My grandfather built a summer cottage in the countryside of Pennsylvania in the 1950s.
There was a community of these summer cottages along a picturesque creek. The cottage goers would get together for BBQs and beer parties, card games and family reunions and turtle soup days.
By the 1980s, it was a bit quieter and a lot of the cottages nearby ours were vacant. The closest one inhabited was over a mile between us. That was fine for my immediate family who liked to go for a quiet weekend of rest. They would ask Grandpap if we could go up. He always said yes because he was getting older and didn't mind the extended family using his place if he couldn't make the trip up anymore.
So, we went and I was allowed to bring my friend, Stacy. We were around 5th or 6th grade. Stacy had come a few other times before and enjoyed it.
Typically, we fished in the creek nearby, went swimming or canoing, played board games and built a campfire under the stars.
We had our usual fun that day. We built a fire and counted the stars. After roasting marshmallows and telling some ghost stories, we headed to bed inside the cottage. I don't remember what ghost stories we told but pretty sure it was creepy. I don't even know if it was made up stories or ones we heard. But we were sure scaring ourselves and I convinced Stacy that something was watching us in the darkness. I kept imaging these eyes in the dark looking at us.
So, after scaring ourselves with our round of ghost stories, Stacy and I took the guest bedroom and settled in for the night. My parents were in the master bedroom and sound asleep.
All of a sudden, we heard a woman sobbing outside our window. It was distinctly female and sounded human. It was the exact sound of someone crying. The window faces the outside. There's a tree in the distance with a rope swing. But no bushes for animals to hide in. Just a field. I thought maybe it was the sound of the creek babbling but it didn't sound like water. It was crying.
We looked out and saw no one there. No animals, no rain, no potential things out of ordinary, nothing. It scared us because we had no idea what it was. It went on throughout the night. We tried to sleep but it wouldn't stop. It was just the sound of a woman crying her heart out. She wasn't just sniffing, she was sobbing, really hard, so hard as if she was in the pits of despair.
Stacy was getting really scared. We had no idea who it was or why. So I told her I would get my parents. I looked in their bedroom and they were both asleep. It was not my mom making that noise. But I decided I would calm Stacy down and tell her that the crying was my mom. I told her that she was sad about something that night. It just sounded like it was outside because my mom was trying to muffle her voice and not wake us up. Stacy believed me then and feel right off to sleep. Meanwhile, I was stuck listening to it. Eventually, I did fall asleep too.
When we woke up the next day. The crying was gone.
At breakfast, I told Stacy that I was just trying to calm her down that night and it was not my mom crying after all. My mom heard all this and thought we were just trying to scare each other. She was not crying that night. Of course this scared Stacy even more, but we were going home that day so I didn't have to think about it. I have no idea what it was or why but I never heard it again. We still use the cottage but nothing strange happened after that.