Hiddden Rooms and secret passages. From a pope escape route to hidden rooms found in houses, you’ll want to visit all of these.
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10) The National Library Of India:

Library of india chamber

 

The national library of India is the largest library in the country, and home to over 2 million books. Before Indian independance it was lived in by the governor of Bengal. Which might go some way to explain the secret room.

In 2010, a hidden room was discovered during the restoration of the building. The room was found to be 1,000 square feet but no entrance to the chamber was found. It is essentially just an empty room so it’s anyones guess what it was used for. One theory is that it was used to imprison Indian revolutionaries. It was common practice for them to be thrown in small rooms. The room would then be bricked up, sealing them in forever. Another theory is that it was used to hide treasure. But to me it sounds like a 19th century sex dungeon. I’m sure there is no ither reasonable explanation for an empty room.


9) Mont Sainte-Odile Abbey:

Mont_Sainte-Odile

High on the top of a French mountain is Mont Sainte-Odile, a 7th century Abbey. Between August 2000 and May 2002 over one thousand ancient books were stolen from the Abbey. After a while of meaningless investigation by useless detectives, the theif was caught in the act. It turns out he had been entering the library through a secret passage he discovered on an old map of the building.

He would climb the outside wall and run up a secret staircase to reach the hidden entrance. One of the cupboards would then be opened by a mechanism, allowing him to enter the library. The man, a local book collector was finally spotted by security cameras. So for a man willing to read old maps to find secret passages… he’s surprisingly naive.

Further reading


8) Track 61:

tunnel

New York’s grand central terminal is known for it’s mysteries. It is riddled with closed off areas and hidden passages. There is an abandoned platform named track 61. Hidden on the platform is a secret tunnel leading to an elevator shaft. The shaft is connected to a hotel directly above the platform. The passage was used by president Roosevelt. This way he could quickly travel straight from his train to his hotel room while avoiding newspaper reporters the whole time. Visit the platform today and you will see the heavily armored private train the president travelled in, where it has been left to rust.

Further reading


7) Levi Coffin House:

Levi coffin house

During the mid 19th century a small house in Indiana was owned by a man named Levi Coffin. The house was full of secret areas, and next to the bedroom was a small hidden room. Coffin would use this room to hide the slaves he was helping escape to the North of America where they could live free. Over 20 years he hid 2,000 fleeing slaves. He would look after them until they were ready to be transported to their next destination.

Due to his efforts, Levi Coffin came to be known as president of the underground railroad. For anyone wondering what that was, the underground railroad was a network of safe houses used to transport slaves to freedom.

Undergroundrailroad

Further reading


6) Cu Chi Tunnels:

CuChiTunnels

The Cu Chi tunnels are a huge network of underground tunnels in Vietnam. During the Vietnam war, the tunnels were heavily used by the Viet Cong as supply routes and for general movement. Trap door entrances are camoflaged to make them undetectable when closed. Use of the tunnels was so effective that the U.S. Army mounted several campaigns against them. By use of carpet bombing they aimed to literally just destroy the tunnels. But they were mostly met by failure.

It was like a massive game of wack a mole – if the mole was a scary communist that only pops up at night time. It is thought that many of the tunnels are still undiscovered. Which is worrying considering that they were famous for being booby-trapped.

Further reading


5) Harvington Hall Priest Holes:

England’s Harvington Hall is a medieval manor house famous for it’s priest-holes. A priest-hole is a small hidden area of a building that a priest would hide in. They were forced to hide during the 16th century as catholics were being persecuted at the time.

Harvington Hall has 7 priest-holes. 4 of these are around the staircase and are accessed by lifting the individual steps to reveal a small ladder. When authorities would search houses for catholics, guards would be ordered to stand on the stairs, making them less likely to be searched.

Further reading


4) The 21 Club:

During the American prohibition of alcohol there were certain places people would go to illegally obtain booze. One of which was the 21 club. The 21 club was known to gangsters accross New York City as the place to be. The alcohol was kept in a secret room, closed behind a huge door disguised as a cement wall. The wall weighed two and a half tonns so it required several people to pull it open and reveal the rows of stacked up bottles of wine.

The owners were never caught as they used a lever system to dump the empty bottles into the sewers below the shop. A frequent visitor to the hidden room was nono other than the mayor of New York City himself. Which might go some way to explain why it was never raided by police.


3) Colditz Castle Glider Room:

During the second world war, Colditz castle was used as a POW camp for captured British and French soldiers. During their time there some prisoners crafted a fake wall and ceiling out of wood and mud, which created a secret room in the attick. In the secret room they built a glider with the aim of flying it to freedom. They planned their escape for the spring of 1945 but the castle was liberated just before this.

Further reading


2) Passetto Di Borgo:

Passetto

Passetto di Borgo was a secret passage that connected Vatican city to the mausleum of Hadrian in Rome. It was used as a secret escape tunnel by several Popes. In 1494, Pope Alexander VI used it to escape an invasion. Pope Clement VII also fled through the passage during the sacking of Rome in 1527. The passage was about 800 meters long and it ran along the wall of the Vatican City. According to local legend if you run through the passage 77 times, you will gain great pysical strength.

Further reading


1) Murder Castle:

H._H._Holmes_Castle

With over 200 victims, H.H. Holmes is usually seen as America’s first serial killer. In 1893 he built a large hotel in Chicago. Dubbed ‘the house of horrors’ or ‘murder castle’ it is now known for it’s hidden rooms, where Holmes would murder his victims. But the most secret hidden room was down in the basement. It was called the disection room, where he would murder 50 women before cutting them into pieces and burning their bodies. But the hotel also had gas chambers, acid pits, and even a stretching rack. Holmes was eventually convicted on 4 counts of murder and hanged by the neck until dead in 1896.

Further reading


 

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