The home was modest and white, with a deep front porch and green shutters, but it had long since deteriorated to the slate-gray tone of the yard around it. Rain-rotted shingles drooped over the veranda's eaves, while oak trees kept the sun at bay. A pair of weathered rocking chairs sat on the porch, their cushions torn and faded.
Inside, the house was dark and cold. The floorboards were covered with an uneven layer of dirt that had been trodden upon by many feet over time, and dust swirled in the air like a miniature storm when someone opened a door or window. Rusted beds and broken furniture were scattered throughout the roomy interior. In one corner stood a stone fireplace with no fire burning in it. There was no heat except for this small inferno which gave off a strong smell of scorched wood.
A young boy was sitting in one of the rockers on the porch, his back to the house. He was about ten years old, blond, blue-eyed, and wearing a short-sleeved red shirt. When he heard footsteps approaching, he turned around and smiled at his visitor.
"Hello there," he said. "My name's Adam Radley. What can I do for you?"
The man standing on the porch was tall and thin, with gray hair and a long beard.
The only evidence that it had been important at one time were the large carved oak balls mounted on the entrance door. A sign hanging from a nearby tree told passersby that Radley was a renowned bowler over a hundred years ago.
Radley Bowl, as he was known, came from a family of bowlers. His father and his father's brother also took up bowling and became good friends. When Radley was just a young boy they used to go out together after work each day to the local bowling alley where they would roll a ball and try to knock down as many pins as they could in a row. This must have made a big impression on young Radley because when he grew up he too went out after work each day to play bowls with his friends.
They weren't very successful at first, but soon they learned from watching others and practicing and they began to bowl better and better. Within a few years they were able to compete against men older than themselves and they enjoyed this sport so much that they decided to make their living doing it full time.
Radley's was described as a "malevolent phanthom." They described the home as a modest, white structure with green shudders that had been darkened to match the slate-gray yard around it. Rain corroded the shingles, drooped over the veranda's eaves, and oak trees kept the sun at bay. A weed-choked path led up to the front door, which was opened by a stoop-shouldered man in a dirty white shirt. He looked like someone's kindly grandfather who had been replaced by his wife when she became ill and died without heirs.
They went on to say that inside the house were dark rooms with dusty windows that wouldn't open, a kitchen with blackened walls and a floor covered in rotting wood, and a cellar full of bottles of liquor that had been abandoned when the Radleys left town.
In conclusion, they said that no one should go inside the house because it was dangerous.
The majority of medieval houses were chilly, wet, and gloomy. It was sometimes warmer and lighter outside the house than within. When windows were present, they were very small apertures with wooden shutters that were closed at night or in severe weather for security reasons. There were no glass windows in medieval times; anything seen from outside looking in was done so from a reflection in a mirror.
Medieval houses had high roofs with heavy tiles or thatched roofs. The floors would be wood, stone, or dirt. In wealthier homes there might be carpeting or other soft materials instead.
There were no bathrooms in medieval times, so people went to a public bathroom called a "toilet" to use during their visits to cities. Men would usually use a toilet seat which was like a large slab of stone or wood with a hole in it. Women would use a stool, which was like a miniature version of our toilet today. They could be made of metal or wood, but most often they were made of stone because they needed to be sturdy enough to handle the demands of daily life during that time period.
People took care of their clothes just as we do today. They wore linen shirts with leather straps around the arms and necks to hold them up. Pants were made out of wool or cotton and were tied at the waist. Shoes were generally hard-soled shoes without socks.