A Vacation Rental...With an Uninvited Guest
A mountain vacation for three women turns into an eerie experience.
It was supposed to be a nice week away for three women and a dog in a beautiful vacation rental in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was early June and I was looking forward to a week filled with incredible mountain views, stunning photos and relaxing girl time on a deck with a view and a hot tub. But rarely do things go as planned.
My friend and I, along with my Pit-Mastiff dog Buddy, arrived at the rental home a day before my sister would join us there from Tennessee. It was a beautiful modern log cabin built on the side of a mountain, with two back decks and three stories of glass walls to enjoy the view. We arrived at dusk and were able to catch sight of the mountains interspersed with low hanging clouds...before that view would disappear the following afternoon and for most of the rainy week ahead.
The house consisted of a main level with living room, kitchen and master bedroom; a basement level with a den, two bedrooms and a laundry room; and a third floor loft that overlooked the main floor living room. I planned to stay in the master suite with my dog on the main level, which was just as well, since he refused to go upstairs or downstairs in the house as we were taking our tour. That was odd because he follows me everywhere. In fact, many times throughout the week, when he would go from the living room to the kitchen he would stop and stare down the steps to the basement level. My friend would tell me later she felt eerie down there. As for myself, I just felt the normal eeriness I feel in any basement.
I settled in for a good night's sleep, while unbeknownst to me at the time, my friend was upstairs enduring an unsettling experience. She had just gotten into bed, laid down and closed her eyes when she immediately felt the pressure of someone else on the end of the bed! She was in that hazy state between awake and sleeping and she said she saw a little girl with long brown hair and a very red mouth standing at the end of the bed. The next thing she knew the girl was on top of her in her face yelling, "Aaah!" with her hands up like a kid would do when they were trying to scare you. She bolted awake and the girl that seemed so real a second ago was gone and she stayed awake a long time before she'd let herself fall back to sleep. She never said a word about it the next day.
After my sister arrived, the weather was dreary and rainy without enough visibility to go out and do anything, so we decided to stay in for the day. She brought some laundry with her and went down to the basement to put on a load. She said she had a very uneasy feeling when she was down there.
That night my sister decided she'd just sleep on the couch. She had a dream that night that she was lying there on that same couch and a demon was trying to steal her soul out of her body! She awoke with a start and stayed awake till the sun came up. Then she walked through every room of the house with a spray bottle of sage oil trying to cast out the evil spirits.
All of these things were happening to my sister and friend with no knowledge to me or each other. I don't know if it was my tendency to not think seriously about ghosts (or the presence of my dog by my side) that kept these spirits away from me, but I had no strange experiences at all...till later in the week.
My friend was downstairs doing laundry and she had the uneasy feeling of being watched. She looked around in all the rooms, and when she went into the den she saw a baby doll laying on the couch that wasn't there all week! She called up to my sister to ask if she was messing with her, and we ran downstairs to see what she was talking about and saw the doll. It was a life-size baby doll in a light colored outfit laying on the dark colored couch. It's unlikely we could have all walked by those couches several times and never noticed it! It was also impossible for someone to have come in through the back door to put it there because the back sliding doors lead to a deck overhanging a steep hill with no access to it.
My friend then told us that she kept hearing noises that sounded like they were coming from a closet in the laundry room. When she went to turn the knob to open it, it wouldn't turn and it had the feel of someone holding it closed. She decided to convince herself maybe it was a draft holding it shut.
The night before we were leaving, my friend retired to the loft, me to my room and my sister went to sleep on the couch with some lamps lit and the TV on at low volume. At some point in the night she was awakened by the sound of laughter. She saw the lights were turned off and just the TV was on, but the voices were not coming from the TV. The voices sounded just like mine and my friend's voices, talking and laughing and were coming from downstairs. She wondered what the heck we were doing up in the middle of the night and why we shut off all the lights on her. But she knew that made no sense so the thought came to her that the spirits might be trying to lure her down into the basement. Her thoughts were confirmed when she heard my friend cough up in the loft, then looked in on me and saw me sleeping in my bed. She stayed awake till the sun came up before falling back to sleep.
I don't have an explanation for these things, and it took some convincing on my friend and sister's parts for me to take their claims seriously. The doll, however, was pretty solid evidence for me.
While writing about this I decided to do some online research to see if anyone else reported strange things like this in that area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I did come across one story. At the nearby Appalachian State University's East Hall dormitory, there have been reports of students hearing strange whispers, footsteps and experiencing the feeling of someone brushing up against them. And one other thing: the apparition of a little girl has been seen in some dorm rooms, along with objects being moved around in their rooms.