Swaydora's Box - My Terrifying Find in the Attic


Okay, Certis wanted me to post this. He probably just doesn't want to be the only one tormented by my refusal to take any action.

I bought a house just less than a year ago. We had an inspector take a look at it before we bought, and he scoped things out pretty thoroughly. He even looked up in the small attic to make sure there wasn't anything terribly wrong. He didn't actually climb all the way up as he noted there weren't really floorboards to stand on. We took his word and went on to look at more accessible parts of the house.

Eleven months later, I'm sitting here at my computer last weekend and curiosity overcomes me. I also figured I'd better take a quick look just in case any major repairs needed addressing before winter showed up. I don't have a ladder yet, so I stood on my chair, popped the little attic access hatch, and hauled myself up there with a flashlight. It looked like an empty dusty attic. Lots of old wiring wove in and out of the rafters and rubble on the "floor". Dirt and cobwebs hung from the roof. I even saw pieces of an old artificial Christmas tree. It was hot and stuffy up there and I was ready to come back down when I scanned my weak flashlight around behind me.

My light shone on a big dark wooden box. It lay about five or six feet away and looked too big to have ever gotten up there through the opening I came up through. The box was large. I'd say it was roughly the size of...well...a coffin! It wasn't coffin shaped, but it was a big rectangular wooden box about six feet long and about two feet high. I couldn't see the depth from where I was sitting, frozen. Now I began to notice how the wires weren't as much woven as snaking around the rafters. And the cobwebs now hung in huge ropey stalactites. It didn't take long for my imagination to collate and catalog every nightmare image from every movie or game I've ever seen. I climbed down as quickly as I could and slipped the attic access panel back into place.

Fast forward to this evening when I told Certis about The Box. Of course he wanted me to open it. I refused. I told him I might take some pictures if I could bear to go up there again. He talked me through it even though every time I poked my head up into the musty stagnant attic I could feel the box perched heavily just out of reach. And then I would promptly start shaking. I held my digital camera up as far as I could reach without actually climbing back up into the attic and snapped some shots. Look closely at them and tell me if you think you'd be all that excited about poking around up there with just a flashlight in the blackness. It took him another 45 minutes to convince me to climb up high enough to take the picture where you can see the top of the box. That required me to put way more of myself in the viscinity of that box than I would have liked. That was the last picture I would take, though. I wasn't getting any closer. I came back down, nearly breaking my neck on my homemade ladder (a stool balanced on an end table) and put that panel back in place. Still, though, it's just above me to the left...way too close...and I can swear I smell the attic must even now.

Have a look at the pictures Certis goaded me into taking. We've got a lovely little gallery set up: (Gallery here)

The access panel above me.
How I climbed up to take the last picture.
Rubble near me, and first sight of The Box.
A good view of the attic. Note the Big Freakin' Box.

And, the closest I dared get to It. Certis will be paying for my therapy.

Oh, and let me tell you a little something I heard about my house from the previous owner. He had bought the house a year prior for about $7,500 (yes, seventy-five hundred), because it had sat abandoned and condemned for about eight years. It was an eyesore. My neighbors have all confirmed that much for me. Inside was supposedly just as much a disaster, though you wouldn't know it now since he pretty much gutted and rehabbed it. Clearly he didn't rehab the attic, though. Anyways, one of the things he said while we were commenting on the cute kitchen the first time we saw it, was that we should have seen it before! It was weird, he told us. There was writing on the walls and stuff. Someone had written "All Men Must Die!" on one of the walls. On another wall someone had just pretty much just taken a phone message and wrote it on the bare wall. He didn't know what the phone message was, but I'm willing to bet it was a scary one!

So now I have The Box in my attic. In fact, I would say that it is pretty much located just over our bed. There is no way I will open it. If any of you are in the neighborhood, you're welcome to come over and open it for yourself. Like I said, though, it's too big to fit out the hatch in my ceiling. You'll have to open it by flashlight up in the dirty darkness of an 80 year old attic. But, if it's filled with gold, I'll give you half! If it's filled with...oh, I dunno...arms, you can have them all!

Scary bannanas Sway! If that was my house I''d have a couple of my mates in Law enforcement round with their guns (and stakes and Holy water just in case!) to help me check it out!

I wonder how you''ll sleep tonight? Something tells me tat evry time you hear a bump or the house settling you''ll be awake in 2 seconds!

mind you if you ever want a REALLY scary place to stay you should try my parents house in the countryside when the power goes out and your stuck with loads of stuffed animals and a scary huge almost gothic mansion to explore!

Well you could look at it this way. If it is a dead body you could help solve a case that has, so far not been solved. How good would you feel about that?

Than again it would creep the heebee jeebies out of me. I would call up my biggest friend and make him open it.

Now that you''ve disturbed it''s rest it''s going to haunt your dreams until you open it. You might as well just get it over with and open it before it devours your soul. Also I think when you open it candy pops out.

Absolute worst case scenario, there''s a corpse in that box. In which case, ewwww! Get it out of the house, man. On the other hand, best case scenario, the long forgotten box holds something or many somethings immensely valuable. Get a nice bright lamp, and get to opening the friggin'' box you big damn baby!

Heh! What was that Poe tale where the man kills someone and buries the body under the floor boards. The man goes crazy imagining he can hear the beating of the man''s heart underneath the floorboards. The investigators come for a visit and the guilt comsumed insanity forces him to rip up the floor boards to reveal the body to the investigators.

""A Tell Tale Heart"" I believe.

This is messed up...open it !!! Do eeeet !

You have us all in suspense now, you have to open it or we''re going to all track you down and open it for you!

