Join 3,572 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"Small apartment, sleeps one. ABOVE A HUNDRED, SLEEPING FOREVER..."
October 19, 2013 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Bloke rents out a small, neat, English apartment. Finds a hatch with some tools in it. And...

n.b. CCFC probably refers to Coventry City Football Club, a team based in the English midlands.
posted by Wordshore (60 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fwiw, Reddit thinks its a old furnace room
posted by Bwithh at 10:38 AM on October 19, 2013


"sacrificial altar"
"bed, or crypt"

All very cool and I love his excitement, but what's overwhelmingly likely is that he's discovered the old privy/nightsoil collecting areas. He should wash his hands after coming out...
posted by Miko at 10:38 AM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


That cutout doorway did look like a coal-shoveling opening, yeah. I could see furnace. But privy too, I think.
posted by Miko at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2013


I'm disappointed he didn't run into any Eldritch horrors down there (but super cool nonetheless)
posted by horopter at 10:46 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mirrored ball, flashing lights, loud music--he's got himself a party space!
posted by BlueHorse at 10:52 AM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's a perfect place to meet with the local ghouls, I'll give you that much.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Digging in the soft soil, he finds an eldritch bottle of Thunderbird.
posted by arcticseal at 11:10 AM on October 19, 2013 [13 favorites]


This is the sort of thing you dream about every night when you have a tiny studio apartment. That you will open an innocuous door and find room after room after room.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:14 AM on October 19, 2013 [54 favorites]


sealed the hatch ... awaited backup

That's some good thinking right there!
posted by Harald74 at 11:14 AM on October 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


"Friend examining the end of the corridor. It stretches further, she said."

Good thinking, mate.

Send the girl ahead to investigate the dark dungeon you've discovered while you manage the camera and the note-taking from a safe distance.
posted by notyou at 11:15 AM on October 19, 2013 [11 favorites]


Here's his video tour of the dungeon.
posted by tomierna at 11:16 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


As noted over on Reddit, this is a place in need of a cask of amontillado.
posted by bouvin at 11:18 AM on October 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


Bouvin, great idea!

This Halloween party will have the cask, a pendulum, ravens, the digital beating heart...

AND the mirrored disco ball!
posted by BlueHorse at 11:23 AM on October 19, 2013


From tomierna's link,
"The bedroom is on a mezzanine, it is pretty small. I was pretty disappointed with the bedroom, its pretty pretty small, can't even stand up up here. Its like a loft. Got some really weird mirrors on the roof, thats pretty interesting, got to watch out you don't fall out of bed and kill yourself."
Holy shit he is single! Its a shame I'm not in England and probably not the only one to suddenly realize this.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:29 AM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Send the girl ahead to investigate the dark dungeon you've discovered while you manage the camera and the note-taking from a safe distance.

Welcome to the 21st century.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:31 AM on October 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Recently disturbed soft dirt in the middle. Great. Now he's going to have a haunted dungeon.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:34 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's just having grown up in New England, but for a dungeon that looked an awful lot like a basement to me.
posted by Diablevert at 11:50 AM on October 19, 2013 [39 favorites]


"You cannot rest here. There are enemies nearby."
posted by gonzo_ID at 11:50 AM on October 19, 2013 [50 favorites]


That hatch is scary-cool, and this story will probably have a better ending than Lost.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:54 AM on October 19, 2013


Here's his video tour of the dungeon.
posted by tomierna at 7:16 PM on October 19 [+] [!]


Whatever is going on with his accent is a whole new mystery by itself.
posted by rollick at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2013


My reaction is similar to Diablevert's -- the semi-secret entrance is fun, and I can see why this was exciting for him to discover and it's fun that he has the exclusive access, but the place itself seems like a pretty normal basement-of-large-oldish-building to me. Are basements like this uncommon in England?
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:57 AM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's fun because it's secret and unknown. Much the same way that we used to go tunnelling at UVA when I was an undergrad. Sneaking through the steam tunnels and finding the secret ways into buildings (came up right in the middle of the hospital once!) The fact that they were built by human beings in the last century or two didn't make them any less interesting.

