time) the New York Post is getting a single link jobbie...
posted by i_cola at 2:49 PM on April 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Oh, come on, now, MeFi! You disappoint me. How can I be the first person here to make reference to House of Leaves?

cough, cough.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:52 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The cat may not be in a well, but it might still be walled in there somewhere.
posted by New England Cultist at 2:53 PM on April 9, 2010


Friends, I implore you, think twice before posting a Daily Mail link -- it really is hardly worth the pixels it's printed on.

To show I understand you meant well, here's a fun song!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:56 PM on April 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


The cat may not be in a well, but it might still be walled in there somewhere.

I have a cask of a rare Amontillado in my basement if you're interested...
posted by electroboy at 3:01 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


"Anyone could make that first post on the article."

They could, but it seems oddly full of specific detail and non-fantastic elaboration to be the work of a random troll. If they were making it up, you'd think they'd confirm the wilder theory about it being a hidden chapel, instead of saying it was just a pub's cellar.


My first thought on seeing the photo was that it just looked like random pieces of wood lying on the floor, and the "chapel" explanation seemed unsupported by any other elements of the story. Seems like the family just invented the most colorful or fanciful explanation for a very small set of mundane details and the paper is credulously passing that along.
posted by anazgnos at 3:07 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here in southeast Michigan, every house built before 1925 that has a boarded up closet is reputed to have been one of the final stops on the underground railway.
posted by klarck at 3:09 PM on April 9, 2010


Check's in the mail, Solon.

*cough*
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 3:14 PM on April 9, 2010


No one knows who they were, or what they were doing. But their legacy remains.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 3:16 PM on April 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I constantly have dreams where I find a hidden room in my house. I am so insanely jealous.

Me too... at least I did when I was a kid: usually I'd be going up the staircase and look to the side, whereupon a secret floor between the ground floor and upstairs level would open up before me. There were many toys.
posted by tivalasvegas at 3:20 PM on April 9, 2010


Beat me to it, klarck - same anywhere in the Northeast US.

In England or Europe, this kind of space is not at all unusual in houses of that age as a cold cellar.
posted by beagle at 3:21 PM on April 9, 2010


Ah, it's probably one o' them Dagon cults.

This is a deeply pejorative statement. The Esoteric Order of Dagon is famous for its forward-thinking theology, progressive child-care techniques, and indifference to most of the prejudices that bedevil other major religions. Calling an EOoD branch "one o' them Dagon cults" is only slightly better than "Fishies!"
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:22 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have a cask of a rare Amontillado in my basement if you're interested...

Drink it. It gives one, shall we say, murderous perspective...
posted by New England Cultist at 3:22 PM on April 9, 2010


From the comments:

Lol, "Ancient Chapel".... really?!? That's what you're going with? So it's not just a boarded-up cellar like all the other old, un-used cellars in the country then? This is laughable... this is categorically NOT a hidden chapel, nor is it anything whatsoever to do with WWII and the digression about Churchill's secret army is frankly baffling and reads like you needed to fill a word-quota. The auctioneer quoted must auction cars or something, because he obviously knows nothing at all about history or houses.

- AC, Telford, England, 08/4/2010 18:55

posted by applemeat at 3:25 PM on April 9, 2010


first of all, this is soooooooooooooooooo cool and only reinforces my lifelong urge to live in the UK. finding something like this in my house would be tantamount to finding narnia!!!

also, yes House of Leaves
and thank you thank you thank you Dr. Wu because I hadn't seen that xkcd and nearly hurt myself laughing at it!
posted by supermedusa at 3:26 PM on April 9, 2010


"In England or Europe, this kind of space is not at all unusual in houses of that age as a cold cellar."

Ah, but the cool thing is they had no idea it was there! So a day that started with "let's see how drunk we can get grandma" suddenly becomes a domestic version of Howard Carter uncovering Tutankhamun's tomb.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:28 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


A (former) pub with a cellar? Blimey!

Here is an actual mysterious underground cave.
posted by nja at 3:33 PM on April 9, 2010


Oh, come on, now, MeFi! You disappoint me. How can I be the first person here to make reference to House of Leaves?

My first thought was that Dr. Wu missed the earlier references which Solon and Thanks points to.

Then I realized it was more likely those "earlier" comments weren't there when Dr. Wu made his comment, and appeared later.

