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Fear of Basements (why)

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posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 06:12 PM
Excluding the in daylight/in darkness issue, I think that generally, people feel nervous in marginal or liminal spaces. It's around the edges of well-defined areas that things happen, where we come into contact with things we aren't used to seeing.

Standing on the threshold or margin of an area has never been comfortable for the human psyche.

Back in prehistory, our ancestors probably felt really nervous at the edge of the camp fire light. On one side was the familliar, lighted area of camp which was filled with people and things which were known. On the other side loomed the darkness, the unknown, and unguessed dangers. The line of demarcation between the known and the unknown was a nervous place, where our ancestors were available to both worlds, the known and unknown. That same feeling of nervousness existed at territorial boarders, cave entrances and other natural and man-made boundaries.

I think basements and attics are modern marginal areas. They are often not in daily use (or only in daily use for limted times or activies -- doing laundry, obtaining stored items, etc.), they represent an area of the house that isn't visited frequently and that isn't as well known to us as other areas of the home. They often are not fully finished or furnished and are at times used for "outdoor" purposes (for messy work or for workshop activities). Therefore, we feel a psychological tension as we enter the marginal places in our own homes -- an unexpected tinge of the unfamilliar in the center of our nest or safe place.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 06:45 AM
I worked at this department store when I was younger and I had the same type of reaction to there 2nd floor storage area. This was an older building and had the type of lights with the pull string. The building was a fairly large building which meant alot of dark storage space upstairs. Everytime I had to go get some crap from up there I had to walk up some bairly lit steps, and turn on the lights as I walked further back into the store. Then going back downstairs I had to turn the lights off as I was leaving. I never saw any ghosts or had any experiences, but I felt the same as the OP. I keep looking back, heart starts racing, and i'd start doing the kick step also. HAHA. I've never been locked in a basement or dark room.
I also lived in an older house growing up and had the same feelings when going upstairs to my room or leaving my room. I had that erie feeling come over me and just became uneasy.
Maybe I'm just scared of the dark!

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 07:13 AM
I have always had a fear of basements. When I was a kid we would have to go down in there and put the canned goods on shelves that my mom had canned. I hated doing it but as long as my dad was there I was fine. But if I had to go down there alone it was a totally different story.

There was a back wall in the basement that was newer then the rest of it. So I would dream some times that it would open up and there would be strange people living behind it. I hated even looking at that wall.

Truth is it use to be a room that was later closed off. But no one ever told us why. But I hated that basement. I use to run as fast as I could out of there. I wont even live in a house with a basement in it. I had to only once in my life with my husband, and I put about 40 locks on the basement door. The day I came home and found the basement door open I moved out.

Past life experience? I dont know? But I do know my mom terrified us by locking us up in there when we were kids. When my dad was away on long trips for work she would want to go out partying with her drinking buddies so she would stick us in there and lock it up. Sometimes for a week to a time. But I was scared even before she started doing that.

I also am terrified of bridges. But those I have faced. I figured I had better face it since I have to drive over them all the time. My husband hated having to stop at every bridge for 3 years while I stoped to get the courage to cross them.

posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 11:25 AM
reply to post by BlueOx

It's interesting how we react to certain places isn't it ?

For example old or dark places tend to freak people out more than a modern or well lit place ... most of this is down to Hollywood conditioning of course
and often it's our primal instinct resorting to the 'fight or flight' principle that sets the adrenolin pumping.

However, we should remember that just because a place is modern and well lit it doesn't automatically mean it's not haunted ... in the same way that all old / dark places do not necessarily have ghostly residents.

In the case of modern buildings ... it depends on the history of the land it sit's on and what has happened there before the building existed !

Moral of the story ... you're not safe from ghoulies and ghosties anywhere

Don't have nightmares ... most of the ones I've encountered are friendly enough ... more often than not they're just curious or want to let you know that they are actually there, by whatever means available to them. Even poltergeists (who always have a bad rep) are more likely to be frustrated spirits (as opposed to evil spirits), who have been trying to make you aware of their existence using more subtle methods without any success ... so they resort to thowing things around or making loud bang in an effort to attract your attention.

