WHAT is it about a basement that immediately triggers an uneasy feeling that just behind those cardboard boxes lurks a filthy, crazed maniac with grease under his fingernails, wearing a ripped flannel shirt, wranglers and a skully? Is it the creepy, too-small windows that you know you couldn't crawl out of if someone/thing was barreling towards you with over-sized, overly-sharp death weapons? Is it that musty, dusty scent that lingers at nose level regardless of what candle you burn? Is it the bare, concrete walls and floors that have been a stranger to a mop and sponge since you first moved in? Perhaps the bug carcasses scattered strategically around so that no matter where you step there is something to say "eek" about. Or maybe it's those random items left on shelves by previous owners - you know - the paint cans, the varnish, the wooden baseball bat, the yoga mat, bolts of hideous pink fabric ... etc. (For the record, if you are moving and have cleaned EVERY other inch of the house including the cellar, why not just take the bat and the mat? Why leave your child's set of crutches behind? You can't tell me that you didn't throw an inSANE amount of belongings away before the big move. These were the possessions that would have broken the camel's back so-to-speak? Would it have killed you to get rid of your own paint cans? Did you truly believe with all your heart and soul that we would one day need that 8 year old bubble-gum-pink paint to touch up the living room and never be able to find it in stores?? Please. Not that I am salty about it.) Anyway, as I was saying, I hate me a basement.
In my old apartment we had The Silence of the Lambs cellar. Broken, stone walls that wound around like a maze, weird things spray painted on them. There were holes in the walls as if the Kool Aid guy had come blasting through. It was a splendid place for a washer and dryer. I begged Gregg to do the laundry almost always. This was the "centipede apartment". I was horrified enough seeing them in my super clean dwelling - I certainly did not need to see them slithering all over the cement walls. Shiver. Vomit. Gross.
Growing up I wasn't really petrified of my cellar. I didn't prefer it to my bright and cheery bedroom, but I spent some time down there. I was never a scaredy cat and I was always a dare-devil of sorts. However, I do remember a time when my brother put on Thriller and then shut the lights off on me ... I cowered behind the bar until he lit the place up again. Navigating my way upstairs in the dark was out of the question. I closed my eyes figuring that I wouldn't realize how dark it was in the room if my eyes were closed! Pretty smart huh? Ahh shut it, I was only a kid. But I was always more afraid of the possibility that millions of insects could be crawling around than I was of your typical brain-craving zombie in a torn tuxedo. Although, I'll admit that on occasion I did get the feeling that a monster was following behind me as I climbed the stairs to safety... and I ran up those stairs somethin' fierce.
This is all very amusing to me... these things that I fear. Gregg and I are huge fans of Ghost Hunters and we would both love to have access to the amazing "haunted" places that are investigated on the series. I can tell you with sincerity that I believe I would have no problem walking around abandoned mental hospitals, prisons, farm houses, graveyards etc. But when it comes to bug infested basements and spider-ridden attics - I would not be up to the task.
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