"Dr. Wu" may be a reference to any number of people, but Chien-Shiung Wu, the "Chinese Marie Curie," seems the most likely.18
18I couldn't find anything about Chien-Shiung Wu in Zampanó's papers,
so I called up this chick I used to know who was a grad student in
physics now.  Said she hadn't heard of her either, but asked if I was
doing OK.  I said I was fine, but I was lying. I haven't been fine in days.

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:33 PM on April 9, 2010 [30 favorites]


I was hoping they would've found a cask of amontillado.
posted by plinth at 3:35 PM on April 9, 2010


That picture of the house from the outside is damn depressing looking. It appears to be set entirely on a piece of pavement
posted by frobozz at 3:41 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


They would've found a cask of amontillado if there was one there.
posted by longsleeves at 3:42 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


mmmbacon, I have those dreams (constantly) as well! I thought of that too. How cool is this article (except for the ghost crazy talk). I would have been afraid to touch anything though. You never know when a Viking helmet might turn up.

So far all I've found in my house is old kid toys and a miniature ceramic beaver.
posted by theredpen at 3:47 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Amazing what a little Good Friday afternoon drinking leads to. Who says beer is no good? Now I know why those workers at the Carlsberg plant are striking.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 3:50 PM on April 9, 2010


That picture of the house from the outside is damn depressing looking.

Well it is in Telford.
posted by salmacis at 3:55 PM on April 9, 2010


mmmbacon, I have those dreams (constantly) as well!

Damnation, I thought I was the only one. Last time I had it, the hidden room turned out to be full of old tools and other fantastic stuff, then I woke up and it was our regular sucky ol' house.
posted by jquinby at 3:57 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Marsellus: "What now? Let me tell you what now. I'ma call a coupla hard, pipe-hittin' niggers, who'll go to work on the homes here with a pair of pliers and a blow torch. You hear me talkin', hillbilly boy? I ain't through with you by a damn sight. I'ma get medieval on your ass."
posted by bwg at 4:12 PM on April 9, 2010


they need to knock down that back wall, I'm thinking Jimmy Hoffa is in there somewhere.
posted by HuronBob at 4:14 PM on April 9, 2010


So... a family finds a cellar under their house. This is news? What the hell?
posted by chairface at 4:28 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


When I was a kid we lived in an old house in the Cuckmere Valley, E. Sussex that had a secret cellar in the garden that was accessed via a hatch and a rickety ladder. The house was built in 1600 and is known as 'Burnt House' since it is the remaining wing of an old manor which burned in the late 17th C. Legend had it, anyway, that this cellar was all that remained of a smuggler's tunnel that once linked the house to the bank of the Cuckmere, a tidal river, about 3-4km from the English Channel.
You could in fact see that this cellar, with a vaulted brick ceiling just like the one in the FPP, was a part of something longer that had been bricked up on both ends, and there was a lot of smuggling on the coast back then, of stuff like French brandy, but even at 10 years old I kind of wondered why this tunnel would have been considered necessary, the house being well away from the village of Alfriston anyway. So maybe it was in fact a secret chapel for people to practise their persecuted faith. Or a place to store vegetables. It was pretty spooky though.
posted by Flashman at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


This post inspired me to take another look at the hatch in the back of my son's bedroom closet. When we moved in a year ago I noticed it but we had things to do and pretty soon it was buried behind a bunch of junk. Turns out there is a fairly large hidden attic with a blind dormer! I knew there was some dead space back there but it is MUCH larger than I thought. It doesn't have a floor or power or anything but I think this summer we can turn it into a super cool secret playroom for the boy.

Great post!
posted by LarryC at 4:38 PM on April 9, 2010 [16 favorites]


You know, My building is an actual factorial former hospital and sanatorium and I don't see globs of light or crap. Sheesh
posted by The Whelk at 4:39 PM on April 9, 2010


Christ. I always had reckoned British newspapers to have journalistic standards superior to the rest of the English speaking world.

