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My Son's Ghost Friend


When my son was 2 1/2 (he is now 9), our family moved into a low-income apartment which was set up much like a standard townhouse with an upstairs where the three bedrooms and full bath were located, and the downstairs included the kitchen, living room/dining area and small powder room.

At first, everything seemed quite ordinary. My husband worked evenings, so my son, daughter (18 mos at the time), and I were on our own each evening until about 11:00 pm. My son's room had a baby gate in the doorway to keep him in, but so I could still hear him if he needed me. My daughter had her own room and slept in her crib. My (now ex) husband and I began noticing that Dominick was talking to someone each morning. We would lay in bed of a morning, listening to Dominick chatter away in his room, and joke about his "imaginary friend".

One morning, I sneaked quietly to peek into his room while he was talking so animatedly. My son was sitting on the floor holding one of his toys looking directly in front of him as though someone was sitting right there with him. He was showing his toy off to this invisible person while saying, "Look, Papaw!" Papaw is what Dominick called/calls my father, his grandfather, but at that age he called any man from about the age of 45 and up "Papaw". He seemed to think that term was just referring to older men in general. Seeing him so obviously speaking to someone as if they were flesh-and-blood while I saw nothing sort of creeped me out, but since he seemed happy enough, I thought nothing of it. We even started referring to it as Dominick's "ghost friend" at that point.

One day, when I came up to get my son up from his nap, he was already awake standing at the doorway. He excitedly pointed DIRECTLY BEHIND ME at the top of the steps and said, "Look, Mommy! Papaw!" It took all I had to actually turn around and look. I was certain "something" would be right there. (Thankfully, at least in my opinion, I saw nothing.) Again, I took it as he was seeing someone who was no longer there, but that this person seemed to make him happy so I wasn't too concerned.

A couple of weeks later, I put Dominick to bed. His sister was already asleep in her own room. From downstairs I could hear him chattering away as usual to "Papaw". (Dominick was a rare type of toddler in that he would only go to sleep if you put him in his room and left him to climb in bed when he was ready.) As I said, Dominick was in his room, not yet asleep, doing his usual of playing a bit before he crawled into bed. I could clearly hear him awake and talking happily to his "ghost friend". Suddenly, my son let out a scream like I've never heard before or since. When someone describes a blood-curdling scream, that was it. When you are a Mommy, you learn to differentiate between your child's cries (hungry, wet, hurt, tired, etc.). This was pure terror, nothing else.

I rushed upstairs and grabbed my trembling and sobbing son. He slept in nothing but a diaper at that age, so I quickly checked him for some type injury. There wasn't a mark on him. His room was child-proofed to an almost ridiculous level, so there wasn't actually anything to hurt himself on in the first place. I have never seen my son so scared in my life. I was so angry that I yelled at "Papaw" to never bother my son again, and grabbed my son and daughter to wait downstairs until my husband got home from work.

We immediately moved my son out of his room (as that seemed to be the main place he saw the ghost), and down the hall to share his sister's room. At first, it seemed to do the trick. My son no longer talked to anyone who wasn't visible, and he had no more scares. Unfortunately, it didn't last.

After my husband left for work of an evening, I didn't even venture upstairs, waiting until my husband got home to put the kids to bed, because I suddenly started to hear someone walking upstairs at night. This was different than the noises you hear from the adjoining apartment units. This was footsteps squeaking the floorboards, going into MY bedroom (which shared no adjoining walls to other apartments) and walking around our bed to MY side of the bed and back...repeatedly, until my husband got home. As much as my husband hated it, I started sleeping with the TV on for a night-light, just in case. Still, I took comfort in the fact that my son seemed to be free of the ghost.

One day, a few weeks after moving my son into his sister's room, I had put them both upstairs for their nap (the hubby was home and it was daytime, so I was brave LOL). Right after I got back downstairs, I started hearing music playing from their room. I went up again to see what it was and found a toy in a bin at the top of the closet (that was far too high for either of them to reach). This toy had been a part of Dominick's Exer-saucer/Baby Walker that he hadn't used in well over a year. I assumed the batteries must have been dying, causing it to play on its own. I even pushed the button that activates the music, and found that it wouldn't start up. Satisfied that the batteries had just had one last hurrah before dying, I put it back in the bin and went back downstairs. Yet again, as soon as I made it down, the music started. I went back up, grabbed the toy and brought it downstairs with me, still figuring it was the battery. The whole time the kids were napping, I had that thing right on the counter near the couch. Not so much as a peep. I pushed the button. Nothing. I decided to try putting it in the room again, as a test, I suppose. When I went to get the kids up from their naps, I dropped in back in the closet bin. No music was heard the rest of the evening.

