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"Haunted Houses, Part Three": In 1970, Ellie Coffin followed her roommate, Lorelei, from the mental hospital to the house where she had murdered her entire family. Ellie warned that if she kept running away, she'd never get out of


Quote1 I was a stupid girl. I thought it was a silly story. Even with everyhing I knew, about magic and who I was... Quote2
-- Ellie Coffin



Appearing in "Haunted Houses, Part Three"

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Synopsis for "Haunted Houses, Part Three"

In 1970, Ellie Coffin followed her roommate, Lorelei, from the mental hospital to the house where she had murdered her entire family. Ellie warned that if she kept running away, she'd never get out of the hospital, but Lorelei responded that Ellie had the same darkness in her, and would likely be with her the whole way. Touching the blood stain on her front door, Lorelei had an overwhelming flashback and collapsed from the trauma. She started to cry that she shouldn't have done what she did, and Ellie tried to comfort her. Lorelei explained, though, that it wasn't the murders she did, it was going to the tree in the Coffin Hill Woods, and asking the Coffin Witch for help. Ellie tries puts a hand on her shoulder to calm her, but it had the opposite effect.

Ellie explained that she had been to the tree too. In touching Lorelei, she woke the ghost inside of her, and they are tangled up with it by the contact. The ghost showed Ellie her own past, a vision of her father, whom she killed when she was eight years old. He cam back to remind her what was waiting for her.

Today, after waking up in her old house on Cobble Lane, Anabelle Wilcox discovers thatthere is a leak through her ceiling, and assumes it must be a pipe. Frustrated, she calls in to Police Chief Leland Starr to warn that she'll be coming in to work late, and he forces her to file it as personal time, further darkening her mood. Seeing that the wall in her upstairs bathroom appears to be leaking, she grabs a sledge hammer and knocks it down, but what she finds on the other side of that wall is troubling.

At the Coffin Hill Police Station, Eve Coffin tries to gauge how helpful Chief Starr is going to be in dealing with the problem of Emma Coffin. He is at least interested in solving the apparently connected cases of family murders that have been going on in Coffin Hill for decades. He is familiar with the tale of the Coffin Witch; how the five families banded together to lynch Emma Coffin for witchcraft. Eve explains that she believes Emma has come back to exact vengeance on the blood of those five families. Starr's expression is one of skepticism, but when a call comes of another murder in Wilcox's neighbourhood, he decides it would be best to bring Eve along - even if she is just an ex cop.

Soon, Eve, Starr, Wilcox, and Lou are all on the scene, where the family of Brett Miller - one of Wilcox's neighbours - has apparently been murdered by his son Shane. Eventually, examining the bodies proves too much for her, and she has to go outside to throw up. Eve goes to help her recover, and Wilcox explains that she feels responsible. She had been busy with her busted pipe when the murder happened. She hopes that Shane wasn't the one who did it, but when Eve spots a trail of blood leading into a shed behind the house, they find him there, covered in it. He explains, in shock, that he hadn't meant to do it. He had been outside of himself, but he saw that he had done it. Soon, Starr appears in the doorway and warns that he will be the one to take the boy in to the station, commenting that he wouldn't leave the responsibility in the hands of an ex-cop or a junior officer. Before she lets Starr take Shane away, Eve kneels down and asks him whether he'd seen a woman who looked like her before he woke up. He reacts with surprise. He had. Assuring that Wilcox will be alright, Eve excuses herself to get something from home.

Ellie catches Eve going through her silverware cabinet, and her daughter explains that she's looking for her grandmother's scrying mirror. Annoyed, she warns her mother to be more helpful - especially when the police are questioning her. Slyly, Ellie responds that if Eve had wanted to know about the death of Constance Wright, she had only to ask. It was Starr she didn't care to talk to.

Ellie takes Eve's hand, and in an instant, they see her past. When they were girls, Ellie and Constance had been friends, but Ellie sensed that Constance's mother was abusive. Constance had developed an imaginary friend, on whom she blamed all of the things that enraged her mother. She firmly believed he was real, though, and wished he'd go away. For her sake, Ellie took her to the hanging tree where Emma Coffin was killed, and instructed her to ask for help from the Coffin Witch. A crack of a twig behind them, though, alerted them to the fact that Andy had followed them.

Ellie explains that this was why she didn't share what she knew with the police. Stubborn as she is to admit it, she does wish she had never taken Constance into the woods. She had never believed in the legend of the Coffin Witch, but she still felt responsible for triggering Constance's break with sanity. Despite retreading ill memories, Ellie did help her daughter's investigation. Eve now knows how Emma gets the kids to kill their families.

Back at her house - which had once been the home of Constance Wright - Wilcox peers into the hole she made in her bathroom wall, having revealed a small, ornate door behind it. Opening it, she discovers a small room with a bed and toys, and on the headboard of the bed is scrawled the name "Andy". While examining the room, she gets a call from Lou, who warns that Starr and Shane Miller have gone missing, with the police cruiser abandoned halfway to the station. They must be in the Coffin Woods.



Notes

  • This book was first published on April 8, 2015.
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