George Stahl: The Scariest Place in the House

By George Stahl
Special to the Sun


There is one place in the whole house that we sometimes feel a dread to go into. It’s not the basement, with all of its scary things, waiting to jump out at you. The spider webs are a dead giveaway for what is crawling around down there. The pieces of dried, and crumbling bug parts hanging off their silky strands, that sway in the drafts of this underworld are a foreboding warning to the rest of us. So, we stay as far from them as we can as we descend the creaky wooden stairs. Still, that singular place of unspeakable horror we fear is not this damp under dwelling of our house.

It is not located on the opposite end of the house either, like the attic. Here, the relatives of the basement spiders live to taunt whoever dares to embark on a journey into this world of ancient, and forgotten relics. Things we have stored away years ago, swearing at the time that we would need them one day. ‘Yes sir, someday I will be looking for this, and I will know right where to find it.’ We probably told ourselves that at least ten years ago. We still didn’t need it, and that’s a good thing because by now, we don’t remember where in the attic we put it. If we did need it now, we’d have to buy another one. No, that place of dark eeriness is not this area of the house.

Nor is it the storage shed out back. That has also become a place where things go to disappear. Tools, rags, owners’ manuals and the such have met their ends in these places out in rear yards across America. These are like an oversized junk drawer from inside the kitchen. Every kitchen has one. Usually the smallest and least accessible drawer in the collection of cabinets. It has every miscellaneous piece of nothing in it, and everything in it is most likely useless. Nuts without bolts, flashlights without batteries, hooks without eyes, and eyes without hooks. Small pieces of twine or string that are not long enough to accomplish anything, and pens on their last drop of ink, and pencils with no lead, or a half-chewed eraser. Every junk drawer in the United States has one of those small pocket-sized calendars in it too. In order to qualify for junk drawer status, these have to be at least two years old, and have to have the name of a Pharmacy or Insurance Agent on them.

Sorry folks, those are all really good guesses for the last place any of us would want to find ourselves in, but they are not the right answer. Even collectively they do not hold a candle to the scariest place in our house. You give up? (No fair reading ahead either.)

Okay, here’s a hint. It is not a room or an area in your house. It occupies an area of a room in your house. Not yet? Okay, let’s see. In most cases it looks different in every house. It can even be in a different location within the room in each house. Still nothing?

If you are guessing, and you were getting closer to the answer it could be said that you are warmer…warmer…warmer…hot…hot…burning up! However, this would be an oxymoron considering what we are looking for. Colder…colder…colder…freezing! Would be a better cheer for your successful search.

Got it? It’s not that easy to see. To be fair, most people would not see this as being the scariest place in their home. There are no spiders, no bugs, and no …well, now, there could be bugs. Spiders, no, but bugs of all kinds, maybe. Depending on how long we have been neglecting our duty in this place.
These things have one door, sometimes two, and even three in some homes. All depends on which model you have. The doors swing open and reveal the entire contents. Almost. That’s the scary part. The hidden things that are lurking just below the surface. When you open the doors, instead of a light going on to help you see, and then a bell, chiming to tell you to close the door, the theme music from the movie ‘Jaws’ should be what greets you. Or better yet, that creepy organ music like in Phantom of the Opera.

In case you still don’t know … it’s your refrigerator, or do you call it, the fridge? Maybe you still refer to it as an ice box. Whatever you call it, we all have things in there that we do not want to see. They went in as normal fruits, vegetables or leftovers, but what they have become would turn the stomach of the heartiest of souls. All of them, now having the appearance of demon possessed, mad scientist’s laboratory experiments, and creatures that you would not want to meet up with in a dark alley on a cold, stormy night. Killer, ravaging beasts that were once tomatoes, green, leafy, healthy lettuce, ripe and juicy oranges, and last week’s meat loaf. All, are now what you would see on ‘Night of the Living Dead’ movies. Zombie food, searching for brains.

Tonight, the night before Halloween is celebrated as ‘Haunted Refrigerator Night’. This is the night when, you go to your fridge, without turning on the kitchen light, and open the doors slowly. Let them creak a little if they will, but open them really slow. Just to get the full effect then, unscrew the light bulb and use a flashlight to search for anything that moves. You might want to have a crucifix and a bottle of Holy Water close by. Just in case.
Remember that movie, ‘The Haunted Refrigerator on Elm Street’. Yeah, that’s the spirit.

Clean out that refrigerator folks!

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