When I was growing up, my sister and I shared a room – a big room that stretched across half of our basement. The door was on my side, and the closet was on her side.
We often got a creepy feeling just being down there, which I suppose might simply have been because it was a basement – low ceilings, darker than the main floor, closed off from the rest of the house. But strange things did happen in our basement. I would hear my name being called quite clearly, only to go upstairs to find that no one else was in the house. The clock-radio would adjust its own volume up and down. We would hear other noises that seemed to come from no particular place, but those could have been from a dozen or more perfectly banal causes. The luggage thing, though, was kind of obvious.
Our closet was fairly large, with two heavy wooden sliding doors on squeaky rollers. It was actually impossible to open it even a few inches without this prolonged, ear-grating squeal. On more than one occasion, we could hear – although we would be looking right at it and nothing would be moving visibly – that distinctive screech of the doors opening. Then there’d be a scraping sound like – well, we decided it sounded like Samsonite luggage – a couple of pieces of heavy luggage being pulled off the shelf in the closet and banged onto the ground. Then the sound of the closet doors again.
I never saw anything; I never heard voices or breathing or anything like that. But something certainly seems to have left its belongings in our closet. Once I thought maybe we should call out to it, and ask it where it was going with all that luggage, but I decided against it – I didn’t want to take the chance that it would answer.