Are Ghosts Safe for Children?

By Chef Rukatofan


I live in a house at the top of a hill, in a woody, quiet neighborhood. Everyone mostly keeps to themselves out here, it’s not the neighbor community that suburbs usually have, but that’s just fine for me. Today, I’m watching my sister’s kids while she is in the hospital. I’ll change some names, all except the name of the ghost… which somehow I feel would be a bad idea. Not sure why.

There’s always a spot on our driveway where, whenever I walk down to the mailbox, or take the trash and recycling up or down the hill, I always feel like someone is watching me from the other side of the fence. I would just assume it was a neighbor, watching out of curiosity or something since no one really talks to each other on my street. 

Today, I’m our here with the kids because they can run around and play, I’m less exhausted with having to endure the noise and act suitably excited to meet their expectations. Apparently I’m the “fun” aunt, and while that’s a cool title to have, it’s a lot to keep up. We were walking up and down the driveway, on an adventure according to my nephew (3 yrs old), when he suddenly gasped and said, “Auntie Ruka? Can we see Violin? He’s a boy.”

I assumed he was playing a game, since for the last hour we had been pretending that Jake and the Neverland Pirates were on the adventure with us. So I smiled and told him “yeah sure, Wesley.” We got a little further up the hill and he stopped, a huge smile spreading over his face. “Hi Violin!” he called, and walked over to the fence.

The same spot where I always feel that chill of someone’s eyes staring at me when I walk by.

Wesley then turned to me and pointed at a spot next to the tree on the other side of the fence. There was nothing there that I could see. “That’s Violin,” he told me. “He’s a boy. Say hi, Ruka.”

I looked carefully at the spot he was directing me to, and as hard as I tried to look, there was still nothing that I could see. But the feeling of being watched was so strong, I felt hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I couldn’t explain why, but I am sure there was something there, staring at me.

That was when I saw the shadow.

The sun was behind us, casting a shadow from Wesley’s and my bodies onto the driveway, as you would expect. But across the fence, while there was no person standing in the spot that I could see, there was a small shadow, just a little longer than Wesley’s, stretched across the grass.

I put on my best smile, for the sake of my nephew, and as cheerfully as I could I called out, “hi Violin!” Wesley turned back to look up at me, as if waiting for me to say something else, and then looked over at the fence once more. “Oh,” he said. And turned to face me. “Violin says hi back. He says he likes you, but you can’t hear him.”

“Oh that’s too bad,” I said without thinking. “I’m glad he likes me too.”

“Why can’t you hear him?” Wesley demanded.

I replied the only thing I could think of. “Sometimes, only kids can hear special people. I’m not a kid anymore, so I don’t get to hear him.”

That seemed to satisfy him, for next thing I know, he went off playing with the ghost, talking to him and pretending they are pirates looking for buried treasure. I stayed close, worried he was going to try to climb the fence to get to Violin’s side, but each time he asked “Can I come over?” or “Can you come over?” He always followed it up with “Oh. Why not? Oh. Okay.”

A few minutes later of becoming more and more unnerved, I decided it was time to take the kids inside to eat. “You guys can play another day,” I said, a part of me fearful that I might upset this unseen specter. Call me superstitious, but I don’t want to upset a ghost, especially one that is playing with my nephew.

But at the same time… I also don’t want to let the kids play with it. It’s not like their my kids, and on top of that, I know nothing about this Violin, or if he’s dangerous.

I asked Ida, Wesley’s older sister (5 yrs) if she could see Violin and she said “yes, but I don’t want to play with Violin. I don’t like him very much.”

“Why don’t you like playing with Violin? Do you want to tell me?”

Her reply was just “He’s not very fun. He doesn’t want to play the games I want to play.”

I also asked Charlotte the youngest (2 yrs), and she didn’t seem to really understand what I was asking. Might be too young. She didn’t want to go anywhere near the fence though, and made me hold her every time we passed it.

We’re all inside now, and Wesley is asking if he can go back outside to play with Violin. I told him not right now, but I can’t shake this feeling like it’s not necessarily a good idea? Any advice you guys can give me would be great, the sooner the better.

There’s a shadow of a person on the front porch in front of the window. I’m afraid to open the door.


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