Author's note:

I'm super excited to be writing this chapter, finally! For quite a long time now, I've been wanting to write a chapter of Coast to Coast at my very own haunted cabin in the woods!

As a bit of backstory, about a year ago, I inherited a cabin from my grandparents, who both unfortunately passed away within the past few years. This cabin is in the middle of the woods, quite literally, and is nearly impossible to find as it is on a very buried trail off the beaten path, which you most likely wouldn't find unless you knew exactly what you were looking for.

This cabin is technically rumored to be haunted. While no ghosts have ever been physically seen, some very odd things have happened. One example of this is when my grandpa was still alive, and he closed a window at night to keep the cold air from coming in. The next morning, the window was wide open, so my grandpa asked my grandma why she had opened it. She insisted she never touched it, and she also said she physically watched my grandpa close the window the previous night. There was no way the window could have been left open, given two people watched it close.

There are a few other "spooky" stories like that, though that was the strangest one. Tonight, Friday, October 5, 2018, I am staying in this haunted cabin and writing a story about Daphne staying in a haunted cabin…sort of a cool meta-reference haha. I'll be staying in the cabin the next five nights sporadically writing this entire chapter. As of tonight, nothing scary has happened yet...other than there appears to be a mouse that somehow got in the cabin with me. Though I am sleeping in the upstairs loft, so let's hope he can't get up there lol.

That brings us to the present. I'm currently sitting in the cold cabin loft (as it snowed today here {in October – so crazy!}, which I could turn the heat on but I feel stubborn and refuse to turn it on in October [that's too early to start paying to heat a building haha]). So I'm sitting here now, cuddled under some warm blankets and wearing some comfy layered and fleece-lined clothing (and a scarf!). And I have a freaking lantern with me, this totally feels like a Scooby-Doo episode lol! While this might sound like torture to some people, I'm quite excited about this little adventure! It will be great to get out in nature (since the cabin is in the woods) and relax a bit for the next few days. I'm also super excited and happy to be finally writing this chapter, and the meta "haunted cabin within a haunted cabin" thing makes it even cooler! Good thing I'm up here alone, I imagine I probably look super excited and unintentionally cute right now lol.

Without further ado, here's Coast to Coast Chapter 16: Special Meta Haunted Cabin Edition!

Daphne shivered as she saw the suggestion for her latest haunted attraction.

Another haunted cabin.

Last week on her show, she requested that fans write to her and request places she could go for next week's Coast to Coast. Only two days later, she had already had numerous fans write in…many of them just fawning over her and asking her to go ridiculous places like "come to my house!". She obviously wasn't going to do that.

When seeing the "haunted cabin" request, Daphne had many different thoughts on the matter. First and foremost, she was frightened. She still had PTSD-esque flashbacks from the haunted cabin in Terror Hill. A red-eyed, bony-handed spirit nearly killed her and Shaggy in their dreams. She certainly didn't want to go back to a place like that.

But on the other hand, she couldn't completely avoid going to cabins in the woods forever just because she had one bad experience. That would be like never going to any restaurant again because a waiter was rude at one particular restaurant. Put in those terms, Daphne felt a bit silly, but also slightly nervous still. It wasn't easy to just completely forget about her horrifying experience, no matter how much she told herself it would be okay.

Placing her head on her right hand, whilst cupping her chin to support it, Daphne thought in silence for a moment about her decision.

After pondering the thought for several hours, while also answering emails and doing paperwork, she made her decision in a moment of bravery.

She was going to do it, and she was going to do it alone.

She was a strong, independent woman, who had a lioness's sense of bravery and passion.

Of course, these were just words, and words meant little without actions complementing them. You could talk about being brave and doing something all day, but only a true lioness would take the initiative and face her fears.

As a kind gesture, the suggesting fan had attached a brochure to the cabin he was requesting that Daphne visit. Luckily, the cabins had a much prettier name: Ash River Cottages.

She supposed "Twilight Cabin" was sort of a nice name, but after her experience there, she didn't know if she could ever find those two words pretty again.

With a jolt, Daphne's car engine started. She was ready to go.

