10 Eccentric Homes With Hidden Passageways


Körner's Folly

Known as "The Strangest House in the World," Körner's Folly in Kernersville, N.C., takes eccentric home designs to a new level -- that is, lots of new levels. The home, built as a showcase of the talents of interior designer Jule Körner, has 22 rooms on seven levels and three floors. The 15 fireplaces are each completely different, as are all the doors. Room heights vary from about 6 feet (1.8 meters), befitting a child, to a grand 25 feet (7.62 meters) in some adult gathering spaces [source: Salisbury Post].

It's said that someone, either a cousin or a neighbor, declared the house would surely be "Körner's folly," which so delighted Körner that he had the name set in tile and used it as a name plaque outside the house. Körner began building Körner's Folly when he was a bachelor, and it was never intended to be a permanent home. But that changed after he got married.

In terms of secret rooms and passageways, Körner's Folly has those, too, but their purposes were more practical or whimsical than secretive. The home's many narrow passageways, some as narrow as 2 feet (61 centimeters), simply connect the rooms and floors. The underground passageway was built so that visitors could reach other buildings on the property without getting wet or dirty during inclement weather. The trap doors which so fascinate visitors today were actually part of an elaborate air conditioning system that encouraged air flow throughout the house. Perhaps not quite as practical are the fascinating nooks, crannies and cubbyholes, some of which are covered by curtains. Körner and his wife hosted numerous parties, and Körner built in these hideaway spots so that his guests could sneak away from the crowd and steal private kisses!