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  • Writer's pictureJ. R. Erickson

The Cobbler’s Nightmare Ghost

Out of my love for the otherworldly aspects of life, I’ve decided to offer a November contest that is all about true stories of the supernatural.

Tell me, do you believe in ghosts?

It’s a questions that elicits a range of answers – occasionally an eye roll and a smirk, but more often than not, a leaning in, a conspiratorial smile, and the words ‘let me tell you a story…’

As an author who pens novels about hauntings, I often hear tales of other peoples’ brushes with the paranormal.  When I’m at parties, writer’s events, and even just chatting with my friends, I’m told stories of unexplainable things. Some people are convinced departed loved one’s have visited while others feel they’ve encountered evil.

I’ve had my own strange encounters, and as part of this month’s contest, I’d like to share one with you.

However, before I tell my tale, let me explain the November contest. This month, I’m asking you to send me your true stories. I’ll choose one story, which I’ll write into the sixth book of the Northern Michigan Asylum Series.

Not only will the winner see (a fictionalized) version of their story in print, they’ll receive two signed paperbacks from the Northern Michigan Asylum Series, an ‘If You Got It, Haunt It’ kitchen towel, and a soup mug covered spooky words (see prize at end of post).

If you’d like to share you story, please send me an email at

 The Cobbler’s Nightmare Ghost

My parents bought two small cottages that shared a lot near Higgins Lake in my early teens. We called them the Cobbler’s Nightmares as they were old, constructed with rather cheap materials, and in dire need of updates.

We spent summers in the cottages while my parents built a future summer home on an island in Higgins Lake. We also stayed at them frequently during the winter, using the wood-burning stove for heat, and riding snowmobiles with other family members who lived in the Higgins Lake and Houghton Lake areas.

One night, I awoke on the top bunk of a bed I was sharing with my cousin. I was lying on my stomach, and a woman loomed over us. Blood dripped from her face and long hair and she cried out for me to help her. In my half-awake daze, I asked my cousin to help the woman. My cousin stirred, looked at me, and asked what I was talking about.

The woman had disappeared.

I sat up in bed and looked around the dark, quiet cottage. I assumed I must have dreamed her. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer after all; however, the experience didn’t share the usual qualities I associated with a dream.

I’d been very much in the bunk bed, lying next to my cousin. I had felt the warmth of the cottage, the oppressed sense of the woman closing in on us, and even the wetness of the blood pouring from her face.

In the weeks that followed, other family members experienced strange sightings, which led us eventually to surmise that the Cobbler’s Nightmares were haunted.

One night, my father, who is not prone to flights of fancy (though he loves to tell bad jokes) noticed a woman gazing through the window into the cottage. She had long hair and wore a white dress, which reminded him of a nightgown. He stood and walked to the door, assuming she needed help, but when he looked outside, he discovered an empty yard with no sign of the woman.

Several days later, my sister reported seeing a woman standing in the second, smaller, cottage. She appeared to be standing in a bedroom and gazing into the window of the main cottage, which we resided in. My sister got spooked and didn’t investigate.

Over the next year, a handful of other sightings and odd sounds occurred, bu then seemed to stop. No one ever reported seeing the woman again.

Do you have a story to tell? 

The Chosen Story Writer Will Win the Prize Shown Below… (And their story will appear in the sixth Northern Michigan Asylum Novel.)

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