Though sadly now that it has gone viral, I expect his landlords will be coming in to block off the entrance.
posted by tavella at 12:04 PM on October 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, I fully agree about how fun it is to explore spaces like this, I did the same thing at my college. Just wondering because I would have thought the English reaction would be more jaded about such a recent-seeming basement, since they have such much-older buildings over there.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:07 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well the guy isn't English, or English alone by his accent, so maybe he hasn't been in a cellar in England before. Cellars used to be rather common, with even the most basic houses having them. Coal would be delivered through and kept in the cellar; laundry equipment would be kept there and sometimes the work would be done there; also the cellar acted as a pantry--the low bench in the film is likely a coldshelf for meat. All three reasons are outmoded now, so new houses seldom if ever have a cellar.
posted by Thing at 12:14 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's amazing. If I found a secret dungeon under my flat, I wouldn't tell the internet. I would keep it a secret to surprise my guests.
posted by betweenthebars at 12:17 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also, if his is genuinely the only entrance, he may gain the annoying feature of having the landlord repeatedly letting in workmen. Some of that electrical work looked brand new and there are switches and junction boxes that may need to be accessed.
posted by tavella at 12:22 PM on October 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


"sacrificial altar"

See also.
posted by Beardman at 12:32 PM on October 19, 2013


Yeeah - I don't really get the excitement. Not a dungeon, just the space under the floorboards. Not even secret, given that there's a big, obvious hatch to it in the middle of the flat.

But his accent is indeed a genuine thing of mystery. Starts a bit South African then turns Irish.
posted by penguin pie at 12:33 PM on October 19, 2013


Moderators: it is probably a bad idea for a FPP to link to a linkjacked version from 2 days ago, when the story first appeared on imgur two weeks ago, and on reddit 10 days ago.

Please change the FPP link to this original.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:40 PM on October 19, 2013 [7 favorites]


TRAP DOOR!
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Totally speculating, but it sounds like Irish with an English Midlands influence - maybe someone who grew up in both places. it does seem to veer almost Scandinavian sometimes. I daresay the Reddit hivemind has found the answer...
posted by Drexen at 12:43 PM on October 19, 2013


(It was interesting listening to him as someone who, for no particular reason, seems to have acquired an accent that no-one can identify - "American-Germanic", it's been described. And I'm English.)
posted by Drexen at 12:48 PM on October 19, 2013


> This is the sort of thing you dream about every night when you have a tiny studio apartment. That you will open an innocuous door and find room after room after room.

This is basically the plot of Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky's story "Quadraturin." (It doesn't end well. What do you expect from a Soviet Russian story?)
posted by languagehat at 12:52 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


All three reasons are outmoded now, so new houses seldom if ever have a cellar.

The Rich are different.
posted by IndigoJones at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]



That's amazing. If I found a secret dungeon under my flat, I wouldn't tell the internet. I would keep it a secret to surprise my guests.


I'd toss a rug over the hatch, and never tell anyone. That's where the secret lab/lair goes. And if you tell people, it's not a secret anymore.
posted by mikelieman at 1:12 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


... and then a week after he makes the post, his landlord pops around and puts a lock on the basement hatch.
posted by markkraft at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2013


But his accent is indeed a genuine thing of mystery. Starts a bit South African then turns Irish.

I heard that too. It switched at "steep staircase".
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:21 PM on October 19, 2013


Yeeah - I don't really get the excitement. Not a dungeon, just the space under the floorboards.

Whether this is a dungeon, a basement, a furnace room or an eldritch privy, there is still a non zero percent likelihood that he will be eaten by a grue.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 1:29 PM on October 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


From his other videos, he's Irish and it doesn't seem to be quite his normal accent, per an exchange between him and a friend in the comments. So he's probably one of those people that picks up a bit of the local accent really easily, so morphed into Irish-with-English.
posted by tavella at 1:39 PM on October 19, 2013


I remember as a small kid often crouching in the cellar with my brother for hours, playing with old junk and miniature soldiers, surrounded by collapsing boxes of my parents' premarital lives. The ceiling was too low even for a ten year old, making you stoop low as you clambered over the piles, and it held a single dangling lightbulb over the cold concrete floor.

