#1 CSI: The Hidden Room Behind The Wainscoting

This is the first post of The Nook & Cranny Digest. The beginning. The best place to start is at the beginning, or so they say. For this first post I decided it would only be right to go back to the beginning of my fascination with all things even tangentially related to secret passageways, hidden rooms, trap doors, secret compartments, and even little nooks and crannies not immediately apparent to the casual observer. There’s something intrinsicly cool about such places and when I come across one it commands my attention and leaves an indelible impression of fascination and excitement.

Back in the day, as my grandfather would say (though I’m not old enough to be throwing that one around quite yet), I was a devout viewer of the television show CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. For the record: I wasn’t the only one enthralled with it, the show consitently ranked among the top 10 shows (by viewership) for it’s first 11 seasons. One particular episode caught my attention with it’s use of a hidden room that was access via a sliding panel hidden in the wainscoting of an office in a Victorian style mansion. To be fair, I don’t remember my exact feelings or reaction the first time I saw the episode (probably disgust and bewilderment, watch the video and you’ll understand why) but in the twelve years since I’ve always been drawn back to that secret panel in the wainscoting. It was so clever!

Well, as it turned out, that was just the tip of the iceberg for me. Since then I’ve been fascinated with the portrayal of everything from secret compartments in books to hidden rooms and secret corridors and everything in between in movies, television, and literature.

In The Nook & Cranny Digest you’ll find, in time, a concise compendium, or reference of sorts, to many of my favorite examples I’ve found throughout the years. If you have a favorite you’d like to contribute don’t hesitate to get in touch via the suggestion box at the bottom of this page (and every page)! I love hearing about secret compartments that I haven’t seen before and it’ll likely get featured here for other enthusiasts to enjoy. My plan (for what it’s worth) is to publish a new post every week (more often if time permits, less if life gets in the way)

Alright, alright, on to the video. Below is the scene from CSI that piqued my interest all those years ago. For context: the CSI team is investigating the death of a wealthy Las Vegas businessman at his home. As you will see, there are a few oddities they struggle to explain (half a handprint on the rug against the wall) and this leads to the discovery of the mans hidden room. If you can get past the downright awkward purpose of the room it’s an interesting architectural study. The video goes rather quick so don’t miss the gallery of still shots below the video. Enjoy!

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crawl space safe room secret room tunnel tv wainscoting wall entrance