What's With These Ingenious/Terrifying Stairs?

What's With These Ingenious/Terrifying Stairs?

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Tess Wilson
Jul 27, 2015

Q: My boyfriend has these stairs in the duplex he lives in (probably built around 1900). A section of the lower stairs "fold" up into the higher stairs to reveal the entrance to the basement. Since this is for the upper flat it is the only way to access the basement. Has anyone seen this before? Is it called anything specific?

Also please forgive the mess in the pictures; we are in the process of fixing the place up. -Sent by Inanna

Editor: We had so much fun speculating about The Mysterious Bathroom 2x4, I thought we'd give The World's Scariest Staircase a go. In this case, it's obvious what the purpose of these stairs is, but does anybody know more about them? Were they ever commonplace? And, most importantly, is it possible to free yourself from the basement if the upper stairs close down behind you?

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