The Hogwarts passageways are confusing: We learn there is a passageway in the 4th floor of Hogwarts behind a mirror leading to Hogsmeade, but how can a passageway come out from 4 floors above the ground?

"Right into Hogsmeade," said Fred, tracing one of them with his finger. "There are seven in all. Now, Filch knows about these four" – he pointed them out – "but we're sure we're the only ones who know about these. Don't bother with the one behind the mirror on the fourth floor. We used it until last winter, but it's caved in – completely blocked." (POA chapter 10)

also the passageway behind the witch on the 3rd floor that leads into Honeydukes that Harry uses in the 3rd year – how is it possible?

 "He turned, halfway along the third-floor corridor, to see Fred and George peering out at him from behind a statue of a humpbacked, one-eyed witch."

And finally, the passageway out of "the hog's head" (Aberforth's house), of the painting of Ariana Dumbledore is located on the second floor of the inn.

A possible answer can be that the Hogwarts walls are really wide, since the basilisk managed to travel through them, but that raises other questions – such as the castle would need to be twice the size, and just walking through the doorway would take a minute. also that still doesn't solve the problem, because even if the walls are really wide, there still isn't enough room for the passageway to descend, and there aren't any ladders in them.

I'm also pretty sure Hogwarts isn't connected to a mountain or something like that.

  • 13
    Magic? I suspect the answer is magic.
    – shufly
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 21:40
  • 2
    Space is wibbly wobbly stuff & magic can have full control over it.
    – user931
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 22:05
  • I suspect there are passageways even the Weasleys don't know about. Mr Filch seems to have a sufficient command of secret ways that he's always showing up within moments of Mrs Norris spotting a bit of rule breaking. It's you basic enchanted castle: weird things are bound to occur.
    – elemtilas
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 22:17
  • 2
    The staircases lead to weird places so clearly there's some paradoxical architecture happening.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 23:45
  • Which passage was behind a mirror? I only recall the witch statue being one of the markers. Commented Jun 24, 2020 at 21:59

1 Answer 1


There are real world examples with staircases hidden in or behind the walls in castles and old buildings. You can see a lot of pictures of these on this pinterest page.

I just googled for „hidden staircase castle“ and found hundreds of examples.

And there are other books and media that use them for suspension (Inferno – in Paris, Game of Thrones – Kings Landing where Tyrion gets to his father Tywin, etc.)

Its not unreasonable to think that these doors lead to such hidden staircases. And after all: it‘s magic. Using the undetectable expansion charm you can hide such a staircase in the smallest amount of space or have some kind of vanishing cabinet behind the door that leads to its twin in Hogsmeade.

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