There are few things in this world more tantalizing than mysterious locked doors. It’s human nature to want to explore forbidden places, so a locked door presents an alluring enigma. If someone took the time and effort to lock a place away, there must be something intriguing and important waiting. However, some of these mysteries are better left unsolved. Below, read about five of the world’s most fascinating and mysterious locked doors that should probably be left unopened.
5. Mysterious Locked Doors – The Hidden Chamber of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. In 1631, Shah Jahan began work on the temple, which was to be a monument to his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died giving birth to their 14th child. The temple, which took 22 years and 32 million rupees to complete, was truly a work of love. Although this breathtaking building attracts up to 8 million visitors every year, there are places in the temple that tourists never see.
Below the areas where tourists often visit, there is an entire story with entrances sealed behind marble arches. It is believed that there are 1,089 rooms in this hidden level. There is another floor, hiding approximately 22 rooms, hidden behind Hindu paintwork. Even on the open first floor, there are numerous mysterious locked doors that no one is able to unseal.
What is hidden in these sealed areas? There are several theories. The prevailing belief is that these areas were built hastily and do not boast the same grandeur as the rest of the monument, so Shah Jahan wanted to keep anyone from seeing them. However, not everyone believes that this is the true secret of the mysterious locked doors.
According to one theory, the sealed areas of the Taj Mahal are actually hiding the woman the monument immortalizes: Mumtaz Mahal. This theory purports that Shah Jahan secretly had his favorite wife mummified so that he could keep her close to him, even in death. This would have been a serious violation of the Islamic Commandments, and he would have been declared a heretic had the transgression been discovered.
Some also believe that Mumtaz Mahal remains in the hidden rooms in more than just body; that her spirit haunts the rooms as well. Although the Shah built this epic monument in her honor, not everyone believes that this adored spouse was as happy in life as history would have us believe. Her husband, after all, had a harem numbering in the thousands, and he and his armies were known for their sexual violence.
Are the sealed areas of the Taj Mahal home to the spirit of a scorned wife, or possibly even the spirits of the Shah’s many victims? The answers lie behind sealed doors that will likely never be opened.
4. Mysterious Locked Doors – The Mystery of the Padmanabhaswamy Temple
Although the Taj Mahal is the most well-known temple in India, it is not the only one that tourists frequent, nor is it the only one that boasts mysterious locked doors.
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple is believed to have been built in the 6th century as a temple to the Hindu god, Vishnu. It is filled with precious treasures and since 1729, had been managed by the Travancore Royal Family. However, in 2011 their control was stripped away when accusations that they were mismanaging the temple’s treasures came to light. A committee took over the temple, and upon entering found six sealed vaults.
The vaults were not easy to open. They were sealed by iron doors with no locks, hatches, hinges, or any other indication of openings. Five of the doors were eventually opened, but one remains sealed: the mysterious Chamber B.
Chamber B is inexplicably absent from all records of the temple’s treasure, and there are many legends that have sprung up about it. Some believe that the chamber is somehow linked to the ocean floor, and opening it will cause a massive flood of Biblical proportions. Others claim that the Travancore Royal Family sealed the door with a spell cast by religious officials from numerous religions and that only a high priest can open it without bringing about disaster.
Since the temple has been opened by the committee, there have been numerous attempts to open Chamber B. Many of the people who have been involved in these attempts have inexplicably fallen ill. Even Sunder Rajan, who was largely responsible for removing the Travancores from their stewardship of the temple, died not long after Chamber B was discovered.
Are these illnesses and deaths just coincidences, or is there something dark and powerful lurking behind this locked door in the Padmanabhaswamy Temple? There are many who are still trying to open the chamber, but others believe it is better left alone.
3. Mysterious Locked Doors – Beneath the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor
In 1974, five brothers digging a well in China made one of the greatest archeological discoveries in history. Little did they know that their discovery would be the first step to finding one of the world’s most mysterious locked doors.
The brothers found terracotta fragments that led to the discovery of a massive underground necropolis: the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the First Qin Emperor. The necropolis was massive, and excavating just a small portion took years. One of the first and most famous discoveries was a group of over 7,000 terracotta statues of warriors and horses erected to protect the emperor’s tomb.
The brothers who were responsible for the initial discovery and excavation of the necropolis later came to regret their find. All five began to suffer immensely after the excavations began. They and their families began to face extreme financial hardships, soon sinking into poverty. They came down with mysterious diseases and were too poor to afford medicine. One of the five hanged himself to end his suffering, and the others eventually died, penniless. Many believe that the tomb they helped unearth is cursed and that the curse is the cause of their misfortune.
The actual tomb containing the remains of Qin Shi Huang has yet to be opened. The necropolis surrounding it is massive, so excavations will take decades. Many believe that the tomb itself should remain sealed. After the suffering that was visited on the brothers who first discovered the mausoleum, who knows what horrors could be waiting behind the mysterious locked doors of the tomb itself?
2. The Hall of Records Below the Great Sphinx of Giza
The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of Egypt’s most iconic sites. Carved from a solid piece of limestone, it is an impressive feat of architecture and art. However, is this massive statue hiding one of history’s mysterious locked doors?
It isn’t an uncommon belief that the people of ancient Egypt had knowledge that modern societies can only dream of. How else could they have created impressive monuments such as the pyramids? Many who theorize about the ancient knowledge of Egypt believe that somewhere under the sands of Egypt lies a library holding its ancient secrets, known as the Hall of Records.
Could this library be waiting beneath the Great Sphinx? Archeologists have long known that there are in fact caverns beneath the Sphinx, but the Egyptian government has so far not allowed any additional excavation or research into the caverns. What are these caves hiding? Could it be the lost knowledge of ancient Egypt?
Some believe that there is good reason to leave the caverns unexplored. In addition to the Hall of Records, some theorize that the caverns were home to an ancient race of intelligent beings that are distinctly different from humanity. Some believe they were aliens. Some believe they were Atlantians. Some believe they were something else entirely.
Whatever these beings were, many think that their home should remain undisturbed. Who knows what evils they left behind? Who knows if they ever left at all?
1. The Terrors of Banff Springs Hotel Room 873
Ancient temples and monuments aren’t the only places where you can find mysterious locked doors. Sometimes, a simple hotel room can be the site of enough horrors to prompt its owners to seal it off for good.
One example of such a riddle can be found at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada. On the 8th floor of this picturesque hotel, you may notice that room 873 is mysteriously absent. Where the door to this room should be, you’ll find only a large expanse of empty wall. Although room 873 seems to have vanished, its door still exists behind this sealed-up section of wall. If you knock on this section of wall, you can clearly hear that it is hollow inside.
According to the legends surrounding the room, many years ago a married couple checked into room 873 with their young daughter. They were a typical, happy family on holiday. That is, until they entered room 873. In the middle of the night, something in the room caused the husband to go insane, and he violently killed his wife and child before taking his own life.
After the violent deaths, the hotel renovated the room and started renting it again, hoping to move past the tragedy. However, guests would regularly be awoken by blood-curdling screams, only to find bloody handprints marking the walls. Some were thrown from their beds or even found the bloody hands marking their own bodies.
Are these incidents the result of the massacred family remaining in room 873? Or were these guests getting a taste of what drove the murderer mad? Either way, the hotel opted to lock the door to the room forever and seal it off behind a brick wall. Considering its bloody history, room 873 is another of the world’s mysterious locked doors that should probably remain closed.