In the first paragraph, we find that alcohol and "curiousity," whatever that may be, led them to explore their house. Within 100 words or so they have found the cellar. At 350 words, they work out that there was a chapel; by 500 words a pub has crowded onto the stage; by 650 there is a secret Churchillian army whose very existence is, to say the least, not well-known; by the 750 world mark there are spirits haunting the family. If the piece had made it to 1000 words, I am sure we would have uncovered the Roswell aliens, Guy Fawkes' spare barrels, and the Holy Grail.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:53 PM on April 9, 2010 [19 favorites]


My first thought was that Dr. Wu♠ missed the earlier references which Solon and Thanks points to.

Then I realized it was more likely those "earlier" comments weren't there when Dr. Wu made his comment, and appeared later.

♠"Dr. Wu" may be a reference to any number of people, but Chien-Shiung Wu, the "Chinese Marie Curie," seems the most likely.18

18I couldn't find anything about Chien-Shiung Wu in Zampanó's papers,
so I called up this chick I used to know who was a grad student in
physics now. Said she hadn't heard of her either, but asked if I was
doing OK. I said I was fine, but I was lying. I haven't been fine in days.

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:33 PM on April 9



All I can say is:
Tou-muthafuckin'-ché.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:01 PM on April 9, 2010


underground cave.

As opposed to the other kind.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:22 PM on April 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Churchill's secret army is quite true. I'll try to pull the links if I can find them. They never actually did anything, but they were well organized and had caches of arms etc secreted around the British countryside. Some famous people were part of it... which is how I came across it... but damned if I can remember who.
posted by unSane at 5:28 PM on April 9, 2010


Can we get a group discount on dream interpretation?
posted by mmmbacon at 5:30 PM on April 9, 2010


I took another look, and I think the miniature ceramic beaver may be an ancient Native American or possibly voodoo relic that was used in secretive creepy religious rituals. Also, I have long suspected that it is haunted. I'm going to see if there are stairs in it.
posted by theredpen at 5:30 PM on April 9, 2010


What I don't get is why it took three years for these people to realize that their house had a cellar, even though they could see it plain as day right through that frigging grate.

What the hell did they think it was?
posted by Sys Rq at 5:31 PM on April 9, 2010


If the house is indeed 230 years old it's almost exactly wrong for there to be any 'priest hole'. Although you didn't get formal emancipation until 1829, the (official) atmosphere had been much more tolerant since the latter decades of the 18th century, when you get the Catholic Relief Act that led to the Gordon Riots.
posted by Abiezer at 5:33 PM on April 9, 2010


Turns out there is a fairly large hidden attic with a blind dormer! I knew there was some dead space back there but it is MUCH larger than I thought. It doesn't have a floor or power or anything but I think this summer we can turn it into a super cool secret playroom for the boy.

You should probably know that Attic + Summer ≈ Car With Windows Rolled Up + Summer. It's really not a great place for a kid to be playing, unless you get some AC in there or something.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:37 PM on April 9, 2010


Sys Rq, I would imagine that the kid wouldn't be *locked* in his super secret attic playground should he feel the need for a frosty drink. And a little application of spray polyurethane ahead of the sheetrock solves the problem completely.
posted by localroger at 5:50 PM on April 9, 2010


How many times do you see the first comment being from someone halfway across the world who happened to live in that very same house? Internet makes the world a small place.

Stranger still, for me- they live in a tiny town in New Zealand that I moved to a few weeks ago. I'll have to keep my eyes out for a 'D and A'.
posted by twirlypen at 6:06 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


BLDGBLOG on dreams of secret rooms
posted by hattifattener at 6:09 PM on April 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I went to a secret club with a secrect room behind a false wall in the hallway and half of my mind was going "Oh how twee and anti-democratic and stupid exclusive-lite, ugh" and the other half was going "IT"S A DOOR BEHIND THE WALL AND IT LEADS TO ANOTHER ROOM OMG WHERE CAN I KILL MR. BODY SEERIKT ROOM! WEEE!"
posted by The Whelk at 6:13 PM on April 9, 2010


It puts the lotion in the basket...
posted by gjc at 6:33 PM on April 9, 2010


Hey I had that dream too! But it was just full of tacky 80s-era furniture, and in my grandma's house, for some reason.