The initial anxiety surrounding the event was at first, almost insurmountable for her. She debated turning the car off and saying "fuck it." Strong language, maybe, but strong associations sometimes required strong language. Her associations with cabins was certainly stronger than ever as she embarked on a journey from which she might never return.

After the momentary angst, Daphne partially gained her bravery back, and backed out of the driveway.

It was a cold November's day, with gusts of wind fiercely blowing leaves across the neighbors' lawns. It was certainly not a day one wanted to drive. In fact, there was nothing more Daphne wanted to do than cuddle up under a warm blanket and watch a movie.

She knew, however, that this was a trick of her mind to convince her to abandon ship and go home. She would not fall for such trickery, however, as she knew if she didn't face her fears now, she may never be brave enough to.

It was nearly a four hour car ride to Ash River Cottages. Daphne almost debated pulling over and taking a nap before resuming the laborious act of driving. She knew, however, that she had to keep pushing on, as she was only a mile or so away from her destination.

The cottage was both beautiful and terrifying for Daphne. Beautiful, because of the bright orange autumn leaves which wisped around the log cabin painted a brownish-green tint. But also terrifying, because the thought setting in that she was actually there: in the place that she feared so much.

As the redhead stepped out of the car, the breeze began swaying her hair to the left with a graceful swish. The cabin loomed before her, more ominous and menacing than ever before. Despite her fear, however, she was smart enough to know that if she didn't go in now, she probably never would. Fear had a way of spiraling out of control if you let it.

Refusing to let herself turn back now, she continued to push on and moved her shivering body until she reached the front door. She was so nervous, she almost dropped the key that she was given whilst trying to put it into the keyhole.

The door swung open, and so did an immense amount of possibilities as Daphne walked into the cabin. The cabin was freezing cold; it felt like the heat hadn't been turned on in ages. The irrational, nervous part of her mind came up with the thought that it probably hadn't been turned on in ages, since no one was brave enough to go in there.

A quick glance to the right showed Daphne a large fireplace, which admittedly relieved her. She certainly hadn't brought enough blankets to keep warm, and she wasn't sure if the cabin had them either.

All of a sudden, the bewildered Blake heard a loud creak, which caused her to jump nearly ten feet. Her mind raced with a thousand possibilities of what it might be: a ghost? A mouse? A person? Just the wind?

Daphne had nearly worked herself up to the point of hyperventilating. She knew she needed to calm down, as it probably was just the wind and nothing more.

Nervously, Daphne creeped over to the mysterious fireplace and looked inside. It was… nothing. That thought probably terrified her most of all: after all, uncertainty was often people's biggest fear.

Daphne intensely stared into the fireplace, hoping her mind would eventually be enough at ease to calm herself down.

She quickly realized that she was being ridiculous. It was incredibly unlikely that anything would suddenly pop out at her just because the fireplace made a bit of a creak. Cautiously, she closed the door. As she was doing so, she could have sworn that she saw a pair of bright yellow eyes in the fireplace. She told herself, however, that it was her imagination and began exploring the building.

The cabin wasn't huge. There was two bedrooms, two pinkish-gray couches (a very odd combination, if she said so herself) and a simple wood dining room table. The appliances were very meager: just a microwave, an oven, and a sink. Then there was upstairs: a small loft with barely anything there. There was a tiny wooden table probably just big enough to set a computer on it, as well as an empty bedframe with no mattress. Luckily, there was also a single bed up in the loft, complete with a mattress, pillow and bedsheets. The downstairs beds looked far more comfortable, but she decided to take the upstairs one just to avoid any possible mice. There was no way the mice could get up least she hoped not. There were also a few paintings in the downstairs next to a window, all of various wildlife. One prominently displayed a picture of a wolf, while another had a portrait of a brown grizzly bear. The curtains were very woodsy: they had pictures of pine trees and mountains, with deer drinking from a lake. It certainly wasn't the most homey place Daphne could ever imagine, but it would do at least for the night.

The one thing that bugged her, however, is the lack of a particular room: the bathroom. She didn't see any room that could be even remotely interpreted as the bathroom, though she now had a sneaking suspicion that the small building she had seen outside earlier was an outhouse. Daphne now hated this place even more.

