No, that’s not a euphemism.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to have hidden staircases, bookshelves with hidden doors, and trapdoors beneath every rug. It may have been an overdose of Nancy Drew. Nevertheless, my dream house would feature all these things. My husband is a contractor, but seeing as we currently live in an apartment building, I have a feeling the neighbours would object if I started tunneling into their living rooms.
Even better, I’d like to live in Casa Loma. Because not only is it a castle, it’s a castle with secret passages. Multiple. If you don’t live in Toronto, you may not know of Casa Loma. An eccentric financier built it in the early 1900s, and it bankrupted him. Complete impracticality aside, it just screams gothic horror, and looks like the setting of Clue, or some suitably melodramatic horror. Also, can you imagine how many bookshelves you could fit in there? Plus, it is supposedly haunted. Having a ghost (friendly) would also make the perfect reader’s house, as far as I’m concerned. So far I haven’t found any available for hire, but I’m keeping an eye on Craigslist.
It seems to be a common thing, actually, for book lovers to yearn for hidden doors and underground tunnels. There are sites out there dedicated to photos of particularly good ones, and companies that will happily build them for you. For me, it really was Nancy Drew that was the original inspiration.
So how about you guys? Anyone else who would love to have a bookcase on hinges? And what inspired your love of secret passages?