It's human nature to be a little scared of the dark ... keeps our senses alert.


posted on Mar, 2 2009 @ 01:48 PM
During our childhood, we are all exposed to folklore, myths, and or unusual stories told by family members, friends, radio, television and other forms of communication. Not to mention my personal favorite “Religion!”

Basically, at one point or another we have been subconsciously or in some cases consciously programmed (sort of speak) to be afraid of the dark. Christian Religion speaks of the Devil, witchcraft and Purgatory, about dark angels and possession. How they try to tempt us into doing wrong as a personal vendetta against God. Then to top it off, we’re told they (evil entities) dwell here on earth!

Most people trust religion, and through it we are told such things exist! Logically, how can we not be afraid! Even though they try to comfort you by telling you God loves you and if you do good you will have nothing to fear! Yeah right! First they frighten the heck out of you. Then they tell you don’t worry, if you stand with us they wont bother you!

Sorry if it seems a bit off topic. But it serves only to provide my point of view as why we have fears.. In this case Basement fear!

[edit on 2-3-2009 by Beowolfs]

posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 03:25 PM
reply to post by branty

I laughed so hard at your description of how you exited your basement. I think I found it especially funny because I'm exactly like you with basements. Those hateful pull-string light bulbs buried deep in the confines of a dark unfinished basement, not to mention the stairs with no wooden backs on them, you know the ones I mean; those that while ascending or descending the stairs a monster's hand can grab your ankle, hee, hee. I can laugh about it now as well. I believe, at least in my case, it's the scary movies (with dark dank basements) that played a part in my fear. And of course, it doesn't help when your older brother hid behind the basement stairs and grabs your ankle through the spaces between them as you come down.
There are lots of reasons to fear basements and I think you will find that the majority of people have some degree of apprehension about basements.

posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:35 PM
Yeah I have the same problems. I always feel like someones ganna grab me and pull me back in the basement if I dont get up those stairs QUICK. lol Nice Post!

posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 07:49 PM
Basements are naturally scary places and if you consider the scary movies that are out there it could indicate a sort of conditioning that encourages us to be scared of basements.

Think about it, Basements are dark and dirty, there are often cobwebs and odd noises down there that can really creep a person out. Now consider scary movies. The place that all the monsters hang out are, well, dark, scary full of cobwebs and there are lots of creepy noises...

Lets face it, You go down in an area like that and you are now envisioning Freddy krueger and Michael Myers hiding just around thee corner ready to pop out and kill you.

Basements are a creepy place and along with the usual crazy imagination us humans have...well it is no wonder we always end up high stepping it up those stairs back out of the basement!

Also , there are real life situations that make us naturally wary of what is waiting for us at the bottom of those basement stairs. Turn on the news and you sometimes hear stories of bodies being hidden in the basement of some serial killers house.

Or think about Jon Bennet ramsey, Her body was found down in the basement. john Wayne gacy(the clown killer) burried many of his victims under his house. (not the basemnt but close enough)

Or the case that has been in the news lately of the romanian guy who kept his daughter hostage in the basement for decades and raped her impregnating her numerous times....

Basements are just embedded into our minds as scary and dangerous places

[edit on 19-3-2009 by gimme_some_truth]

posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 10:19 PM
Whats really funny about this is that the basement scares us but its also the safets place. When all hell breaks loose you head under ground.

I would never live in a house without a basement if I didnt have to.

posted on Mar, 19 2009 @ 11:18 PM
There's this super-good old story on this subject, no doubt many of y'all are familiar with it, "The Thing In The Cellar" by David H. Keller, let me put a link to it here:


This story is talking about what this thread is about, believe me.
(Plus the author's last name means "cellar") what's up with that...

posted on Mar, 24 2009 @ 12:41 PM
I hate dark basements, and do the same thing you do- run up the stairs, to where it's light, where the spooks can't exist, lol.

I run up as fast as I can so they can't catch me and drag me back down there. hah, and Im 29.

It's not going away anytime soon.

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