And the brick wall around us was not solid. It was laid out in a gappy course like Flemish bond with holes instead of headers. Through them you could just make out that the basement didn't end at the wall on three of the sides - the concrete floor continued two metres or so further, ending vaguely at another wall, although the inner wall blocked out almost all light.

There were always enough treasures and arguments to engage us in the centre, so we never strayed too far - I think I must have already been a little afraid of the darkness at the edges of the room. But one day we decided to go exploring. I was pleased when I found that flicking a torchbeam around would make a cool checkerboard pattern sweep illegibly across the floor. While I was staring at it absently, I suddenly noticed that the outermost wall was not a solid wall either - it was riddled with black gaps.

To a child it was terrifying. I could not see through them. How far can the room really go, how deep? Was there a watcher in the infinite dark?

The sudden vertigo that it had been dangerous all along instantly ruined all the warm hours I had spent there. I left the cellar then and refused to ever go back. In the way of young boys, for no good reason, I never told anyone what had scared me.
posted by forgetful snow at 1:59 PM on October 19, 2013 [29 favorites]


This looks really boring and mundane, typical cellar space. 19th century breezeblock and cement? Am I missing something?
posted by Caskeum at 2:38 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


The title of the post made me think it might be something like Enon Chapel in London in the 1800s, where an unscrupulous minister praying on people's fears of bodysnatchers managed to inter 12,000 bodies in a space measuring 59' by 12'.

Wikipedia: 'Apparently, worshippers breathed in the noxious fumes of rotting flesh from the burial room below for 17 years before the hoard of bodies was discovered. People praying in the church regularly experienced fainting and sickness due to the stench from the decaying corpses a few inches below their feet.'

It later became a popular venue for dancing.
posted by permafrost at 3:00 PM on October 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


We have a half-basement area accessible much the same way from one of our rentals. We had had to clean out the apartment as it was trashed by a drug-using tenant who faced eviction (literally he had his friends bring trash and throw it everywhere, things like a rusty bicycle), and when we got into the basement we kept going and cleared out lots of construction leftovers from when the building was gutted and renovated in the 1990s -- and probably before. The old stairway was still in place though it only leads to a 3/4" plywood underlayment now, bricks and bags of cement were strewn about, and the dust was something fierce. There were also a couple of hash/crack-type pipes and the base of a bong.

To have less hazardous access to the plumbing and electrical, we spent most of a week hauling the junk out one pail at a time (because that's all that would fit through the trapdoor).

The experience took a lot of the romance out of the thrill of discovering something like this.
posted by dhartung at 3:21 PM on October 19, 2013


The tenant needs a rug to cover that hatch. This one would do nicely.
posted by Morrigan at 3:36 PM on October 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


Don't let the light go out. You could be eaten by a Grue.
posted by TDavis at 3:52 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude needs to buy a used manikin, lightly char it, and leave it standing in the dark for the next tenant to discover. A garland of doll parts around its neck is completely optional.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:57 PM on October 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


As noted over on Reddit, this is a place in need of a cask of amontillado.

I am going to go out on a limb and guess you haven't done a lot of socialising around Coventry.
posted by biffa at 4:34 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please change the FPP link to this original.

Good catch, fixed.
posted by cortex at 5:20 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the answer to an old question.
posted by theora55 at 5:44 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


where an unscrupulous minister praying on people's fears of bodysnatchers

Haha
posted by Quilford at 6:06 PM on October 19, 2013


Growing up, my life has never involved any kind of basement space like this, so it seems like a cool discovery to me.

And now I just realized that (1) I'm in an apartment that I'm fairly new to. (2) I'm on the lower floor. (3) the ground slopes here, so there is probably some kind of space in the foundation structure below me...

Whatever is beneath me is probably accessed through the storage area rather than through my apartment, but now... now I'm going to check the floors... just in case... :)
posted by anonymisc at 7:23 PM on October 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe it's just having grown up in New England, but for a dungeon that looked an awful lot like a basement to me.

