top of page

The Basement Laundry Room

October 2004

When I was 18 I lived in an apartment building in the middle of the city. The building was a 3 story brick building and was built in the late 1800s. My apartment was on the 3rd floor. The building was set up so that there was a front entrance on the west side of the building and one on the east side of the building. The only way to get to an apartment on the east side of the building from the west side of the building would be to go outside and go to the entrance for that side or go down to the basement that ran the length of the entire building and then come up on that side of the building.

The basement is where the real story begins.

There was a large open space in the center of the basement that served as the laundry facility. On the east side there was a door to go upstairs and then past that was the boiler room that heated the entire building. On the north side of the open area in the basement were old dilapidated storage closets. On the west side of the basement was a dark doorway that was gated off, the stairs to go up to the west end apartments and two doors that led to what were once used as basement level apartments. These doors were also barricaded and padlocked from the outside.

When doing laundry in the basement most people would take their laundry down put it in the wash and go right back upstairs. It was rare that anyone would spend any time in the basement. When you were in the basement it was cold and damp and it felt like you were being watched from all sides.

One afternoon I went down to do my laundry and noticed that the door was open by about a foot to one of the old basement apartments. The apartment was pitch black and just inside the door where the light from the laundry room shone in you could see that there was about 2 feet of rubble. Torn and broken sheet rock, shredded vinyl flooring, etc. covering the floor. I decided that I would put in my laundry and go back upstairs to my apartment and get my flashlight and roommate and go exploring.

We got down to the basement, we quietly tip-toed, huddled together, to the open apartment. When we got to the door it could not be opened any further so we had to squeeze inside while climbing through the debris. We shone our flashlight around the entry way. There were markings and holes in the walls. There were old torn couch cushions with the stuffing hanging out thrown about. We had climbed about three quarters of the way through the entry way and were just about to get to the living area when it got suddenly cold enough that I could see my breath in the beam of the flashlight. The hairs on every part of my body were standing on end. As my roommate started to shine the flashlight around the room we heard something move from one end of the living space to the back corner. We were both frozen with fear. Then there was a low gutteral growl. It echoed through the room and a foul stench lingered in the air. It was then that we were able to turn and run. The thing came stomping after us laughing a high pitched hysterical cackle that haunts me still. I was sure that we would never be able to squeeze back out of that door in time but I slid through and my roommate was just a second behind.

We ran as fast as we could all the way up to our 3rd floor apartment and did not stop until we were safely locked inside.

Later my boyfriend got home and we followed him (with a baseball bat and a bent golf club that was in the apartment when we moved in) down to get my laundry we found that it had been taken out of the washing machine and thrown around the basement all over the floor. We were very relieved to see that the door to the apartment was again shut, padlocked and barricaded as it had always been before.

We took our laundry to the laundry mat from then on. We did not go to the basement in the building for any reason for the rest of the time that we lived there.

00:00 / 01:04
bottom of page