When we bought the house we are living in now, the stairwell by the dinning room and kitchen had a nasty crack. We had the crack repaired, but 7 years later, it came back. Back with a vengeance. It brought a few friends with it too.
The ceiling is actually worse than the picture shows. You can't see the small cracks connecting up to the larger one. The larger one looks darker because the dry wall is actually sagging. If you stomped up the stairs little bits of dry wall would fall on your head. Not good times.
Here's what it looks like now:
The part where the dry wall was sagging wasn't attached to anything! Not so good.
However, now the hallway needs to be painted. Bleck. The up side is the ceiling in the kitchen and dining room are repainted. The stain from the green yogurt Blockette flicked onto the ceiling as a toddler are no more! Yay!
Of course, now that the ceiling isn't going to cave in on us the kitchen sink has started leaking and an outlet stopped working. Isn't that how it goes? When you cross one thing off the to-do list, two more things get added.