Monday, November 04, 2013

The door in the floor

First, I want to make it clear that I don't believe in ghost hunting, except as a good way to scam people.  As for ghosts themselves, I neither believe nor disbelieve.  I know people who I trust who have been completely freaked out by a phenomenon that they believed was a ghost, but unfortunately, I have never had any such thing happen to me.

I'm just posting this video because of the basement they go into.  There is this one route that I was trained on extensively when I was first hired, but then became a sort of back-up to the back-up guy on it.  It's a route that goes into the south end of downtown (you can see some pix from it here), and at it's northernmost part it goes into two side-by-side Mexican restaurants (side-by-side Mexican restaurants are pretty much the norm in San Antonio).  Both have meters in their basements.  Now, the first of these has an open basement with just a more or less normal, although narrow, staircase down.  They use it for storage and so it's open all the time and easily accessible.  The worst thing about this one is that I have to walk right by their grill so I get a full dose of the smells of breakfast foods cooking, which always makes me hungry.

The second one is different.

First, I have to ask for the key.  Then they go check that the women's restroom is empty.  We go into the women's restroom where there is a strange door on the back wall with some chairs leaned against it.  We remove the chairs and unlock the door.  Open the door, and beyond is a small bare room about 10 or 12 feet long and a little more than four feet wide.  There's a handle in the floor.  There are a few more chairs in here that I have to move into the women's restroom so I can grab the handle and open the floor.  Before I open it, I have to go to the far end of the room (away from the door into the women's restroom) because that's where the stairs come up.  So I lift the floor.  It opens like a door in the floor, because that's what it is, although it's really just a 4x8 sheet of plywood with hinges and a handle, and I lean it against one wall.  There is a narrow-to-the-point-of-tiny staircase with a ceiling that was apparently made for people no more than 5 feet tall.  The walls of the basement are stone.  There is only one dim light that somebody must have run down there as a joke.  It feels like the light shouldn't even be there.  Most of the basement is completely dark.  Once you get down the stairs and into the basement proper, the ceiling opens up to maybe 6 1/2 feet.  The meters are on the far back wall--of course--and they've left a chair down there to stand on because the meters are mounted almost all the way up against the ceiling.  But the ceiling is so low that when you stand on the chair to read the meters, you still have to crouch so you don't bang your head.  You have to read the meters with a flashlight because it's so dark.  I always carry a flashlight anyway.  I use it to read the meters but then I always turn it back off because the shaft of light feels like some kind of offense in the murkiness.  Heading back to the stairs, the dim yellow light spilling down the staircase looks like a beacon for the last refuge of safety in a world gone completely to the far end of spooky.  I almost can't get up the stairs fast enough, but I still have to go slowly and in a crouch so I don't smack my head.

They don't use this basement for anything.  It's just there.  The floor is uneven dirt with some stones scattered around like an old cave that someone cleaned out at some distant time in the past and then forgotten about.  Getting back out in the sunlight on the open street is always a relief after going down into that thing.

When I saw those guys open that door in the floor I just thought holy crap! it's just like that place.  Gotta be one of the creepiest places I have ever been in.


  1. *Why* are the meters back there in that way, where it's so far under a building, instead of being rerouted to the outside in back? Heck, sounds like the city could just dig down and find them.

  2. Oh man, 'WHY ARE THE METERS THERE?!!!" can be applied to so many of them. In this case, I don't think there is a back. I think all the buildings on this block are connected so there's no alley. A better question would be, "why aren't they just out in the sidewalk like all the other meters in this block?"

  3. Nice stone work in the basement foundation in that video. It has always amazed me that long into the age of concrete people still used stone for foundations. As for ghost hunting show, they are all a bunch of baloney as far as I am concerned. I have watched a few minutes of several of them and am always amazed at how stupid is the fact they call them reality shows yet show some of them on the Sci-Fi channel. So which is it, reality or fiction! Maybe if they acted out their reactions to the so called spooks a little more convincingly the shows might be a bit enjoyable but the whole idea of them being reality shows is total bunk. With that said, I neither believe or disbelieve in ghosts There well could be such a thing but I tend to doubt they will ever find one during the filing of one of those shows. I figure they have more of a chance of finding bigfoot on those other shows. What a hoot.

  4. But what if Bigfoot is...A GHOST?!?!?!