That night when we put the kids to bed, almost as soon as Dominick was in the room and we were in ours, the music started playing. I had my husband take the toy and throw it in the garbage immediately. It went straight to the dumpster the next morning.

We only lived there another couple of months, and for the most part it was only the footsteps at night from that point on. I was never able to find any history about that particular apartment (i.e. Deaths or suicides), but the town itself supposedly has a history of Native American burial mounds. The property itself had no real history though, as far as I know, other than being a pasture for cows previous to being developed.

As for my son, he hasn't ever had any experiences like that since. He is a very sensitive child, though, and has an almost spooky sense of reading people's true character when he meets them. He can sense a "bad" person from the get-go. He can also sense if someone is sad or upset, even if they appear otherwise.

I have asked him (without trying to reveal any details or frighten him) if he remembers anything about our old apartment, or anybody at our old apartment. He says he doesn't, which might be for the best, although I wish so bad he could tell me what happened when he was so frightened that night. One day, I hope I can find something that explains who my son was seeing.

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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, MissusTodd, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Marxellius (1 posts)
11 years ago (2013-09-07)
I feel like that it could be Native American land. It's pretty obvious.
girlie (15 stories) (426 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-13)
Wonderful story. You seem to cover every question I was going to ask. Lol. The only thing I can say is to try to make sure your son tries to keep up the senivtivy. If he doesn't mind it and he doesn't hurt him or anything like that, then that gift can be helpful for not only him but friends and family. If you get what I mean, cause if he can tell if some is bad that is great cause people be crazy now a days. Lol
Keep the stories coming gurl. 😉
Unexplained (2 stories) (122 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-12)
An excellent recounting of some experiences, experiences that a parent (like yourself) didn't dismiss as simply a child's fantasies.

An interesting experiment, regarding the toy that kept playing, would have been to remove its source of power: the battery. Just to ensure that all rational possibilities have been discounted.

By removing all sources of power from an appliance, one can begin to consider the possibility of it being paranormal.

I heard about a young couple in the UK once (quite recently, I think) who were being harassed by a restless spirit, which kept turning on their kettle.

They switched off the power button. The kettle would boil again some time later. They unplugged the kettle. The kettle would boil again some time later. They finally removed the plug from the kettle, so no power was available to it. The kettle would still boil.

They then called in a priest who was able to bless the house and quell the restless spirit in there.

The spirit happened to have been the former owner, who'd passed away there just before the new tenants moved in.

After the blessing, the priest never heard from the couple again. This was the first time he had ever been called in to deal with something like this.
MissusTodd (2 stories) (14 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
Thank you to everyone for commenting. That perspective I spoke of in my earlier comment? I think I've got it and then some! Hearing your comments, I almost feel embarrassed at how scared I was. After Dominick was frightened that night, I think I had whatever the opposite of rose-colored glasses would be on and assumed every experience in the apartment after that was negative or evil. Now I feel bad for the spirit, as Dominick seemed to enjoy its company with the exception of that one incident.

Your comments also got me thinking about our genealogy. My grandma always told me that we had Native American ancestry through her side of the family. (Her 3rd great-grandma, I believe.) It's so distant to my son so I doubt it, but possibly that could have made him even more attractive to a Native American spirit?

Dominick is a very special little boy. He seems to know innately what a person's heart is like the second he meets them, and he is also one of the kindest people I've ever had the honor to know.

Sophia (my daughter) has seemed to avoid any paranormal events. I've always chalked it up to the fact that she is almost uncannily "mature". (She was already a teenager at 2, I always said, LOL.)

