Move; faster and don’t look back. Did you hear something? Just when you know something is about to grab your ankle – you make it to the top of the stairs and into the light. Quick, close the door and lock it. Never look back – you don’t want to see if it really is there. If you see it – you will never go into the basement again. It had to be close behind you – you could feel that something was right there.
What does it look like? Will it grab you? Where did it come from? As a child these were my thoughts when I would walk/run up the steps from the basement.
The creepier basement was at my grandmother’s. It was open, not finished, and full of things, shadows. There were wardrobes, light bulbs hanging from the rafters above, chairs, chests of drawers, and the old freezers.
At night, when it was dark – not much ambient light in the woods at my grandmother’s – and you wanted ice cream; you had to go into the basement. Turning on lights as you made your way across the basement from the bottom of the steps to the other side to the freezers.
Not all of the memories of that basement were scary. I remember times I sat down there with my granddaddy as he worked on fishing lures or something near the fireplace. I played in the wardrobes trying on old dresses and fur coats. At the other end of the basement were cupboards filled with jellies, preserves, and vegetables my grandmother had canned the previous summer. There were deer hides from years before; fur so soft and easily shedding into your hand if you petted one. Near the windows and the French doors were plants in the cold months that would take the places outdoors in the warm months; asparagus ferns and a gardenia that had belonged to prior generations. Sometimes there was a batch of dandelion wine curing on the dryer.
Like most basements – it was most scary in the dark; but became an adventure in the day time. I took these photos in the light of day – but they made me think back to steps in the dark.