Attics VS. Basements
It’s short, but I loved the debate sparked in the comments by this one. Maybe eventually the new site will have a forums we can bring the discussion to.
“What’s scarier, attics or basements?”
As I stand in Winderwild, the one hundred and seven year old country estate I’ve found myself in on the first hot weekend in summer, this question comes to mind.
Actually, the question comes from Ryan. He asks it because he’s wondering if I would like to explore the basement of the house first or go upstairs and see the attic. It’s a good question.
A local ooky-spooky enthusiast, Ryan’s agreed to take me on a tour of the rustic and rural murder factory that is the Winderwild house and get me out before nightfall. I tell him I’d prefer to say a night, preferably three, but he’s firm in his original offer, citing safety and structural uncertainty as the reason.
And menacing spectres, obviously.
Winderwild is the name of the house no one wants to live in and nobody wants to drive by in the badlands of Alberta. In fact, it’s technically a part of a place called Wayne, which is legally a ghost town. That’s right. We’re dealing with a double layer ghost scenario here, people. It’s ghost inception.
Apparently, the house’s been abandoned for years and not even local graduating teens will go in there to get drunk. Because of this, I guess, I find that it’s weirdly clean when I walk in and start poking around. I mean, “clean”, is the wrong word, it’s filthy, but the filth is all from another time. The longer we’re looking around the main level, the more I get a sense of the place being a time capsule rather than some ghost’s stomping grounds. Honestly, it’s closer to a scene out of Grey Gardens than a horror movie (though, depending on your relationships with your mother, you might find Grey Gardens is the scariest thing you’ll ever watch).
When we’re done with the—I’m gonna go ahead and say it—boring main level, Ryan asks where I want to look next, prompting the above question.
I think I have a solid answer (basement) and then I change it (but attics, tho).
I ask him first, as a fellow fright addict (#nameoftheblog), and he says attic. I’m a contrarian, so this makes me double back hard and I state: “No, you’re wrong, it’s basement.”
I go on to list for him all of the horrifying iconic scenes in iconic movies and iconic books that have taken place in basements. I mention humanity’s common shared experience of running up the basement steps cause you think something’s chasing you. Ryan nods, and it kind of seems like he surrenders his point, but then he just says:
“Attics you have to go into headfirst.”
In an attempt to prove that attics are basically strawberry ice cream to me, I tell him I wanna go upstairs now. The way the stairs creak on the way up makes me less disappointed about not staying here overnight.
Once on the second level, Ryan pulls the hangy cord thing and the stairs sort of lurch down as they unfold and make contact with the hardwood floor in front of me.
I start going up them and almost immediately I think, dammit, he’s right, this is really fuckin scary.
And then, pretty much nothing happens. The attic is dusty and there are spider webs everywhere and there’ some kind of nest in the corner, but there’s nothing. No vibes, no cold spots. I take my EMF out for good measure, but there’s nothing there.
And then, we go to the basement.
AND THERE’S STILL NOTHING.
The basement is totally unfurnished except for one dresser against the far wall with a mirror attached. With every step I take towards it, I feel like it’s a 100% certainty that I am going to see the reflection of the face of a murdered girl who also had consumption. Or I’ll see Ryan’s reflection and he’s a fuckin ghost.
Neither of those things happen. And then nothing else happens either. I take out all of my equipment, but no dice.
I’m sorry to say, Winderwild is a dud.
But the question still interests me:
Which scares you more, an attic or a basement?