|This article belongs to the continuity of the novels by Marilyn Ross.|
Henry Collins' bedroom at Collins House was oft times referred to as the secret room or the hidden room. It earned this nickname due to the fact that no one was ever allowed access to the bedroom, even for cleaning, without express permission from Henry himself. It was located on the third floor of the rear wing of the great house. Access to it was gained by way of a secondary apartment with a linking passageway through a closet entrance.
In 1916, Henry Collins had been living in a spacious suite at the Ritz Hampton Hotel in New York City. It was here, that Henry experienced his greatest joy and his greatest sorrow. Henry used the hotel suite for his secret trysts with a beautiful showgirl named Winifred Ray. Winifred betrayed Henry however, and the two had a fight – a fight that resulted in the young girl’s death. By 1927, the hotel had closed down and was scheduled for demolition in order for an office building to be erected in its place. Henry purchased the room from the hotel’s former owners, including all of its furnishings, and had it shipped to Collins House piece by piece.
The room was crafted in the style of the early 1900s and boasted a décor consisting of patterned crimson wallpaper and elegant ivory moldings. It housed an ivory four-poster canopied bed, oriental rugs, a hanging crystal chandelier, a roll top desk, as well as several easy and wing-backed chairs. Above the ivory mantelpiece hung a framed print of World War I soldiers assembled in orderly fashion on the slanted deck of a sinking ship.
In July of 1967, Henry Collins left New York for Collins House, for what would be his final visit. As per custom, he stayed in his secret room and rarely ventured outside of its doors. The only resident at the house who was given free reign to visit him was Victoria Winters.
Henry’s nephew, Roger Collins, incensed by his uncle’s eccentricities, decided to invite a psychic named Rupert Harvey over to inspect the room for psychic vibrations. Henry was reluctant to entertain the affair, but allowed Rupert's presence nonetheless. Rupert learned of the murder that took place in this room back in 1916. Henry, fearful of his grave secret being brought to light, suffered a seizure and died in his easy chair in front of the fireplace.
Despite the haunted history surrounding the secret room, Collins House matriarch, Elizabeth Collins Stoddard decided to preserve the room following Henry's death, and opened it up for future use.