(stupid uncreative dreams)
posted by emjaybee at 6:49 PM on April 9, 2010


Churchill's secret army was real - the 'British Resistance' in waiting. I'd never heard of it either until I happened to visit an excellent little USAAF museum on the site of an old bomber base in Suffolk. Apart from a ton of great bits of old B-17s and other memorabilia, and the old control tower, the site also hosts the British resistance Organisation Museum. Highly recommended
posted by Flashman at 7:13 PM on April 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


According to QI, The famous "scallywags" (the secret suicide squad trained in "Dad's Army" or the Auxilliary units) included Michael Foot and George Orwell.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:28 PM on April 9, 2010


It just goes to show you can't be too careful!

Q: Are we still doing that?

A: Yes. Yes we are.

posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:41 PM on April 9, 2010


Oh, yeah, Michael Foot! That's where I heard about it.
posted by unSane at 7:57 PM on April 9, 2010


we can turn it into a super cool secret playroom for the boy.

i love you be my dad
posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 7:57 PM on April 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I was working on the bathroom in my basement rental unit of my old (1900) house when my wife noticed that its exterior wall came in a good bit more than the same wall in the next room.

So I opened that sucker up, and there was, hell, 2 1/2 maybe 3 feet of space there, evading a couple pipes on one end! I was able to insulate that corner of the house much better, and even got a good little set of shelves in the gap there!

Living on the West Coast sucks. I have those dreams too, all the time.
posted by msalt at 8:50 PM on April 9, 2010


Man, when I was a kid, for a while I was convinced that all houses had secret rooms and that some were just much better hidden than others. I envied friends who had under-the-stairs storage spaces and crawlspaces accessed by small hatches.

On a much more different note, once upon a time (like, maybe back in the nineties, even), some guy in the RealDoll, ah, enthusiast community posted pics of the secret hiding place he had built for his collection. Basically, a cubbyhole the size of a walk-in closet with a couple of bunks for private time. (Can't find it now, which is probably a good thing.) Imagine him dying without giving the executor of his estate instructions on disposing of them, and the new owners of the house making a very special discovery one day...
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:52 PM on April 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Imagine finding THIS at your house.
posted by elmwood at 10:22 PM on April 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


Every spring, I'm dying to start a digging project. It is very much a wonder that I have not gone underground yet. The urge is strong. Secret tunnels. Oh boy.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:25 PM on April 9, 2010


I'll have to keep my eyes out for a 'D and A'.

Do get their email and send them this thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:26 PM on April 9, 2010


"This is awesome! I want to find something like that on my property!

Unfortunately, my property is a townhome built as part of a planned unit development in 1973..."

My property is also a townhome built around 1973 and during our recent remodel we discovered an extra chunk of space big enough to hide a small family of Jews in. Previous owners had inexplicably walled it off during an earlier remodel.

We celebrated by upgrading to a much larger bathtub.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:46 PM on April 9, 2010


i laughed, and then I felt guilty.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 PM on April 9, 2010


Too soon?
posted by Jacqueline at 10:53 PM on April 9, 2010


It's late, it's late, it's late, my God, too late.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:16 AM on April 10, 2010


How many times do you see the first comment being from someone halfway across the world who happened to live in that very same house? Internet makes the world a small place.

As cool as it is, I don't think it's the first comment - it looks like it's been voted up to the top spot. Maybe some old friends sent them a link, if they saw the pictures and recognised the house?
posted by harriet vane at 3:03 AM on April 10, 2010


Christ. I always had reckoned British newspapers to have journalistic standards superior to the rest of the English speaking world.

It's the Daily Mail. Check this article and draw your conclusions:

Giving spotty, lazy 16-year-olds the vote is madness. I should know, my son's a fine example of the species

There's something else, too, that raises my suspicions about Mr Brown's pledge. Did you notice how he said the voting age should be lowered 'after citizenship lessons have been improved'? Citizenship lessons? I bet he means yet more indoctrination in women's rights, gay adoption, trade union power and every other cause dear to Labour's heart.

posted by ersatz at 4:14 AM on April 10, 2010


Every spring, I'm dying to start a digging project. It is very much a wonder that I have not gone underground yet. The urge is strong. Secret tunnels. Oh boy.

Careful now! You'll start off digging yourself a little wine cellar, then you'll want to extend it... next thing you know, you've got a whole network of tunnels running under your neighbourhood.
posted by boosh at 7:08 AM on April 10, 2010


Well, if it's secret rooms that you're after, google the Tennessee Pot Cave, which was a pretty sophisticated growing operation in a cave that was reached from a secret door in the garage which led to a shaft, and thence to the cave itself, where there was [more inside].
posted by jquinby at 7:19 AM on April 10, 2010


In dreams, a house is said to represent the dreamer's own personality, or mind. The rooms represent aspects of the dreamer.

