Tales from Single Parenthood

That Time I Threatened a Ghost Who Was Terrifying My Kids

Even though I don’t believe in ghosts

Maria Shimizu Christensen
4 min readApr 9, 2022


Photo by Ye Jinghan on Unsplash

Yelling. Yelling was never good when I wasn’t the one doing it, and even then…

It came from the direction of my son’s bedroom and I could hear my daughter too, but it didn’t seem like they were yelling at each other. For once.

Before I could get up to investigate they slammed open my bedroom door and tumbled onto my bed.

“There’s a ghost outside my window,” my son announced in a shaky voice, eyes as big as they could be without popping out of his head.

I glanced at my daughter. “Ghosts are real!” she emphatically stated, already knowing what I wanted to say. Smart girl. I’d have to use another tactic.

“What did you see?” I asked my son.

“I was playing a video game and I looked up and there was a ghost man looking at me through the window and he was upside down.”

*internal sigh*

“Okay, so he obviously can’t get inside so we’ll just close the blinds,” I said as patiently as I could.

We trooped into his room, I looked out the window and said I couldn’t see anything, and I closed the blinds.

“What if he can see through the cracks?” my son asked.

I nailed a blanket over the window.

“Okay now?” I asked. “I’m just across the hall and your sister is next door and you can leave your door open.”

He nodded, but they both had deeply skeptical looks on their faces. That should have been a warning flag for me, but I was tired. It had been a long day and even longer week, with work and school and homework and dinners and laundry and all the things I always had to do by myself. That included all of the mental and emotional needs of a couple of almost tweens.

The next time I came out of my room I saw a thick white line of something across the rug in front of my son’s bedroom door.

“What is this?”

“Salt. It keeps out ghosts,” my daughter answered. “I’m just trying to help.”



Maria Shimizu Christensen

Writer. Maker. Featured in Medium’s 2021 list of Stories That Started Conversations. I write about life. https://www.mariashimizuchristensen.com