For once, Daphne had no desire to look around with her camera. She knew this was just the fear talking, but for once she hoped she wouldn't actually find anything. Going home without footage of a real ghost never sounded so great to her. In fact, it actually made her miss the days of when her and the gang would catch fake ghosts, or in other words, criminals in disguise trying to hide some real estate scam or other illegal activity. The prospect of a criminal buying a Halloween costume and scaring people away sounded odd, but it had certainly gained popularity throughout the past several years. The costumes were usually pretty realistic too, so much so that it was difficult to tell that it wasn't a real ghost. Nothing like the Halloween costumes you'd see in a store. She wondered if the criminals who chose to dress up and scare people away had some special store or shop they went to in order to make the costumes look so realistic.

The momentary daydream helped Daphne's fear level a bit, but she knew going straight to bed would help it more. There was no use keeping her overactive mind on any longer, especially if she wasn't going to take the time to look around.

Shivering a little bit, Daphne undressed for the night and dug through her suitcase for some warm clothes to wear. After a bit of rummaging, Daphne found a pink fleece-lined hooded sweatshirt along with some gray fleece-lined pants. It wasn't much, but she had only brought one blanket and needed some way to keep warm. There didn't appear to be any way to turn on the heat (as far as she knew, there might not even be any heat in the cabin!)

Daphne decided to leave the rest of her clothes on, rather than putting on the thin pajamas she had brought. Those certainly would do about as good keeping her warm as using a single paper towel as a blanket.

She quickly brushed her teeth for the night and went to bed. She closed her eyes, hoping it wouldn't be her last time ever doing so.

It started with a bang.

Daphne awoke to the obnoxious noise, which caused her to practically jump out of bed in anguish.

Curious as to what the noise was, yet still a bit frightened, the redhead peeked down onto the main floor of the cabin from over the loft railing. She didn't see anything of note: just a few reddish-orange leaves which she had probably tracked in from outside.

She was still a bit nervous, despite the lack of any clear paranormal indicators, but she figured she might as well go to the bathroom while she was up.

Daphne went downstairs and opened the door, and to her surprise, going outside didn't really feel that much colder than it was in the cabin. In fact, the fresh air felt quite nice, better than how stuffy it felt in that damn building.

As she hobbled out to the outhouse behind the cabin, Daphne began to hear a strange howling noise. To comfort her anxious mind, she just presumed it was the wind. Wind certainly couldn't hurt anybody.

But she kept hearing it. Over and over and over.

Daphne began to perseverate over this mysterious dilemma, as she tiptoed ever closer to the outhouse.

She saw the shadow of the building coming more into focus…but wait…that wasn't a building. It almost looked like a person.

Daphne knew she was overthinking it, so she continued to go closer to the so-called "mysterious figure." She quickly realized this was a mistake, however.

As she got closer, she could make out the shape of a skull. Daphne jumped back in terror, just in time for her to see the skull was attached to a body. The skull began smiling an insidious, evil grin in Daphne's direction.

Before she could even contemplate running, Daphne noticed something peculiar: the skull had turned into just a skull again, not moving at all. The skull appeared to be attached to some sort of scarecrow body; upon touching it, Daphne discovered it was just made of straw and some old clothes. It was like what she just saw hadn't even happened.

This sent Daphne's mind swirling in a thousand directions. Maybe it hadn't happened at all, and it was just her overactive imagination getting the best of her again. But maybe it had happened, and the strange skull-headed figure was just going dormant to lure her into a false sense of security. And worst of all, maybe it had happened, and she was about to be killed for making the mistake of not running when she had the chance.

Daphne refused to let this strange occurrence affect her, however, given the matter of if it had even occurred was trivial at the moment. She continued to walk to the bathroom and went as quickly as possible, before doing fast-walking back into the safety of the cabin.

Daphne's sleep was as fitful as ever. She began to dream about seeing skeletons in front of her, she had one where skeletons were surrounding the building, and even one bizarre dream which featured a strange Skeleton King as the mayor of some sort of Halloween-themed town.

