In the (newly expired) spirit of the season, you get to read my one and only ghostly experience:
In the corner of my first therapy office, I kept a milk crate full of electronic books. The ones that you read to children and when they see Simba’s face or Nylah’s body they reach over and hit the button on the side of the book that produces a Simba "ROAR!" or Nylah singing.
After I had been there about a month, I noticed that the books would start playing on their own. I just assumed that the batteries were getting low in them or they were shifting in the crate. Just normal things that would make the books play themselves. To prevent this from happening, I removed all the batteries from the books. I kept them in a small box on my desk with the teeny-tiny screwdriver that was needed to replace them. That way, I didn’t have random occurrences of sound effects, but I could always put the batteries back in if some of the therapy kids wanted to play with the books.
One day, I was giving therapy to a little boy named Chris. We were sitting at the table finger-painting when he looked up and said "I want to play with the girl."
I thought he was talking about a paintable doll that we sometimes worked with. She was just durable fabric and you could paint clothes on her, a face, attach different kinds of hair to her head (which my kids called Weave, if you can imagine), etc. I got her down from the shelf and began to hand it to him when he said:
"No! I want to play with the GIRL."
Befuddled, I asked him "What girl?" thinking maybe he wanted me to get another child from his class or possibly go into the nursery and get his little sister, which I had done from time to time.
"THAT girl." he said, pointing to the empty chair on the other side of me. "That girl beside you."
I took his hand and said that there wasn’t any girl beside me.
"Yah huh, she’s sittin’ right there."
He was so emphatic that it convinced me he must be seeing something. I felt the hairs raise on the back of my neck and went to the door to yell down the hall to another therapist. My friend Sally came to the doorway and I was telling her about what Chris had said when one of the books started playing music.
The books without any batteries.
Chris looked over to where the books were and said, "We’re not playin’ with the books right now, we’re paintin’, come back over here."
It completely freaked me out and poor Sally looked like she was about to cry. She spent the rest of the day randomly spouting, "You know they say that little kids can see that stuff. We can’t because we’re old and jaded, but kids can see spirits." I just kept telling her to shut up and then moved my stuff into an empty office up the hall the next day.
I didn’t take the books with me.