March 26, 2009

Cool Book Stuff: Secret Passageways

Posted by at 6:53 am in Reads | Permalink

Secretpassage_130 I grew up in an old house, full of history and antiques and tiny staircases. And, I was convinced, full of secrets, too. I just knew that if I searched hard enough, I’d uncover a hidden passageway to the shed out back — or, cooler yet, a secret underground path to the beach a few blocks away.

I long ago gave up my search, but luckily, hidden passageways and secret rooms feature in a lot of amazing books, so I can live vicariously through the characters who disappear, find treasure, or even step into different realms. Plus, reading all those books has taught me the best lessons I’ll need, should I ever discover a secret passageway of my own.

For example, I know what to listen for when I start knocking on walls in my search for a hidden trapdoor, and how to carefully run my fingers up and down any cracks in the wall, looking for the latch. That’s because I’ve read The Ghost at Dawn’s House (The Baby-sitters Club #9) too many times to count. I also know not to give my trust too freely to anyone I should meet if and when I finally find that secret passageway – because I’ve read (and seen!) Coraline.

Secret passages and hidden doors are everywhere in literature, including places like Hogsmeade (where a trapdoor in the cellar of Honeydukes lets Harry Potter and friends connect to a secret passage that leads them to Hogwarts), the city of Venice (which Amy and Dan Cahill discover in The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note), and even hidden in plain sight behind a fireplace (like in The Monstrous Memoirs of a Mighty McFearless by Ahmet Zappa). You just have to know how to find them!

So do any of you have hidden passageways or secret rooms in your houses? Would you want to find them if you did? Leave a Comment and let me know!

— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer

  1. karen

    i have a passage but iam scared 2 go in it i fear the doll house is in thier my cousin says it in but last time she did say that she locked mr in thier luckily their was a screw driver in yhier and i jacked it opend

  2. karen

    well you see i lost a really old doll house that my family past down to me i lost it and my family was really mad ! at me for losing it and iam having a little sister and i really want to give it to her but i looked all over the house the house and i cant find it do you know any place for me to look for it it is big with little polly pockets inside haha lol!

  3. secret

    also the room had no windows or lights. my dad wont let me go in it anymore because he fears it has a floor that might colapse,

  4. secret

    my dad bought our new house about 2 years ago. soon after buying it my brother and i were playing hide and go seek when he was the one hiding he called me over. sure enough there was a 2 by 2 square on the right side of the cat closet. there was a 2 by 4 keeping the square on th wall so we took it off and there was a large room. i dont know what year our house was built but it kind of makes me think it is pretty old.

  5. cameron(dr h and lori)

    im staying in a like 200 year old house and im still looking for secret passages.The only thing i found was a newspaper from 1942(its 2009 right now)so i really want to find something.

  6. Heather

    My husbands grandparents home was built in the 1840s and they have a secret passage in their house that leads to a staircase and more bedrooms. It looks like a thin coat closet with drawers below it. When you open the door there are jackets and shoes stored inside, but if you move them out of the way, it reveals a stairway that leads up to 2 more bedrooms! Quite awesome!

  7. fuzzybloo

    i dont have a secret passageway actually. that would be totally cool though. i have a secret place but not passageway.

  8. LordoftheringsbooksndNarnia87

    I love secret passsageways me and my older sister always searched the house for hidden passageways especially after we read Nancy Drew and one other book I cant think of the name of *But we never found any myself except someone stashed an old report card in the space below our stairs when we went to repair the broken stair we found it and it was from 1940! The house was built in the early 1900s so we think the first owners hid a bad report card in the stairs strange huh?* we never found anything interesting, just a scary place in our basement that used to be a coal shoot with a weird window thing in it

  9. Narniafan85

    Who wouldnt love to find them
    (I actually spent three weeks designing a plan of secret passages with my sister when I was 10, we wanted to build secret passageways in a house when we were much older but when we realized how expensive and complicated it would be we went back to just reading about them, but then we stared searching for inns that used to be old houses so we can go on vacation to one of those inns one day to search for hidden passageways) but we never found any inns yet that sounded like they might have hidden passageways in them to explore.

  10. Popular gal

    I don’t think I have any secret passageways in my house but I have read and am a big fan of Nancy Drew books like looking for secret passageways knoke on some wood and listen for a hollow sound but in my grandparents house I have found a secret passageway and it’s alsome you are the first to know. I think it was used in the cilvil war times to hide slaves or somthing but if you want to know more you can post a message on the message boards to my stacks username!! thanks

  11. Crystal

    I haven’t found a secret passageway…I know there is a company that can build them on special order, though. I read about it in “Popular Mechanics”. That would be really cool, but it costs a fortune!

  12. Songheart

    I don’t have any “secret” places but only where the cat goes to the bathroom.
    Yay! first post?

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