The Cottage


A True Haunted House Story


Jess Breitling


Copyright © 2017 by

Jess Breitling

All Rights Reserved


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For Chris

Because I’m pretty sure you had something to do with this.



Copyright Information

Short story, The Cottage

Sequel Info

About the Author


The Cottage


I’ve heard it said that places aren’t haunted, people are haunted.

In twenty-five years together, my husband and I have only lived in two houses where paranormal phenomena seemed to occur, and we moved to the second one right after leaving the first. Those two homes were nearly a hundred miles apart, and as different from one another as could be.

So, was it the houses that were haunted, or was it us? I guess we’ll never know, but this is the story of the first of those two residences.

In the winter of 1999, we moved into a small cottage tucked in the mountains of Southern California. We were familiar with the neighborhood, especially my husband because his aunt had lived just down the road from that cottage his whole life.

In contrast, I’d spent my entire life in the area without knowing the tiny community even existed until the first time my husband took me there. I fell in love with the neighborhood instantly, and decided right then that if I ever got the chance, I wanted to live there. I wanted our daughter Kelsey, then just a baby, to attend the tiny school at the end of the lane my husband’s aunt lived on.

Five years later we got that chance, and we took it.

The cottage was one of three homes on a half acre lot, all of which were owned by a local family who lived a few miles away. It was approximately eighty years old when we moved into it, and we were told it had been originally built as a “drying house” for the larger, main house next door. On the opposite side of the main house was another small home, which the owners mentioned had been built to provide living quarters for the people who worked for the first family who lived in “the big house” several decades earlier.

My husband, Gabe, and I, always guessed that the cottage’s early function explained its architecture. If one were to stand facing the front of the cottage, they would see that one half of it was nothing more than a simple clapboard structure, while the other half had been constructed of smooth, round, river rock. Harvested from the local creek just up the road, most likely.

The covered porch was small; its floor warped and creaky. The front door opened directly into an elongated, rectangular living room. We divided the space with strategically-placed furniture. The front portion housed couches and a television while the back section transformed into our bedroom at night, thanks to a sofa-bed and dresser which pretended to be living room furniture during the day. It was weird (though I preferred to think of it as “eclectic”), but there were a lot of windows in that space and the views were nice. All things considered, it wasn’t so bad.

The rest of the cottage was a strange little maze. There was a doorway in the living room. Through that doorway, you’d find yourself in a tiny, square “hallway” with one tiny, wood-paneled bedroom to the left, and another open doorway to the right, which led into the kitchen.

The kitchen was one of the smallest I’ve ever seen. It had a roof that slanted so low on one side that our refrigerator couldn’t even be pushed all the way back to the wall. There were windows on both sides, one of which afforded a view of the porch. There was barely room enough for a tiny table and three chairs. The shelves and cabinets above and alongside the sink were obviously handmade, and you could walk the entire length of that kitchen in half a dozen strides.

At the end of the kitchen was a door. Not just an open entryway to another room, but an actual door which could be shut and latched. Its metal doorknobs were original to the house, and there was an old-time keyhole above them. Decades earlier, it had served as the front door. Obvious, because it led into the portion of the cottage constructed of river rock, which was all that stood of the drying house before the clapboard-covered rooms were added half a century later.

Through that door at the far end of the kitchen, were two steps down into a very small bedroom, which would become Kelsey’s. Like the kitchen, it had windows on both sides of it. I loved that about it because it meant we could often catch an amazing breeze and keep the air in there clean and fresh.

The varied history and resulting layout of the cottage also meant, unfortunately, that the back door of the house was actually located in Kelsey’s bedroom. By the time we moved in, the back door probably hadn’t been opened in twenty years or more.

We cleared some brush and vines away from the outside, and double-checked to make sure we could get it open in case of emergency. It was a bit of a struggle, but finally it pulled free of the jam. It had the same kind of antique knobs as the other door, with the same old-time keyhole above, which we had no key for. The owners said they’d never had a key for it, either. Instead, a sliding barrel lock had been installed. By the looks of it, probably around the year I was born.

