I’m afraid of ghosts, even though I don’t believe in ghosts.
To start with, it doesn’t make sense that most ghosts come from the 19th century. Where are all the old guys in Bermuda shorts? You never hear about mundane ghost problems like Uncle Rob eating all the mixed nuts every time you leave the room.
It’s never Aunt Josie hanging her orthopedic bra over your shower or some 80’s kid who keeps flipping the stereo to Michael Jackson hits. No, it’s always some creepy little girl in a white dress staring you down in the hallway, or an axe murderer writing blood messages on the mirror. What about Neanderthals?
The rational part of my brain doesn’t believe in ghosts for a second, but that doesn’t stop me from flipping the light on every time I think about them too long. I’d never be able to sleep in a haunted house because I’d be too busy curling into a quivering ball at every random noise (Being a ball totally protects me from supernatural powers, right?)
So, I have a completely irrational fear of ghosts and to make matters worse, I now have two little kids running around. There’s a fine line between kid stuff and haunted ghost paraphernalia.
These days, if I need to walk across my house in the middle of the night, there’s a very good chance of encountering a discarded doll along my journey. She’ll just be lying on the floor, staring at me in the quiet darkness with her menacing dead eyes as I crab-walk sideways to grab a glass of water.
And it was in this creepy hellscape of frozen dolls and off-key music boxes last night that my four-year-old daughter Brontë asked me, “I don’t like dead bodies, mommy. Do you?”
“NO. I do not like dead bodies,” I told her while wondering what put this idea in her head.
“Where have you seen dead bodies?” I asked.
“I’m seeing them right now.”
Aaaand that’s when my blood turned to ice.
Heart pounding, I looked down at the Wii balance board I was fixing up for her, sorting out what direction to insert the double AA’s. Something clicked.
“Dead… BAT-TER-IES?” I ask.
“Yeah,” Brontë says. “Dead batteries means your stuff doesn’t work! You don’t like them, right?”
Okay, maybe I overreacted.