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Mystery behind 'creepy' hidden room found behind narrow opening in old home

Some people online say they have similar rooms, one saying it makes their family uneasy so they've 'left it alone'.

A mysterious narrow opening in an old home has left thousands scratching their heads after the homeowner posted online questioning what it could be.

Sharing the strange find in the My Old House Facebook group, a woman posted a picture of a “creepy” little opening she found in her house. The strange feature looks like a very narrow doorway, measuring less than a metre wide and leads through to a separate tiny space.

“What is this? Literally 18 inches wide and framed out,” she wrote alongside a picture of the slim opening. She gave people very little detail of what was on the other side or where in the house the odd quirk was located.

However, the mystery surrounding the passageway resulted in several burning questions from the more than 2,000 people who responded to her post, with almost everyone wanting to know one thing - what was on the other side.

Small narrow door pictured.
The strange quirk found in the old house had people on social media speculating what it could be used for. Source: Facebook

After the homeowner failed to offer any further explanation, wild theories about the mystery door swirled in the comments section, sparking a huge debate over what it was. While some couldn't move past the "creepiness" of the doorway, likening it to the stuff of nightmares, others offered more serious explanations which varied from a secret firearm cupboard to an old-school heating system or vintage ironing board storage.

“In my house, which was my grandmother's, it's where the ironing board, yardsticks, flyswatters, and switches were kept. We have a door on ours,” one person wrote. “It definitely had a door on it originally. Since it's in the bedroom, I don't think it's an ironing board closet. Those were usually placed in the hall or kitchen. But it might be a shoe closet,” guessed another.

'We have one too'

Others said they had a similar doorway in their old home which ranged from the 1920s to the 1950s which left them feeling “creeped out”.

“We lived in a house that had something similar. If you could squeeze through it, there was a secret stair that went down to the kitchen. My mum, sisters and I could make it. Dad couldn't. But it creeps us out, so we left it alone,” one person shared.

Built in ironing board shown in newspaper illustration (left) and a narrow door (right).
It seems the most reasonable explanation for the unusual opening was a old-school built-in ironing board. Source: Facebook

But others said the door had a more practical purpose rather than just leading to a secret area or being used to store things.“My daughter had an apartment that had one. It held a hot water heater and brooms and mop,” one said.

Another person said her 1900's home had something very similar close to her chimney which gets warm in the winter."I wish I knew [what it was for]. Ours came with an ironing board in it that looked like it hadn’t been used since the 80s," she said.

So, what is it?

While no one commenting on the post could offer a definitive answer, it appears the general consensus on the most likely explanation was indeed for ironing board storage. But Aussie heritage homes expert Scott Lucas says there's no real way of knowing what it is without more information from the owner.

Narrow storage area containing a mop and an ironing board (left) and an empty narrow storage area (right).
Others shared similar spaces in their homes, showing how they used them. Source: Facebook

"The niche looks like it's been there a while, but without looking at the room or the rest of the house, it's difficult to make a call on it being part of the original build," he told Yahoo News Australia.

And while it's unclear what the strange space is used for, he does say he can tell it was once a closed-off space. "I'm sure it used to have a door as the floor and internal wall colours are different to the room. It's common for cupboards not to get painted as part of a room refresh," he said.

"I wouldn't want to speculate what the purpose of the cupboard was, but it's nothing obvious. One of the charms of owning and renovating a heritage property is trying to decipher what is original and if not, why previous owners have made the change."

But when it comes to having seen these in Australia, Lucas says it's not a common find. "This is not something that I have seen in an Australian heritage property," he said.

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