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jonsblond's avatar

Which is scarier, the attic or the basement?

Asked by jonsblond (43666points) November 9th, 2023
23 responses
“Great Question” (7points)

I’ve always found basements creepier than attics. I think it’s because they’re dark, damp and underground.

Do you have any stories to share of either and what you found scary or creepy about it?

If you don’t find either room scary or creepy can you add humor instead of being a wet blanket? ;)

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Mimishu1995's avatar

How about storage room?

I have talked about it before, but when I was young my house used to have a small storage room that was basically unloved. It was rarely used and it was small and dark. At least with basement and attic you have enough space to move around. You have to crouch in that room. Not to mention it was hard to breathe there. A thriving environment for ghosts and other nasty creatures.

I only see basement and attic in scary movies. This room has a bigger impact on me because it actually existed in my environment.

smudges's avatar

Oh the basement, no question! Mom kept the potatoes down there and I frequently had to go down and get them. The combination of the basement plus the scary ‘eyes’ growing from the potatoes…<shivvverrr>

gorillapaws's avatar

I’m pretty sure the building codes in Virginia (or at least in my part of the state) require basements to be assessable to the outside. Ergo most of the basements I’m familiar with were basically man caves with doors that walked out to the back yard. Attics on the other hand were basically the kind with the drop-down stairs, so nobody ever went in them, the lights were usually dim and insufficient for the space and spiders had unfettered access to anywhere their soulless, malevolent little minds desired.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Attics, because there is only one way out.

Basements may have doors and ground-level windows for escape.

filmfann's avatar

Basements are like burial sites.
Attics are for adventure!

jonsblond's avatar

I love these answers!

@Mimi yes, storage rooms are included. :)

jonsblond's avatar

My paternal grandparents had an old home with a large cobwebby basement. There was a toilet out in the open with no privacy down there. It creeped me out as a young child.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

So, except for when I lived at home, both growing up and then a couple years in more recent history as I took care of my mom, I’ve been in an apartment which has neither basement nor attic. So my limited experience is with my parents house, but we never went up in the attic. My parents didn’t even store stuff up there. About 4 years ago we had the roof replaced and the guy went up there to check on the underlying wood and see what condition it was in, and when he came back down, I asked him what it was like up there but he just said it was a bit dusty. But our basement! I can’t tell you how many times I had encounters with big spiders down there although less in later years, thank goodness! We had to go down there to do laundry and there were always a lot of cobwebs hanging around. And then after both my parents had passed, we were getting the house ready to sell and we had a junk / trash collection company come in to take some of the stuff out of the basement. My sister was over the house to let them in and she wasn’t down the basement at the time but she said that when the guys came back up, they said there were lots of big black spiders down there. And to think that I had spent the four years before that doing my mom’s and my laundry and never even knew that all those big spiders were around! My only consolation was that my one cat always liked to come down with me, as it was a place of mystery for him and most of the time we had the door closed. So I figure maybe he was a deterrent to the spiders. But I would definitely say basements!

flutherother's avatar

I was never in the attic or the basement of my grandfather’s house but there was a door in the living room that was never opened. Being young I never thought about this door or where it might lead to. Access was blocked by a heavy armchair in which my grandmother sat and it was possibly kept locked. It was only ever opened in dreams when it appeared more like a long lamp lit corridor filled with empty boxes than a shallow cupboard. It was a place that set the heart thumping where something wonderful might be found at any moment, or something troubling.

chyna's avatar

@flutherother Did you ever ask anyone later in life about that door? I need to know!
Each place has their creepiness factor. But it seems like, according to movies and books, that the attic is generally where people go to be killed. Especially pretty young women in shorts and a crop top. Wonder why these chainsaw massacre people only come out in the summer? Never when these young ladies are wearing parkas in the winter?
Basements seem to be used for hiding dead bodies.
I think I will take my chances with the attic.

Forever_Free's avatar

Either one during a dark and stormy night can be scarry. You just don’t know what is lurking in the dark! Movies have certainly played into the fear in each.

As a kid it was my job to make sure the basement bulkhead door was closed. It was often used during the day, so it was always unlocked. To get to it, I had to descend a long flight of narrow stairs, turn left and take about 10 steps to a narrow hallway in the middle of the basement. Then turn left again and proceed about 20 steps down that narrow hallway that had doors on both right and left into my Fathers workshop. The workshop was filled with plenty of tools that could kill or mame me. Then open a door to the bulkhead and climb a few steps to close it and lock it. Then run as fast as i can back while shutting off all lights that I thought would help my adolescent fears.
This was usually after watching a Horror movie on the weekends. I still have dreams about it.

I recently bought an old Victorian house that has a large walkup attic on the 3rd level. The anxiety is around what animals may have made their way in.

LifeQuestioner's avatar

By the way, if anybody wants to add to their nightmares, this is a cute animation series that I follow:

The scary part comes about a minute into the video and is only for the first part, but if you like cats, the rest of it is amusing too.

Zaku's avatar

Basements, generally.

When I was younger and living with my dad, our basement was partly the domain of cats and other animals who snuck in through the cat door, and an occasional would-be thief. To protect against the latter, I fortified the outside basement door with quite an assortment of yard tools and other things arranged as booby-traps, etc. It was probably pretty scare for thieves the next time they showed up . . .

YARNLADY's avatar

As a child, I knew heaven was up, so down must be hell. I was convinced the devil lived in our basement, and afraid to even walk past the door.

flutherother's avatar

@chyna The door was unlocked and opened years later when my grandparents died and I was living in another city. I don’t recall that anything even unusual was found there. The door opened onto a very deep cupboard, almost a small room in itself and it actually had its own window that was also never opened and which faced a dark alley between two walls. I remember trying to peer through this window but I never saw anything in the darkness other than the glitter of dusty spiders webs.

ragingloli's avatar

In one of the Asterix movies, where they went to Rome, Asterix got trapped in a cellar jail cell without his magic potion. It started to rain heavily, and the jail cell started to flood. He almost drowned.
Clearly the cellar is scarier. Difficult to drown in the attic.

mazingerz88's avatar

Whichever one has a possessed doll staring at you from a dark corner…

RocketGuy's avatar

It’s easier to bury dead bodies in a basement than in an attic. Their trapped souls would be nearby…

smudges's avatar

^^ Not if it’s a finished basement with a cement floor.

chyna's avatar

^How fresh is the cement?

smudges's avatar

^^ Well if it were fresh, of course you could bury someone, but I was saying in general, if a basement is finished, the floor is set hard. Like my house as a kid, the floor was at least 5 years old.

RocketGuy's avatar

But if the bodies were there before the concrete, the spirits would still be there. Remember the movie Poltergeist?

smudges's avatar

^^ You didn’t say that. I thought you meant bury a body in your basement after the flooring was poured.

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