Did you ever see "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves?" You know, the one with Kevin Costner speaking with a truly atrocious British accent and acting as wooden as the trees in Sherwood Forest? Remember the very first scene, where all those guys are being tortured in a dungeon? Yeah, that could have been filmed on location in my cellar.*
Cellars are relatively new to me. They're not my native habitat, so to speak. But I think this one could win a prize for "Freakiest Underground Lair." To start, it's what you might term "unfinished." And by unfinished I mean dirt floor, original (1860s) foundation walls dripping with condensation, spider webs with mummified and albino insects swinging from the low ceiling. That kind of unfinished.
Also, the cellar has rooms. It's not one open space--there are walls dividing what we call the Furnace Room, the Cistern Room, the Plant Room. These could have originally been called the Iron Maiden Room, the Rack Room, the Water Torture Room. It's that kind of place. We killed some of our turkeys for Thanksgiving, and for awhile they were hanging by their feet in the Cistern Room. And it wasn't even a surprise to come upon a few dead birds hanging down there.
Pictures don't really do it justice, because if you use the flash, it looks brighter than it really is, but if you don't use the flash, you can't see a damn thing. The above photo shows the hole in the Cistern Room that actually leads to the (old, leaking, and currently unused) cistern. And no, I do not know what that is balancing on the ledge. It appears to be an ironing board? Hell, I don't know. I try not to look in there.
I do not like going into the cellar. I'm always afraid I'm going to fall down the steep stairs, the dirt floor is always a little wet, and once I found a dead mouse in the washing machine down there. The MiL also told me that she found a bat in the washing machine once. I really wish she hadn't shared that.
I just don't get a good vibe from the place, man. But I'm all about conquering my fears (not really), so maybe I should make a concerted effort to go in the cellar more. Maybe I should even sleep down there when the weather's really hot and the cellar is the only comfortable place in the house. Or maybe I should just admit that I'm a sissified city slicker and make the real country folk go down there for me as much as possible. Yeah, I think I like that option better.
*Yes, I know my post title is referencing a different movie. I'm allowed to mix up my movie references if I want to. It's my damn blog. And if you're any friend or relation of mine, you will know what these two movies are. Or you will find out and go watch them. Thank you.