This is a new story that has happened within the last two years. I have recently returned to this forum after a 2 year hiatus. During that time I have been on an intense training schedule (for work) that has had me traveling out of town every other week for the last two years. (This was extremely difficult to conduct any form of a lifestyle with very little to no leisure time.) During this time on the off weeks I have been working at my job conducting my duties. (I cannot be too descriptive or specific of details, since I am not sure if I am at liberty to divulge details of this event.)
So I will say this; I conduct a form of service work that requires me to enter a person's house.
This particular story begins with me conducting my daily duties as typical. I was on a service call to a very upscale neighborhood in the city. This particular area is old Victorian style homes in the million plus range. This particular house was such a house. An old red brick Victorian house with dark stained wood beams, white plaster panels and cedar shake shingles. The home was huge, I am guessing it was about 4000 - 4500 sqft. It was two and a half stories with turret roofs and copper eves. The main entrance door was in a small courtyard with a large wooden door that was tall and arched at the top like a church door. I knocked and an attractive woman answered. She was in her early 30s late 20s. She was wearing a drab blue shirt and casual pants. I quickly learned she was an in home nurse for the "good Doctor" (her words.) He was very old and very ill. I was invited in and I waited at the door as she informed the doctor that I had arrived. (I found it odd that everyone referred to him as "the doctor" since he had not practiced medicine in a long time and was now easily in his late 80s... But perhaps this is normal.)
The house was immaculate just like you'd think a Victorian house of nobility in the 1800s would have looked. There were many rich colors of wood, red carpet, loud wall paper, wall coverings of material etc... The house had many tight rooms that were lavishly decorated. One of the first things I noticed was all the gold framed mirrors and the Catholic religious decorations. There were many. Including jeweled crosses, crucifixes, extremely lavish and large pictures of the Pope and past Popes (I am not sure if that is how you spell the plural of pope...doesn't look right.) Anyhow I think you can get the picture of this place. After a few seconds I was escorted to the back kitchen (the place actually had 3 kitchens!) The kitchen was purely decorative and not functional. It had marble floors and under light counters. Back light cabinets with extravagant gold and stainless tea sets, cutlery etc... There in the middle stood the old doctor.
He walked very heavily with a walker and oxygen tank. He had an old wheel chair near him (the kind with the big wheels in front and little ones in the rear.) He was ghastly looking with a very grey complexion, yellow eyes and teeth. His lips were off purple. He was definitely sickly. He looked of European (mid Mediterranean, Greek or Italian) heritage, no doubt a strong, fit, good looking man in his youth. To save him the troubles of crossing the room I moved to him to greet him. He shook my hand and smiled. I asked "How are you?" (A customary greeting of mine... Not particularly suitable for this moment... But I am a creature of habit and not very bright or witty.) He answered with a chuckle. "Oh I am just dying..." I instantly realized the error I had made in my courtesies. So I tried to correct it. "I am sorry to hear that." In which he replied "It's alright, I have lived a long life and we cannot all live forever." After a brief exchange of me explaining my service to him and the details of what I was going to do and that I required access to his basement. He simply smiled again and nodded. "Well I trust you will take good care of me down there." He gave a look to the nurse who seemed purposely poker faced about the conversation. Right there I got a brief notion that there was something concerning about me going into the basement. But I passed it off quickly as I have been in many basements and in many homes. This was seemingly a lavish house with a proud doctor that was nearing the end of his life. So I thought nothing of it and parted under the guidance of the nurse.
She led me to the back of a nearby mud room where there was a narrow staircase descending down into the basement. She stopped at the top of the stairs and motioned for me to pass by her. I did and started down the stairs. I stopped noticing she was not following me. I turned to her and she had a very concerning face. She looked at me and said (as professionally as she could) "I am sorry I do not go down there. It is too spooky for me. The doctor's caretaker would if she was here but she is out on an errand. I was hopping she would be here when you arrived." So wide eyed and shocked I asked "Why?... What's wrong with the basement?" The nurse became very defensive and said "nothing. It's just really creepy and I have only been working here for about 6 months now and don't know it that well. The Doctor's caretaker she has been working here for the last 18 years she could guide you, but even she won't go into the boiler room. You'll have to find it yourself. Just let me know when you are done."
She quickly returned to the other room. So still shocked by the answer, I now turned to look down the winding stairs with a new appreciation for the hand rail. (Being that my knees were now knocking... Not necessarily out of physical fear, but more distraught over what I might find. Who tells someone they are too afraid to go into the basement? What the heck could be down there that was so spooky? The house was done up like Shangri-La... Would the basement really be that different?)