There was yet, a third door in Kelsey’s bedroom. Through that door were another two steps down, where one would find themselves in the tiny cave of a bathroom. The surprisingly well-crafted built-ins were its only redeeming quality.

Everything seemed fine when we first moved in. We had no reason to believe the cottage was unusual in any way. Not only had we never had any paranormal experiences inside any home we’d lived in before, but Gabe’s cousin and her two sons had lived in the very same house a few years earlier and never mentioned any strange occurrences.

However, a few weeks later as we continued to settle in, an odd thing began to happen with our daughter, Kelsey, who was nearly seven at the time.

As Gabe and I sat in the living room side of our front room, talking on the sofa one evening, Kelsey appeared in the doorway.

“What, mommy?” She asked.

Confused, Gabe and I turned to her.

“Hey, punkin”, I said. “What do you mean, ‘what’?” Kelsey was a mellow, very sweet little girl. And it was obvious she thought her Daddy and I were just being a couple of jokesters. She grinned at us and rolled her eyes as if to let us know she knew we were playing tricks.

“Momm-eeee”, she said, her grin still quite toothless from all the baby teeth she’d lost that winter. Standing at the doorway of the hall in her nightgown and slippers, she waited patiently to find out why she’d been summoned to the living room.

I smiled back at her, genuinely puzzled. She’d been alone in her bedroom, playing with her beloved toy horses. She obviously hadn’t wanted to leave them, and was anxious to find out what we wanted so she could get back to playing.

“What’s up, Kelsey? Did you think someone called you in here?” I asked. She looked a bit puzzled, though her grin didn’t fade. I think she was trying to determine if my question was a serious one. Gabe was often silly with her, so I can see why she was uncertain.

“Mommy…you called me. Just now. I heard you.” So that was it; she thought she’d heard me call her.

“No, honey. I guess you thought you heard my voice, but I didn’t call you. Maybe you just heard me and Daddy talking?”

The grin disappeared from Kelsey’s face then. She frowned.

“I heard you, Mommy”, she said quietly. “You said, ‘Kelsey, come here’. I heard you right outside my door”.

Gabe and I looked at each other. We could tell she really believed she’d heard me.

My years as a mother have taught me many things; one of which is to not waste energy arguing with a six-year-old. We ended up offering her some ice cream for dessert to change the subject, and the matter was forgotten for the night.

Life went on as usual for the next few days, and then it happened again. Nearly the same exact scenario played out, only this time nobody was talking. Everyone in the house had been in bed trying to go to sleep. Our toddler, Tanner, was in his bedroom. Gabe and I were on the sofa-bed in the living room, and Kelsey had been in her room with the door open. But again, Kelsey came and stood in the doorway.

“What, Mommy?” she asked.

When I, again, explained to her that I hadn’t called her name, she began to appear genuinely upset. And not just upset, but also confused.

I got up and tucked her back into her bed, checked to make sure the back door (in her bedroom) was locked up good and tight, did the same for both of her bedroom windows, and then went back to bed.

Over time, I think Kelsey started to assume she really was just hearing things. There were times after that when she appeared in the doorway, looked but said nothing, and then turned around and went back to whatever she’d been doing.

There were other times when she mentioned she thought I had called her and I suggested maybe she’d heard kids playing outside the house, or even our neighbor who may have been talking to her own children. The houses were close together and the family who lived there was kind of loud sometimes, so it didn’t seem implausible.

Either way, Kelsey thinking she’d heard me call her name when I hadn’t became familiar enough of an occurrence that we all simply started shrugging it off.

Shortly after we moved into the cottage, I received an unexpected job offer. Aside from a few part-time jobs over the years, I had been a stay-at-home mom. Gabe had always worked full-time, but the job offer came with a pay increase we didn’t want to turn down.

