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.