Chilling real-life ghost story

A True Ghost Story. Haunting My Child: Part 1

Our last house was haunted. I tell this story over and over, but this ghost story still gives me chills. So far, so good at Blue Moon Cottage- no ghosts. This is an old story and I can’t believe I never shared it before now- probably because I was too freaked out.

We moved into our last rental (last rental EVER, now that we own!! WOOT),  when Isabella was 2 years old and I was 6 months pregnant with Hunter. I remember moving day. I was bringing boxes into the kitchen and saw Isabella staring into the dining room. She was babbling away. When Isabella heard me come in, she asked, “Who that, Mom?” and pointed into the corner of the room. I was so happy! She had an imaginary friend, just like I did when I was her age (Hi, Chester!) and felt that it was a show of her creativity. I didn’t believe in ghosts, so that wasn’t a possibility.

For two years or so, Isabella would randomly talk to someone in the room. I asked what her friend looked like and she was confused,

“Can’t you see him? He’s standing right there!”

I finally convinced her to describe the ghost to me when she was around 3 years old. He wore a blue shirt with buttons, striped dress pants and brown shoes. Yeah, she could get that specific at that age. He was a brunette, with his hair combed swooped to the side.

I know this because Isabella would point at people and say, “The boy has hair like that”. It was always “the boy”, no name. And he never changed clothing. Apparently, he told Isabella that he is 5 years old and she thought it was neat that he wanted to play with someone younger than he was.

Occasionally, I would hear her talking to herself and pop my head in to see her yanking her toy away from thin air, saying, “No you can’t. It’s mine”. I thought it was odd that she would fight with her imaginary friend- mine were always my safe space when real-life friends became too grabby or pushy.

I never thought it was a ghost. As a practical realist, I don’t (didn’t, I should say) believe in ghosts.

I started to notice that “the boy” only played with Isabella on the third and fourth floor of our walk-up and he seemed to prefer her bedroom. Or she seemed to only play with her imaginary friend there, as I thought then. I assumed it was because all of her toys were there, so it was naturally easier for her to imagine a friend playing where games already were. Now I wonder if that’s where he became a ghost in the first place.

At 3-years-old the nightmares and sleepwalking started. My sister was a sleepwalker, so I knew what to do in those situations- safe ways to move them, what to say to get them to bed, that kind of thing. So I volunteered to go up and tuck her back in.

The nightmares started in the Spring, when it was getting warmer out. My thought was that it was getting too hot up in her room on the fourth floor (ours was 5 steps down on a 3rd floor), and it was disrupting her sleep. It was odd, then, that when I would hear, “Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy” and would go take her back to bed, that the air started to get noticeably colder as I went up the stairs. By the time I got to the top stair, I had wished I’d brought a sweater. But, the townhouse was old and weirdly laid out, so you never know where draughts are going to come from.

This is how it started; the cold air and a sleepwalking Isabella, throatily calling out, “Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy”.

Over time, I would hear Isabella say, “No, I said no. Not now!” and would come to tell me that “the boy” wasn’t playing fair. She would tell me he hid stuff and I would just laugh at her. That’s like blaming the cat!

The nightmares and sleepwalking got worse. “Isabella” (although I think she was the ghost boy at night) never came to get us, but would always be waiting on the edge of the top stair. It would seem she was looking down for us, but would look past me every time, as if staring at someone taller over my shoulder.

Every night, I would hear, “Mommy Daddy Mommy Daddy Mommy Daddy” in that weird, throaty, deep voice. I would shudder, climb out of bed and climb up to the cold air on the third step. It was like stepping into a walk-in freezer, that sudden wall of cold air that you step through and into. Shivering, I would direct Isabella back to bed. For the first while, she was silent and would eventually comply.

After a few months, she started to say nonsense words on the way back to bed, just little fragments of sentences or random words strung together. I wish I could remember what it was! I was bleary-eyed and tired and confused. Stuff like “blue box, dog, yellow, the sock, hurry, no”- nonsense words, you think. And not those words, although I think I heard the word blue and dog often.

Anyway, a few months after that, we were still going through nightmares almost every night at around the same time. (That should have been a red flag, in retrospect). When you hear, “Mommy Daddy..” and think, “Well, it must be 3 am” and it is, EVERY time, take note.

By this time, Isabella was getting a little more urgent and loud with her “Mommy Daddy” at night and was starting to say the same three sentences over and over, once I hit that third step.

So now our nightly routine was:

  1. Put Isabella to bed
  2. Wake at 3am to the repeated throaty call of “MommyDaddyMommyDaddyMommyDaddyMommyDaddy”
  3. Walk to the third stair and have Isabella snap her head up a little as soon as your foot touches it. You realize it is very cold at the third stair just as Isabella starts to sing-chant the same three sentences over and over in a deeper voice while you try to get her to bed.
  4. Go back to bed confused and a little traumatized, wondering how to stop this recurring nightmare scene from happening. What is she dreaming? How do I stop it?

This is a really long story but the conclusion is just around the corner. To find out what we did, come back Saturday to read the end of our story! You won’t believe what worked!! I still barely do.

Stay tuned for part 2 on Thursday.

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