Since we had always agreed that one of us would stay home to raise our children, Gabe agreed to leave his job so I could accept the position being offered to me.

To say it was a huge transition for all of us would be an understatement. Gabe hadn’t been unemployed since he was fifteen years old, and I’d never worked full time as a mother. I knew the kids would love having their daddy home all day (he’d definitely always been the “fun” parent), and I was excited about doing the Working Mom thing. We prepared as much as we could and decided we’d figure out the rest along the way.

It had its hairy moments, but we worked out the kinks as they presented themselves. Shortly after starting that job, though, things began to get stranger at home.

The first thing I remember, other than Kelsey appearing in doorways to say she was sure she’d just heard me calling her, was my husband bolting upright in bed in the middle of the night one night. His movement woke me up, and I asked him what was wrong.

“Someone just called you”. He sounded panicked, which was entirely unlike him.

“Huh? Is someone here? At the door, you mean? Who called me?” The first thing I guessed was that perhaps a neighbor, or even Gabe’s aunt, may have had an emergency and was at the front door calling for me.

“No”. He paused, then “It’s not outside. I swear I just heard a woman say your name from right there”. He pointed to the center of the living room.

We got out of bed, turned on all the lights, opened the front door, turned on the porchlight, checked on both kids, and walked through the entire house. We found nothing, and nobody. Eventually, we rationalized that Gabe must have dreamed it.

I remember as we settled back into bed, looking at Gabe and realizing he was not convinced it had all been a dream. It was unnerving because in all the years I’d known him, I’d never seen him affected in such a way. It was really bothering him that he couldn’t explain what had just happened.

The next time it happened, it wasn’t Gabe who woke me up. It was the voice itself, calling my name.

“Jessie. Jessie?”

It was a woman’s voice. And just as Gabe had described, it sounded as though she was standing in the middle of the living room about five feet behind our sofa-bed, calling me. It was so real, and so there. For a split second I really believed someone was in the room with us. And it wasn’t just the voice that made me feel that way. You know how you can sense someone standing near you, or when someone enters a room silently you “feel” that they are there? It was like that.

Naturally, I started tapping Gabe’s arm and whispering his name, trying to wake him up. When he did wake, he sat up in bed.

“What’s wrong?”

“I heard it! I heard what you heard before. Some lady calling my name!”

Reluctantly, we both climbed out of bed and started turning on lights as we made our way through every corner of the house again. We knew we’d find nothing, but we did it anyway. What else do you do when something like that happens, but try to find a logical explanation?

I laid awake for hours afterward. The foot of our sofa-bed rested against the wall, just under a windowsill. There was an Indian summer that year and we’d left the window cracked open a bit. Mercifully, there was a breeze and I remember feeling the cool night air on my feet and hearing the creaking of the old walnut tree just outside while I waited to see if I would hear that voice call my name again. It didn’t, and eventually I drifted back to sleep.

That’s about the time Kelsey started seeing the eyes.

One night, after we had all gone to bed, Kelsey called me from her room. She had never been a child who frightened easily. But I could tell from the sound of her voice she was scared, so I went to her bedroom quickly.

“What’s the matter, Kel?” I asked her in a whisper, trying not to wake up her little brother who was sleeping in the other bedroom just a few feet away.

“Mommy! I saw eyes!” she half-whispered, half-yelled back. She was sitting up in her bed now, her comforter pulled up to her chin.

I stood in the doorway, not sure what to say. If we’d had no other weird experiences in the house, or if she’d ever been the type of child to imagine scary things where there were none, I may have been inclined to dismiss it and try to coax her to lay down and go back to sleep.

“What do you mean?” was all I could think of to ask.

“There were eyes right there!”

She pointed to the other doorway across her bedroom, opposite from where I was standing. It was the doorway to the bathroom.

The door was open, but the bathroom was pitch black beyond the threshold. There was no moonlight filtering in through the tiny window in there, it was just so dark. Unusually dark.

