What Are Witches’ Stairs? The Bizarre Home Design Choice Explained

Unveiling Witches’ Stairs

A distinctive architectural feature known as witches’ stairs gained attention on TikTok a couple of years ago, sparking curiosity due to its unusual design. Despite its intriguing name, the history behind these stairs defies superstition, proving to be both functional and visually appealing.

The Misconception: Clarifying Origins

Contrary to popular belief, witches’ stairs aren’t rooted in superstition. They serve a practical purpose, especially in homes with limited space, often found in attics, lofts, and tiny houses. Architects refer to them as ‘alternate tread stairs,’ designed to optimize space while facilitating movement between floors.

Functional Design: Maximizing Space

Witches’ stairs feature narrow steps staggered to save space, providing functionality without sacrificing safety. Additionally, they can serve as storage areas for books or decorative items. These stairs meet building codes and safety standards, with residential versions typically spanning 27 to 30 inches in width, narrower than standard staircases.

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