This should have been a halloween post – I know! But Arabic tests, sick kids, a failed NaNoWriMo attempt, and cross-cultural living have taken precedence over blogging. It’s a shame, because there has been so much news and life-happenings to blog about. But rather than tackle any of the huge issues of the day, I think I’ll ease back into blogging with a poll. Namely a scary room poll.
You remember that room don’t you? From your childhood. Maybe it was in your house, or maybe your grandparent’s farmhouse or your Aunt Ruth’s place. It was THE scary room of your youth. For whatever reason it just freaked you out. Maybe it was the way it looked, or smelled, or felt. Or maybe there was a story associated with it. Or maybe there was no reason at all.
For me it was the basement. Which kind of makes sense. We lived in modular home that was brand spanking knew back in 1977 (? maybe – mom?). Typically scary rooms are found in old Victorian style homes, not pre-fab modern construction. 30 years later the brown and orange shag and the faux wood paneling might be scary design considerations, but what room could possibly be scary in a trailer on steroids? But basements are another story, right? Basements can be scary no matter what home rests atop them.
Plus we had a story – in the 8mm home movie of the two halves of our home being rolled together – there was a man who clearly got crushed! He was never heard of again, except on chilly, lonely evenings in the Fall. Or so we liked to say . . .
So the basement was always a little scary. I don’t think it was old Ichabod (that was the name of the “dead” contractor – scary, huh?) really, but rather the darkness and coldness. Access to the basement was from a trapdoor on the back porch. On windy days it would slam shut, “trapping” you downstairs. Where there were all the ingredients for terror: a musty old woodpile ful of spiders, drippy pipes, cobwebs full of spiders, a crack in the floor, and the scary old wood stove. If the light switch at the top of the basement stairs didn’t work I would run down the stairs, eyes closed and sprint across the room to the other switch downstairs. We had found out that if you left that one halfway the one upstairs didn’t work at all, requiring a scary trip through darkness to turn on the lights.
Of course a flashlight would be an easy solution – but also a cop out. Sometimes you just have to face your fears because being a wimp is so much more scary. Of course after I read Lord of The Rings, I just pretended I was Samwise holding up the vial of starlight from Galadriel to chase away Shelob the giant spider. Did I mention that I have an irrational fear of spiders? Oh – and that I’m pretty much a geek?
Anyways, It’s funny how light (real or imaginary) always dispelled the fears.
Anyways – that’s me. What about you? What was the scariest room for you growing up? Try taking the poll below. Hopefully my basement story won’t skew the results. Options are listed below in alphabetical order (I think). Please answer once and post any interesting stories in the comments. In a couple of weeks I’ll post about this again. (BTW – there is a tie in with Arab culture – there is a typical scary room here in Jordan and I’ve heard some amusing stories related to it.)
Thanks for voting! Please do add a story or thought in the comments – what made the room scary to you? How did you fight your fears?