“Mommy, I’m scared. There were red eyes! Floating! They were there!”

I believed her.

It’s not like there was anything I could do about it, though. So I did the only thing I could think of; I did what any kid would want their mom to do when they’re little and scared–I told Kelsey she could come sleep with us if she wanted to.

Grateful for the invitation, she scrambled out of her room, ran through the kitchen to the living room, and crawled onto the sofa-bed next to her dad.

“What’s going on?” he wanted to know.

“There were eyes in my room, Daddy”, she explained as she wriggled into the covers. “Red ones. They were floating by the bathroom”.

I tossed the pillow I’d grabbed from her bed down onto ours. She plopped her head onto it and as she did, Gabe looked up at me. He didn’t roll his eyes the way you might expect a dad to, whose sleep has been disturbed by one of his children talking about red eyes floating in a doorway. Instead, he said something funny to make her laugh, then looked up at me with an expression that unmistakably communicated his growing impatience with the peculiarities of the cottage.

Despite the intrigue of paranormal phenomena, when it starts freaking out your kids and interrupting your sleep, it gets old fast.

There were many times after that when Kelsey came out of her room saying she’d seen the red eyes again. Eventually, she stopped going into her own bedroom at night altogether and started sleeping on the couch in the living room.

The job I’d taken was not local, and I was commuting ninety miles each way, every weekday. In order to beat the worst of L.A. morning rush hour traffic, I had to leave my house by 4:30am each day. Obviously, everyone else in the house was still asleep when I got up which meant the house was mostly dark and quiet while I got ready for work.

In an attempt to try not to wake anyone, I would walk through the kitchen into Kelsey’s bedroom (which had become little more than an abandoned storage closet for her things because she would no longer play or sleep in there), and close the door behind me. Then I’d cross the bedroom and walk through the bathroom door.

The bathroom was the strangest of any house I’ve ever lived in. There were two steps down into it, followed by a short entryway which was the same width as the door. That entry way was about three feet long with built-in drawers and cabinets on both sides. Beyond the entryway, the little room opened up to nothing more than a toilet, a tiny sink, a bathtub, and about twelve square feet of open floor space. There was a very small, non-opening window high on the wall opposite the sink.

By the time I had my first scary experience in that bathroom, we’d been living in the little cottage for almost a year. I was standing in front of the sink, curling my hair in front of the mirror.

When someone called my name.

I froze. I knew immediately that I didn’t recognize the voice. It wasn’t Gabe, or my neighbor, or anyone else I knew. I couldn’t even tell for sure if the voice was male or female. It simply didn’t sound like any voice I knew.

I knew one thing, though–it spoke from inside the tiny bathroom. I stood frozen for a few seconds, then yanked the curling iron’s plug from the wall, raced up the bathroom steps, ran through Kelsey’s bedroom, opened the door and ran through the kitchen into the living room. And then I just stood there, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

By that time, Gabe was awake. He always walked me to the car when I left for work, mainly because it was still dark out but also because I was scared of the local pack of coyotes that sometimes left partially-eaten carcasses of deer in our driveway.

Surely thinking it was odd that I had run into the room and just stopped to stand there, Gabe asked me what was wrong. I told him what had happened.

He searched the bathroom, Kelsey’s room, and the kitchen. But, as usual, found nothing out of the ordinary. I asked him to sit in Kelsey’s room near me while I finished my hair and put on makeup, which he did.

A few mornings later, something else happened. Once again, I was in the bathroom curling my hair in front of the mirror. This time, whatever it was didn’t call my name.

This time, it laughed.

The laugh was menacing. Evil. I know that will sound corny to most people, but it’s true. I think many of us can identify a few times in our lives when we’ve been in the presence of legitimate evil, and that was one of mine. That moment ranks as one of the most frightening of my entire life. I yelled for Gabe, but he didn’t hear me. I was too scared to move, convinced something might actually grab me and stop me if I tried.

