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"Haunted Houses, Part Two": In 1970, Lorelei Smith confessed to her mental hospital roommate Ellie Coffin that it had been the Coffin Witch who had made her kill her family. Annoyed, Ellie reminded her


Quote1 Eve, if you think a child can't hold a great reservoir of evil... you'd be mistaken. Quote2
Emma Coffin



Appearing in "Haunted Houses, Part Two"

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Synopsis for "Haunted Houses, Part Two"

In 1970, Lorelei Smith confessed to her mental hospital roommate Ellie Coffin that it had been the Coffin Witch who had made her kill her family. Annoyed, Ellie reminded her that the real Coffin Witch was a murdering psychopath, and turning her into a bogeyman gets people killed. Grimly, Lorelei responded that it got a lot of people killed. She wondered what Ellie was doing in the hospital at the time, and after some prodding, Ellie admitted that she had tried to commit suicide after seeing someone who was supposed to have been dead. Lorelei admitted that she had injured herself when she was a little girl, and when she'd come back from the hospital, her parents had changed, and were cold to her. That was why she asked the witch for help - only the witch made her do the dirty work herself. Worriedly, she warned Ellie to go home soon, or she'd be made to kill her too.

Now, Officer Wilcox is on the scene of yet another gruesome homicide in Coffin Hill. She was annoyed to find that the new temporary Chief, Leland Starr wasn't there with her, making her the boss. Lou, the coroner, admits that this kind of crime was what she'd expect from his last post in Philadelphia - not from a small town like this. Wilcox suggests it would be a mistake to think so. Wilcox examines a photo in the house, and realizes that there are only two known victims, but they had children. So where are the kids? She pulls her gun and begins investigating the other rooms, as Starr arrives, finally. Despite the fact that an officer had already cleared the house, Wilcox does a second sweep with Starr, and discovers blood spatter in one of the bedrooms. They suspect that the kids might be hiding in the closet, and Wilcox opens it, only to find the bloodied corpse of one of the children. Suddenly, the other child leaps out from deeper in the wardrobe, flailing the claw end of a hammer. Shocked, Starr shoots the girl through the head.

Despite being quite shaken by the ordeal, Wilcox meets Eve Coffin later at the city archives, seeking a case file from 1962 on the Cobble Lane murders - which occurred in her own house. Wilcox suspects that several multiple murders in Coffin Hill might be connected. As they sift through the files, Eve notes that Starr is probably in rough shape after having to shoot down a fourteen year old girl. She suggests that if Wilcox is rattled too, and needs to talk about it, she should talk to Eve, and spare Starr the extra baggage.

Wilcox explains that Constance Wright killed her family before her disappearance. Today, another teenage girl murdered her family. In addition to the Lorelei Smith case, that makes three - and three makes it 'more than a coincidence. Constance had blamed her murders on an imaginary friend who had been made angry by her family. Later, someone killed Constance and buried her in the woods after decapitating her, and her body was just found, fifty-two years later. Eve suspects that Constance was innocent of her crimes, and was murdered by the same person who murdered her family.

Later, Eve meets with her boyfriend and former police Chief Nate Finn at the Coffin Hill Morgue, where he grumps about the interim Chief's by-the-book attitude. He forgives Eve for failing to notice that he'd been possessed by the Coffin Witch, reminding that if she had found out sooner, she might never have got out of prison for shooting Doyle Donovan. Soon, Bianca Morelli arrives, having been invited by Eve, and Nate excuses himself. Bianca recalls that her sister Dani had been good friends with Eve, and wishes that she were here today - but she insists that she isn't freaked out by black magic. Eve warns that she should be, explaining that she needs Bianca's help to raise the dead.

Together, they cast a spell to bring the spirits of the murdered family back to their corpses, just long enough for them to explain why it was they who were murdered. When the spirits do come back, they claim that it was Eve who killed them - or at least her blood who killed them. They want revenge. They capture Eve and Bianca for the Coffin Witch, who agrees to let Bianca go free for now. Once alone, Eve demands to know why these children were chosen to kill their families. Emma responds that children can hold a great reservoir of evil. As a daughter of the Coffin line, Eve should know. She had killed her friend Melanie. Dani was condemned to a similar fate by Eve's selfishness. On the other hand, this served the Witch's needs. By sending the creature possessing Melanie back to its place, Eve left all of the dead in the Coffin Woods free to walk abroad without tethers. Eve's mother Ellie had fought Emma with every bit of her power, but Eve had freed her without a second thought. All the more reason to join the Coffin Witch, and accept her legacy. Eve would rather die, and face the horror that all Coffin witches face, if it would spare her loved ones Emma's wrath.

Before she can die, though, she is shocked back to life by a defibrillator, and finds herself back in the morgue. Nate suggests that she should go to a hospital, but Eve insists that she has more important things to worry about. The dead of the forest are coming.



Notes

  • This book was first published on March 11, 2015.
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