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Story Time: The summer ghost

Posted on Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at 10:55 am

By Lorry Myers

The “parenting guide” said to prepare our family for the new baby so we thought redecorating my daughter’s bedroom might help her feel better about her new roommate. Hilary chose everything; flowered wallpaper, sheer white curtains for the room’s three windows, and a soft pink quilt that covered her bed. Hilary loved her “new” room.

Until suddenly, she didn’t.

The first time Hilary ran crying to her parent’s bed, I thought she had a bad dream. The next night, the same thing happened so I checked the parenting guide and learned that bad dreams could be caused by new baby anxiety. So, the next morning I sat Hilary down for a talk. Every night she was waking up scared.

What was she afraid of?

What that little girl told me was the last thing I expected…Hilary had seen a ghost. Her father told her that was ridiculous. It was the same room she had slept in since the day she was born. Still, Hilary insisted.

Her room was haunted.

Like the parenting manual suggested, I crawled into Hilary’s bed to reassure her, saying “See, there are no ghosts.” When she fell asleep, I unwound myself from her arms and tiptoed back to my own room. Later, Hilary followed in tears.

The next day, we sat down and discussed the ghost in detail. Hilary was sticking to her story. She woke in the night and there at the foot of her bed was a “floaty” white ghost.

Didn’t we believe her?

That night, I slid into Hilary’s bed promising that I would not leave. The summer night was hot and the upstairs was stifling, the windows in our old house open wide to catch a breeze. Hilary soon drifted off, exhausted from trying to stay awake. Later, the sound of distant thunder jerked me from sleep and I was uncertain where I was until I felt Hilary’s soft curls on my arm. A brisk breeze was coming through the open windows and then, in a flash of lightening, I saw something at the foot of the bed.

Hilary’s ghost.

For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.