You are here: Real Ghost Stories :: Apparitions / Voices / Touches :: The Sandbox Ghost Girl

Real Ghost Stories

The Sandbox Ghost Girl


What follows is a recollection of an occurrence that came my way back in 2007 and it involves me (a 47 year old male), my seven year old step son, and a very strange girl - all at an isolated sandbox late one summer's evening. Looking back, weighing it all out, I strongly believe the girl was a spirit.

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words so I have attached a simple layout sketch of the area this occurred.

The Sandbox Ghost Girl

Moravia is a quiet, small Upstate New York town that had in ways seen its heyday come and go around 1870 or there abouts. The village is situated in a valley and when the sun sets over the ridgeline there comes an extended period of dark dusk - and that is when this event occurred.

I like to try and stay in shape and that desire brought me to the track on this particular night. An ankle injury from my army years prevents me from running, so I opt to power walk instead and I do this at the track located behind the Elementary school. The school is situated on the edge of town and the track is bordered on three sides by tall trees and hills. There's seldom anybody out there when I go there. Thing is, I power walk hard - that means I pump my arms and walk as fast as I can and as a result this also sets my hips and butt to moving in, what I consider, a rather unmanly manner. For this reason, I won't be seen power-walking through town. Instead I do this out at this isolated track and I wait until the sun is nearly set and nobody is out there.

My step-son, who was seven that year, often liked to come out there to the track with me to play while I power walked around the track for a few miles. We would walk there and back from our home in the village.

On the night of this event, it was midsummer so the school was closed and locked for the season. Aside from the trees bordering the place, it is a vast clear and open grassy field and I can say that without a doubt, there were no other people within sight and no cars or bikes either - as usual. It was getting fairly dark when I finished my workout and Jake and I left the track and started walking home. Our walk home would take us across the soccer field, past the small school sandbox area, and on past the tennis courts towards the village and home. Now when I say it was dark, it wasn't quite night time yet but a darker shade of dusk; dark enough that you would have turned on your car headlights - that dark.

As my stepson and I left the track, he asked if we could stop at the sandbox area that was located within a closed-in area within the school (the school was built in a "U" shape with an outside playground within the "U" - see sketch). I told him yes - just for a little while as it was getting late and dark out.

As we walked to this sandbox area at the elementary school, I noticed a girl was there playing at one of the sandboxes. As I got closer I noted some strange things about her:

1. She was dressed odd - like from another period - she wore a white dress that belled out from the waist down like a hoop skirt or "Cinderella" kind of dress. She wore little black leather lace-up shoes. Her long blond hair was done up in curly ringlets - the sort done with a curling iron.

2. She appeared to be about my stepson's age but was out here all alone - in this fairly isolated place at the town's edge - and it was late and fairly dark out. There were no other adults or children anywhere to be seen - and hadn't been for the past hour of my track workout - as the track provides a clear view of the area.

3. She didn't seem to take much notice of our approach but was humming some little song as we entered the little enclosed playground.

My stepson went right over and started playing in the sandbox - kneeling in the sand next to this girl. I sat down at the other side of the sandbox and watched them play. The little girl seemed so out of place. I can't say that she gave me the creeps as she appeared charming and seemed quite happy, humming some song to herself. Also, she looked solid and alive enough. But there was something decidedly off and unnatural about her. I quietly scrutinized her.

As I sat there watching the two of them play, I noticed that my stepson never seemed to notice her. Though he was right beside her kneeling in the sandbox, he never looked at her and never said a word to her - not at all. This was very unlike him as he was then and yet is a very out-going child who loves engaging in play and talk with other children his own age. She likewise never spoke to him. She was perhaps six feet away from me from where I sat and I broke the ice;

"What's your name?" I kindly asked the girl.

To this question she half looked up and quickly nodded her head and hummed out an "Uh huh" sort of reply with her mouth clenched shut. She never looked at me and I never saw her eyes - she kept her head lowered for the most part.

I asked her where her parents were and where she lived. To this question I also got a very quick head nod with an "uh huh" hummed out from a closed mouth. She never really raised her head when acknowledging my questions. She never uttered a word - but quietly hummed something of a song from a closed mouth.

OK, I figured her parents, wherever they were, must have told her not to talk to strangers. I respected that and I asked her no more questions. Her clothing and hair doo seemed so authentic - like a well-made Victorian-era costume. Who would dress their child up like this - and why? If it were for some special occasion, why would she be wearing it out here in the dark playing in the sand - way out in this rather isolated place at this hour? Very strange! Still, I wasn't really thinking she was a ghost at this point in time.

