Avery is really into ghosts right now. And by that I mean, she claims to see one in our house… We’ve been reading her Halloween books to get her in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, but in those books the ghosts are just a kid or a farm animal with a sheet over their head. Paw Patrol also has at least one ghost episode, but the ghost gets debunked (and again, it’s pretty obviously just Marshall with a sheet on his head).
So the fact that she’s talking about a ghost in our house as some invisible entity that she can point at but we can’t see is highly unsettling. I don’t believe in ghosts, but the idea of them still terrifies me. My imagination has always been strong, and my logical brain has to work really hard to make it so I don’t need to sleep with a light on.
Avery’s ghost talk started with a creepy afternoon ghost sighting while we were playing in the living room. She stopped what she was doing, pointed at the bottom of the stairs, and said, “ghost downstairs.”
My knee jerk reaction was to try to saying something to keep her from being scared. I said, “there’s no ghost. Ghosts are just on TV.” I now don’t know if this was the best response; maybe I should have validated her more and inquired about what she saw, but I didn’t want to encourage something that might end up scaring her.
But she’s not scared. The next day, when she was sitting on the toilet in our upstairs bathroom, she pointed at the open doorway and said “ghost right there!” She was super calm and matter-of-fact about it. Again, my response was, “there’s not ghost. Ghosts are just on TV.” Despite the calm tone I tried to present, I was feeling disturbed at this point.
The creepiest time to hear these comments are in her bedroom at night. My wife and I take turns laying with her in the dark for up to an hour while she falls asleep. It was my night to do bedtime, and from the dark she whispered, “ghost.” I could see in the faint light coming in from under the door that her arm was up and her finger was pointing. Then she said, “ghost flying around Avery’s bed.”
It took all the adult self-control and reassuring techniques I could conjure to stay in her room.
Now that she has caught on to our canned reassuring line that “ghosts are just on TV,” she prefaces her ghost sightings by acknowledging that there isn’t really a ghost. Instead of just, “I see a ghost,” she now says, “Ghosts are just on TV. No ghost beside Avery’s bed.” But why so specific about where this non-existent ghost is standing???