Hoaxes & Rumors

Magic Stairwell: Real or Hoax?

Magic Stairwell: Real or Hoax?

A video circulating online shows what appears to be an impossible stairwell which seems to violate laws of physics by creating a never-ending loop. Is this video real or fake?

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The Video is a Hoax.

It was created as part of a Kickstarter project entitled, “The Stairwell Project: Building a Modern Myth” created by Michael Lacanilao. The project did not reach it’s goal of $12,000 by the deadline of April 22, 2013.

The Myth

The introduction to the original video contains an explanation of the project. Copies of the video circulating online have stripped away the introduction and presented the video as fact. The introduction stated, “So what we’re doing with this project is building a myth about my school, the Rochester Institute of Technology. The myth is that located somewhere in this campus is this architectural marvel called the Escherian Stairwell.”

The term “Escherian” refers to the art of M.C. Esher, a Dutch graphic artist whose drawings depicted mind-bending architectural impossibilities.

More information on the project is provided on its Kickstarter page:

The myth is that located in Rochester, NY, is the Escherian Stairwell, an architectural marvel that seems to violate the laws of physics and basic logic by looping back into itself. In order to lend credence to this myth, we’re creating an episode for a family-friendly science show that demonstrates the staircase in action, various clips from a 1997 documentary with prominent thinkers grappling with the existence of this apparent contradiction and pontificating on its implications, and a whole slew of supplemental online materials for today’s internet savvy audience to stumble across while trying to see if this thing is real (websites, scholarly articles, fan-pages, blogs, etc.). Help us build the myth!

Watch the video

This is the original Kickstarter video which contains the introduction about the goals of the project.

Bottom Line

The “Magic Stairwell” is a myth created as part of a 2013 Kickstarter project. The video is not real, but simply employs clever editing techniques.

The Stairwell Project: Building a Modern Myth (Kickstarter)

Updated January 30, 2015
Originally published May 2013

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