So I slowly descended down the staircase wide eyed watching for whatever could be freaky. The stairs were very narrow and turned around once on themselves to make a full 360 rotation. On the way down the walls were covered in oak paneling very similar to the mud room walls. But about half way the outside foundation wall was bare. (Old stone walls.) I exited the staircase in a narrow hallway. To the left was oak wall paneling (dusty from the lack of cleaning) to the right was a full stone wall of old cold, damp stones. The hall was very dark as there were only a few wall lights and no windows. The ceiling was low only about 6.5 - 7 ft. (for a brief moment the thought that I could be in danger entered my mind as I did not have a ready escape route if something demented happened. But I am a big guy and I decided that I would have to rely on my physical strength if something were to happen. I could not leave saying it was too creepy to do my job.)
The rooms to the left were formal rooms, the first was behind glass French doors and had several sitting chairs and tables wrapped in plastic. The doors were locked. So I moved on, the next door was also on the left and it was to a wine cellar with cedar or oak racks and shelves. It was a good size room and looked like a small library of wines and pickled stuff in jars. It was lit by a single hanging chain light bulb. So I could not make out the exact size of the room. The next door was a door to a laundry room of sorts. It had several cabinets on folded sheets and linens. It had and old 1900s style clothing press in the back of the room. (I figured this would be the room that led to the boiler room, only it didn't). It led to a small room in the back where there was some dusty old exercise equipment. I actually snickered to myself when I saw the shaker belt machine that is in all the old B movies. On the far side of the equipment was a weird medical tub/pool. It looked like something from a 1920s hospital as it was cast iron and white ceramic coated with old stainless taps. It was really bizarre and stained with rust and mold. Next to it was a little cedar room that I recognized as a sauna. Keep in mind that there is no lights or light switches that I can find so I am exploring in the dark with only a small flashlight. These rooms came to a dead end and no boiler room in sight so I was back moving on to the main hall. I was happier in the hall because it had some light.
At the end of the hall was a small panel type door on the right and a larger sitting room that the hall opened into. The room was also dark with lots of dust. It was a room that looked like it was out of the 60s. It had white shag carpet, red sectional couch (the largest I have ever seen) a white tiled fireplace with mirror specks mixed into the tile work. It had a large chest stereo (the kind with a record player and 8track hidden under the top lid,) there were shelves of records and records nailed to the walls. He has several large mirrors that were delaminating and now were fogged up from the back of the glass. Many had greenish tarnish and/or gold cracks running though the reflections. Regardless to say this room was definitely out of place in this house, but to each their own. So I turned to the old panel door on the right. It was in the stone wall and looked like a shed door from the 60s. I opened the door and there was a small workshop with another open door on the far side. The adjoining room had a large boiler that I could see through the door way. I entered the work room.
Inside were all kinds of hand tools. Being a handyman I could appreciate all the old hand tools of bygone days. I recognized a few, but some were unknown to me. The work shop had old skis, golf clubs, snow shoes, and traveling trunks (the big box kind with travel stickers.) It would seem this doctor led a very good life. The work shop was full of dust and cob webs. It had not been visited in a very long time. So without much to do I moved into the boiler room beyond. The boiler was from the 30's, a giant octopus gravity furnace was attached to it and the whole contraption was the size of what I imagined the equipment to look like at the local brewery. (Something from the lost episode of Lavern and Shirley Halloween special.) It was black iron and rusty, full of dust and soot. The room was largely empty, being that not much could fit in it besides the boiler. There was a small work desk that I noticed and a shelf full of old parts for the boiler, probably a few grand worth of old brass fittings. So I started to look over the boiler. But the room was very still and quiet. The air was very thin and stale. I could feel the air pressure of the room in my ears as it was surrounded by thick rock walls and virtually sound proof. As I worked I only had the light from my flashlight. My attentions continuously wandered to the depths of the dark, especially behind the boiler. Something bothered me more than the creepiness of the room. My mind was quick to want to stray and quickly thoughts of ghastly images filled my imagination. I worked quickly and efficiently, I did not want to return due to a poor quality job and did not want to be there any longer than I had to be.
So time had passed and my mind was racing on how insanely creepy this room was. I had trouble focusing on my work and my eyes were hurting from the strain. Inside my mind I was screaming as I was being consumed by the darkness. So I took a quick break and left the room and returned to the hall. I only lingered in the hall for a few moments to shake the mental images from my mind and to relax my eyes. The mental impact the room was having on me was mind boggling. A few seconds more passed then it was back into the black. I reentered the boiler room and the little desk immediately seemed to bother me. So I took a closer look. The desk was full of small tools a couple small leather bags and some chain. It also had a flood light, the caged bulb on an extension cord type. I looked around for a socket to plug it into, but nothing. So I was still working in the dark. I was almost finished. (Thank god) But the desk was still lingering in my mind. So I returned to take another look at it. I shined the flashlight directly on it and around all the little tools. It seemed to be a model kit with razors and scalpels and other small picks and tools... Then it dawned on me. He was a doctor... These were operating tools! They were all dusty and rusty. The leather bags were doctor's bags from the past. He was obviously a collector of antique doctoring tools. (...freaky that they were in this room... But ok... It was in the realm of normal for an old rich doctor.)