Again, thank you for your input. I hope that if I ever experience anything like this again I can approach the situation with a much clearer head, if you will. 😊
Narella (guest)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
I'm glad your son hasn't had any more problems. He sounds like a special little boy.
Amihet (5 stories) (94 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
Hi Missus Todd:
I truly enjoyed reading your story and I do believe that Papaw wasn't harmful at all. After you moved your son into his sister's room, he stopped appearing to your son which means he respected your wishes. The way that you described your son, he reminds me of my son who turns 14 in a couple of weeks. He was the only one in our group that saw the ghost of a man that had committed suicide in that home. My son is very sensitive and he can read people's character and he is always right on. He feels it when someone likes him or not even if the person behaves in a neutral way. It is uncanny. Some people are gifted.
KatalinaMesaru (8 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
Hello MissusTodd; What your son probably saw was a Native American ghost that couldn't find peace and stayed near his burial mound. Ghosts that don't find peace usually live on earth until they find peace. He is a very special person if he can sense a good person from a bad person. Just as valkricry wrote, he probably could do the same thing at the toddler age. Maybe there was another Native American ghost that turned against his tribe and scared your son.
It probably is a good thing that your son doesn't remember, as you don't want to scare him, but sometimes its better. If you want to know that badly, try taking him to visit the apartment. Sometimes that actually can bring back memories that were lost. Or go for aroma therepy, it can also bring back memories, but sometimes it won't work.

Hope this helped
❤ Katalina
Obsidian0666 (3 stories) (5 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
Loved your story, I believe like the others that Papaw was completely benign, I would like to offer a theory however. Small children in my rather limited experience do tend to frighten easily. Perhaps Papaw just suddenly appeared before him and startled him or something like that? Just throwing in my two cents.

Thank you for sharing.

Sid 😊
valkricry (49 stories) (3276 posts) mod
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
Morning, MissusTodd,
I would not worry about your 'verbosity', it isn't meandering or unrelated at all. In fact, all these 'little' details aid us in formulating opinions on what happened.
You are so right when you say a Mom knows her kid's different cries and screams. I know if my child had screamed like that, I would have reacted the same way. Since your sone can 'sense' a bad person from the start, maybe it is the same with spirits. Maybe a not nice one had wandered in and he screamed. I also think PaPaw, was fond of him and totally understood where you were coming from. No way of knowing, but maybe the footsteps you heard was Papaw searching for the intruder to make sure it was gone.
MissusTodd (2 stories) (14 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
And I apologize for my chronic verbosity. I swear I try to be succinct, and I end up writing a novel. Thanks for bearing with me. 😳
MissusTodd (2 stories) (14 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-10)
MrJV545-No, I don't mind at all. Actually, to be honest, it's sort of a running joke with my family (not with my kids... I don't need to deal with nightmares!) that any strange noise or misplaced object is "Papaw". We don't live in the apartment now, haven't since 2006, but an acquaintance of mine moved in after my ex and I moved out. About a year later, she OD'ed and passed away in the apartment. I don't feel it was connected (she had a lot of issues with substance abuse). Being low-income apartments, that sort of thing is sadly not an uncommon occurrence.

I do agree that the toy was very possibly unrelated. Given the situation and general atmosphere after Dominick was terrified, I must admit that it didn't take much to freak me out at that point.

A friend I shared my story with suggested that, much like you said, the spirit might have been a wandering ghost. She also felt that perhaps "Papaw" was entirely friendly to Dominick and something else made an appearance that particular night to frighten him. If that is the case, I feel bad for blaming "Papaw". (And I did indeed blame him rather angrily and crassly.)

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and offer your insight. Sometimes a person needs perspective on things like this, and I'm glad to have this site to share my story to gain some.

Julie 😊
MrJV545 (16 posts)
11 years ago (2013-05-09)
Hello there, MissusTodd. I really hope you don't mind I call this story interesting in an entertaining sort of way (how sadistic of me).

In all seriousness, though, this haunting doesn't seem all too bad. The fact that the property doesn't have any history of its own but your town does may mean that this could be some kind of wandering ghost. Nothing harmful, nothing to worry about. Children are, for whatever inexplicable reason, more sensitive to the supernatural than any other human. This could explain the lack of activity besides Dominick's talks with the ghost. I don't believe the toy is anything important; the batteries may have well been dying out. Dominick's fright that one evening could have been anything though. Whether it was that one ghost or not I don't know. The fact that there doesn't seem to be another entity points to it, but I don't really know. Thank you for sharing your story.

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