“When I saw the house again, after the death of my aunt Margaret in 1978, the silences of the vast rooms seemed to speak of boyhood pleasures. I am half-convinced that houses somehow soak up the psychic experience of their inhabitants; there are certain houses that have a mean-spirited or discouraged air, and there are city apartments which seem to radiate a sense of irritability, as if the walls still contained the last echos of an angry shout.” ~Damon Knight, in La Ronde, ©1983
When I was a little boy, there was a field none of us ever played in. We were allowed to, but none of us ever did. When we were there it just always felt like something sharp and unpleasant was on the verge of happening, that we were about to fall down and hurt ourselves, be stung by a bee, yelled at by an angry adult. We never talked about it, but somehow we all knew it.
As an adult, I once learned that a Chinese restaurant I frequented had long ago been the scene of a mass shooting. Six people died there. Truthfully, I never felt anything; no sense of foreboding, nothing ominous. Even once I knew, there was nothing particularly creepy about the place.
The rational part of me thinks that when a building or place has a certain feeling to it, it’s probably just an intersection of architecture with life experiences.
But that’s not very much fun, is it?