Another crash woke the pretty redhead up from her slumber, prompting her to pick up and turn on the nearby flashlight next to her bedside.

As soon as she turned on the flashlight, she heard another sound: the sound of footsteps pitter-pattering across the bottom floor.

She shook her head, as to metaphorically shake off the feeling that there was someone in the cabin with her.

Despite a bad gut feeling that she would meet her demise, the redhead decided to go down the stairs and check out the bizarre noise.

With each thump of her foot going down the stairs, the restless redhead wondered if it would be the last noise she ever made.

A quick scan of the main rooms showed nothing. She still, however, had the two bedrooms which were concealed by curtains, each of which had the same wildlife patterns as the windows.

She opened up the first curtain, closing her eyes with a sinking feeling. Cautiously, Daphne opened one eye to inspect the view in front of her. Nothing.

She went to the other curtain, her feet resisting the movements her brain was telling them to make. Feeling slightly more confident, she did not close her eyes this time upon opening the last curtain.

Daphne froze at the sight she saw.

It was a ghastly medium-sized man in a full bluish-gray Civil War outfit, his eyes glowing a fierce shade of yellow.

The man did not say a word, but Daphne heard the howling once again from the open window outside. If she weren't in a paralyzed state of mind, she might have found it odd that the window was left wide open: she had never been in that room prior to now.

Daphne's eyes began shutting in pure horror. She wasn't sure the ghostly figure's intentions for her, but she quite frankly had no interest in knowing.

Her mind was far too curious, even when she was petrified. Daphne opened her eyes slightly, and saw that the man had gone. There was no trace that he had even been there.

Instead of terrified, Daphne was now a healthy mixture of confused and afraid. She had no idea what was going on, but whatever it was, she wanted no part of it.

A check of her watch showed it was 3 a.m. Half the night was over. But the pessimistic part of Daphne told her that this meant half the night was still left. What was only a few hours felt like an eternity to Daphne.

If anyone were to hear of the redhead's strange delusions (which may be all too real), they probably would have asked why Daphne didn't pack up her things and leave long ago.

A good mixture of stubbornness and fear kept her from leaving. She was far too tired and out of it to go anywhere, especially if she was imagining things. She was also quite stubborn, as she had told herself she was finally going to face her fears and stay in a potentially haunted cabin for one night. It was quite literally her job to document paranormal activity and inform her audience about it, and this was as good of place as any. Sure, it was a dangerous presumption to decide it was safe enough to stay in the cabin for the rest of the night, but as far as she was concerned, that was part of the job. Hell, it had been part of her job since she first joined Mystery Inc. back in high school. Her and the gang never really knew if the monsters were real or not, all they knew is that they were usually fake.

There were some trivial instances, such as when she and the gang helped an Arabian Sultan reclaim his kingdom from a vicious djinn. They hadn't unmasked the djinn, and he was somehow able to fit into a bottle, but the advances in the field of science these days allowed for some crazy things to be possible.

Once again, daydreaming helped set Daphne's angsty mind at ease. With those thoughts in mind, Daphne drifted off once again into the land of nod.


Daphne checked her watch, which showed 4:00 a.m.

Wait a minute though. That didn't make sense. Even on the longest day of the year during the summer, it didn't get light until nearly 6:00 a.m. It was November now, which certainly assured her that it wouldn't be light for another several hours.

Daphne quickly realized that the "daylight" was coming from downstairs. There was a strange light coming from the flashlight, which was precariously propped up on the table, the top facing towards the ceiling.

Daphne's heart sunk upon seeing this. It was very odd that there would suddenly be a light on, especially given the false allusion that it was daylight had woken her. She also didn't remember leaving the flashlight in that particular place. She supposed it was possible, especially given how frightened she was, but the prospect of it seemed quite odd to her.

She shrugged and turned the flashlight off, placing it next to a large saw downstairs before she went back to sleep.

Daphne woke up again. 6:00 a.m. Still not light yet.

She had to pee once again, which got her a bit frustrated. Frustrated with herself more than anything, for having three full-sized bottled drinks on her way up to the cabin. She tended to drink more when she was nervous, however, and she was nervous as hell coming up to the Cabin of Demise.

