By: Betsy Smith
The house I grew up in had been built at least a hundred years before my parents bought it. Many older people in our small town told us stories about the house, but never anything to explain the undoubtedly creepiness that gave us no remorse as our father slowly gave the house a facelift throughout years of living there. I was always scared of my house as a child, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. I spent most of my time outdoors, never wanting to discover the inside of my house alone. I don’t think I even stepped foot on the second story until I was a teenager. I used to have the same dream over and over, that each of the four untouched and empty upstairs bedrooms were doors to different world, worlds I never wanted to discover.
A long hallway divided the second story, which you had to climb the loudest and creakiest steps to get to. On each side were two rooms, one on each side which were too large to be closets, but also too small to be the size of today’s bedrooms. These rooms were dark; the only places without windows in the whole house, but even creepier were the compartments in the floors. You could lift up patches of the hardwood and find perfectly carved out and lined spaces underneath. When I discovered these, my father told me they were for storing money before there were banks in town, but later admitted he had no clue what they were used for. Another eerie aspect of the upstairs was the closets of the two other bedrooms. The closets had no doors, but were rather empty door frames in the middle of the walls, which led to essentially hallways that ran between the outside walls of the house, and the walls of the bedrooms. I had no desire to ever walk through these tunnels, and I never did.
One gentleman in our town told us that our house used to be used to make and distribute alcohol and held parties during the prohibition, making me think these compartments could have been used to hide money, alcohol, or other illegal things. We knew this guy wasn’t lying when he told us, “They used to sneak out of the basement door into the bushes when the police came.” We realized that the awkward basement entrance, with its clearly handmade stone stairs and stubby door frame was meant to be secret (the original door and covering shrubs had long been removed by my time, though). The layout of the house made it creepy, the age made it eerie, but the events that happened in the house are what made it truly scary. By the time I was in high school my best friends would not even sleepover out of fear. My step mother once told me my father even admitted he had saw things in the house he could not explain. My fears of my own house were so extreme as a child, I would often wet the bed because I was too scared to walk to the bathroom at night. I slept with a T.V. on until I was 15, and still sleep with a nightlight today, taking it with me everywhere I travel. So what happened in this house that made it so scary? For that, you’ll have to wait for Part 2!