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Childhood Ghost Story: The First Sighting

July 8, 2020

(image via wikimedia)

The ghost in the doorway freaked me out a little bit, but I didn’t scream or cry or yell out for help.  I was 10 years-old, it was in the middle of the night, and I had just woken up, and I was going to get up to use the bathroom when I saw it.

An old guy in a robe was staring at me in my bedroom doorway.  That’s what it looked like.  A sad old guy.  Looking back, I’m probably lucky he didn’t open his robe and flash me, but no, it wasn’t like that.  He looked like an old man, and he had a night cap on his head, and he just stood there looking at me.

I could still see my brother’s closed bedroom door across the hallway, but it looked kind of murky.  I could kind of see through the guy, but I definitely couldn’t see past him clearly.

I’m not sure I even believed in ghosts before this happened. Growing up in the 1970s, we didn’t have the internet to look up stuff, so we believed in whatever we believed in.  I remember kids believing in Bigfoot, and UFOs, and the Lochness Monster, and the Sasquatch.  Nobody believed in vampires or King Kong or giant bugs.  Ghosts were somewhere in the middle.

Our small town theater (that got movies a year after they’d come out) had once shown a documentary about the paranormal and other weird stuff.  There was a scene that reenacted some girl dying and a photographer catching a light that looked like her soul.  That scene wasn’t very believable, even by 1970’s standards.  The scene where Bigfoot smashed his giant arm through a window was way more compelling to me.  I was scared of a giant hairy arm crashing through my window.  A light that might be (but probably wasn’t) a soul?  No way.

Movies like that had just intensified my imagination.  Even in 5th grade, I knew I had an imagination.  I read comic books.  I drew my own books and came up with my own stories.  I daydreamed a lot, but not enough to get in trouble in school.  I could get my work done, daydream, and then get more work done.  I daydreamed in increments.  Daydreaming was like my way of getting mental energy back.  It was like coffee before I started drinking coffee.

Since I was already aware of my imagination, I thought at first the old guy in my doorway was just a trick of the light, and I tried to be logical about it.  There was no way an old guy could get into our house and walk down our hallway without my parents hearing him from their makeshift bedroom right by the front door.  Plus, my hound dog would have gone nuts.  My hound dog hated strangers.  There was no way my hound dog would let a ghost near me.  My hound dog could probably detect a ghost before I could, and I hadn’t heard a peep from my hound dog.

I squinted and rubbed my eyes.  My muddled brain filled with questions.  What if it really was a ghost?  What if I got up and tried to walk through it?  I hadn’t seen enough ghost movies or read enough ghost books to know what happens if you walked through a ghost.  Would it retaliate it or, even worse, possess me?  I didn’t want to get possessed by a dead old man.  But I needed to use the bathroom too.  This wasn’t something I could ask for help with.

That was the problem.  As cautious as I was of the ghost, I was more scared of being thought of as a wimpy kid. I didn’t want to be shamed by screaming about a ghost.  My dad already thought I was a bit odd.  I didn’t want to add to it by screaming about an imaginary ghost.

Under normal circumstances, maybe I could have waited out the ghost.  Yeah, it was the middle of the night, but it would be light out in a few hours.  No ghost like this would stick around during the day.  Plus, if he did, my parents would see him and then I’d be off the hook.  I wouldn’t be the crazy one if somebody else spotted the ghost before I mentioned it.

But I had to use the bathroom.  Having a ghost stare me down probably made the bathroom urge even worse.  I didn’t think of that then, but it’s probably true.  I had a choice to make.  Be scared of the ghost?  Or use the bathroom?

Then I felt for the warm lump on my bed that was my hound dog… and the warm lump was gone.  I patted around the bed.  I slowly pressed my palms to the floor, hoping that maybe she had switched to a nearby location, but I felt nothing.  No!  No!  No!

My hound dog was gone!  That didn’t make any sense.  She never left in the middle of the night.  Where would she go?  That was simple, I thought; she went somewhere the ghost wasn’t.  My hound dog had abandoned me.  And I had to use the bathroom!  And the ghost was still blocking my doorway.

Aaarrrgh!

To be continued in Childhood Ghost Story: 4 Rules for Living with a Ghost !

And you can read from the beginning at Childhood Ghost Story- The Prologue.

From → Dysfunctileaks

3 Comments
  1. Fatima Mo permalink

    Enjoyed reading this 😍 very good story 👍🏼

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  1. Childhood Ghost Story- The Prologue | Dysfunctional Literacy

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