I did eventually gather enough courage to leave the room. Again, I ran straight through to the living room. Gabe was still sleeping, so I went to the sofa-bed and woke him up. He sat up quickly when he saw my face.

“What happened?”

I found myself unable to say it out loud, because I knew it would sound ridiculous. I just stood there staring at him.

“Jess, what is it? What happened?”

“It…something…” I couldn’t bring myself to say it.

“Something what?” he demanded, crawling out of the sofa-bed.

Kelsey, who had been sleeping on the living room couch for months by then, was waking up because of our voices. I knew for sure I couldn’t tell Gabe what happened in front of her, so I nodded toward the kitchen and started walking. He followed, and when we got to the threshold of Kelsey’s bedroom door I stopped and turned to my husband.

“Okay, so I know this is going to sound crazy. But…it laughed. Right behind me while I was doing my hair. In that corner under the bathroom window.”

I was so grateful that Gabe didn’t call me crazy or laugh at me. Instead, he led the way while we went outside and around the house to investigate if the “laugh” I’d heard could have actually been a tree branch scratching and squeaking against the bathroom window. That side of the house wasn’t one I saw very often.

I really, really hoped there was a rational, safe, or even humorous explanation for what I’d heard.

But there wasn’t. There was no tree, no shrub branches nearby which could have reached the window, no birds nest, no nothing. That didn’t surprise me because the sound had come from inside. I was sure of it.

Too shaken to finish my hair in the bathroom, I went into the living room and pulled it up into a ponytail before grabbing my things for work and heading out the door.

From that point on, I was too afraid to get ready for work alone in that bathroom. I usually tried to do everything I had to do in the kitchen and living room. Sometimes, if Gabe was up early and in the kitchen, I’d leave the interior doors open so I could see him, and vice versa, while I did my hair and makeup in the bathroom.

Winter was ending at that time. A few weeks after the frightening laugh I heard in the bathroom, I was home on a warm, spring-like afternoon. Gabe had taken the kids for a walk to his aunt’s house and I was alone in the cottage, folding a basket of clean laundry while sitting on Kelsey’s no-longer-used bed.

It was very peaceful. I wasn’t thinking at all about the unsettling and unexplained things we’d experienced in the cottage. The sun was out, birds were chirping. It was just a very comfortable, pleasant afternoon.

And then, out of nowhere, a male voice said, “Hi, Jessie”.

It wasn’t frightening, or menacing, I did not feel threatened in any way.

As before, the voice was in the room with me. I don’t know how else to explain it except to say I could feel it the same way you discern any voice you hear and the location it’s coming from.

I didn’t know what to think. It sounded like a young man, with a slightly raspy voice. I remember it reminded me somewhat of my brother’s voice (a brother I rarely see or speak to, and who lived more than four hundred miles away at the time).

And then it spoke again. I don’t remember now exactly what it said the second time, though I do know the words themselves were not scary or sinister. It was something like, “Have you seen anyone?” Just something that didn’t make sense to me (and still doesn’t), but came across in a casual, conversational sort of way.

I wasn’t afraid, per se, but I decided I didn’t want to hear anything else. Not while I was home alone, at least.

My arms were still slightly raised, holding a shirt I’d stopped folding mid-fold when the voice first spoke. I slowly set the shirt back in the basket, stood up, and walked straight out the front door and toward Gabe’s aunt’s house to catch up with him and the kids.

Thankfully, mere days after that particular incident, we learned of an affordable rental house near my workplace. My temp position had just become permanent, and moving closer would mean I could spend more time with my family while keeping the same job and income.

We were moving, and we were glad. Finally, Kelsey would be able to sleep in a separate bedroom again.

A couple of weeks before the move was to take place, I was sitting at my desk at work when the phone rang and I recognized the digits on the display as my home number. I picked up, and Gabe told me an unbelievable story.

