Family Vacation

Sophia, Toronto, Canada
March 2007

It was the summer of 2003, and my parents decided that it would be nice to take a family vacation together.
They rented a cottage on Niagara-On- The-Lake, and we would be spending the next 4 days there. My aunts had suggested to my parents about going to that particular cottage, saying it was right by the lake and close enough to the town. I was 15 at the time, and the thought of leaving my beloved city, Toronto, was something I was looking forward too. Before we start this story, I�ve never had any ghostly experiences and really didn�t think about it ever happening. After this family vacation, that all changed.

We arrived to our cottage on Thursday afternoon. It was a cute and tiny little place that had the basic things you needed. As soon you walked in, you were in the living room and across the living room was the kitchen. When you walked through the kitchen, you reached the bathroom. Now, to the left of the living room, was a hallway where all the bedrooms were located. My parents had taken the master bedroom, and I took the room furthest down the hall. My brother and his friend, stayed in the living room since the couch folded out into a bed.

As soon as I walked into the cottage, it gave me the creeps. I didn�t want to be there at all. For some odd reason, I was scared of the kitchen and never throughout my stay did I go there, unless I went (or had too) to use the washroom. I told my mom that the cottage kind of freaked me out and she brushed it as off by saying, "You�re just used to the city". I thought she was right and I should give the place a chance.

During my first night, I couldn�t really sleep at all because it was way too hot (I�m used to having air conditioning), so I stayed up late listening to music on my walkman. My parents kept a small light on in the hallway, just in case someone had to use the washroom and we wouldn�t be stumbling around in the dark. As I was listening to music, a person walked into my room. I assumed it was my dad checking up on me. Also, because the silhouette that was shown (since the light was on in the hallway) looked to be a man. I didn�t take off my earphones but just turned the music down and I called out to my dad. There was no response and he didn�t move. So for a few seconds, I stared at my dad (still thinking it was him) and eventually he left the room.
The next morning, I asked him why he had come into my room and he replied, "I didn�t come into your room." I thought he was joking, asking him again. My dad is the type to get annoyed easily, and he replied this time with a stern voice that he didn�t come into my room. I thought it was strange.

We left for the day, doing some sightseeing around the town and came home around the early evening. I was already frightened about the place, and told everyone I was just going to sit by the lake to wait for the sunset. This became a routine for me, as soon as there was light I would run outside and I would stay out late right up until the sunset. I knew for fact that there was something wrong with the cottage.

My second night alone in the room, I was hoping the strange thing that came into my room wouldn�t come again. However, this time around my room was freezing. I was so cold; I actually had to use a thick blanket. This was strange because the night before it was so hot I couldn�t sleep. So I lay there, listening to music and watching this light on my wall. I didn�t know where the light came from, all I knew it was coming through the window behind me and for some reason I was too scared to look. I watched this light flicker on and off. On and off. This happened for quite sometime, and then it happened. The same figure comes creeping into my room. Like last night, it stopped inside my room and looked at me. Stood for a few seconds and walked away into the hallway. This time I knew it wasn�t my dad. I was pretty much scared the rest of the night. The only that got me through the night was listening to music, since it calmed my nerves.

The next morning, my parents asked why I looked so tired. I didn�t bother telling them.

By the third night, I was happy because I knew we would be leaving the next day. The strange part was that my mom slept in the other bed in my room. My room wasn�t cold that night, and it was back to being really hot. That night, like previous nights, I watched the strange light flicker off my wall and waited for the thing to come back. And it did. I wanted to close my eyes, but I was afraid of what might happen. So all I could do was just stare back at it. When the thing came in, a cold breeze came into the room. I looked to my mom to see if she was awake, but she just pulled a blanket over. I guess she felt the breeze also. It stared at me and left. The next morning, I jumped out of my bed. Ran through the kitchen (which was something I always did) and took the quickest shower ever. I tried to get my family to move as fast as possible. My little brother asked if he could keep a screwdriver that he found in the cottage, and for some reason my dad freaked out saying it didn�t belong to him. He grabbed it out of his hand and walked away. That was weird. My dad never does that. So we all piled into the car, never looking back. I was so happy knowing that we were going back home. As I watched different signs saying "Welcome to _____ (insert city/town name)", I knew I was closer and closer to being safe.

I always get sleepy during car rides and thought taking a nap would be good, since I didn�t get any during our vacation. I don�t know how long I slept for, but when I woke up I was in sheer panic. I saw the same caf? that was on Niagara-On-The-Lake. I asked my parents why we were going back and they said we weren�t. I told them we were and was pointing out the caf?. My parents said it was just a coincidence and assured me we weren�t back. And sure enough, the town we were staying at showed up. The street we stayed on came into view, and we passed by the cottage we stayed at. The whole family was in shock. After 2 hours of driving, we ended back where we started. It was impossible! I saw all the cities we passed by, and my dad isn�t the type to get lost. My dad stepped on the gas, and drove as fast as he could. We stopped at a Tim Horton�s in another city to eat. My dad pulled out a silver spoon (to eat his yogurt with) and the look on my mom�s eyes said it all. She demanded to know where the spoon came from, and my dad said sheepishly, the cottage. My mom freaked out, took the spoon and threw it out. That was the end of that discussion.

We made it back home before nightfall, and I cried as soon as I saw the CN Tower. I knew I was home. The next few days, nobody talked about the cottage until the following week. During lunch, my parents asked me if strange things happened to me at the cottage and I looked at them surprised. Then it all came out. I told her about the thing that came into my room, the weird flickering light, the scary feeling that there was something wrong with the kitchen and the overall presence of the cottage. My parents then told me about their experience. They would hear pots and pans moving in the kitchen, as if someone was making a meal. Assuming it was my brother and his friend, one of them would check only to find the kitchen deserted and the boys fast asleep. My dad talked about hearing sounds coming from the ceiling, as if someone was walking on the roof. My mom said she was afraid because every time she showered and came out, a hand print was on the mirror. A man�s hand print and she knew my dad wasn�t in the washroom. They confessed that by the 4th day, they were so terrified they wanted to leave and knew that we weren�t completely alone only in the cottage. They didn�t want to tell us because they knew we would be scared also. My parents knew the reason we ended back at the cottage when we thought we left. They said that because my dad had taken the spoon, whatever was in that cottage wanted it back.

Sophia, Toronto, Canada
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