After about 15 or 20 minutes of playtime and it had gotten properly dark, I told my stepson that it was time to go home. As we left, I said goodnight to the little girl who still just hummed out an "uh huh" kind of polite acknowledgement. I felt kind of bad leaving her there by herself in the dark but what was I to do? I had noted that she elected not to answer my questions or talk to me and I had to respect that as what I figured were her parent's instructions.

Did I think she was a ghost? Not at that time - I wasn't sure what to think. I had a feeling that she was 'special' in some way. She seemed nice enough - pleasant too.

Once out of ear shot, perhaps thirty seconds after leaving the girl in the dark, still playing in the sandbox area, I said to my stepson;

"Wow, what'd you think of that girl back there at the sandbox; pretty strange eh?"

To this, he looked over at me quite puzzled and said,

"Huh? What girl?"

I said, "The little girl back at the sandbox; pretty strange huh - what'd you think of her?"

Again, he asked me what I was talking about - what girl. I looked at him wondering why he wasn't getting what I was asking him and he just shrugged his shoulders totally thinking I was talking nonsense to him. He totally had no idea what I was talking about. That's when it hit me straight on hard that he never saw her! That also explained why he never once said a word to her or interacted in any way to her - though they were only a few feet apart playing.

As the boy was already afraid of ghosts, I didn't press the matter but dropped it or he'd never come out to the track with me at nights again and probably not sleep in his own room in that big, very haunted house we lived in - what used to be an old hotel and bar from the 1820's no less.

One closing note, I mention Dry Creek Cemetery in my sketch that accompanies this story for a reason. This long disused rural cemetery has about 200 graves ranging from the late 1790's to around 1880, with most stones the result of regional cholera epidemics from the 1830's and 1840's. It is totally enclosed on all four sides with trees and forest with only a footpath leading in and out. The graveyard is only about 500 feet or so from the school.

About six years before the event of this story took place, my 20 year old daughter and I were walking through Dry Creek Cemetery and saw quite clearly a man and two women dressed in clothes that I would place to be from around 1840. Like the girl of this story, they looked solid and alive enough and we thought them just people in elaborate costumes - that is until we looked away a few moments and then back and they totally vanished from the place with out a trace (another story I might post here). Maybe this is related - maybe this is where the little girl came from. Of course I don't know and never will know for certain, but I am inclined to think so.

Thanks for reading this.

Find ghost hunters and paranormal investigators from New York

Comments about this paranormal experience

The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, moravian, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

fromfactorytofactory (guest)
3 years ago (2021-09-02)
This is one of the best encounters on the site! Absolutely. She is probably one of the unfortunate souls laid to rest in that nearby cemetery. Her lack of eye contact or answering is common for children of that period towards adults. It is heart warming to think she is still able to enjoy childhood joys like a sandbox.
matrix899 (1 stories) (67 posts)
9 years ago (2015-09-09)
Hello Moravian,

I read your fascinating encounter with the "girl" in the sandbox, and enjoyed it very much. Your story was published in 2012, and I am hoping that you still visit this site, because I have a few questions.

You mentioned in your story that the "girl" was playing in the sandbox. How exactly was she playing, what was she doing? Did she displace any sand? Did you see her hand move the sand around?

I will understand if you did not observe these details. You did say you thought she was a normal human being and only concluded that she had to be a ghost after leaving the sandbox area.

Thanks in advance for your comments, and thanks again for sharing the story.
Max350 (guest)
10 years ago (2014-09-16)
This story is interesting for many reasons:

1) You took your time to tell the story.
2) You were very close to this little girl and was able to observe her closely.
3) The little ghost girl interacted with you and responded to your questions, I would think this is very unusual.
4) She was humming a song and seemed like a real person. Again, very unusual.
5) The above means she saw you and heard you.

These are fascinating details that is much food for thought.

People like me read these stories because the paranormal represents that which is unknown, and seems to underscore how little we really know about reality and the nature of life. We hope that some of the details in these stories may offer clues to what comes after death. It is a vast subject and a fascinating one.

