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Haunted Maryland Cottage

Patrick Devane, Illinois, USA
October 1998

In the summer of 1976, my parents took us to Annapolis, MD. to see one of my older brothers graduate from the Academy. Apparently, they thought that more important than my eighth grade graduation. I will be forever damaged. Anyway, as I have a large family, my dad decided it would be more cost effective to rent a large old cottage on the banks of the Seven River than to rent four of five hotel rooms. My parents and my youngest brother, though, stayed in town.

The cottage looked foreboding, being hidden in the gloom caused by the ancient thick massive trees which surrounded the house. Sunshine never fell on this house and it felt like it. As we entered the side door, it opened on a long hallway off which the bedrooms lay. Naturally I went exploring. As the house was located on a hill, the basement was accessed by a long, long set of stairs. As I was walking down these stairs, I felt a very strong blow on the inside of my left shoulder blade, which sent me flying down the stairs; I landed on my feet, albeit three stairs further down. I thought for a second that one of my loving brothers had shoved me, but I was fifteen feet from the upper landing. I ran down the stairs as scared as scared can be. I mean I was absolutely shaking with fear. I managed to get the basement door open, and literally pushed the screen door off its hinges to get out of there. The basement therefore became strictly off limits. I could not believe that I had to stay in that hell house for another five days! As time went on, I became very strongly aware of safe zones and danger zones in that house. I was careful at first not to tell anyone about my occurrence, except my twin brother, as I was sure that my elders would chalk it up to imagination or pubescent tendency to lie. Every single night I had nightmares that increased in terror and vividness with each night. At one point, I actually pretended to cry in front of my parents to let me stay with them! They just laughed it off. Coincidentally, the others in the house were acting on edge also. They just did not experience anything like I had.

I never saw any apparitions, but there was a constant feeling of dire threat in that house. Whatever was in that house, was just absolutely malicious and I believe, a real threat. At the top of the basement stairs was the only bathroom in the house. It had no shower so you had to take a bath to clean up. I remember keeping my stays in there as brief as possible. In that bathroom, there was a window which could not be opened. I used all my gluteus maximus, lats, quads, bi-s, every muscle in my body trying to get that window open but it would not budge. On the last day I think it was, I was taking a bath. It might sound funny but when I would take a bath, I would keep my back to the spigot as I felt I could not turn my back on the room or something awful would happen. Suddenly I felt an incredibly strong malevolent presence standing over the tub actually glaring at me but I could still see nothing. With a bang, the bathroom door shut violently; previously, it would never stay closed due a strong draft. Then slowly, ever so slowly the impossible window began to open! I almost could hear a sick laugh. I bolted out the door perfectly naked. I have to this day never felt so threatened in my life.

On the last morning as we prepared to leave, the sky was cobalt blue, strong bright sunshine scattered through the leaves onto the ground, a bobwhite's clear song rang through the woods, and I was never so glad to leave a place. I felt like I had survived a week in hell.

Patrick Devane, Illinois, USA
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