Sinister Survey! (#5)

For this week’s Sinister Survey, let’s talk about the scariest places we’ve ever been.

These could be places that were actually literally scary, or just places that freaked you out as a kid despite their relative normalcy.

One of mine would have to be Grandma’s basement.

I spent a lot of time in my grandparents’ basement as a kid, since I had no interest in sitting in the dining room as my parents loudly gabbed with them about things I couldn’t have cared less about. Besides, the TV was in the basement!

But man, that place was always one wrong shadow away from pure hell. This was an old Brooklyn house, full of creaks on its best day, but when you added the water heater and all of those weird pipes, it was an unending concert of creepy noises.

The basement had terrible lighting, and was full of decades-old tchotchkes that grew frightening with age. (Like Grandma’s old dolls — the ones that automatically shut their eyes when you held them horizontally. Eek!)

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the basement didn’t come with its own share of ghost stories. My father and uncles had a few, including one where the spirit of the house’s former owner kept pointing to a particular spot in the wall, ultimately revealing a hidden stash of liquor and tobacco. (An admission from the afterlife that he never quit drinking or smoking, like he’d told everyone.)

It was all bullshit, I’m sure, but I absolutely believed it, and assumed that this ghost could pop up whenever I was down there. Since I’d never get to see those Three’s Company reruns upstairs, it seemed like a fair enough trade.

Your turn! Talk about places that have frightened YOU, in the comments!

If you missed the previous Sinister Survey, it’s over here.