This is one of the stories I remember very well, thank you for sharing.
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-24)
Iithanks jav, I will try and post a story about the Dry Creek Cemetery ASAP.
Javelina (4 stories) (3749 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-21)
I have to admit, the picture in my mind of you power walking the track swinging your hips is just too funny! I also power walk, so I know what you mean. Still... 😆

Anyway, I feel the same as you when it comes to investigating this stuff, I am not a big fan of waking the dead, if you know what I mean. I also don't think she hangs out at the cemetary. The towns heyday was quite a long time ago. The cemetary was probably very near the town back then. Which also means there were people living near it, Just because the houses no longer exist, doesn't mean they never did. She probably lived in a house right where the school and sand box sit now. Not so big a mystery there. And seven year old kids do tune us out. Plain and simple. Especially when they want more playtime where they are at that moment. Ignore us until we get that certain inflection/tone to our voice that signals to them that the jig is up. Assuming that children are more likely to see a spirit before an adult will is just not logical. If that were the case all the children on earth would be screaming "ghost!" at the top of their lungs. The people who say they are surprised that your stepson didn't see her, or hear you ask those two questions (not a whole string), are the ones that surprised me. Perhaps they don't have children, so they just have no frame of reference? Whatever.
Thank you moravian, I enjoyed the read and can't wait to see what you bring next.


(power walking rules) 😁
joshuakeys (7 stories) (45 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-11)
wow, Creepy story, amazingly written & thanks for sharing

lsandhu (2 stories) (360 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
Your stepson's fear may prevent him (mercifully) from having any spirit encounters, and that same fear may have prevented him from registering your questions to the little girl in any way. He may simply be unwilling and/or unable to deal with such encounters.
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
The girl was at timez kneeling at side of the sand box and at times standing as she was humming some song all the while. She seemed quite happy in her own little world. It seems like she was playing in the sand with her hands. Unsure exactly what she was doing with her hands at this point in time.
Aishling (1 stories) (35 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
Great story, really enjoyed reading it:) Can I ask, what was the girl playing with? I mean was she moving the sand about or interacting with anything? Cause wouldn't it be hard for ghosts to move actual physical objects?
stephyw2001 (guest)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
That was a really intriging story. I'm sad for the girl, and surprised that your stepson didn't see her. It seems usually children are more open to seeing that kind of stuff. Really makes you wonder doesn't it? Thank you for sharing this, its going to my favorites.
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-09)
I agree with Bbrave on this one. The little girl decided to show herself to you, plain and simple. Great story by the way.
shellzy (8 stories) (218 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-08)

This is an incredible story, your wonderful writing style really made me feel as if I was there with you seeing this unusal girl!

It is funny how sometimes we look at a situation such as this, know that is is 'odd' but don't really put the pieces together until later on.

I really look forward to your story on the Dry Creek Cemetery. Thanks for sharing, this was a very enjoyable and chilling read! 😊
ChengSifu (10 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-08)
as they are all in 1840s dressings, I suspect that there could be a possibility these ghosts could be from a group a people that died/killed on the same day due to some mishaps in that area.
Bbrave (1 stories) (131 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-08)
She chose to reveal herself to you and not him plain and simple. Because he is afraid he would've just attempted to run off. But you being and adult and generally most adults do not believe in ghosts saw her as a living little girl just out playing so would see no reason to be frightened
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-07)
To answer your questions, I am not really looking into who the girl might have been. For one thing, the old graveyard has many graves of children from the 1800's. Another thing is, I don't care to actively seek paranormal things - don't want to open any doors as I am something of an empowering magnet for spirits (or at least I and others feel that I am). As for questions regarding the girl - I really can't say who or what she was. I very strongly suspect she was a spirit of some sort and just didn't or couldn't manifest to my step son. No way of ever knowing really. I will post the other Dry Creek Cemetery story soon - this time, my daughter also clearly saw these Victorian dressed folks. Thanks
mrfear672india (106 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-07)
Thank you sir, for sharing such a wonderful experience.
Didn't you checked the graves may be she is one of them?
Did you and your son went their first time when it is dark?
I can't understand who are the both people in that cemetry?
Did no one else experienced these in that area. Did you enquired.
Foxglove (23 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-07)
Thanks for that story- interesting on many levels!
I agree with Megrl that you should look up the history of the immediate surrounding area. I'm still not convinced by ghosts hanging around the cemeteries where they're buried, unless of course they frequently visited it during their lifetimes, or whatever. (but there is probably a lot of evidence that could prove me wrong on that point, see the famous cemetery "soul orbs", and other ghost photographs in cemeteries, etc). Interesting also about your son not seeing things, either there or in the house. I believe I may be similarly 'psychically challenged', to use the PC expression haha! But I think it's relatively unusual for two individuals *not* to witness the same "ghostly manifestation". As you say, you and your daughter may have jointly witnessed some other apparitions. Nonetheless, a lot of my family anecdotes about full-bodied apparitions (which include two residual hauntings and one family death manifestation) have occurred when the witness was alone. I wonder if this is actually more normal, and why. Other ghost occurrences, such as objects moving/being moved and footsteps, etc, seem to be more liable for multiple witnesses. But that's based on a tiny sample and may therefore be BS! Anyway thanks for the story, hope you find out more.
Vikstal (4 stories) (64 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-07)
I believe boys can play without noticing any girls around them. My brother is the same kind of airhead when it comes to noticing things.
Qua (39 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-07)
A very interesting encounter. Except for one case whereby a spirit took a lift from my friend, I hadn't heard of anyone getting that close as you had. I think the little girl is in the sandbox all the time if not most of the time. I wonder why she appeared to you. Did you ever go back to the same sandbox at the same time to check whether she reappeared? I hope the little girl finds peace some day and move on.
H2olily (5 stories) (158 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
Great story. Ooh, what if you had looked into her eyes, spooky! Thanks for sharing with us. Sounds like an apparition or manifestation all right.
Jesus_soldier (guest)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
This is pretty weird. I know how some kids, when they tune you out. It's nearly impossible to talk to my niece with 'Dora the explorer' on. You even put a map of the location, awesome. The way she replied back to you, even seems old fashioned. She didn't give an adult eye contact, but the 'uh huh' stood out as spiritual. It's like she only had enough energy to say that. Man, the supernatural can have our heads spinning sometimes, because we won't fully understand, until our flesh is 6 ft deep. Thank you for sharing.

