The Puppy in the Basement

Context: KC is a friend of a friend who volunteered to share her story with me when she found out I was interested in hearing people’s stories. She heard this story at her summer camp, although she failed to tell me where it is located.


KC: This story is called the puppy and the basement, I heard it from summer camp.

Mommy told me never to go in the basement, but I wanted to see what was making that noise. It sounded like a puppy, and I wanted to see the puppy, so I opened the basement door and tip toed down a bit. I didn’t see a puppy, and Mommy yanked me out of the basement and yelled at me. Mommy had never yelled at me before, and that made me sad and I cried. Then Mommy told me never to go in the basement again, and gave me a cookie. That made me feel better, so I didn’t ask why the boy in the basement was making noises like a puppy, or why he had no hands or feet.


This is a short story but it still reveals much about cultural ideas of the sick and twisted. The story plays upon the childhood innocence of the narrator and the presence of a puppy to subvert the listeners expectations of what would be normal to have in ones basement. Upon the reveal that the thing in the basement is actually a mutilated boy it becomes clear that the horror aspect of the story comes from the fact that a seemingly normal suburban home, common in American culture, could house something so deranged and sick.