Were you scared of your basement?

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    For anyone who grew up with a basement at home, were you afraid of being down in it alone?

    I was, but I don’t know if I ever told my parents. By the way, we had a finished basement too. However, it was cold and dark (until I turned on the lights).

    How would you know if your child today is scared of being in the basement alone? What can you do about making it a friendlier place?

    Thank you 🙂


    So, like, in the past tense?


    I was never scared of our basement as a child. My parents bought the house brand new a month before I was born and the basement was fully finished by my father.

    I am scared of the basement in our current home, at least the section under the original part of the house. It was built in 1803. There are tree trunks holding up the floors, the foundation is made of piled rocks and it has a dirt floor. Access is only through a Bilco door from the outside. It is not unusual to see signs of wildlife, especially in the winter. There is still a door for coal deliveries. I try to avoid going down there as much as possible, but last Monday, I had to change filters in one furnace and then my youngest daughter tripped a circuit breaker and I had to go reset that.

    We keep nothing in the basement except the railings and pump for the swimming pool in the winter and the pool cover in the summer. The additions to the house have 3 ft high crawl spaces, not basements and I never enter those…that’s what children and grandchildren are for,


    CTLAWYER… Thank you 🙂

    It’s so refreshing to hear that even an extremely successful and capable adult finds his basement spooky.


    I can vouch for CT lawyer. In my basement there is a closet that leads to the land of Narnia. I once went in to the closet to pick out my favorite shirt and landed in a pile of snow with a witch and a lion staring me down. Also there is a window which can teleport me to Mars so I stay away from it. When switching on the circuit breaker a rainbow appeara which leads me to a pot of gold. We too, have railroad tracks and an active train runs in twice a day with extra supplies to brew beer just like at the Coors factory. And we don’t really need to spot wildlife, since we share the space together.
    I mean what can you do, not everyone has a nice finished basement. Some of us just deal with these conditions.


    Litvishechossid!!! Lol hysterical 😄😄😄

    Love it!

    Thinking out loud

    Yes! I was scared down there, if I was alone. And it was also a finished basement! We actually kept our games and toys down there, and part of it was set up as a cheerful playroom. I used to insist (as did my siblings who were close in age to me) that somebody come down there with me, even if it was just to fetch a game, or bring up extra paper towels. And to my parents’ chagrin, we wouldn’t play down there alone, which sometimes resulted in bored kvetchy kids in the house, despite a playroom full of toys and games! But I never told them I was scared, and they never really asked why I didn’t want to go there alone.

    When I got older, I realized that the scary stuff was household noise from plumbing and heating systems. Sometimes the boiler went on, or off. Sometimes water swished through pipes that were visible, or that were inside a dropped ceiling. The lighting fixtures in most of the basement held 2 8 ft. fluorescent bulbs. Sometimes they made buzzing noises. (bulbs or ballasts going bad). There was also a spare freezer down there, that turned on and off throughout the day. It was probably quieter in the basement than in the apartment we lived in upstairs, so those noises were even more noticeable.

    My imagination must have run rampant about all those mysterious sounds!

    In response to Lightbrite: How would you know if your child today is scared of being in the basement alone? What can you do about making it a friendlier place?

    For the first time in almost 50 years, there are currently no family members living in the house I grew up in. There are two tenants. One of them has use of the finished basement. Before that tenant moved in, the mom brought her kids to see their new home. I happened to be there, helping to pack up the belongings of my relative who was moving out. I went along as the kids got a tour of the apartment, and the finished basement. I suddenly had a great idea. I remembered how scared I used to be.

    Much to the surprise of my vacating relative, I showed the kids the pipes, and I told them that sometimes they make noises. I explained that it’s just running water, not a boogeyman! I showed them the boiler room, and pointed out that it makes a noise when it goes on and off. I told them that any noise they hear comes from a physical component of the house, or an appliance. There are no ghosts, or any other creatures! I think that my relative, who only lived there as an adult was quite surprised that I was saying all those things. She apparently had no idea how scared us younger kids were down there. And that it could have been addressed so easily.

    By giving explanations in advance, the noises could be expected, and have rational explanations. I hope that tour prevented the development of imaginary ideas, the likes of which made the basement such a scary place to be alone when I was a kid! If my idea worked, the kids are enjoying the additional space, with no strings attached!

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