Grandma's creepy wallpaper

Related Posts with ThumbnailsI live in an unusual house. It was built in 1974 by a husband and wife who immigrated from Poland. They built the house around many features they collected from prominent local buildings and homes of the late 1800s that had been demolished for a variety of reasons. We have fireplaces, windows, staircases and more from the bank, the opera house, a doctor's home and other long-gone structures.

Overall, it's a pretty cool and interesting place to live. But there are some bizarre touches here and there, things I've gotten used to for the most part and usually no longer think too hard about them. On most days.

Yesterday was not one of those days. For some reason the wallpaper lining the hallway to the laundry room caught my interest once again and I thought you all might be able to help me solve the mystery surrounding my creepy wallpaper.

From what I understand, the wallpaper is one of the touches from the homeland of the original owners. It appears to be illustrations of cautionary tales, much like Grimm's Fairy Tales, but of a Polish bent. The illustrations are fine and good and understandable when considered as part of an old-time nursery book. We all know fairy tales and such can be, unfortunately, weird ... and violent. Which is exactly what the illustrations on my wall are. But why would such images be taken from the page and placed upon the wall?

Take a look:

Creepy, huh? That is what I see every time I do laundry, every time I use the ironing board, every time I change the litter box.

And every time I show people around my house, I have to explain the creepy wallpaper and why I don't remove it.

I don't remove the paper because it's antique. I think. If nothing else, it's unusual. And like all the other unusual features in my house, there's a story attached to this wallpaper; I just don't know what it is. I'm pretty sure it was put there by the couple from Poland, but that's it.

My biggest question about the wallpaper, though, the real mystery to me, isn't why the builders of our home put it there, but why anyone -- no matter where they lived in the world, no matter what period of time -- would think these pictures might look great on a wall, why they should qualify as print for wallpaper, why that wallpaper was ever manufactured in the first place. Did people in Poland line nursery walls with these images? Were resident children better behaved when they had these constant reminders of a horrible fate that might befall them if they misbehaved? Was such wallpaper used in places other than nurseries? Did anyone and everyone who ever saw it have nightmares?

It's a mystery I'll likely never solve.

Unless, of course, one of my dear readers has knowledge of Polish fairytales, the ones featuring drunks who fall in the lake or drag kids through the forest by their hair. If so, please enlighten me. Give me the "rest of the story" to regale the next group of visitors to my home and provide me with details on why these wacky illustrations figured so prominently in a culture that people adorned their walls with them.

Then maybe -- just maybe -- I can move on to seeking assistance with yet another mystery of my home: the one involving a discoverer of sunken treasure who has seemingly gone missing and I think just might be buried in my front yard.

Like I said, I live in a very unusual house.

Today's question: (If you read this early, yes, it was a different question. I like this one better.)

What's the creepiest feature of your house?