3.05.2008

Frightening Places--The Attic

As part of an infrequent series her at The Byproduct, this week's peek into the dark places takes us to the attic. Long before Sarah Michelle Gellar found a jawbone in the attic in The Grudge, this shadow-filled storage area made the heart speed up a bit upon a visit.

When I was a kid, I remember hearing a story about a young girl that inadvertently locked herself in a trunk while playing hide and seek. The trunk was in the attic and the distraught parents spent years looking for her. Then one day, while cleaning out the attic, they found her tiny little skeleton in the trunk. The lid of the trunk was ragged with scratches from her fingernails as she tried to claw her way out.

There's a variation of that story here.

That story has stuck with me all these years, and it definitely informs my fear of the attic. So what is it about the attic that makes it so creepy? There's the mystery inherent in all those collected items stored there. Because it's rarely used, it often is coated in a layer of dust and grime. Spiders nest there and the things that rustle in the night prefer to make their homes in the attic.

I still haven't gone up in the attic above our garage in this place yet, and we've been here pert near two years. I don't know that I ever will. And when I hear the house sighing in the middle of the night--when I hear that inexplicable knocking of something in the walls above my bed--I'll just put another pillow over my ear and wait for daylight...

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