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What is this growth?

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There is a growth in a couple of closets in this house, a bilevel in good condition with no leakage or moisture issues. The closets haven't been painted in a long, long time, with solid doors.

It almost looks like nicotine staining to me, but I didn't smell anything.

Any thoughts what it is? Thanks

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It appears to be almost certainly mold, one of the hundreds of varieties. Jim is right, a cold corner allows moisture from the room, people breathing and respiring, to condense on the wall.

Nicotine stains would be high on the wall and on the ceiling, following the path of a smoke cloud.

Here's a couple of mould patterns I've collected. Fascinating stuff.

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