From what we can tell, Bellairs never actually stepped inside the Cronin House prior to writing the book but, as Edward Recchia notes in his 1987 article, "frequently Bellairs would stay with his aunt and uncle at a home on Madison, just opposite the Cronin House." We wonder had he physically explored something that loomed so large in his imagination if it would have had a demystifying effect on him? Would he have written his masterpiece then?