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The Navidson Record is a Deconstruction Fic about an unfinished novel Zampano wrote.
Johnny found the remnants of the novel "The Navidson Record.", a symbolic story about how Zampano feels about Johnny being 'deformed' and cast into a "labyrinth" (a life of sex and drugs) sucking the sanity out of someone who feels guilt about letting a child wither away despite being able to save them (Zampano/Navidson). Johnny, being paranoid (from being raised with an insane mother), misinterprets the novel, and sees the Minotaur as a creature who is real and wants to kill him. So, in an attempt to keep himself safe, he extends the novel to great lengths, to try and have the monster get lost in the "labyrinth" (which, at this point, is the book), by adding backstories, in depth explanations of the dimensions of the house, millions of fake citations, fake celebrity quotes, (possibly extra characters) etc. He even goes to the point where he starts writing about his real life just to make the "labyrinth" more confusing. Unfortunately, the Minotaur "follows" Johnny into real life, in the form of delusions.
  • Johnny shows behavior like this when he gives all of Lude's dates messed up back stories, and when he tries to convince himself that he had a happy ending. Obviously, making up stories is normal for him.
  • This may also explain the nature of the house Johnny wanted to make a prison for the monster that nothing could escape from, but in the form of something harmless, so there was some hint of recognition for himself. This is why the Minotaur is never actually seen. It's lost, too.
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  • And, as a final note, this could also explain the two uses of purple text. Most notably, in the phrase A Novel. As one troper noted, purple is the combination of red and blue. Which means the Novel could be a combination of two things,The Minotaur, a creation of Zampano, and the house, a creation of Johnny. This also means what Johnny is remembering now is a combination of what Zampano wrote about and what Johnny thinks happened to him.

The Monster attacking Johnny is, in fact, nothing.
I don't mean nothing in the traditional sense. I mean he was being attacked by absence itself. Much like Holloway and the Navidson family. The panic attacks (like the "don't look behind you" one or the one in his apartment) weren't just figments of his imagination. It was nothing assaulting him, it just manifested itself as, well, nothing. He felt it attacking him, he knew all the terrible things that could happen, and he saw it all in his mind but in reality there wasn't anything there because the attacker was "nothing."

One of the Editors is Mark Z. Danielewski... the other is Walden D. Wyrtha.
Given that Walden Wyrtha is the one who found the 11 additional letters included in the stand-alone novella of The Whalestoe Letters, it's not at all implausible that he could also have access to Johnny somehow, even though Johnny is on the run (it'd be even more plausible if Johnny got caught and was now locked in a nuthouse, given that Wyrtha is in the mental health profession). He contacted Mark, who was looking for a good story, hence the edits he puts in (encoding his name into one of the footnotes).

The house and the book are, in fact, one and the same thing.
The inside of the book's jacket says

"Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth — musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies — the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children."


The last part, "who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children," is exactly like what happens to Will Navidson in his final journey into the house - he brings along a copy of a book called House of Leaves and burns it as he reads it. He then gets out of the house for the last time after having completely burned the book.

  • In German, the word "Blatt" can both mean "leaf" and "page" (of a book). A book has many pages / leaves, so it really is a house of leaves...
    • Leaf is an old-fashioned term for page in English, too. Many languages, in fact.
      • ..."He(Ts'ui Pên) must have said once: I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing".-Jorge Luis Borges...who just happened to write a short story called "The House of Asterion" about the Minotaur, and who went blind. Definitely not a coincidence.
      • Do you remember the two identical Spanish texts? The entire incident is a very straightforward reference to Borges short story "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote".

Pelafina is the Minotaur.
Pelafina commits suicide in late 1989. The Navidsons move into the house the next year. Coincidence?
  • Johnny is the Minotaur, the deformed child in the labyrinth, his foster father is Minos, Pelafina is the one who destroys him by chopping him up with an ax. While crying.

Johnny is Zampano, and both of them are dead -or- fun with numbers
If you assume each letter equals a number, such that A=1, B=2, etc., and you add up the numbers in JOHNNY and ZAMPANO, they both equal 86.

86 is popular slang for "get rid of" or "ignore". Grasping at straws, yes, but this book has a habit of not disregarding strange connections like this.

The house is an abandoned TARDIS that grew mean.
Bigger on the inside than the outside, linking to bizarre worlds humans cannot understand...
  • This is officially my favorite WMG and now I'm mad that I didn't think of it first.
  • This makes a rather scary amount of sense... enough so that when I described the book in general to my sister, she immediately came up with this.
  • Alternatively, it could be a dying TARDIS, since in 'The Name of the Doctor' the Doctor states that when a TARDIS is dying its "bigger on the inside" stuff starts leaking to the outside, making it grow bigger on the outside. Could explain the "infecting the house and killing Tom" incident; the dying TARDIS had a sudden 'growth spurt.'
Or it could be the same kind of thing from "the god complex".

It doesn't matter that it's fiction
Okay, so the book's fiction, right? But... Johnny knew that The Navidson Record was fiction, written about a movie which didn't exist. And that didn't help him much. Maybe I should check my doors...

The book doesn't exist.
It's all in your head. You need help.
  • Try burning this figment of your imagination. Maybe you'll end up back where you started? Maybe not.
  • The book house doesn't exist yet.

It's an IHOP
See XKCD for the truth.

The house is inhabited by (or is in itself) a Lovecraftian entity
  • Bizarre geometrics, damaging to people's sanity, utterly inexplicable. Seems pretty similar to many of the things connected to H. P. Lovecraft's alien gods and other gribly things.
  • Alternatively, it is in some way connected to Silent Hill. "Physical manifestation of guilt", anybody?
    • I think anybody who played the Catacombs level of Silent Hill 2 before reading this book had a very distinct mental image of the Labyrinth in this story, regardless of how the book describes it, and possibly wonders if it might be a spiritual cousin of Pyramid Head the explorers hear rampaging in the distant darkness...
  • Actually it was built by M.C. Escher, on a site chosen by Lovecraft.
  • Nope. Its floorplan was drawn up by Lovecraft, then it was constructed by the same guy who built the house in The Dionaea House on the site where Silent Hill was/will be.

Tom Navidson is the Witch-King

Navidson is Zampano is Johhny Truant is the Minotaur.
He never made the film. He's not even a real photographer. Which means he was never, ever able to prove that the House was real, that he didn't just invent it all - not even to himself. So he rewrote the book as a way to try to create the reality that he wished had happened, and tacked on the happy ending that he thought he deserved. Like how Johnny Truant does several times. And he's the monster in his own story, and he has dreams about being deformed in the maze - it all fits, people.
  • Alternatively, Johnny made the whole thing up. Zampano and the Navidsons never existed outside of Johnny's head. Several times, Johnny lets his own life bleed into the text supposedly written by Zampano, and many figures of speech are shared between "Zampano's" writing and Pelafina's.
    • Alternatively, Pelafina made the whole thing up. The house is her own expansive yet deteriorating mind. Navidson represents her efforts to understand what is happening to her. Zampano, her effort to make sense of this attempt at understanding. All presented to Johnny, her darling child that she killed as an infant. Only Pelafina is real. ABCDEFGHI(Pelafina)johnnyZ(ampano).

The Minotaur is Nidhogg.
If the house is Yggdrasil, then the creature inside it can only be Nidhogg, the giant dragon that gnaws on the roots of the tree in order to bring it, and the universe down. Thus, we should probably start writing this as Nidhogg.
  • Nidhogg is also known as the infamous "carrion-remover" or corpse-eater of Helheim, the Norse land of the dead. It devours the corpses of the damned, which parallels how the "creature" consumed Holloway. This would also explain the "something" that Holloway believed the "beast" was waiting for as well as why it waited so long to strike. As a corpse-eater, Nidhogg would have no business devouring Holloway while he was alive. So it waited. Stalked him. Taunted him. Until he punched his ticket and was ready to be consumed.
    • Also, Nidhogg's purpose in eating the corpses of the dead served as a janitorial duty of sorts, kind of like a maid, which one of the people who gave his two cents on the Nadvison Record described the monster of the house as.
  • Not to mention that in graph theory, mazes are analogous to trees. The Yggdrasil is frequently portrayed with roots twisting like a maze.
  • It also should be mentioned that one proposed theory of the term "Yggdrasil" comes from "yggr" meaning "terror". So Yggdrasil would mean "tree of terror; gallows."
    • The author probably intentionally included all these interpretations without really meaning to settle on one in particular.

Not to mention Chad's School Drawing of the house show a Dragon in the "Labyrinth" that is the house

The Minotaur knows about this Wiki.
And now it's come to make this place its home as well. Never shall we ever know peace. The eyes are always watching. Always watching, and never shall we ever see them. Oh, you blind, blinkered fools. Do you have any idea what you've done? What you've unleashed?

This Wiki is the House
Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Think about it: we have here a huge labyrinthine mess of related ideas and footnotes and strange twisty passages leading into places you don't really want to be and dark non-euclidian geometries. It is a world that will swallow you whole, devour you alive and leave nothing left at all, not even a shattered husk. We are all the Minotaur. We are all Zampano. And we are all Johnny.

The House is God
  • "Our house is God."
  • "In my Father's house, there are many rooms..."

The House is the World
Little solace comes
to those who grieve
when walls keep shifting
as thoughts keep drifting
and this great blue world of ours
seems a house of leaves
moments before the wind

Therefore, keeping the two theories above in mind, this Wiki is the house, which is the world, which is God, and because God is Love, and Love is blind, TV Tropes is secretly Zampano!

  • I love you.
  • This explains so much.

Redwood is the Minotaur.
And Zampano is in denial that he is. Why else would he list redwood as the first type of wood that's apparently not in the house?
  • In an interview with Danielewski, he says one of the first stories he wrote was a short novella about his father called "Redwood". He said his father read it and told him to get a job as a postal worker. So probably some unresolved issues there with the author's dad—an homage, a placeholder, what have you.
"MZD: Basically, it was just an outpouring—a means of articulating this torrent of conflicting emotions I was feeling about my father. My sister met me when I finally reached Los Angeles, and we went home and looked after my father until his cancer went into remission. At that point I presented him with my story—as a gift. His response was unbelievable, full of rage—outraged, I think, by the audacity that I had written something so passionate and so focused on him. And so he applied all his years of intellectual edge and shredded me, going on to describe how useless art was, demanding why I didn’t just go get a job at the post office! Well, I probably should have expected his reaction, but I was just devastated. My first response afterwards was to attempt to eliminate myself from this equation. I was an affront to my father’s will and my father’s place in the universe, and so rather than challenge that will and that place, I would sacrifice myself. And I did exactly that; the closest thing to suicide I can think of— I tore up the manuscript of "Redwood” into hundreds of pieces, flung them into a dumpster in the alley, and spent the next few days in a kind of emotional coma... Then my sister did something that still chokes me up when I think about it: she presented me with a manila folder in which I discovered 'Redwood'—intact. She had gathered up and taped together all the pieces. This rescue of what I had impulsively destroyed allowed me to see that I could keep writing. It was like a Greek goddess coming down to breathe fire again into my lungs, saying in an awful whisper “Go now, go get Hector.” A life changing moment. I doubt I would have continued to write had she not rescued me that night." Transcribed interview, pg 7 - 8

The Minotaur retired with the money made from the book.
And then he got bored, so he opened a china shop.

Zampano is Johnny's real father
Or at least he's connected to him in some way. One of Zampano's writers has the initial P and makes reference to "a son (sic) to rend the dark". Johnny's mother's name starts with P.
  • In one of Pelafina's letters, the initial letters of a series of consecutive words spell out, "My dear Zampano, who did you lose?"
  • Look at the date. If I'm following correctly, the "son to rend the dark" comment was from well before Johnny was born.
    • Sure it was. IIRC, it was by about nine months.

Zampano was a time-displaced troper.
One word, one color: House.

Johnny is Navidson's son.
He tried to burn the house without letting everyone escape in order to destroy the evil, messed up his arms, and changed his name and the end of the story so he would never be suspected.

The Labyrinth is shaped by the minds of its occupants
  • The pets can't go into it. When the dog and cat run through the doorway, they end up in the yard on the other side of the wall.
  • Holloway goes into the Labyrinth like a conquistador, wanting to "conquer" it for his own glory. But there is no summit to climb, no end to reach, and so he goes insane.
    • Also notable is that the house only starts becoming actually violent and aggressive - distorting the living space, killing Ted - after Holloway has gone mad and suicided inside it. A psychotic break, perhaps?
  • Wax and Jed are running away from crazy!Holloway with no real hope of escape, and so end up in a dead-end room with a locked door.
  • Both times Will Navidson goes exploring, he has a specific goal. In particular, his second exploration is in search of answers or some sort of enlightenment. It's all downhill.
  • Tom is terrified when he has to stay in the Great Hall. When he tries to descend the staircase to meet Will at the bottom, it instantly starts to elongate.
    • If I recall correctly, the staircase also becomes shorter once the team has reached the bottom once, and when people are going up. Psychologically, travel usually seems to take less time when you're returning or when you're confident of the destination; the house just reflects that physically.
  • This idea is actually referenced in the Navidson Record.
  • So, in other words, the house is the TV World?

The labyrinth is a punishment that the explorers inflict on themselves.
Building off of the last one, each person consumed by the house has some kind of sin that they feel guilt over, or at least are aware of. Navidson, for instance, is wracked with guilt over the photograph he took of a starving child in Africa, the photograph that made his career. For Tom, it's his alcoholism, and so on for everyone.
  • Alternatively, The Labyrinth is Silent Hill...

This would explain the dreamlike bizarre nature of the house, as well as the special attention to that particular word.
  • I am deeply ashamed this took me a few moments to get.

The House and the Labyrinth are not the same entity.
The Labyrinth is cold, passive, infinite and, as long as it is observed, stable. The House is warm, aggressive, finite and unstable. The House kills those who live within its walls; the Labyrinth only does so as a side effect of its simple existence. When the House attempts to murder the family, it does not open the door of the Labyrinth; it does not attempt to free whatever may or may not exist within it. Finally, Navidson manages to kill the Labyrinth, but the House is still quite alive.

The Labyrinth is killed by Navidson filming it.
The Labyrinth abhors being categorised and finalised, and dies when that happens; Navidson's expert photography captures essence that his early attempts did not. After he starts his bike ride, he basically transfers the Labyrinth to film. He films all of the hallways, and so the hallways cease to exist. He films all of the doorways, and so the doorways cease to exist. He films all of the floors, and so the floors cease to exist. In the end, he films the last parts- the small house, the stairs, the crawl space, the ledge, and finally the platform- and so, those too cease to exist. In the end, he films the darkness. And, just at the last frame, the darkness has ceased to exist.
  • ...fuck, dude.
  • Not just the labyrinth. When they finally get an accurate measurement of the house's interior, the extra portion corrects itself. Bear that in mind.
  • If the house is a manifestation of chaos, then filming it— subjecting it to the observer effect and thus, reducing it to concrete information that can be analyzed and categorized, i.e., become ordered — deprives it of that chaos it needs to "survive". So the house may be similar to or related in some way to The Fair Folk from Discworld's Lords And Ladies; anentropic pseudolife. The reason the Eyeball Mark I doesn't have the same effect is that the human brain, while ordered, is also dynamically chaotic. Hard-copy is required to truly kill it— seeing the house with a fallible, subjective brain subject to misinterpretation and hallucination doesn't make it concrete enough to do real damage, just irritates it enough to activate its defenses.
    • The house tries to kill them so that what's left of the labyrinth might stay chaotic- the invaders have already recorded and fixed the hallway, the Antechamber, the Great Hall and the staircase in place. It freaks out because they keep going to those areas and taking samples and making the wounds deeper and nastier. When Navidson comes back, he plays it by the labyrinth's terms: he wanders, he meanders, he lets the labyrinth guide him through its endless corridors and doorways and floorplan. But he records everything and fixes everything in place; faced with stability or nonexistence, the labyrinth chooses to die. Maybe.
  • ‎"Knowledge is hot water on wool. It shrinks time and space." I think we're right.
  • The Labyrinth is the book and by both burning the book and filming the Labyrinth, Navidson destroyed the Labyrinth. But then the house erased all evidence of the Navidson Record, including the film itself, and the records of the tests taken on the samples. That's why Johnny couldn't find evidence of the film and why nobody remembered being interviewed about it. But since the house destroyed the Navidson Record, and Johnny went and wrote The House of Leaves, the Labyrinth is back... and doubly pissed off about attempts to destroy it.

Johnny IS the Minotaur
Seriously. Read Johnny's dream sequence and then go back to the Minotaur chapter. Zampano describes Theseus as a frat boy, and says that ole Miney was probably just a deformed human rather than a half-man-half-bull thing. Johnny describes how he is all deformed in the dream, then he gets attacked by a frat boy.

Zampano is Navidson is Johnny's father is from a parallel universe
The Navidson family went to our universe using the house because they wanted to distance themselves from thier experiences in the house. They took on false names and separated from each other to hide from the house. Will became Zampano, Karen became Pelafina, and Chad became Johnny. Zampano raised Daisy and Pelafina raised Johnny (who both forgot about the house). To further hide from the house, Pelafina married Johnny's "father" and they both only communicated to each other through hidden messages. Unfortunately for Zampano, that wasn't enough.

The house was designed and built by Discworld's Bloody Stupid Johnson
Although it isn't very obvious, anyone familiar with the Discworld shouldn't be too surprised at this. Leave it to Bloody Stupid Johnson (a man who once designed a wheel where Pi was exactly three) to build a house that was larger on the inside than the outside. It's hard to say whether this flaw is intentional or not, however it's not difficult to imagine that it was intentional and Johnson's rational behind it was something like, "I just hate it when I run out of space to put things, don't you?" or possibly, "It's so you don't have to feel all cooped up inside the house when the weather's a bit mucky out." The growling noise heard was probably caused by some Eldritch Abomination from the Dungeon Dimensions, as reality around the house would have to be stretched pretty thin.
  • Alternately, it was built by whomever built the Cabinet of Curiosities, i.e. someone who was not a girl between the ages of four and eleven. Hey, at least that way we'd know something about it...

The Minotaur is Beatrice.
Say it in red text!

This book is related to, stay with me, Wii Fit

What? Normal text is in black, the name of your mii is in blue (so... what if you name your mii House?), and certain words are in red.

House shares a universe with House of Leaves, and Dr. Gregory House comes from that house.
Or is that Dr. Gregory House?

If you make it out of the House...
You end up in Narnia!
  • It's just a really, really, really, REALLY, really, really, really big wardrobe.
    • Narnia? No way. Children love Narnia; they color pictures of this place pitch black. The house is the last remaining gateway to accursed Charn...even though that world is ended, as though it had never been. Let the race of Adam and Eve take warning.

The Labyrinth is actually made of the roots of Yggdrasil.
Related to the above theories. According to Norse mythology, after the Ragnarok, two humans survived by hiding in the roots of Yggdrasil. The Labyrinth is not actually a basement per say because everyone is in Nifleheim, where the base of the tree begins.
  • I agree with your explanation, especially since the house is on Ash Tree lane. (The walls are described as ash-like, in theory the labyrinth is the yggdrasil tree, i.e. "Ash Tree.") It should be noted that in early sources, the Yggdrasil was an Ash tree specifically.

The house is a living organism.
And it eats people! The house proper is the mouth, which also functions as something like an anglerfish's lure. The subterranean regions encompass the majority of its body. The reason why objects brought into that area don't last long is because they're broken down by the house's digestive system or attacked by its immune system. The creature making the mysterious growling is, metaphorically speaking, a kind of white blood cell.

The house is inside-out.
The true universe is the inside of the house. The reason the "inside" is so scary is that the builders of the house have great taste in interior design, but neglect their yardwork.

Animals are the key to everything.
Notice that the book goes out of its way to mention how odd it is that no one has written anything about how the dog and cat aren't allowed into the labyrinth, apparently considering it not important. This is the book's contrary way of telling you it's important, like crossing out everything about the Minotaur. Remember the dog that Johnny lets one of the innumerable girls take in the middle of the nightmare, and that ends up being pointlessly and maliciously killed by her. Most of all, note that the chronologically last scene, when Johnny has come to the end of his journey that parallels Navidson's, ends with a dog coming to Johnny, and the knowledge that it's going to be all right.
  • And the dog was a husky, just like the Navidson family dog, Hillary.

The House is the house in House
That is, the 1977 movie and its sequels, about a house that has more in it than it should, including portals through time and to other worlds.

What's up with the animals?
Seriously, what's up with that? There are two singularities. First: animals just pass through the hallway like it wasn't there. Just phase right through it. Since they don't go through the walls of the rest of the house that must mean that the hallway is somehow different than the house itself (changing dimensions included). Second: whenever anybody brings up this fact i.e. the weirdness of the animals they quickly get off the topic. Every author that Zampano cites does it. Johnny notes that Zampano himself does it as well. And then Johnny goes off on one of his tangents and no longer talks about the animals.

Since animals can't get into the house's hallway, that means one of three things: a) the hallway is somehow a mental construct that only works with humans, b) the hallway is sentient and chooses when it exists, or c) both of the above. Why any of those would also cause those who talk about it to just give it only a moment's thought is beyond me.

  • Or it's Danielewski's excuse for why Reston and Navy didn't even try to bring a bloodhound along to track down the missing Expedition #4. Sure, scent-trails probably wouldn't survive long in the Labyrinth, but they had no way to know that at the time.

  • The book is the House and the Labyrinth. Animals can't enter the inner Labyrinth. Animals can't enter the inner story of the book.
    • Animals can't read.

This is what Danielewski wants.
This whole page is the sort of overanalysis that Danielewski is making fun of in the book. He's laughing all the way to the...wherever authors goes after reading the Wild Mass Guessing page of their own work.
  • THE HOUSE. He's laughing all the way to XXX XXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXXX

All the House of Leaves books in real are printed using the leaves/branches of Yggdrasil.
...which means that we all have a piece of the House inside our house.

The Z in Mark Z. Danielewski stands for Zampano.
This doesn't really go anywhere, it's just... spoooooooooky...

Zampano wrote the book to fuck with everyone.
He was a lonely old codger with a wicked sense of humor. Johnny gets so caught up in it because his mind desperately grasps at something to distract him from how shitty he's let his life become. Certain creepy details about Zampano's death, etc., are made up to rationalize this interest.

The Navidson Record shares the same reality / universe where some of Jorge Luis Borges stories happen.
Zampano directly refers to Pierre Menard, a fictional character in one of Borges' short stories. In Borges' story, Pierre Menard's work is set before World War 2 occurred. However, in Zampano's story, Pierre Menard is a living person and known to be alive, sipping coffee at a Parisian cafe and working on his writings post World War 2, as referenced in one of Zampano's footnotes.
  • It would also explain why the House keeps seeking for new hosts. The only one capable to tame the Labyrinth had been the Minotaur it's previous rightful owner, but he was killed long ago as seen in The House of Asterion.

Zampano himself is part of the same reality where Jorge Luis Borges's stories happen.
One of Zampano's footnotes states "Much later, a yet untried disciple of arms had the rare pleasure of meeting the extraordinary Pierre Menard in a Paris cafe following the second world war". This is important for two reasons.a) Zampano is thought to be French, or at least part of the foreign legion.b) Zampano is thought to have been a soldier, possibly during of the Vietnam War.It makes sense that someone who is French or has a tie to France thru the Foreign Legion would visit a Parisian cafe. The fact that Zampano notes that whoever met Pierre Menard would become a soldier, and he fits that description as well, giving credibility to this idea.

The true owner of House Slender Man.Which explains why it's so ... weird. He was just pissed that his House had been moved into by some stupid and stubborn humans.Also, ties to cameras — Slender Man can often be only seen on camera (unless you're his next victim) and the House was presumably defeated through camera.
  • Alternatively, Slender Man is the Minotaur. Sleep tight.
  • Actually, this is supported by the fact that the first Slenderblog, Just Another Fool, had its protagonist live on Ash Tree Lane.

The Minotaur is the same entity as the Minotaur from David Bowie's 1.outside.
Both House of Leaves and 1.outside are fragmented, nonlinear, post-modern narratives, and both feature a Minotaur. That can't be a coincidence!

The House is a vagina.
and since the book is the House, then that means that we've been looking inside a vagina.

Zampano is Tom.
Seems weird, but on page 320, after Wax is brought back out of the labyrinth, Zampano writes:"Regrettably, Tom fails to stop at a sip. A few hours later he has finished off the whole fifth as well as half a bottle of wine. He might have spent all night drinking had exhaustion caught up with me."This isn't the kind of book to make random mistakes like that. Alternatively, Zampano is admitting to making up the story (he is exhausted from writing) or Johnny is Tom and edited that part.
  • This actually makes sense to me. I have wondered why Tom was not able to come out, because I see the labyrinth as being the same as the well that Navidson described in his dream - if a good soul jumps in, they can escape and ascend to heaven(Navidson) while bad souls are stuck sinking into blackness forever (Halloway). But Tom was reportedly a good guy, so why couldn't he have escaped? Turns out he did - into another world, or as a changed man depending on weither you think the film and Zampano/Johnny's story existed in the same world or not. Tom escaped, became Zampano, and wrote about his experiences and his brother's based on the tapes that he either found before the house erased itself or that he was somehow able to retrive from the other world.

The minotaur killed Zampano because:
  • The labyrinth didn't want him to write about it
  • Halloway was the minotaur and he had finally caught up to his prey (see below)
  • He refused to go into the labyrinth to be judged again when it was his time to die

Halloway became the minotaur as punishment for being evil and failing the test of the labyrinth.
He became consumed by the darkness and transformed into the very thing he had been trying to kill all this time, and he now stalks the labyrinth with the other creatures, endlessly searching for prey.
  • Alternative: Holloway hurt the house(the repeated sampling and at some point he kicks a hole through a wall), so the house hurt him back, where it hurt the most: his pride(he found nothing of value or note) and then his psyche came tumbling after.

The infinite hallway is related to China Mieville's Viae Ferae.

The wandering streets from Mieville's "Reports of Certain Events in London" shift their locations and configurations much like the hallways within the House, and it's possible to get lost in either, if such shifts occur while you're traversing them. Mieville's short tale and Danielewski's long one each take Scrapbook Story form, with well-painted media, and both incorporate documents that came into their narrators' possession under rather cryptic circumstances. Might mysterious hallways like the House's be a juvenile form of Via Fera? If so, the house on Ash Tree Lane may be a nursery for baby streets, and the "allways" are Varmin Way's younger sibling.

The scratch next to Zampano's body was from a cat.
Cats were always hanging around him, and he even wrote about one in particular following him. Add in the note in the appendices that implies he fabricated the entire Navidson Record, and you have an old blind guy who wrote a book as a joke and then died next to a cat.

Johnny is the same kind of creature as Johnnie
Following the theory that Johnny is the Minotaur, perhaps he is the Spear Counterpart of Johnnie. They have near-identical names, and both seem prone to unprovoked acts of gruesome violence.

Johnny IS Johnnie.
We already know that Johnny is an unreliable narrator AND has hallucinations AND a tendency for irrational outbursts of violence. Johnny himself killed the dog. He either invented or imagined that woman named Johnnie.

Johnny can see into other dimensions. The Labyrinth represents every "What If" in human history.
One of the footnotes in the book refers to the Universe pre-big bang as a place of infinite Destiny. Johnny notes that this is probably a typo, and that Zampano meant to say "Density" but look at it this way. Johnny constantly mentions things that happen in the book, only they never actually happen. The Johnny that we are following doesn't go down these paths, yet he constantly sees his own death, or sees minor things changed from what they were. Because he can see into these infinite possibilities, he starts to Go Mad from the Revelation. Zampano could also see into these infinite "what-ifs", and the house on Ash Tree Lane was the physical manifestation of infinite possibilities becoming known. The reason Johnny can see all of these possible futures is because he, himself was never meant to exist. He was the child in the Mother's Story. In that world, he died, but in another world, he lived, and from that branch, Johnny could see into every fragment of time. Branches. Trees. Yggdrassil. In another timeline, Johnny might have become the Minotaur, or Zampano, either trying to stop himself before his mind broke under the strain of omniscience, or to give the gift of omniscience to himself through the book.
  • This could also tie into the possibility of Johnny and Johnnie being the same person. Johnnie is another potential version of Johnny.

Ayn Rand sold the Navidsons the house
The realtor that sold the Navidsons their house was named Alicia Rosenbaum. Ayn Rand was born Alisa Rosenbaum. This is quite improbable, considering that Rand was dead long before the Navidsons moved in, but who knows what tricks that house could have played on them.
  • A house that constantly changed form depending on someone else's subjective appearance would probably drive Rand completely bonkers, considering her obsession with the "objective." No wonder she wanted to get rid of the thing.

The house erased the evidence of itself
That's why Johnny couldn't find any evidence of The Navidson Record actually existing, and why none of the people he contacted had any memory of it. The house, in essence, consumed itself, like the world-serpent that eats its own tail (remember the Yggdrasil poem...Norse mythology has a world-serpent). The "Contrary Evidence" appendix is all that's left to indicate that the house ever actually existed.

The house is made from the wood of the Kite Eating Tree from Peanuts

They're both malicious little bastards who wanna kill humans. The only reason the Kite Eating Tree isn't giving people the same shit as the house is is because it's rooted in place and you can't go inside of it. The house is evilest on the inside. Also, Charlie Brown bit it once, and that scared it straight.

The labyrinth only traps beings who could understand the implications of it.
The animals couldn't get in because they don't have the level of self-awareness that humans do. The children are implied to have gone wandering around in it, but they never got lost in it. Maybe because they don't have the ability to operate on the same level as an adult, because they saw it as just another scary dark closet or somewhere to play in instead of a illogical anomaly to be conquered by rational minds, the house didn't feel the need to trap them inside and the monsters never actually attacked them.

The labyrinth is judging your soul.
Connected to the above. Animals in some religions are said not to have a soul, or at least not to be judged like human souls are. The children have not developed enough or had enough experiences for their souls to be able to be judged.

There is a piece of the beginning of the universe stuck under the earth below the house.
It contains the labryinth and the monsters. When the house was built above it, it reached up and connected itself somehow, assimilating the house into it's structure.

Time Cube is actually an extension of the house.
Seriously, go to the site and look over the formatting. Seem earily familiar? Now try actually reading itnote  and notice the effect it begins to have on your mortal sanity. And the site's math and physics defy rational explanation, just like the house's. Gene Ray is either a fabrication or simply the first victim to succumb.

The house
is a manifestation of The Dark Tower. The Tower has been shown to have different manifestations in other universes, such as the rose in the middle of the vacant lot in New York. The house on Ash Tree Lane is another such manifestation. This is also why Stephen King was one of the few who showed interest in visiting the actual house itself, rather than merely talking about the film as though it were definitely fictional.

House of Leaves is a part of The Slender Man Mythos
Read the book from this angle and you will be surprised how well it could fit.

The spiral from Uzumaki is related to the labyrinth

When Holloway lost it
His repeating his name and birthplace over and over wasn't a symptom of insanity. That was him trying to hold on to his identity, while the House was stripping his identity away. Either it turned him into a/the Minotaur, or it absorbed and assimilated him into the nothingness inside the Labyrinth.

The House exists in the Old World of Darkness

The Labyrinth is an Umbral sub-realm. Like the Labyrinth, the environments of the Near/Middle Umbra change with the perceptions of travellers, can't be precisely measured or mapped, and don't entirely operate according to our rules of logic (except in Weaver areas).

The maze beneath the Grand Staircase is connected to the Black Spiral Labyrinth in Malfeas, and/or to the Labyrinth in the Underworld. Which means that the creatures roaming the Labyrinth are probably spectres, banes, or Black Spiral Dancers.

And/Or Johnny is a Cult of Ecstasy mage captured by Nephandi, and the entire book is his stream-of-consciousness experience inside a Nephandic caul, which is the Labyrinth, which is an Umbral sub-realm accessed through a house.

The House
is the Internet made manifest in the physical world. Each Exploration is simply a Wiki Walk that got out of control.

Ashley is actually Thumper
and the whole story where Johnny goes to Ashley's house is made-up. He thinks that Thumper hasn't called him back because she said her name was Ashley on the phone, Thumper laughs when he tells her about Ashley because she is her, and also his mother had the same problem with him.

Zampanò IS Borges
Never mind all the conenctions to Borges work, Zampanò is a blind old man writing a Mind Screw book, using references that doesn't exist, about a fictional movie.Probably an Alternate Universe counterpart or a simple homage.

The Labyrinth is our Universe
How else can the Minotaur find and stalk people if their not in the House? The Labyrinth is so huge our universe (and possibly others) exist inside it. The Minotaur targets people who find out about it because the book is a door into the Labyrinth, and it can sense when people enter.

Johnny is Nny.
A house that has an endless basement? Monsters living in the walls? Obviously Johnny is Johnny the Homicidal Maniac.

It's all in Johnny's, and your, head.
Clearly Zampanò was just some guy that was off his nut in his old age. The novel is just a work of fiction whose subject matter makes you feel paranoid. Your house cannot hurt you or be Bigger on the Inside. It's all in your head.

Or is it?

The word "house" being in blue is a veiled reference to "The House Of Blue Leaves", a play by John Guare released in 1966.
Seems kind of obvious, I guess.

House of Leaves is about absolutely nothing.
In a very literal sense, this is a book about nothing. By that, I don't mean that it's incomprehensible, but rather, that it's about the Heideggerian concept of nothingness. The House is a place where, for some reason, temporal and spatial deformities can lead a person physically into a realm outside of the Universe. That realm is less "outside", though, then it is just not. The chief distinction between it and the normal world is that the normal world is alienated from it and set in opposition to it. It's enormous, vast, ever changing, and becoming lost there results in the eventual loss of self when the nothingness around you starts to close in and you become alienated from yourself. That state of not-being is the Minotaur, and is why the word is crossed out several times when it appears.

The House is blue in the text, in reference to the chroma-key use of blue, because it is not a Universe any more than chroma-key is an image, but the human beings who enter it project a sort of existence onto it similar to what exists in a Universe because they bring their ability to perceive space and time with them. The greater distortions of these senses as a person goes deeper into the labyrinth reflect the greater alienation of self from self, until a complete loss of existence eventually results. Theoretically, because the labyrinth is "outside" of all Universes, a person could travel from one Universe to another through it, hence the reference to Yggdrasil.

The book is itself an example of the nothingness that is the labyrinth, but it's a more subtle form of it. Just like the house develops into more of a labyrinth as its inhabitants become aware of its unusual state, the book develops into a labyrinth as well. The physical book doesn't do that, however. Instead, the book "enters" the mind of the reader and becomes a part of them. Rather than entering the labyrinth physically, they do so mentally and involuntarily as their awareness of the nothingness increases, because they become increasingly capable of alienating the Universe from themselves. In that state, though, they will eventually alienate the self from the self, causing the death of their minds.

Copies of something like the book (although not with the Navidson story in it) exist in every Universe, usually relating an encounter with a portal into nothingness in another Universe. Zampano came into contact with one of these, and felt the need to write the manuscript as a result of that, for some motivation that is difficult to know (possibly wanting to understand the situation better without knowing how dangerous it was until it was too late, and then being unable to stop). Things like the Navidson House are the result of a person constructing a structure, rather than writing a book, to in some way experiment with their knowledge of nothingness. They build the space while they're mentally in that nothingness, and are able to build it with slightly unusual dimensions. As its future inhabitants become more aware, the spatial and temporal discrepancies become more extreme. Because of the physical rather than written nature of the medium for conveying that knowledge, the effects are physical.

Lastly, purple is associated with those who are descending into a mental version of the labyrinth, because the blue screen that has become a part of their minds is being overwhelmed by the red that is absolute nothingness. When it overwhelms them completely, they invariably die.

The above theory is almost correct...

But the ultimate consequence is wrong. The book is not an infection, but an unstable vaccine. This explains the way those who have encountered the House sometimes recover (Karen, the children) and sometimes are overwhelmed (Holloway). The same is true for the book in-universe: the band at the end clearly found the book meaningful without being destroyed by it, while Johnny barely survived his encounter with it.

House of Leaves is not good or evil. It is a piece of nothing wrapped comfortably in narrative. Devour it. Chew on it. Taste the empty, and let your body learn to fight it. Or alternatively...let yourself be devoured. It's all up to you. Good luck.

The Navidsons are real, but we are fictitious.
Each layer outward becomes more fictitious.

At the center: a documentary by and about people who are relatable and ordinary (even if the events surrounding them are not.)

Around this: a semi-scholarly film review by an eccentric who gets some key points wrong, such as forgetting about terminal velocity.

Around this: commentary by an admitted chronic liar who seems to be experiencing sanity slippage.

Around this: a novel shelved as fiction.

Around this: that which we call 'reality'.

Each layer deeper into fiction we get, the less evidence remains of the Navidsons' existence. We are the fiction within the fiction within the fiction within the fiction within the Navidsons' reality.

Specifically, yours.

  • This actually makes more sense than you think. Johnny can't find the house because he's from after the anime's events.
There is no Johnny, no Zampano, no Navidson (Record), no House, and everything is made up and written by Pelafina.

Tl;dr: Johnny died as baby and his adult version is entirely in Pelafina's imagination, as well as Zampano (who she makes up as Johnny's father); she makes up the Navidson Record and the House to cope with her losses and illness, and as a device for Johnny's path to intersect with his fictional father's.

O.k. so bear with me.

Pelafina strangles her son Johnny to death when he's a baby and she is institutionalised in Whalestoe after that, for life. Not being able to cope with the trauma of having killed her own son, she makes up a version of reality where Johnny survived the strangling and grew up, while she still was being institutionalized for the now attempted Infanticide and her trauma of losing her husband / Johnny's father (the latter happened either way both in reality and her imaginated alternate reality).

She also imagines Johnny having a different father (seeing as she lost the real one): enter Zampano. But Johnny and Zampano don't know each other. So she makes up Zampano having written "The Navidson Record" and Johnny later editing it as a way to "flesh out" Johnny and Zampano's stories, and to let Johnny indirectly know of (though never meet) his father (without Johnny himself knowing Zampano is his father).

As for the Navidson Record itself: The House, or more accurately the Labyrinth in it, with its all-engulfing "nothingness", is her representation of her mental illness / Sanity Slippage / depression. Navidson's family's (relatively) happy ending stands for people succeeding in overcoming mental illness (something she wishes for herself).

Note that in the story:

  • One of Pelafina's coded messages in her letters is "My dear Zampano, who did you lose?", indicating that they knew each other well and possibly were lovers; also that Zampano has lost a loved one.
  • Zampano writes about him going to have a son exactly nine months before Johnny's birthday. He knows he is going to have (later: has) a son, but because Pelafina is married to another man—her husband who later died still exists in this reality—and her pregnancy resulted from their affair, he can't be a parent to this baby. Also this means that the "Who did you lose?" applies on three levels: first he can't be a father to the baby he fathered because the baby resulted from an affair; second he loses his lover Pelafina to her mental illness and institutionalison; third, he never gets in contact with Johnny even after Pelafina's husband is dead and Pelafina locked up (probably due to Zampano not wanting to put the additional burden of realising his supposed father wasn't his real father onto Johnny, who already is having a troubled childhood)

The House of House of Leaves will show up in The Familiar because it co-exists in the same Universe/reality

In The Familiar, Realic made "Clip 4". In Real Life, Danielewski published the short Clip 4, writing as the fictional "Realic" from The Familiar, and in it, Navidson from House of Leaves is mentioned: "Very Navidson-y!" is an annotation on something that indeed calls back what happened in House of Leaves.

The House will be explicitly mentioned in The Familiar. Maybe even visited by characters. Cas seems the most likely candidate, as she's touring around the U.S. anyway and might as well end up in Virginia where the House is.

Or, one of Cas's Clips from the Orb is a scene from HoL, showing the Navidsons in the House.

Or, the FBI investigate the House, find something that leads them to L.A., then have to work with Oz.

Or, Realic had (prior to his involvement with VEM and his death) visited and investigated the House, to write an article about it (like he had investigated "Clip 4" and written an article about that) and that article by Realic about the House will be shown.

The book House of Leaves as it exists in Real Life, shows up as a book in The Familiar

Clip 4 makes it clear that characters from The Familiar know about what happened to the Navidsons, so the House and everything that happened there exists in the reality/Universe of The Familiar. Since in HoL, at the end of the story the book itself is published In Universe, the House of Leaves book we know in Real Life, also exists In Universe in The Familiar.

Someone connected to the cat (Astair, Anwar, jingjing or even Xanther herself) reads House of Leaves, and realizes the spooky events in HoL are connected to the cat (see entry about the "Minotaur/cat connection"), or starts to wonder about what "VEM" is.

Characters from House of Leaves will show up in The Familiar because they co-exist in the same Universe/reality

Johnny Truant will be a character in The Familiar. He lives in L.A., where six of the Familiar main characters live too.

He's most likely to meet Luther. Either Johnny is still a drug addict and is buying drugs from Luther (and/or arrested by Oz), or Johnny has gotten his life back together and now owns the tattoo shop Luther visits (after all, Johnny was originally an apprentice tattoo artist in HoL, and Luther loves to get tattoos).

Or Johnny needs therapy from Astair for his trauma from reading Zampanò's records and his strained relationship with his mother Pelafina.

Navidson also might show up. His family moved to L.A. and they need therapy for the traumatizing events of House of Leaves, and Astair becomes their therapist. Or he might be called in to do his job as a photographer, e.g. by Shnorkh's friend who's trying to document the Armenian genocide.

The Minotaur is now the cat in The Familiar, which will be named Redwood

The evil creature of House of Leaves was called Redwood. In October 2017, Volume 5 of The Familiar will be published, its title is"Redwood", AND it's announced that in this Volume, the cat will be named. Putting two and two together: the cat will be named Redwood. And it is a manifestation, reincarnation or whatever you call it, of the Minotaur.

Would be even more brilliant if Xanther actually reads House of Leaves (the book as we know it in Real Life) In Universe and gets the idea to name the cat "Redwood" from that.

The reason Johnny can't find any record of the film is because it was made in a parallel universe.
The events of the film happened in a parallel universe. Zampano's record of the film came from a parallel universe. In that same parallel universe, Johnny was killed a a baby by his mother. Bits of the parallel realities are all leaking into each other, connected by the labyrinth.

The House retroactively makes extensive enough records about itself fictional.
And in extension, it changes its own shape.

Originally, the House was a real place visited by Navidson, until he created the Navidson Record. Afterward, it erased any evidence of itself from reality, and the House itself became the film.

Then, Zampano wrote his essay (with egregious summarization), which caused the film and Navidson to disappear from reality, even striking Zampano blind.Then, the House were those papers.

When Johnny compiled and published Zampano's papers, Zampano and everything detailed by Johnny vanished from reality. And then what did the House become?

A paper labyrinth. A House of Leaves.

That's why Danielewski doesn't want to make a film adaptation.

  • Were any of these people working for the SCP Foundation? This is exactly the sort of containmentv they would use.


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