I remember the first single family home I lived in after my parents split up. It was a fascinating house and it fed my imagination. The main floor was a typical main living area with a dining room and a kitchen off of it. However, off the kitchen was an old door that was always padlocked. Behind that padlocked door was the original house, the part we lived in was an add-on, and the old house had never been demolished. It stood behind that door unheated and rotting.
Occasionally that padlocked door had been opened for some reason and I had ventured closer enough to look; the floor and roof were badly decayed. It’s outside entrance and windows had been sealed off because of the danger it imposed if anyone was to gain access, not to mention the danger of easy access to the main house. The old door was shoddy and in the winter the cold from the old house blasted through it with icy force. The cold wasn’t the only thing that blasted through it though. When the door was closed a musty earthy odour seeped through and when open the odour was overwhelming.
Regardless, it fed my imagination because I pictured ghosts walking there and living a life that they didn’t realize had ended. They weren’t friendly ghost so opening that padlocked door was risky because you couldn’t be certain of who might get in or who might be forced to join them. However, if that was creepy the basement was worse with its dirt floor and suffocating ceiling. I didn’t go down there and I hated that the door to the basement didn’t have a padlock on it. If ghosts lived in the backhouse, demons surely lived down there in the dank darkness. The one time I had ventured down I quickly bolted out. Breathing left a stale and sour taste in my mouth and the airless feeling was oppressive. It was like being sealed in a tomb, and I expected skeletal hands to thrust through the dirt floor to pull me down to hell.
The top floor of the house was my favourite place. The creaky wooden floors and slanted ceiling screamed Nancy Drew and I could feel mysteries in the walls waiting to be solved. There was only two bedrooms and a small bathroom upstairs. My room was to the right of the stairs and I had a perfect little cubby created against the slanted ceiling to curl up and read. It smelled earthy up there too because the smell drifted up through the house, but it was subtle and almost calming.
Behind this house was a thick forest that I accessed by crossing over the stream on a fallen tree to escape and explore. It was my own little bridge to Terabithia. The ground in the forest was mossy and squishy and I not only loved the feel of it under my feet, but I loved the fresh damp earth smell mixed with wet leaves and growing foliage…
By Shari Marshall – 2019
Do you remember a house or place that was spooky or mysterious in some way? October’s theme is ghost stories. Please share in the comment section below either your narrative or a link to your related post, any medium welcome.