He explained that he’d been sitting at the computer in our living room. Tanner was asleep and Kelsey was at school. The house had been very quiet, when he heard a shuffling sound coming from the kitchen.

“I got up to see what it was”, he explained. “I was kind of worried, because I thought maybe it was a mouse or something, you know? But when I got to the kitchen doorway I realized the sound was coming from one of those open shelves above the sink, and….” his voice trailed off.

“What happened? Ugh, do we have a mouse? Oh my gosh, we have to check all the cabinets and…” but my quickly escalating panic about a mouse in my kitchen was short-lived. Gabe interrupted me.

“No, Jessie…it wasn’t a mouse”. The first thing I thought was that it must be something worse. Much worse.

“Oh, God. A rat? Is there a rat in our house?” I immediately began devising a mental plan to move my family into an extended-stay hotel until the move.

“It’s not a rat, either”.

“Well, what then? What is it?” The line was quiet for several seconds until finally Gabe began muttering the rest of his response.

“It…it was…” he stopped, and sighed. “Jess, I can’t even say it. It’s going to sound crazy”.

That’s when I knew.

I knew whatever had him so unnerved had something to do with the voices, and the red eyes, and the laugh.

“Just tell me, Gabe” I thought back to the morning I’d had to tell him that an evil, disembodied voice had laughed at me in the bathroom. “Believe me, at this point I’d be the last one to call you crazy”.

He tried to explain. “I looked up where the noise was coming from. The sound…the sound was actually a box of aluminum foil scooting back and forth on the shelf. Like I said, I thought maybe a mouse…but…I took one step into the kitchen toward it, and…” he went silent again.

I stayed quiet. I wasn’t sure I really wanted to hear the rest. He sighed, and then continued.

“The box of foil flew off the shelf”, he said. “It just…shot off the shelf like somebody hit it from the back, hard. It cleared the sink and half the kitchen floor before it fell to the ground. It didn’t just slide off the shelf and fall straight down. It flew off the shelf.”

“Did you check to make sure there was no mouse?”

“Of course I checked! There was nothing else except the box of sandwich baggies and a roll of wax paper. Nothing.” Then he told me he was taking the kids to his aunt’s house for dinner because he didn’t want to cook in that kitchen.

After that incident, the house felt heavy. I don’t know how else to explain it. The only way to describe what it was like is to say that every time I walked into that house I felt like I wanted to run back out. As though when we shut the door behind us, we were locked in with it. I didn’t believe anything was going to hurt us, but I did feel like something was definitely there with us.

It hadn’t felt that way to me before then. We’d had weird, unexplained experiences, yes. But when they were over, they were over.

After the incident with the box of foil, though, the discomfort lingered. The presence lingered. In fact, it didn’t just linger–it increased in intensity with every passing day.

By the time our last full day as residents of that cottage finally arrived, we were more than ready to leave it. Whatever it was that was responsible for the voices, flying objects, evil laughs, and floating red eyes…it made sure to give us a sendoff we wouldn’t soon forget.

That night, our last night there, I remember we were exhausted from a full day of packing and cleaning. After showers were done, Gabe and I collapsed onto the sleeper-sofa on either side of an already-sleeping Tanner. We must have been asleep within minutes. Kelsey was curled up with pillows and blankets on the other couch.

I don’t know how long we’d been asleep when the footsteps began.

They came from the bathroom, then through Kelsey’s long-abandoned bedroom, then across the kitchen floor toward us. They were slow, they were heavy, and they were loud. It sounded like heavy work boots worn by a large man.

I turned on the light, and the footsteps stopped. I remember being so glad in that moment that the kids had gone to sleep in the same room as Gabe and me; I knew I would have been in a complete panic if those footsteps had been between me and either of my children.

We knew nothing was there. We knew there was no visible body to go with those heavy footsteps. Still, Gabe and I went through the entire house, turning on lights and peeking in every corner just to be sure.

I don’t remember how many times we were woken up by the same plodding footsteps that night, but it happened over and over again.

About an hour before dawn we gave up trying to get any more sleep, and got out of bed to start working on the last of the moving tasks needing to be finished. By the time I stepped through the front gate that morning to walk Kelsey to her last day at the only school she had ever attended, Gabe and I had already moved a substantial number of boxes outside into the front yard.

We didn’t discuss it, but I personally felt that house wanted us out, and I was more than happy to oblige it. The sooner, the better. Given Gabe’s enthusiasm for getting our belongings outside hours before we would be able to pick up the moving truck, I remain convinced he felt it too.

If we could have left before lunch, we would have. But I’d promised Kelsey I would come to school to take photos of her with the friends she was leaving behind, as well as take her to the year’s last meeting with her Brownie troop afterward.

So, that afternoon I walked Tanner to the school and snapped a dozen photos of smiling kids with their arms draped around Kelsey, and goodbye messages written to her on the chalkboard. As soon as the three of us made it back to the house it was time to get in the car and head to Brownies.

I felt bad leaving Gabe at the cottage alone, but he didn’t seem to mind. There had been a reservation mix-up at U-Haul which caused an unexpected delay, so when I drove off he was still running the dolly up and down the ramp, feeding cardboard cubes containing everything we owned into the gaping mouth of the moving truck.

It was sad watching Kelsey say goodbye to the girls from her Brownie troop; two of whom were her very best friends in the world. They’d been a happy little trio all year and the move would break them up permanently. I felt especially guilty because all I wanted was to get it over with so we could get back to the cottage and then leave it forever. I did not want to have to go back into that house again once the sun went down.

Finally, the gathering ended. Kelsey was sad but also excited about our move, so the finality didn’t seem to upset her too much. Moving to the new house meant she would be living right next door to her favorite person on earth, which was her cousin Cassie. Saying goodbye was tough, but the opportunity to see her cousin whenever she wanted dulled the sting, for sure.

I grabbed burritos from a drive-thru on the way back up the hill to the cottage, and when we got there we all stood in the gravel driveway and ate our food next to the car.

I can’t remember Gabe going back inside to double-check that we hadn’t accidentally left anything behind. We didn’t even go back inside to pee before hitting the road. I never wanted to step foot in that bathroom again.

Instead, we pulled into a shopping center before getting on the freeway, so everyone could use the restroom at a grocery store. A very busy, well-lit, safe grocery store.

And that was that. Or, so we thought. But we were mistaken.

Quite mistaken, in fact.

We thought the new house would be our refuge from the strange occurrences at the cottage. In reality, things were about to get stranger than we could have ever imagined.

We were totally oblivious to the fact that, for the next three years, we were going to spend nearly every day seeing and hearing things we didn’t understand, and which couldn’t be explained.

We had no idea while we were fleeing that cottage, that we were heading straight to a haunted house.

Sequel to The Cottage


Find out what happened to the Breitling family when they moved into their next home. The Bungalow will be available soon!

About the Author


Jess Breitling has loved spooky stories since she was a little girl. However, she does not love living in spooky houses. She lives in the Northwestern United States with her husband and children, and is happy to report that her current home is phenomenon-free.

The Cottage

When the Breitling family moves into a mountain cottage, they have no reason to believe there is anything strange about the small home. But before long they can’t deny something is very wrong with their new residence, and they find themselves trying to make sense of the unexplainable. After a year of coping with disembodied voices, flying objects, phantom footsteps, and apparitions of red eyes, the family moves away. But things will get even stranger at their new house. The Cottage details the true paranormal experiences of a real family in Southern California. If you enjoy The Cottage, please look for its sequel, The Bungalow.

  • ISBN: 9781370295890
  • Author: Jess Breitling
  • Published: 2017-06-22 04:35:09
  • Words: 5990
The Cottage The Cottage