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Haunted Cottage

California, USA
January 2000

Iknow this story may sound fantastic, but is absolutely the truth, for whatever that is worth. I'm sorry this is way, way too long, but it is an interesting and true story.

Back in 1994, I was seriously dating a guy who was of Cherokee descent. He really had a life-long history of paranormal experiences, but I had always been skeptical of the stories he told me. That is, until we went away together one weekend.

We rented a little cottage on a river up in northern California, near Bodega Bay. It was a rustic little place, on stilts, with a balcony that wrapped around it. The interior was filled with antiques and was very charming. There were lots of old mirrors in the place of every shape and size. Anyway, we were really delighted with the place, as it had a lot of charm and a nice fireplace and full kitchen. I felt a little strange and creepy, but shrugged it off.

The first night, we unpacked and headed out to dinner. Upon returning, I unlocked the door and was surprised to find a footstool that had been in the living room in the dead-center of the kitchen. I turned to my boyfriend and asked why he moved the furniture around. He shook his head but said nothing. We then went to bed, after lighting some candles. As I lay in bed trying to sleep, I watched the flames of the candles flicker and rise unnaturally high. I was very unsettled all night, but my boyfriend told me to relax, the place was old and full of cracks that would bring in drafts. I awoke in the morning to the distinct smell of bacon, eggs and coffee. I sat up, inhaling deeply. There was no reason for the smell, as the cottage's nearest neighbour was 1/4 of a mile away. Besides, it was a smell that was so strong, there was no way it could have wafted from another house. My boyfriend denied smelling the breakfast, making me feel pretty foolish.

As the day wore on, I became increasingly paranoid. I constantly felt like I was being watched. Especially while I was undressing or alone in one of the rooms. I began snapping at my boyfriend for no apparent reason. We got dressed up and went out for dinner, and everything seemed okay at first, but in the middle of dinner I began to feel strangely sick. I felt dizzy, claustrophobic and had an intense desire to get back to the cottage. My boyfriend had to practically carry me to the car. Upon returning to the cottage, I felt fine. That morning, I awoke and immediately began dressing, that paranoid feeling nearly consuming me. I got the same cold, creepy feeling that I was being watched. I went into the living room and noticed the ashes from the fire we had last night were scattered all over the hard wood floor. I started to sweep them up, when I noticed a spiral notebook sitting on the coffee table. It turned out to be a guest book, where previous guests had written down their experiences in the place. As I read, I felt cold chills running up and down my arms.

Apparently, many guests had felt and seen a variety of things. Some people just had a regular stay, without anything out of the ordinary. Others saw apparitions of a small family consisting of a mother, father and young daughter. Many people, from 1970 until present, claimed seeing a black cat lurking outside of the cottage on the balcony. A twenty four year old cat! A large array of people had experiences such as funny smells, articles of clothing or jewelry missing, and furniture being moved around. Most of it seemed really light-hearted, contrary to what my experience had been the night before.

I promptly went into the bedroom and started packing. An antique turquoise necklace that my boyfriend's mother had given me was gone. I searched everywhere, including in the car, to no avail. I went back into the livingroom to see that a face powder brush I had been using earlier had been moved to the other end of the table. Okay, I said to myself, I've had enough. I went back into the bedroom where my boyfriend slept soundly, and saw that my turquoise necklace was spread out on the pillow I had slept on. We left shortly after, and went to the office to turn in our keys. I asked the woman behind the desk if she knew the cottage was haunted. She laughed and said that she had heard that a couple that stayed there once liked to dress up like Bonnie and Clyde and drive a Roadster up and down the California Coast. The ghosts apparently didn't like the thought of gangsters staying in their cottage, so they made the cottage fill with a horrible smell, like something dead and rotting.

We checked out and hit the highway. About an hour into the drive my boyfriend pulled over, he then told me that he was sorry, but a lot of things had happened that he hadn't told me, because he was afraid that I would be scared to death. Apparently, he, like previous guests, had seen a mother, father and little girl ghost, who watched our every moves from the many mirrors in the house. He said the mother ghost did not like me, and was often pacing in front of the mirrors with a hateful look on her face directed at me. My boyfriend said that the first few minutes he walked into the cottage, he saw the father ghost's head floating outside of the window, watching us as we carried our bags in. They short-sheeted our bed both nights, my boyfriend said, and had taken some of his clothes. I suddenly started to figure things out. That woman/ghost hated me because her husband kept watching me as I undressed! As a matter of fact, he watched my every move, I realised. She was jealous that her husband was staring at a young woman. The clerk at the hotel office had commented to me at check-in that we were one of the youngest couples she had ever seen there. She had said that most of the people that stayed there were retired, as there is a retiree resort very close to the hotel. I also remembered that in the guest book, most of the people had written that they were having a second honeymoon, or celebrating an anniversary. Just the manner in which most of the people wrote alluded to the fact that they were considerably older than us.

He was a ghost pervert!

I realised that all those feelings of fear and apprehension I had stemmed from her hating me and him leering at me. My boyfriend agreed. He said that the male ghost was always watching me. He also said that he went into the bathroom the first night and had a "talk" with the ghosts in the bathroom mirror to leave me alone, as I did not understand the spirit world as he did. I guess that just egged them on, considering how much they focused on screwing with me. As I look back now, I feel pretty stupid for staying two whole days when I felt so weird. I guess I thought that it was all in my imagination. I'm a little angry with my ex, too. He should have said something. At least I would have known that I wasn't crazy.

California, USA
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