Name That Trauma:: Reader Mike T. on a Phantom Finger in a Trunk


I love your website and would like to post a trauma to Name That Trauma. Here it is:

I read a story in the early to mid ’70s that haunts me to this day. It may have been part of an Alfred Hitchcock short story anthology. I’ve searched in vain on the net for the title and that’s what I’m seeking here.

The story had to do with a man who has a large storage trunk in his room. Either the trunk was there when he moved in or he inherited it. Not sure. Most of this story lost in the mist of my memory except this — there was a finger in the trunk. Every night, it would poke out of the trunk and wiggle around. The man would lie in bed and watch it and then rush over, throw open the lid and see no sign of a finger. This went on night after night. Finally, the man, at the edge of madness, opens the lid, gets in the trunk and shuts the lid. I don’t remember if he somehow locks himself in or not. I think that maybe the trunk is locked the next day and taken somewhere, perhaps to a trash dump. That part is very vague but the finger part sticks in my mind.

I would read and reread this story in our suburban living room — during the day, mind you — and would be terrified. But I’d keep rereading it. At night, in bed, I’d stare at my night stand and, in the glare of my nightlight, wait for a finger to appear.

A fantastic story that I’d love to reread yet again. Anyone anywhere have the title?

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Captain Blake
Captain Blake
10 years ago

‘The Calamander Chest’ by Joseph Payne Brennan, from his unjustly neglected classic ‘Nine Horrors and a Dream’. Vincent Price narrated a take on it in the 70’s for one of those awesome spooky stories records so prevalent back then.

9 years ago

OMG. Disregard my prior comment on the other entry about trying to find this story…that’s it right there…oh, man. I’m having another one of those amazing moments where you FINALLY find something that’s been haunting you for years, so you can prove you’re not crazy for remembering something nobody else does. This is SO SCARY. I’ve never forgotten it, and am sooooo glad these videos are here. 8’D