On Halloween, I stayed at The Wooster Inn in Wooster, Ohio. I was in Wooster to give a reading and visit classes at The College of Wooster, where I used to teach. I had a good time visiting, reading, seeing old friends, and talking to the students. By the evening of the 31st, I was pretty beat and retired to my hotel room for the evening. I wasn't expecting any sort of spooky Halloween happenings, but as I was brushing my teeth, it struck me that I might pull open the medicine cabinet and see what was behind the mirror. This is the kind of thing you're not supposed to do in someone's house, but it's the kind of nosiness that I think is perfectly acceptable in a hotel.
For a while, I'd been looking for slits in the back wall area of medicine cabinets, but I hadn't found anything. (I promise I haven't been snooping around your bathroom if I've been in your house. If your house or apartment looked old enough, I asked if I could look inside your medicine cabinet.) I'd read about these slits a few months ago on a home design website. People used to dispose of their razor blades in these slits. What's most interesting to me is that a lot of people who have been renovating old houses have found piles of razor blades when they've knocked down the walls of their bathrooms. Check out these images. I don't know if most people nowadays still know about this system of disposing of razor blades; the concept was new to me when I read about it.
On Halloween night, I opened up the medicine cabinet in my room at The Wooster Inn, and I was excited to find the razor blade disposal pictured above. Of course I couldn't help but wonder how many razor blades were in the wall behind the medicine cabinet, how many people over the years had deposited blades in that bathroom, and how old the oldest of the blades might be. And then I started thinking it might be pretty cool to include a scene in a story where characters find a pile of razor blades behind a wall in their house. Those blades could be a loaded and useful image in a story. Maybe the story would be a spooky Halloween story, but maybe not. One thing I know, though, is that image of piles of old razor blades discovered behind a wall is going to find its way into one of my stories at some point. Perhaps it's an image that will spark something for you, too.