Oh yes. You remind me of the basement in the apartment I was in until 2009, in Southern Maine. A normal door led from the kitchen. Opening the door, you saw a nice pantry on both sides, shelves on each wall, and wooden stairs down. Descending the stairs, you landed on a dirt and very roughly blasted bedrock floor with a dim awareness of surroundings around you. By crouching down so that your total height was under 4.5 feet, you could scuttle to the right, which revealed a wall of bedrock, some old iron hoops, and a wooden plinth with some ancient crates on it. Behind the stairs was the oil tank and boiler. To the left was an extremely dim area where the floor was all loose red earth; this is where I always figured the bodies would go (or already were). You could not stand up straight in any of these spaces because floor joists were at chin level. Spiders were everywhere, there was one light bulb hanging on a wire, and there were two distant and dim, grimy glass windows peeking out at the house's foundation level which offered a faint glow in daylight. I had to traverse this space to do my laundry in the 2nd section of basement, a relatively civilized, stand-up, and nicely lit part under my landlord's half of the building. I am a sanguine and brave sort but I'd be lying if I told you I didn't scurry back upstairs some nights, heart pounding, because I was just aware all over again at how insanely creepy this space was.

It was far, far creepier than this guy's basement. But somehow it seemed all A-OK and normal, I think mainly because the door leading to it off the kitchen was a normal, innocuous door.
posted by Miko at 7:33 PM on October 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Shall we send out a search party if you don't report back?
posted by Mezentian at 7:35 PM on October 19, 2013


+1 to the Nethatch
posted by salishsea at 7:37 PM on October 19, 2013


I met a guy once, and he claimed (and I have no reason to disbelieve him) to grow hydro weed in a very similar circumstance. Rented a flat (this was in Wales), found an amazing space under the floor, asked the agent, who had no idea and no interest, told no one, filled it with gear and made a motza. I believe he ended up buying the flat from the owner.
posted by wilful at 4:08 AM on October 20, 2013 [4 favorites]


Whatever is beneath me is probably accessed through the storage area rather than through my apartment, but now... now I'm going to check the floors... just in case... :)

You’re not gonna know how rich your strike is until you sink some shafts.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:09 PM on October 20, 2013


Unused spaces in old buildings can indeed be very spooky. Though one of the things that the linked basement lacks are artifacts left behind by others.

One of my first jobs a couple decades ago was at a not-for-profit housed in a rambling old victorian in a bad neighborhood in Syracuse. The basement of that building -- which had room after room of crumbling stone walls, low doorways, a roaring monster of an ancient gas furnace, and inexplicably a room with finished floors and walls that could only be gotten to through crumbly dirt-floor rooms -- unnerved me when I had to go down there to reset or replace Arcnet hubs and cables (ah, networking in the 80s!) or see why the furnace hadn't come on on cold winter mornings. Mouldering unreadable books and newspapers fused to the floor in corners, strange bottles filled with inexplicable liquids, half-buried toothbrushes and nails and screws. At some point I was told the building had been "an insane asylum" decades before, which might or might not have been true, but which made the basement a little more troubling in a different way.

But the third floor of this shabby old mansion, and the strange full-attic floor above that, were in some ways even creepier, with broken furniture in corners of otherwise empty rooms, dirty waterglasses left on eave windowsills, peeling ancient wallpaper, and of course since they were un-maintained upper floors, bats.
posted by aught at 7:49 AM on October 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


It also struck me that if there are any professional electricians reading this thread they are probably having a good chuckle at all the skiddishness being expressed about fairly typical basements, since they have to venture into such spaces and a lot worse on a routine basis.
posted by aught at 7:57 AM on October 21, 2013


Even though this seems a bit overheated, even for the jokey tone that he takes (how "secret" is it if the hatch it's accessed through has a new brass handle?), I can dig the impulse behind it. When I was younger, I was convinced that all houses had hidden rooms and/or passages if you looked hard enough, and I was inordinately jealous of friends who had houses with cubbyholes or crawlspaces. My dream mansion would definitely have the swinging-bookcase-that-goes-to-the-Batcave-or-a-reasonable-facsimile-thereof feature.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:22 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Caskeum: "This looks really boring and mundane, typical cellar space. 19th century breezeblock and cement? Am I missing something?"

A sense of whimsy?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:09 PM on October 21, 2013


« Older In a nutshell, this new study provides evidence th...   |   "Someone obviously put a lot o... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments