By: Josh Poirier
Eagle River, Wisconsin is a really great town. There are a lot of cool, old shops, plenty of good cabins and camping spots along beautiful lakes, and at least one ghost. The summer after my sophomore year of high school, my best friend Jake’s parents were kind enough to let him bring me and our friend, Brad, along on their family vacation up north. They rented a huge cabin, large enough to house the Holzhauer clan (Jake, his parents, and his four sisters), plus each of the friends that the kids brought with them. The cabin was fairly old and provided a commanding view of the lake with its huge windows and position atop a large hill.
We arrived late and only had time to explore the house a bit before bed. Everything seemed normal, except for one small door in the back of the basement. The knob appeared to be painted shut, and a note left by the owner read simply, “Do Not Open.” Of course, we immediately attempted every possible way to open the door, but, with no luck, we went upstairs and went to sleep. Jake and I each took a bed, and Brad slept on the floor near the closet. The next morning, Jake’s oldest sister, Alyson, was furious, accusing us of trying to scare her the night before. She claimed that as she and her friend, Rachel, were in bed, the door to their room opened slowly and then quickly slammed shut, seemingly by itself. We assured her that the three of us slept through the night, but no one believed us, so we were scolded and told to stop screwing around.
After our argument that morning, the rest of the day turned out great. We drove into the upper peninsula of Michigan and went to see the Paulding Light, a famously strange light that floats around the sky above the woods at night. Getting back late, Brad and I each hopped into bed, with Jake taking the spot near the closet this time. As we were laying there, trying to fall asleep, we were having a little fun by trying to scare each other. Brad and I kept telling Jake that while we were gone, someone most likely broke into the cabin and was hiding in the closet, waiting to grab him as he closed his eyes. Not five seconds after we had made the claim, the light in the closet came on. Jake let out a shriek and jumped into bed with me. We all stared, dumbfounded, waiting for our murderer to reveal himself, but nothing else happened. We got up to investigate, and found the one light switch firmly in the off position and no one in the closet. We wiggled the switch until the light finally went off, and then tucked ourselves into bed, laughing nervously, and blamed old wiring. Jake decided to sleep head-to-foot with me.
I woke up a little later, groggy and staring towards the middle of the room. I’ll never forget the moment I first saw it; the image is forever seared into my brain. An unnaturally tall woman with wild black hair, baggy, milk-white skin and a tattered gray dress floated gently in the middle of our room, staring out the window, towards the lake. She turned and looked at me, her eyes pupilless, her mouth a mess of rotted teeth. I let out a scream and bolted up in bed, wildly feeling for the light switch. As the lights came on, she vanished, and I began to calm down. I have a history of night terrors, so I suspected that I had merely dreamed the whole thing. I felt like an idiot, and quickly apologized to Brad and Jake, explaining what I had seen. When I looked back at Jake, his face was drained and his eyes were wide. In a shaky voice he explained that he had just had a dream that a woman had been in our room, staring out the window. We flew out of bed and the three of us spent a sleepless night in the living room, huddled together with the lights on.
To be continued in Part II…