So I returned and finished my work. Part of the job was to trace pipes. So I started to trace the pipes in the ceiling. They led all over the room and exited the room through all four walls. I noticed that in places on the beams and pipes were small pieces of knotted rope the old hemp kind that was now brittle and frayed. Again this was weird but I kept moving on. The last pipes were behind the boiler. There was a little narrow path between the boiler and the stone wall. I saved this for last because the dark space bothered me more than anything else. But I had a job to do, so I started to move along the wall. The cob webs were thick and traveled from the ceiling to the floor. They broke like pieces of floss as I pushed through them. As I traced the pipes I noticed a narrow door in the back wall. It was very odd. It was made of old wooden planks. My light passed it and I did not think much of it as I was focusing on the pipes. It wasn't until I had to move against it to see a pipe in the ceiling that I noticed it had a chain hanging on it. The chain bumped my leg. So I turned the light on the door. That moment I froze. I was instantly taken from reality and moved into the paralyzing realm of fear created usually by my imagination... But this was real! The door was a plank wood door something that looked like it was built from an old crate that was used to hold a large animal. The wood was old and weathered; the edges were rounded and frayed. The planks had gaps between them and the last plank had a chunk in the middle that a thick rusty chain was hung through and connected to a metal latch on the wall. It looked like it was from a horror movie. It was built to hold something in!...to prevent something from escaping that room! My mind raced with reasonable explanations... But I could not fathom any. The chain was unlocked and the bump from my leg had opened the door a slight bit from the wall. I opened the door to see what was behind it.
The back of the door was full of scratches... This was getting worse. I forced myself to shine the light into the room. The room was little, about 4X6. It had a small table that looked like an old school desk with a wooden chair, in the far corner on the cement floor was a torn white bed comforter all mangled on the ground with a torn pillow. Stuffing was all over the room. Everything was covered in dust and had not been disturbed for a very long time. My mind was spinning! What was I seeing! Was this real! I backed out of the room and closed the door, very much in shock over what I had seen. As I closed the door I noticed some words painted on the door. I flashed my light on them to see. The said "Sinner's den." My mind raced again... This was a joke? Was I really seeing this! This couldn't be a joke... Who would allow a joke like this to exist in their house? Especially since he was my grandparent's age and super religious.
Then things started to come together in my head. The doctor was extremely religious. Perhaps he was a fanatic? Perhaps he was a lunatic? All sorts of horror film plots filled my mind.
I was done with my work so I was going to leave (and leave quickly) but I stopped at the boiler room door. The thoughts of someone being trapped in there started to weigh heavy on me. A deep welling of sadness waved over me. I decided I had to tell someone. But who would believe me? How would I convince the Doctor to let me back in with someone to check out his freaky dungeon? I had to do something. I could not leave without some proof. Then I thought about my phone. I had a camera on my cell phone. I took a couple of pictures of the door and room. Then I quickly moved to the stairs to leave this house. As I exited the staircase expecting to see the nurse I was stopped by the caretaker. She was an older stern looking lady about 50ish and immediately I could tell she did not want me in the house. In fact I could read it on her face. She was angry and very suspicious of me. I meagerly spoke up. "Hello...I was supposed to report to the nurse when I was done." She snapped "She is not here anymore... Are you done?" I nodded yes. "Yes I am all set." She moved to the back door of the mud room. "Good day then." She opened the door of the mud room and directed me out through the back gate. I left the house with the lingering images in my head.
My mind was a swirl of everything I had seen and the odd people in that house. When I got back to the office I turned in the pictures and the story of what I had seen to management. They took a report of the situation and submitted it to the police. I did not hear anything about it for about 4-5 weeks then a clipping of newspaper appeared in my mailbox. It was an article stating that the police had discovered a manmade prison in the basement of a house in the city. And that the doctor that owned the place (who had recently passed away) had confessed to the abduction of several people over 40 years ago. The article ended that the police were investigating several missing people cases from that time to see if they were linked. The article was short and not very detailed.
It was all very disturbing and still bothers me from time to time.
Is this a Ghost story? Well I would like to say that I have been in several basements and many creepy ones. But I have not had the intense feelings of something wrong, something out of place. The calling to the back corner... All the emotions and strange effects that they had on me before I figured out what was going on. I think this room was full of the spirits. I also believe that they were calling to me. They wanted me to see what I had seen and tell someone.
As I think about it now, they probably knew I was the last chance they had of exposing the truth of what happened to them. If the doctor had died and the house sold off, the room would have probably been cleaned out and never thought of again. Their story would never have been discovered. It is sad to think about it, but at the very least I feel a sense of absolution about the topic. Perhaps it is what was needed to allow the spirits to pass on in peace.