The Happy Cottage is haunted.
That’s the conclusion I came to after going through the recent events. And you can’t really blame me for drawing such a ridiculous one either, after you have read this strictly non-fictional account.
It all started almost a week ago when I, along with my parents, arrived at the damned cottage they had bought on a summer island for these holidays.
To escape the stress and cold.” They said.
They even named it – The Happy Cottage. “More like Haunted.” I had thought to myself at first glance. The cottage reeked of ghosts and ghouls. It’s dusty appearance only added up in support of my comment.
“The place would be so much cooler if I’m right.” I had thought, actually dismissing the superstition. It turns out now that I was right. I must add, however, that it wan’t cool. Far from it, in fact.
The day of my arrival was followed by a lot of shifting, for we had planned to stay at the cottage for a whole month back then. Sometime in the evening, I had gone to the town so as to learn about the place a little. I also managed to get hold of a little legend.
So yar’ livin’ at Billee’s, eh Max?”I recall a guy called Huck had asked me. “Dat place’s han’td, I tell ya! Ev’ry buyer, ev’ry singl’ one of ’em fled. Maybe ya got dat comn’g for ya too, mate.”
Billy, I had later learned the same day, was a century old madman who had lived in the same house as I. His legend was still spoken of. Townsfolk dreaded the idea of venturing near his house. As I recall, the legend goes somewhat like this –
Billy, a once smiling farmer, peacefully lived in the cottage long ago. Every day, he woke up early and worked hard with his seventeen year old son in the field. Production was scarce, but they were a happy family – the two of them. Townspeople often brought them small gifts, at times a turkey even, when they felt too much sympathy.
Billy life’s traumatized a few years later, following the untimely death of his son who had died due to a snakebite. Driven by grief and sorrow, Billy fell victim to lunacy. His appearance befitted that of a madman and he threatened to kill anyone who ventured near his cottage. A few deaths registered upon his hands, and people began to fear him greatly, crediting to him his title Madman Billy.
He passed away without leaving behind any trace. They never found his body. Following his death, a family from a foreign land bought his cottage. The family of four were seen running out of the house in the dark of the night a week later. They claimed to have seen Billy’s ghost.
Various futile searches were conducted. The same occurred to other families, and for some, the effect was so intense that it drove them mad. A few were reported dead. Yet, Billy’s house continued to be bought by unsuspecting families or individuals who ended up the same.
I remember having gone back to my house, full with renewed vigour. In spite of me not believing the legend, it sparked into me an anticipation and a promising adventure.
A day passed with no incident taking place. Two, three, four days passed. Still nothing. I decided to give up hope and accepted my unfortunate fate, trying hard to cherish the boring four weeks that lay ahead of me.
It happened on the fifth night. Rain pelted against my window, forcing me to stay awake. I made my way to my parent’s bedroom door in the dark, for our Happy Cottage was devoid of all electricity. Hearing my parent’s heavy snoring, I had awed in false admiration.
Since i was not going to get any sleep, I tried to think of an alternative to pass my time. Hadn’t I already checked out all the rooms of the cottage?Of course, the attic was an exception to this statement, although I doubted it would hold something interesting. Nevertheless, I climbed up the creaking stairs leading to the attic.
That’s when I heard it. A second creaking that echoed against my shoes, causing me to turn around nervously. Nothing. Was it just my imagination? I continued up the stairs with a thin line of doubt creeping into my brain, when the second creaking resumed. I turned around again. Still nothing. Was it the sixth sense that our TV back home mostly talked about?
The rising panic wasn’t enough to soothe my lust for thrill as I resumed my climb, trying my best to ignore the haunting noise behind me.As I stood outside the attic door, I could hear a faint rocking from within the attic. “RUN” screamed my instincts, but my adolescent mindset neglected all it’s pleas and instructed me to push against the door. And so I did.
The attic was a lot less dark than the rest of the cottage, for moonlight entered, along with the rain, through the large open window on the wall to my right. A chair rocked lightly due to the wind that the rain brought with itself. I journeyed to the window and managed to shut it with some effort. The rocking stopped. Disappointed, I turned my back to the chair and readied to leave the room. That’s when the rocking commenced again.
My sixth sense tingled. I could feel the presence behind me, the shadowy aura that was ready to pounce upon me as soon as I would turn my head. It’s like when you are reading one of those horror novels, when you keep wanting to turn around to check if the ghost you are reading about is behind you. I felt the same, except that mine was on a much larger scale.
I willed all my being into rotating a one-eighty degrees. Sitting there on the chair, rocking back and forth, was Madman Billy. His mouth was pulled back in a toothless sneer and his unworldly eyes glued to mine. I would have screamed if I could, for the next instant was followed by Billy’s hands locking tightly over my throat. His other hand gripped the knife firmly, ready to thrust it into my heart any second. I remember his maniacal laugh and eyes that watched me with lunatic lust.
The last thing I remember is hitting my head hard on something, as I was swept away into endless darkness.
I woke up in the hospital bed a few hours ago. They tell me I had tried to choke myself, for the red marks lay clearly imprinted on my skin. I tell them repeatedly that it wan’t me. That it was Billy, as I narrate to them everything. They refuse to believe me. Not even mom and dad. The doctors call me a psychopath. They tell me that I was hallucinating. I don’t believe them. Madman Billy isn’t a ghost. He was there, in flesh and bone, and the proof lay right on my neck. Yet, the doctors don’t take my explanation, dismissing me as a lunatic too.
The Legend of Madman Billy lives on. He is up in the attic, he has always been, waiting patiently for his next victim. Here’s two advises from me. First : Never buy a cottage with a legend upon it. And Second : Never, under any circumstances, trust your brain. Always operate on your instincts. When it tells you to RUN, you RUN…