Would you build your own house if you won big on the lottery?
When people win big the lottery one of the first things most of them do is buy or build a new home. It’s probably what you would do if you won the lottery jackpot. But why build a regular home or mansion? That’s kind of dull, right? Why not build your new home in a more unique way by adding secret rooms and passageways?
As a kid, you probably thought that was neat idea. As an adult, the idea might still titillate you. Watching the Addams Family or the Munsters, old Gothic horror films, or even new shows and movies in which hidden rooms and passageways are important to the plot can make having your own hidden rooms and secret passages something exciting and a tad “forbidden.”
But really, why would you want to have secret rooms and passageways in your new or current house anyway? What can they possibly accomplish in any fashion for you? Well for one, it’s real neat and cool and will definitely give you chills and jollies like you were a little kid again. What is the real practicality of such an architecture?
In the past, secret rooms and passages were used for both good and bad reasons. Those under persecution or threats, like popes or royals, could hide or escape before being caught. Secret passages and rooms were used quite a lot on the Underground Railroad to hide and transport slaves making their way to Canada. Criminals would use them for escape, travel, and moving illegal goods.
For instance Singer Sewing Machine Company president Commodore Frederick G. Bourne built a house that was filled with secret passageways and was used by Bourne to host parties. Bourne liked to sneak out of his own parties so he could spy on his guests to find out what they would say about him when he wasn't around! Many early military leaders and traders would have secret rooms to hide from Native attacks.
So what can hidden rooms and passageways do for you? One of the most used reasons for a secret passageway to a secret room is as a safe room. This hidden room can be quickly accessed by all family members in the event of a home invasion or burglary, severe weather events or other natural or man-made disasters, or any other type of emergency. Loaded with food and water, monitors for cameras, and phone lines to call for help, it can be a temporary safety bunker until the problem has passed or the authorities arrive.
Another use for secret passages are for secret access to and from the house. The passageway can exit right to the outside of the house or to a shed or other structure some distance away. Secret passages can also be used to secretly move from one room to another without detection.
A secret room can be used to house all your valuables. Safes, memorabilia, money, collectibles, and such can be stored in a secret room to keep them safe and to keep prying eyes away. Another use of secret passages and rooms is for stealthy access to a home theatre room, bar or entertainment area, or an elaborate way to get to your wine cellar. Maybe you just need to venture off to your secret room of solitude to get away from everyone. And your kids will love it if they need to access a secret panel to go into a secret passageway to a secret playroom!
Remember those old movies and TV shows where there would be someone looking into a room full of people from behind a picture, their eyes replacing the picture’s eyes and seeing and hearing everything in the room? You could set up a similar room so that you can spy on your family and friends and see exactly what they think and say about you, believing you are nowhere near the room at the time.
Or maybe you have a secret lover and want your own hidden chamber of pleasure to indulge in your activities without getting caught. You could also use hidden rooms and passages as a way to saunter off unnoticed to your own library and reading room to lose yourself in a cup of tea and a good story.
And if you are the type of person who needs to relax in water and steam, there is always the option of having a secret room and passageway to it from your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or bathroom to enjoy yourself in your very own hidden spa.
There are many companies who, through a simple internet search, can incorporate secret rooms and passageways to a new home build, or you can have them added to your current home. You can opt for standard secret room and passage designs or you can work with the designer to customize them for your own specifications.
Doors and entrances to secret rooms and passageways can be almost any mundane room feature you like, from mirrors and bookcases, to a fireplace, dresser, or wall. Each will stealthily blend in with the decor and be unseen by everyone.
So take some of your lottery winnings and give secret rooms and passageways a try. Hide and seek, Live Action Role Play (LARP), and your own personal “haunted house” can be a heck of a lot more fun!