For children, there’s always something in the attic. Maybe it’s a monster or a ghost or even a portal to a dark dimension.
And, as parents are quick to reassure them, it’s almost always fiction.
Except when there is a monster in the attic.
Attics are home to all sorts of 'monsters', mostly imagined but sometimes very real. This is how much room the snake required in the attic insulation. (Photo: Snapshot from Facebook video/Bob van der Herchen)
Like when a family in Englewood, Florida, peered into their crawlspace this week — and came face to face with a six-foot-long boa constrictor.
"It was actually bunking in the rafter space right above the Florida room chair where my wife sits," Bob van der Herchen told News Channel 8.
Suspicion that something was amiss in the attic began, where it often does, with a younger member of the household.
Describing events in a Facebook post, van der Herchen says his son, Adam, had approached him earlier regarding a suspicious bustle in the upper space.
At first, the father dismissed it as rats. But after persistent rumblings from the attic that spanned years — and one presumably hysterical sighting of a scaly body moving across a gap in the floorboards (!) — van der Herchen finally crept up there for a look.
Sure enough, he found a snake.
Not just any snake, it turned out, but a Columbian red-tail boa — a reptile that can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh 100 pounds. According to National Geographic, they’re also known to latch their hooked teeth a victim while wrapping it in a fatal embrace.
Did we mention those jaws can adjust to accommodate very large prey?
The stuff of childhood nightmares, indeed.
Fortunately, this houseguest, who may have spent as many as four years in that crawlspace, hadn’t shown any ambitions to explore the rest of the house.
But van der Herchen did catch it on camera slithering across the attic floor, much to our collective social media horror.
The snake, van der Herchen suspects, was likely someone’s discarded pet that had slithered into the attic window from a nearby tree.
Needless to say, the family declined to continue their relationship with the snake, instead, finding it a "more suitable" home.
It's a decision this family may live to regret. After all, who knows what monsters that snake was keeping at bay?