This Facebook Group Is Dedicated To Sharing “Death Stairs”, Here Are 45 Of Their Best Pics Interview
Going up and down stairs is a regular part of most people’s days. Whether you live in a two-story house, work on the fifth floor of an office building, or live in a city with lots of hills and stairs to climb, you probably don’t think much about them when you encounter a flight of stairs. But I’m sure we all know that feeling where you accidentally misstep while walking down them or think you’ve reached a last step a tad bit prematurely, and suddenly, your heart skips a beat and your life flashes before your eyes. Going up or down a staircase can be the most mundane activity in your day, or it can be the most frightening moment in an otherwise normal and safe day…
If you’re curious about all of the most dangerous and frightening staircases the world has to offer, allow us to introduce you to the Death Stairs Facebook group. This community, (whose witty name we are absolutely obsessed with) is dedicated to sharing photos of the most dangerous staircases members can find. From extremely long stretches of steps snaking their way up mountains to carpeted stairs covered in trippy patterns that will make your eyes hurt, we’ve gathered some of the craziest death stairs down below.
Keep reading to find interviews with both of the group's administrators, Lane Sutterby and Duffy Toler, and be sure to upvote the pics that you think deserve a death stare. Then let us know in the comments if you’ve ever encountered any particularly scary stairs, and if you’d like to check out another Bored Panda article featuring questionably designed stairs, look no further than right here!
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The Death Stairs Facebook group was first created on November 8th, 2020, and it has already amassed over 61k members. The group’s description welcomes visitors and members to the community, noting that Death Stairs is “where ascension is perilous and descending is deadly”. They invite people to share the “deadliest staircases” and to “tread safely”, as many of the photos shared there feature staircases that are certainly not for the faint of heart.
To learn more about the history of Death Stairs and what it’s like running the page, we reached out to the group’s administrators, Lane Sutterby and Duffy Toler, on Facebook. Lane, who created the page, shared that his original vision for the group was just for it to be a "tag group". "One where someone would comment and tag the group’s name in a relevant post in another group such as That’s it, I’m architecture shaming," he explained.
"I never could have dreamed of how large the group has become!" Lane told Bored Panda. "Running the group is a breeze, I have an excellent team of mods and admin that handle the very few issues that arise. Special shout-out to Duffy Toler, he stays on top of things, he’s the man!" Duffy also noted that running the page hasn't been too challenging. "Page is just very light amusement, so there's almost no flame wars or dumpster fires."
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When it comes to why people are so captivated by these death stairs, Lane told Bored Panda, "I think because they make us all stop and think, 'Who thought that was a good idea? Who signed off on that design? Why does this exist? It’s potentially deadly!' It’s something that we all can relate to, when we see death stairs, no sane person thinks they’re fine to use. In a way, it disturbs the societal norm enough that it sticks in our minds for a while."
Duffy also shared his thoughts on why the page is so fascinating. “I think some people are attracted to the group because they had a pic of some bad stairs,” he shared. “Some have mobility issues. Some are from that mysterious ‘stairs in the woods’ thing from a few years ago.”
What he is referring to is a phenomenon of people finding random stairs in the woods that went viral last year. These random staircases that seemingly lead nowhere were found all over the world, in Cambodia, the United States, Sweden, the Philippines, Germany and Italy. Those stairs were mostly mysterious, rather than deathly, but I can see how they might attract similar audiences. They’re all captivating stairs!
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We also asked Lane and Duffy if they have a favorite set of death stairs that they've ever seen shared in the group or in real life.
"I’ve seen a couple different staircases in person that were way too steep, or the steps blend into each other walking down them," Lane shared. "But my favorite one was in a house my girlfriend Sam and I were walking through with her realtor once; steep and carpeted, and at the top they made a weird 90 degree turn to avoid a sloped ceiling that forced you to step up on the wall next to them, essentially. But if you started back down them too far to the left then you’d end up falling a couple feet and sliding the rest of the way down on your bottom!"
“There are a bunch of good ones, it's hard to choose,” Duffy added. “There was a picture of a tombstone that was a staircase. There are a number of comic but scary construction mistakes. Some pics show little more than rocks chipped from a cliff face in ancient times. IRL there were some sketchy stairs leading to makeshift docks for fishing boats on the coast of NC when I was a kid.”
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Finally, we asked both administrators what exactly qualifies as “death stairs”. "I think that could be anything from extremely poor design to terrible build quality, and especially ones that instill fear due to their location, proximity to long falls, potential for ice or wet surfaces causing slips that could end up extremely harmful or deadly," Lane told Bored Panda.
“The wonderful members of the group have been exploring what ‘Death Stairs’ are in some creative ways,” Duffy shared. “Some stairs aren't really frightening so much as they are confusing, I like those a lot. Many of them are poorly constructed, a good one of these is a ‘When you see it…’ kind of thing. Art installations sometimes employ stairs in bizarre ways. Halloween brings stairs with skulls on them, winter brings stairs with ice.”
Lane also wanted to warn readers to tread carefully! "You never know when you might encounter death stairs in the wild."
Despite its morbid name, the Death Stairs Facebook group is a lighthearted community. But unfortunately, in reality, there are plenty of death stairs around the globe. And they might not look any different from the stairs you encounter every day at home or in your office building. According to data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, approximately 12,000 people lose their lives on a staircase every year. And an astonishing 1 million people end up in the emergency room every year due to stair-related injuries. So if you're typically texting or playing games on your phone while walking up or down stairs, here's your friendly reminder to pay closer attention!
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When it comes to what types of injuries people incur while trekking up or down stairs, Amstep Products notes on their site that the injuries vary greatly. The most common are sprains and strains, head and neck injuries, and fractures. But patients have also been treated for spinal cord damage, deep lacerations, brain injuries, injuries to the back or neck, broken bones, internal bleeding and lower extremity injuries. Yikes! Interestingly enough, most of these falls also occur in our own homes. So don’t run up or down, skip steps or ignore the handrail. And don’t let your own staircase become a set of death stairs!
There are certain factors that can make our staircases more prone to become death devices, though. According to MedLegal360, some of the most common causes of stair-related injuries are slippery steps, snow-covered or icy stairs, liquid spills, torn carpets, underlighting, improper handrails, uneven or missing steps and cluttered stairways. So be extra careful with outdoor stairs in the winter, and resist the temptation to store anything on the steps in your home. That Christmas tree might look adorable there, but you don’t want to regret it when you come tumbling down on top of it and shatter all of your precious ornaments (and perhaps a few bones!).
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If I’ve terrified you from walking up or down the stairs in your home, first of all, I’m so sorry! And second of all, don’t fret. There are a few steps you can take to ensure your safety when going up or down floors. Amstep Products recommends that we all pay close attention when walking up or down them, remove any trip hazards, tread carefully, walk slowly, and if you so desire, install non-slip stair treads or stair nosing to create better friction. I have fallen on my rear end more times than I’d like to admit by running up wooden stairs in socks when I was a kid, so believe me when I say, some extra tread can make a huge difference.
We hope we haven’t accidentally given you a fear of stairs from viewing the photos on this list. But continue to tread carefully when going up and down staircases, and if there’s a handrail available, don’t hesitate to use it. Keep upvoting the pictures that you think perfectly encapsulate what “death stairs” are, and let us know in the comments if you’ve ever encountered any particularly frightening stairs out in the wild. Then if you’re interested in checking out another Bored Panda article featuring horribly designed stairs, you can find a few here, here and here! Watch your step!