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The playroom was first seen by Barnabas Collins and Julia Hoffman when they accidentally travelled to the year 1995 and discovered that Collinwood had been destroyed several years earlier. Unlike the rest of the house, the playroom was lit and well maintained, and not in ruins. It was here that Barnabas and Julia saw the ghosts haunting the future Collinwood and assumed that the playroom had a key role in the destruction of Collinwood.
A hidden door in the back of the room led to the stairway into time, which was invented by the original Quentin Collins. Barnabas and Julia used the staircase to return to the proper time of 1970 in order to escape the ghost of Gerard Stiles, who was trying to kill Julia (1070).
Upon returning to 1970, Barnabas and Julia discovered that the playroom did not exist, and instead found a small linen closet in its place. It later became apparent that the playroom would appear at random, and only to those who were influenced by its power. A riddle discovered by David Collins and Hallie Stokes described that entry into the playroom was possible in 1970 when the musical carousel stopped playing its tune (1075). Often in the playroom, David and Hallie would become possessed by Tad and Carrie, respectively.
A musical toy carousel sat on a table in the room's centre and played a tinkling tune that became associated with the room (1065, 1081). No one in 1970, including the second Quentin Collins (whose immortal existence had begun only decades after the period of the room's use), had heard of a playroom ever existing at Collinwood (1071).