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!