JS aka Brandon 😊
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
First, I am long time big fan of this site and have read most of the stories. I believe the majority are sincere. Aside from some teens, I don't think 99% of literate adults would go to the trouble to write up a fictional ghost story and post as true. Why would I make all this up and post as true? Ghost stories... Are ghost stories: you believe them or you don't. If an adult was the sort to pass off literary BS as true; would that sort of person be on this sort of site? It doesn't really match the personality type well - or does it?

People read these stories for the following reasons:

1) thrills for a dull moment
2) we are trying to understand a vast and strange reality we all sense we are eternally part of.

Why my step son didn't react to my questions to the girl - I've wondered that and have been asked that by people I told this encounter to and I don't have an answer except that he heard me and tuned me out - which would be in character for him.

I will also say that this boy doesn't pick up on ghosts as we had lived in two actively haunted houses before and he never had any experiences - though everybody else did. I am going to post some of those encounters.

The girl didn't seem scary at the time - just strange and her behavior was unnatural. She never spoke - never looked directly at me either. I think what I most noticed was the authentic look of her rather elaborate antique clothing - that stood out. It's pretty flipped out looking back at it. I've left nothing put - added nothing either. Just told it as it occured. Thanks for your input.

Lesson: if you meet someone acting strangely in a lonesome place wearing antique clothing - take a photo with your cell phone!
moravian (1 stories) (171 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
A friend asked me why he didn't respond to my questions. All I can say is he was caught up in his playing and not paying attention to me. It's hard to get his attention anyway. If he did catch my questions, he might of thought I was talking silly talk and ignored me. But, I think he had me tuned out - as usual.
Pjod (3 stories) (978 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
Like Mellybarr, I too was wondering why your son wasn't responding to the questions you were asking. I know my 7 year old son, in a similiar situation, would think I was speaking to him- curiously questioning what I was on about.
mellybarr (4 stories) (46 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
I find it interesting how your stepson didn't ask you who you were talking to when you asked her all sorts of questions. You wrote that he was playing right next to her so why wouldn't he look up at you and ask why you want to know his name, where he's from and where his parents were.
Megrl0691 (1 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
I find it a bit interesting that you could see the child, but your stepson could not. In a lot of cases, children and animals seem to be more "sensitive" than adults when it comes to either hearing or seeing entities or spirits. This lovely little girl must have been buried in that cemetary. I wonder if another building or establishment once stood on the grounds where the school is now? I'd make a stop in to the local library to see if I could dig up a little history of that particular area. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Michore (30 posts)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
Wow! Scary, she could posebly be an angel... I once heard a very strange (real) story of like manner.

Two elderly people was driving back to home when they witnessed a tennes court at an uncommen placen it was in the old part of the town and it looked just resently build, the unusual thing obaut it was that it was a little out of place for a new tennes court, it would be unnotesable. Anawy there were people playing tennes and looked quite natural, the only strange thing was they were all waering white clouthes, everyone. So these two guys went home and latter decided to go play some tennes on the court and such. So when they got the, there was nothing but a rundown building and pitch of field. Scary haha!
koolruud (guest)
12 years ago (2012-07-06)
Wow, that is creepy. But ofcourse, since the cemetry is from the 19th century, iy must be something related to that only. Anyways, Thanks for sharing. 😊

To publish a comment or vote, you need to be logged in (use the login form at the top of the page). If you don't have an account, sign up, it's free!

Search this site: