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In NetHack, a closet, also known as a niche, is a single square that is often located behind a door or wall.[1]


Closets are only created in ordinary rooms that are generated as part of a room-and-corridors map at level creation. Monsters can be generated inside closets just like on any other square.

67 of closets will have a door leading into them, with 45 of doors created this way being secret doors. If a closet is created with no door, there is a 15 chance that the wall blocking the closet is replaced with iron bars, and a separate 23 chance of a @ corpse being generated in the closet[2][3] - the closet will also have a scroll of teleportation if it is not generated on a no-teleport level, and has a 13 chance of containing an additional random item.[4][5] The scroll is present to ensure that a character teleported into such a closet can escape if they lack any other means of doing so, though it is also possible to dig into or out of them unless the level is undiggable; the closet may also be connected to a corridor, allowing normal access.

Some closets can be generated with a teleportation trap that points to a vault, and others can have a level teleporter or a trap door - the former two closet types will have a faded engraving of ad aerarium (from the Latin "to the treasure") in the dust outside, while the latter will have a faded engraving of Vlad was here instead. The presence of a level teleporter in an "ad aerarium" closet is a pun on a supposed secondary meaning of "aerarium" as sky.[6]


Lockable closets can be used as a "safe area" to test certain items or rest via . to recover HP. They can also be used for various other purposes, e.g. farming for dragon scales to create dragon scale mail.



In SporkHack, a skull may be generated inside an inaccessible closet instead of a corpse.


In xNetHack, if a thiefstone steals an item from you but there is no chest available on the level, it will find an accessible closet to teleport itself and the item to.


  1. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 451: "place_niche"
  2. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 529
  3. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 531
  4. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 536
  5. src/mklev.c in NetHack 3.6.7, line 539
  6. This does not appear to be an actual secondary meaning - it may be an error on the part of the DevTeam, which could be due to confusion between the prefixes aes- relating to money, from which 'aerarium' derives, and aer-, which relates to air/sky/flight.