In my book Stalking Shadows, I talk about some of my most interesting and creepy experiences both as a psychic medium and as a ghost hunter. That got me thinking: why is it that certain things and places spook a lot of people? Places such as basements, attics, abandoned buildings; dolls; clowns—the list is endless.
One of the most obvious answers to this question is that we've been so conditioned by TV and movies to be afraid of these places. You know the scenes—the unsuspecting person is inching up or down the stairs, candle or flashlight in hand, looking for whatever is making those suspicious noises. Now, if these TV shows or movies run true to form, something is going to jump out at them and scare the life out of them—we all know it's going to happen. It's like a train wreck—you don't want to watch, but you can't turn away. Then, when the culprit does jump out, you jump, too!
From children's cartoons to sophisticated horror movies, we just can't help but apply those scenes into our everyday lives–therefore, we are going to be at least a little spooked almost every time we're confronted with such a situation.
Another possible answer as to why certain places could spook us is that we have an innate fear of the unknown. Let's face it: most basements and attics are dimly lit, and ordinary objects cast eerie shadows on the walls and floors. We can't see around the corners—and the only reason we're in those places to begin with is because we blew a circuit and we have to get to the circuit box, we're doing laundry (and the washer and dryer happen to be in the basement), or we heard a suspicious noise and need to investigate. If this last is the case, we are already on high alert and rather nervous about what made the noise in the first place, so it's only natural that the attic or basement is going to seem rather creepy.
What about some abandoned buildings? I know a lot of people who find them to be unbelievably creepy. Could it be the wind whistling through the broken windows, or the stillness and lack of life that seems to permeate through the walls that creeps people out? Maybe, but it could all go back to TV and movies where we all know scenes in an abandoned building are not going to end well for our hero or heroine. It could also be that abandoned buildings just look haunted. The interior is usually dark, and it seems in some buildings that even the sunlight is apprehensive about illuminating the interior in fear of what it might find. Let me clue you in on a little secret: most abandoned buildings are not haunted–just desolate, alone, and yes, creepy.
Personally, life-like dolls and portraits of people creep me out in a huge way. I swear that the eyes are following me around the room, and it unnerves me to the point of no return. Of course, it could be that I saw the movie Chucky or that episode of Destination Truth about Doll Island on too many times, but I highly doubt it. Honestly, put me in a very active haunted house or building, and I'm okay with that; put me in a room full of dolls, and I'm out of there so fast you'd think I'd been shot out of a cannon. I'm sure I’m not the only one who feels this way…am I?
So then the question becomes: how do we get over a bad case of the creeps? Here are three things I do to get through that creepy feeling and get on with what I'm doing.
There are those of us who actually seek out creepy places and look for the things that go bump in the night. I believe we're called ghost hunters or adrenaline junkies, although personally I've been called crazy to do what I and hundreds of other people do—explore the world of the paranormal.
The truth of the matter is that there is always going to be something that creeps us out, whether it's a basement, attic, abandoned building, dolls, clowns, or spiders and snakes. The secret is learning how to deal with that creepy feeling and move on.