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  • November 2008
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Scary Rooms

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?

Shelob's Retreat

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?


9 Responses

  1. […] – 1373 hits – Scary Rooms (November 21, 2008): This one cracks me up!  Basically this was supposed to be the 1st part of a 2 […]

  2. For a couple years we lived in an apartment over an old abandoned store that was scary all over. There were strange noises, water that turned on by itself, etc. I was in 3rd grade, my brothers were 4 and 6 years older and my single mom was working. That left me home alone quite a bit after school. My brothers were supposed to watch me…
    I would get a strong feeling that “something” was watching me with malicious intent. We had a small chord organ that I used to play. I remember frequently playing O Worship the King and feeling those eyes boring into me. I thought (though I had not been brought up Christian) that while I played those hymns, whatever was watching me was not able to touch me. I usually got too creeped out and eventually would run out of the house. Fortunately we moved after about 18 months to someplace less creepy.

  3. Hi Brian,
    Okay, my scary room was the unfinished section of my dad’s office basement. There were three ways out of it. One was back out to the finished section of the basement. One was to the outside, via a dark concrete stairwell (so lovely) and the third door had previously led to a decades old underground tunnel that was blocked off (filled in and concreted ) years and years before we took over the place. And the second and third doors were definitely original to the structure.One was metal and the other was a big heavy green door……. More than once i imagined someone coming back through…………….
    Now I’m creeped out – thanks a lot….

  4. I don’t remember being often scared by rooms. But as I got older, I would shower in the basement bathroom in our house, and sometimes there would be creepy crawlies in there. Which I’m not into anyway, especially if they’re spider-related (Go, LOTR memories!), so that would get me pretty badly when I was half-awake and just getting ready for the day. I remember some heart-pounding moments with centipedes and such, and then I would feel really silly about it, but still scared. 😉

  5. Yeah – her YouTube site is pretty awesome. I have been working on a post about it. I’m waiting to see if there is any public reaction to her winning the award. It seems people outside of the Kingdom may be more aware of it than those inside.

  6. Oh yeah… there’s the link. 🙂

  7. Not related to this, but I thought you would be interested to know (if you didn’t already) that Queen Rania of Jordan won the YouTube Visionary award on YouTube live tonight.

    Might make a good story.

  8. One nice thing about living here is we don’t have a basement. I still can’t handle going into the basement of the house where I grew up unless somebody is with me. I also have an irrational fear of spiders. I was even scared of the ‘spider plant’ that my mom hung in the hallway. However, now living here I’m much more scared of cockroaches. Having found them in drawers, shoes, on my bedspread while I was in bed, in the toilet while, um, err,, let’s just say I don’t care for ‘sarasuur’ at all!

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