She rapidly shook that last thought from her mind. Calling it the Cabin of Demise, even mentally, was just her brain's way of further scaring her. If all of what had happened so far tonight was a delusion, her brain was certainly doing a phenomenal job.

She quickly embraced the darkness once again to relieve her bladder. She hoped she wouldn't see anything this time. She certainly didn't need anything else to frighten her tonight.

She tried to smile and do what Fred always said, "fake it 'til you make it!" But it was difficult to do in such times of uncertainty, and her attempt to smile felt exactly that: fake.

Daphne opened up the outhouse door, and braced herself for the worst.

But what she saw was the best: nothing.

The redhead tried to tinkle as fast as possible, though she wasn't sure it really mattered at this point. Both outside and inside were equally unsafe now, as far as she was concerned.

Despite this, it made Daphne feel better to fast-walk and "escape" from her insecurities. She almost felt like she was going crazy, running away from something she wasn't even sure existed. She quickly comforted herself by reminding herself that she wasn't crazy; she was just terrified. This certainly wasn't a place anyone would want to stay for very long, regardless of if there were ghosts. The cold and the desolateness of the place were enough to keep anyone away.

As she was about to open to door to whatever awaited her, she saw a strange man in Arabian garb, his face completely covered with a red headdress and white robes. The man was standing right in front of the door.

Daphne raised an eyebrow, almost too confused to be scared. Just as she was about to run in the other direction, the man whispered to her in a raspy Middle Eastern accent.

"Shhh. You shall not remember a thing."

Daphne closed her eyes as the strange robed man reached for her neck, but quickly opened them, just hoping he would disappear like the other Civil War ghost had.

Her wish was granted with (quite literally) the blink of an eye. The robed man had disappeared completely, though she wasn't sure where. Or for that matter, if he had even existed. Maybe this was all some wonderful trick her mind had decided to play on her.

Daphne ran up the stairs again and jumped into bed. Before she could close her eyes, she noticed them get puffy and wet. While she was initially terrified that the Arabian ghost or one of the other spirits had given her a poison of some sort, she realized what was actually occurring. She was crying.

She felt helpless, afraid, and almost a bit crazy. No one could ever relate to her experience. She was truly going through this alone.

This somber thought made her tear up even more. The eye leakage was coming out faster than she could wipe her eyes, so she just stopped trying and embraced the crying. She had certainly been through a lot in these past few months, and she quite frankly could use a good cry.

After about a half an hour, the redhead had finally regained control of her emotions. The temporarily unstoppable tears had made her feel a bit better. She felt a bit more brave now, and like she was given a second chance to start anew. She wouldn't be afraid this time. It was 6:30 a.m. now, and she was going to fucking stay the rest of the night if it killed her.

The brave Blake awoke at 9:00 a.m., well past the time the sun had risen.

Instead of rushing to wake up, Daphne decided to keep her eyes shut and preserve her energy until she was completely ready to take on the day. She tossed and turned a bit, trying to get a good stretch in. Trying to make herself feel further comforted, she nuzzled her nose and head on the soft pillow.

After a bit of stretching, she finally decided she was ready to wake up and open her eyes.

What followed was a loud scream.

Right in front of Daphne's bed, there was a gigantic saw pointed right at her face. The very same saw which she had placed the flashlight near downstairs. Not upstairs. Downstairs. This time, she knew she wasn't delusion. There was no logical reason she would have brought a saw upstairs.

In a flash, Daphne grabbed her suitcase and whipped the clothes laying on the ground inside, and quickly shuffled down the stairs. Not even bothering to lock the place up (any robber that might break in would get the scare of a lifetime before they got the chance to steal anything), Daphne jumped in the car and slammed her foot on the gas.

Once she had left the gravel trail into the cabin, she finally felt safe.

Ironically, a few seconds after this thought, Daphne hit something on the road. Worried it was an animal of some sort, Daphne pulled over to the side of the road and parked. She was at least a mile away from the cabin, and it was unlikely anybody (or anything) would have followed her.

Upon glancing under her tire, the redhead found one last scare waiting for her.

What she had run over was none other than a Civil War hat, appearing to be the very same one that she had seen the Civil War ghost wearing last night.

Logistically, she supposed it was possible that some random guy on the way to a Civil War reenactment festival had their window open, and a freak gust of wind blew it out of the car and onto the road. But between the saw and this, this was far too many coincidences for her liking. Now, she was pretty sure that everything she had seen last night was real.

Daphne didn't even bother to pick the hat up from under her tire. Rather, she ran the hat over when she speeded away, feeling both terrified and a bit confused.

Author's note:

That's all, folks!

And so my dream of writing a chapter of Coast to Coast about a haunted cabin in a real-life haunted cabin has finally come true.

It's actually only the night of Sunday, October 7, as I write this, meaning I have two more days up here to potentially begin chapter 17. Or maybe go enjoy some beautiful nature :)

I know you're all probably wondering how if my "haunted" cabin actually is haunted, but first we have to do reference time!

Ash River is sort of a sentimental reference for myself. This particular cabin is near a body of water called the Ash River, thus I decided to name the cottages after it.

The bit about the Sultan and the djinn is talking about The New Scooby-Doo Movies episode, "Mystery in Persia" featuring Jeannie and Babu.

I occasionally will add in-jokes and references for friends that I know are reading this. I don't usually mention them, but since I mentioned Ash River I may as well talk about this one too. The bit about Daphne talking about needing to be a strong "lioness" is a reference to a friend, who always used to refer to herself as a "brave lioness." I always thought her self-imposed nickname was really cute, so I decided to have Daphne refer to herself as this as well. Thought it fit quite nicely here.

The description of the cabin Daphne stayed in is basically a description of my cabin. Just describing what I was seeing :)

The Skeleton Mayor of the Halloween town is a reference to Jack Skellington, from what is quite possibly the greatest Halloween movie ever, The Nightmare Before Christmas! If you haven't already, you all need to go watch that amazing movie after you're done reading this!

The Civil War ghost is a reference to Shaggy's Uncle Beauregard from the Boo Brothers film. Admittedly, Boo Brothers was sort of the inspiration for this chapter. I've always loved that the film leaves the mystery open to interpretation, and even at the end of the movie, it's not necessarily clear whether some of the ghosts were real or not. Those of you who know me from elsewhere will probably remember I just wrote a post about Boo Brothers on my blog the other day, which is essentially how I got the idea for this chapter.

Additionally, I hope you all liked my little backstory about the monsters the gang caught. Thought it might be a good explanation that was compatible with the more realistic tone of Zombie Island.

Now, let's get on to the haunted cabin report! I'm sad…or happy…or indifferent to report that I did not see anything supernatural (this part of the author's note was written on Tuesday, October 9, my last night here). I did hear wolves making some sort of otherworldly howl one night, which was a bit frightening admittedly, but nothing else. I also saw quite possibly the biggest spider I have ever seen in my life. If you search "wolf spider" on Google Images, you'll probably see what I'm talking about. The reason I say 'probably' being have no desire to look it up and see if my suspicions are confirmed. I've already seen enough of that particular type of spider to last a lifetime haha.

Never did end up seeing the mouse again either, thank goodness.

Thank you all ever so much for reading this chapter, and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. This was fun staying in a "haunted cabin" for a few nights, and it definitely fulfilled my geeky dream of sleeping in a place that could have come out of a Scooby episode haha.

And speaking of places in Scooby episodes, those of you that follow my blog will also know that this little trip gave me a chance to visit the real-life Banning Junction, from "A Scooby-Doo Halloween." It was certainly fun to visit, but nothing like it was in the Scooby-Doo episode. There were a bunch of Halloween decorations throughout the town, on lampposts and telephone poles or whatever, but it certainly was nothing like it was in the Scooby episode. Quite a tiny little town as well, there were just a few shops and restaurants and such, but the town probably wasn't any more than a mile or two long. Still glad I got to visit it though! :)

Finally, you guys know the drill by now! If you like this fanfic and you haven't done so already, reviews, follows and faves are always awesome to see!