What was that Poe tale where the man kills someone and buries the body under the floor boards.

You might be on to something there Fang. Poe lived, died & is buried in Baltimore & thats Sway''s home location apparently.

Either way, thats creepy as hell Sway. Sounds like you might have your own personal Blair Witch Project on your hands. Time to stock up on wooden stakes & Holy Water.

Anyone else find it spooky and curious Sway hasn''t posted in a while?

Until he opens the Box sway should have his Space filler title removed and be renamed Box boy!

It''s the Lindbergh baby for sure.

Thank you all for you deepest sympathies and concerns. I will heartily and confidently take your advice and leave the box alone. I''ll happily live out the rest of my life never knowing what was in that cursed thing. Resident Evil belongs on consoles, not wandering the streets of Baltimore. And VicD714 and Fang get bonus points for the Poe connection.

I''ve shown the same pictures to my coworkers and they are all just as eager for me to forever keep it sealed. In fact, some have even made idle promises to come over and help me not open it whenever they next happen to be in town.

Sure this has all emasculated me to a certain degree. You know what? I can deal with that. I don''t even kill bugs in my house. I guess I should have waited another month for all of this. Then again, nobody would believe me if I trotted this story out on Halloween.

Dang, now I'm curios to see what or what is in the box.

Here''s what you do, Sway...call Animal Control and tell them you hear something rustling around in the box and you need them to come get it out. The box gets opened, no one gets hurt, and we all finally know what''s in the box. And if it''s a zombie, those Animal Control guys have pretty big freakin'' nets and stuff.

Call the news the week of Halloween and tell them what you found and that you are going to open it on hell night, yeah, that''s it.

$7,500. You come on to a forum that has people from the bayarea on it and you talk about houses selling for $7,500? As I person with 500k Mortgage I feel that I have the right to beat you to death with a large baseball bat like object, failing that I''ll settle for killing you many time virtually in whatever game I can manage to do so... ugh $7,500
/em mumble angry and incohereently
clearly the dam box is full gold bullion since you are living ins some fantastical mystical and of gumdrops and $7,500 house.

Sway, I propose that there is something worse that can happen:

You can wake up one fine morning and find that there is suddenly no box in the attic! Now this might at first seem like a blessing...

But think for a moment...

Who or what took the box away?

And why?

Now you''ll have to check on it every night

I didn''t get it for $7,500. The guy who rehabbed it got for that price. From a photo a neighbor gave me I''m not even sure it was worth that! But I guess I still got a pretty good deal. We bought it for $79,000. Obviously I didn''t realize that it came with a curse.

Prices are still good in this town, though. Feel free to come on out. We could use more gamers. Besides, if you moved out here, you could open the box for me.

Just wait til Halloween and then decorate your house like a graveyard, take the box out and prop it up against the house and wait til some neighbouhood kids come along asking whats in the box?....then you tell them it''s a surprise and get them to open it then , if it turns out to be anything valuable you just push the kiddies aside or if it''s the nasty Hobo Lord you run away leaving the kiddies to their doom....

Keg i think the whole problem with getting it out of the house is that it doesnt fit the hole.
this is what upsets me the most...

how didit get there? was the house constructed with no roof, the box placed there, then the roof completed? was it brought up piece by piece? is it just parts of the roof that fell down coincidentally in the shape of a large coffin/box?

we''ll never know...

You don''t know anyone willing to open it?

I''d open it for you. Really. Unfortunately kind of a drive to Baltimore from Ann Arbor.

Just find someone in medical profession. They have no qualms about much of anything. When I was a research assistant, the other researchers liked to trade ""funny things that happend in the morgue at the hospital"" stories. Call Johns Hopkins and see if any PhD students wanna come take a peek. Or call an anthropology department...that might even be better.

Honestly, $79,000 provokes pretty much the same reaction

Just think it could be the lost map to atlantis, it could be cool cursed treasure that makes you immortal! It could be somebodies old foot locker and smell will kill you and everything within a 10 mile radius when opened... but hey at least you would make the news, maybe even get GWJ some fee publicity... well worth the risk (says the person way more then 10 miles away).

Open the box! It could be filled with money or a treasure map!

My parents are moving to Baltimore.

Yeah...come on !!!

Us Goonies have to get out of here someday

My Uncle works off the Rockville Turnpike in Rockville, MD. He''s a lawyer though, not Indiana Jones.

We might as well make this post a sticky until Sway gets somebody to open the box, that way we can all come back and check on it daily

Actually, I was just looking closer at that last picture and I can make out the small hinges and what looks like a frame around the outside of the ""door"" of the box and it almost looks like it is a cabinet of some sort. From where it''s laying you will have to reach across it to open it and the door may hit the 2x6? 2x8? above it. You will probably have to spin the right side of the box towards you to be able to open it easily and in the process you will feel how heavy it is and be able to determine if it has something ...or someone in it.

Oh man. I''ve so much emotional investment in this thread, it BETTER be the rotting corpse of Jimmy Hoffa hugging Hitler, or I''m going to be disappointed.

People on the Antique Roadshow are always finding incredibly valuable things in the attics of their old homes. Of course, the guy who fixed up the house before you may have just decided not to clean up all the crap that he found in the attic so he just built a big box to stick it in instead.

So do we lose our hardcore gamer badge if we admit to enjoying watching Antique Roadshow?

This is purely a hypothetical question of course. *ehem*

Don''t open it. It''s probably just filled with old shoes or some sh*t. At least this way you don''t know and it makes for a great cocktail party story. Hang on to the story man.