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View Full Version : Why do basements and attics = creepy?


MagicalSilverKey
06-05-2001, 02:45 AM
Ok, why...? What is the origins of this atmospheric stigma?

I attribute it mainly to the motion picture industry, but does the scary basement/attic concept pre-date motion pictures? If so, how far back does it go?
Does it stem from the horrors and atrocities of dungeons and parapets of ancient times?

Cabbage
06-05-2001, 03:26 AM
I would think it's simply because attics and cellars are generally lesser used areas of the house, generally poorly lit, giving the fungi from Yuggoth better places to hide.

Derleth
06-05-2001, 05:13 AM
Because they are dark, unused, and full of creatures with a generally low image in our society. Besides, creepy noises come from them (boilers in basements, creaky joints in attics, etc.) that sound positively spooky at night.

jack@ss
06-05-2001, 05:45 AM
Poorly lit, poorly ventilated.

Patty O'Furniture
06-05-2001, 07:59 AM
Because they are both full of rodents (squirrels in the attic, rats in the basement) and spiders (even though spiders are our friends). There is also fear of the unknown (or seldom visited) places. People don't often go up into the attic but maybe once or twice a year, so who knows what's living up there now.

Zarathustra
06-05-2001, 08:23 AM
Originally posted by Attrayant
Because they are both full of rodents (squirrels in the attic, rats in the basement) and spiders (even though spiders are our friends). There is also fear of the unknown (or seldom visited) places. People don't often go up into the attic but maybe once or twice a year, so who knows what's living up there now.


That reminds me of Stephen King's short story, "Night Shift". In a sub-sub-subbasement of a factory, a cleanup crew finds a huge colony of gargantuan blind and legless rats. Written back when SK still wrote short stories that gave me the authentic heebie jeebies.

And I never looked upon a black widow or a brown recluse spider as a buddy, though maybe I'm a speciesist.

Homer
06-06-2001, 03:07 AM
Could it be that there was a crazy homeless peeping tom in the town nearest me that has lived in people's attics and basements for about ten years, and by all accounts still does? He just wanders around town, breaking into houses and stealing food by night, and sleeping in attics and basements by day. He spent the better part of a year (as far as we can tell) in a friend's attic. He's only been seen a few times, so he's crafty, but he leaves evidence everywhere.

Talk about creepy.

--Tim

jester21
06-06-2001, 05:20 PM
That reminds me of Stephen King's short story, "Night Shift". In a sub-sub-subbasement of a factory, a cleanup crew finds a huge colony of gargantuan blind and legless rats. Written back when SK still wrote short stories that gave me the authentic heebie jeebies.



I used to colled SK books, and Night shift was one of my favorites. One thing that's always bugged me about that particular short story though: While he was rummaging through the basement, he passes a box with a date on it.... What wuz in the damn box?!?!