There are all sorts of mysteries hovering around New York City when you start to look around: creepy Mister Softee jingles, Keano spiritual consultant ads, G train portals, ancient Road Trip subway ads, an underground home, unrelenting maple syrup smells, and silver spaceship cars, to name just a few we've covered in the past. But all of those are things that exist in the public spaces of the city—what happens when you encounter a true NYC mystery inside your own apartment?
That's a situation that TikTok user Samantha Hartsoe encountered recently when she tried to figure out why she kept feeling cold air blowing on her in her bathroom. She quickly realized the air is coming from behind her bathroom mirror, and began a very compelling series of four TikTok videos.
[YOU CAN WATCH THE NEXT THREE VIDEOS BELOW, OR SKIP STRAIGHT TO SPOILERS FOR THE TIKTOK APARTMENT MYSTERY AFTER THAT]
In the second video, she found a hole behind her bathroom mirror leading to another room, which she compared to the secret room in the film Parasite. In the third video, she decided to go through the hole and explore this other room with a hammer in hand. And in the final video, she discovered trash bags filled with stuff and a bottle of Core drinking water inside the area, along with what appeared to be a lot of broken plywood and a toilet.
“Made it out alive,” she declared at the end, after exiting her mirror. “My landlord’s getting a really fun phone call tomorrow.”
We've reached out to Hartsoe to see what her landlord told her about the extra room inside her bathroom mirror, but assuming this building wasn't created by a Being John Malkovich superfan, there seems to be a logical explanation for it: as one person wrote on Twitter, "This is a refurbished project. Maintenance guys used to not want to stand in the hallway if the tenant wasn't there, so they had entrances thru the bathroom mirror. Candyman was inspired by a guy in Chicago who was getting in those and sexually assaulting women."
An article in the Chicago Reader in 1987 reported on the trend of intruders breaking into apartments through medicine cabinets in Chicago Housing Authority project buildings. They wrote that suspects who would "take over a pair of adjacent vacant apartments now often link them by taking down the medicine cabinets, providing an escape route should security or police enter one of the apartments."