Discovering new or hidden rooms in the dream house is obvious symbolism.

The trappings of the dream house are also often revealing. You might find as you go down into the cellar the house becomes older, until you are in an unfurnished cave, or such like.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2010


Man, I love this kind of stuff.

My grandparents' house, built in 1917, had a closet in two adjoining rooms that was attached. Great for playing hide and seek and such, and just enough to set my kiddish mind buzzing. When we rebuilt our side porch in my childhood home (built in 1928), we found all sorts of stuff in the ground beneath--old bottles, vases and a Depression-Era girl's shoe. Even my mother's current house, which was built in the fifties, has a fairly large room behind a wooden door under the basement stairs. It's all white cinderblocks (doesn't match the rest of the basement at all), lit with a single light bulb. Really strange, creepy space. We call it "The Dungeon" natch, and it's existence makes doing laundry down there late at night a little spooky.

So I wouldn't discount finding an extra space or even just some hidden wonders even in a more modern home. People tend to leave stuff behind.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:12 AM on April 10, 2010


During a brief time in my childhood I lived in a cut up old Victorian in Port Reading NJ. One house, three families. We had the highest floor and due to the cutting up, it had some strange features. You had to go up a flight of stairs, down a hallway, and up another flight to get to our apartment, the kitchen was super-tiny and had a twisting shared staircase down to the basement, and there was this odd little foyer separating our apartment from the hallway. A set of double doors with a shallow coat closet.

So that's the scene. now I'm like ...8 or something and pottering around the house cause I beat Zelda like 3 or 10 times already and I'd read all my books and I'm just wandering out looking for something to momentarily fascinate me when I come to this coat closet. I start rummaging around when I see some light at the bottom. Faint light, but it's there. Feeling around, it looks like the wall of the closet doesn't hit the floor. In fact the "wall" is just some painted balsa-wood or something. I can feel the nails and then, cause again I was bored, I grab a hammer and start removing them.

Pop! Pop! Pop! I drag a chair in to get the top ones. Pop! Pop! Pop! The false wall falls back and nearly knocks me off my chair. I look up and there is

a staircase.

Now, since like half the books I had already read were mystery books, I basically EXPLODED. I run UP that motherfucker and find the unused finished attic. It was clearly supposed to be a studio apartment or something at one point, but I guess they couldn't sell it as such so they just covered it up, which explains the odd foyer before our apartment and the shallow closet. I am ....overjoyed. It's a SECRET ROOM that is MINE cause I FOUND IT and I don't wanna share a room with Ryan and FINDERS KEEPERS. I move a mattress up there, my B&W TV and my NES, and all my books.Maybe there was more things! Another secret passageway or staircase! Like in CLUE!

Then I find out the reason why the attic apartment was sealed up. There were only three small windows, and in the summer it would reach pass-out temperatures. Also, the local fire siren? The big air-raid one? Level with those windows. After Cat decided that peeing in random corners of the attic was the most fun thing ever, I pretty much stopped using it as a room and it slowly reverted to a catch-all pile of Christmas decorations and clothes we are totally going to donate to goodwill someday. But for one brief lazy afternoon, I actually got to be a Daring Boy Adventurer without being kidnapped by bandits or ghosts. Suck on that Coraline!
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM on April 10, 2010 [21 favorites]


Sorry, but I've played waaay too much "Thief".

Secret rooms above ground = super cool excitement time.

Secret rooms below ground = ARGH GET AWAY FROM ME! *holy water* *flash bomb* *flash bomb* *flash bomb* *flee, flee, flee* "save game* *turn on lights*.

Well, that or a fantastic dungeon wine cellar, but you're still not getting me down there without proper lighting and a 1m candle flashlight.
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 10:02 AM on April 10, 2010


I used to huddle up in my closet to read (it was my secret space) and always liked to think there might be some kind of secret room there, despite the fact that it was in the corner of the house and it would therefore have to bend some physical rules to exist.

One day I decided to pull up the old carpet and see what was underneath it. I found a newspaper from the 1960s. So that was probably about as cool as this.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:04 AM on April 10, 2010


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