Three years ago, my boyfriend and I bought a house in the suburbs. It was older and a bit more rural than we wanted, but that was okay since it was also bigger than what we thought we could afford, so big that we never used the basement. In fact, we had never even opened the basement door because the previous owner told us it wasn't safe down there.
"Just keep the door closed," he said, which we did.
Two weeks ago, my boyfriend and I had a fight and he moved out. Strange things started happening in the basement. They were subtle at first, the kind of things you brush off assuming there is a perfectly reasonable answer. There's rats in the basement. Those voices came from the TV.
Then things became harder to write off. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night and see the light on in the basement. The crack under the door just wide enough to let it through. It would be off the next time I saw it. But I never opened the door, because rats can’t turn on lights.
Then one day I heard knocking. There was someone knocking on the other side of the basement door. I was so scared. I screamed, got in my car and spent the night at a friend's house. She called the police. They took my statement and went to my house to investigate. They called to tell me they found nothing. They acted like I was crazy. Three days later, I went home.
The first thing I noticed when I returned was that the police had left the basement door open. I was scared. I opened the door wide to look into the basement. The staircase had long ago rotted into a pile of wood on the floor. There was no way to reach the door from the basement. No wonder the police thought I was crazy. I closed the door and went to bed. I locked my bedroom door.
I awoke to more knocking, on the door to my bedroom. Whatever it was, was out of the basement. I hid under the sheets and cried myself to sleep.
I was awoken once more that night. My bedroom door was wide open. Something was knocking on the foot-board of my bed. I tucked up my feet and yelled at it to leave me alone. It stopped knocking. All was quiet for a few minutes and I tried to stop shaking and get up the courage to run. I was crying.
Then the knocking started again - this time more insistent. This time on my headboard, next to my ear. I screamed and my bedroom door slammed shut from across the room. Then it spoke:
"Let me in, or I'll never let you out."
I jumped and ran to the bedroom door. It wouldn’t open. I screamed. I heard the knocking inside my head this time. It was deafening.
“Please stop! Let me out! You can come in, just please let me out...”
The knocking stopped. I stood up and opened my bedroom door. I went to make myself a turkey sandwich.
I don’t live at that house anymore. But I hear the new owners are having no problems there. I don’t hear the knocking in my new house though. Sometimes I wonder where it went, but it doesn't bother me for too long. I am too busy burying pieces of my new neighbors in my backyard. They begged me to stop too.
Life is funny like that.