So what was behind those doors that hadn’t been opened in a hundred years? Let’s take a peek into the fertile imaginations of our contestants.
An excerpt from The Room At the End of the Hall by Leslie H, age 11
Today is the day, I will find out what is behind the mystery door! The only problem is I have to sneak at night because my parents think the dumbwaiter is empty and I will “certainly fall to my death!” I am kind of scared because the fourth floor has no windows and only one dingy room that used to be a study. Mona Lisa hangs on the wall in the study just watching you work, no matter where you are so, I will have to stick to the hallway with my candle and more dusty pictures, but since they don’t watch your every move, I should be safe. Wish me luck, I’ll need it.
July 13, 1943
I just found out what was behind that door! A tiny room with old furniture, antiques, and rocking chair - that was rocking! The tiny room was really dusty. Some of that dust was even black! The room smells funny too, like a mixture of honey and tacos. Not a good smelling combination.
July 15, 1943
I think I figured out what that the black dust was! The black dust is from an Ancient Greek warrior who plans to take over the world! I am really mad at myself because I let my curiosity get the best of me. What I need to do though is trap him behind the door again, and I know just how to do it.
An excerpt from an untitled story by Tehila L.
Excitedly, I crept into the room. My flashlight flooded the small room with light, and I glanced around , curious to see what was hidden there. All that I saw was a wide drape hanging on the wall. It was hard to see, because it blended in with the walls. Cautiously, I removed the drape, and revealed a beautiful painting of a landscape, with tall trees that ran alongside the winding road. In the distance, you were able to see a small village, with tiny figures walking about. I squinted at the name scribbled in the left-hand corner. Vincent Van Gogh. I gasped. He was from the 1800s! Perfect! I had my entire report laid out!
Just.... why in the world would someone want to hide such a gorgeous painting? I mean, who would go out and buy a magnificent painting, then hide it behind a drape in a room hidden by a bookcase in another hidden room??
An excerpt from The Orphanage’s Hidden Door by Alison M, age 11
My hand reached for the door. I intended on opening the doorknob, but my hand knocked twice. The door was cold and it made bruises on my knuckles. Slowly, it opened.
A closet. It was a closet.
Some interesting things about closets:
They hold things, they are small,
And some of them take you back in time.
That is this closet.
It held one old boot. A shelf was on the top with a coat rack hanging below that. I stepped in, wanting a better look at the boot. Instead, When I got in the door shut and the closet was black as night.
It started to spin and shake. It was like riding a rollercoaster in the dark. I felt nauseous and uneasy. Finally, it stopped.
An excerpt from The Gold Locket by Megan, age 10
I got out of the car and my mom stood there and opened a velvet box. It held a beautiful, gold, heart locket with a silver chain. Inside was a picture of both of us. I walked to iron gate and looked back, my mom was gone. I put the locket in my pocket and opened the gate; I knocked on the blue, wooden door. A stubby, short old lady answered the door. She pulled me into the building. I fell and a sharp agonizing pain pierced my skin. A rusty old nail was stuck in my knee. I felt like an abused animal. “Get up,” she shouted. I got up and ran. Up the stairs, around corners, down hallways. I finally came to a door. It was the only wooden door in the hallway. It had a brass handle, and a brass knocker with a monster on it. I gave the door three solitary knocks. The fact I had to grab the handle that was in the monster’s mouth gave me chills. I heard heavy footsteps coming nearer, and nearer. I studied the door, like a pirate studying a map. I twisted the handle and opened the door. A bright light shone in the doorway, I stepped through the door. I studied my surroundings. I was in a winter wonderland. The mountains seemed to sweep commandingly into the heavens.
An excerpt from Behind the Door by Miah S, age 12
I stepped inside the closet, and as I did I felt the floor beneath my feet give way just a little. A pressure pad, I realized. I whirled around to leave - who knew what sort of traps an old house like this one could have - just as the door slammed in my face and the closet was plunged into darkness. I felt for the doorknob, but before I found it the floor dropped out from under me, into a chute of some sort heading steeply down.
I was too shocked to scream, so I silently whizzed down the chute for what seemed like miles, picking up more and more momentum the farther I went. Just as I was thinking that this would never end, the chute spit me out onto a pile of cushions caked with dust. Maybe the landing would have been pleasant 100 years ago, but right now it was disgusting. Not only were the pillows so dusty I couldn’t tell what color they were, but they bore signs of animals living in them. Animals like spiders and mice and earwigs. I shuddered and hurried to stand up. When I did I very nearly fell back down again.
I was standing in the most enormous library I had ever seen.
The walls were covered with floor to ceiling bookcases, their wood matching that in the house. Despite being underground the library had an airy feel and a high, arching ceiling.
I slowly walked to the nearest bookshelf and reverently brushed my fingers along the spines of the books.