Little Ghost, Little Ghost, What I’m Scared of the Most

If you’ve read the About page, you know I don’t believe in keeping snakes as pets, my ability to fly, or life after love.

Other Things I Don’t Believe In

– Moon-related conspiracy theories
– Angels


Except the weeping kind. I believe I hate those guys.

– Unicorns
– Ghosts

I want to make it clear that horror movies can get out and stay out, but I don’t believe in spooks. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.

That said, my apartment is haunted.

Getting my own place seemed like an important step towards adulthood. I found one within walking distance of work. The bathroom wasn’t too scary, the kitchen didn’t completely intimidate me, and it had more fake wood flooring than I’d ever seen. It was beautiful.



When you’re trying to sleep in a new place, you develop super-sonic hearing. Every noise becomes the exact sound a bloodthirsty serial killer would make sneaking up on you. At first, I ascribed the occasional creaky noises to that New Place Paranoia. It was scary, but it would get better as I got used to the apartment.

Then, three weeks after I moved in, the ticking started.

At night, something behind my bed would tick faster and faster, then slowly steady. It’s just the clock, I thought, before remembering I don’t own a clock. A few nights later, I could hear something scratching in the same spot. The first night that happened, I decided it was a bush outside, scraping the building in the wind. I didn’t think about it again until I walked to work the next morning and saw there were no bushes outside my wall, just rocks and dirt. Every night I’d hear a new, horrible sound.

New, Horrible Sounds

– Water rushing outside my walls
– Tapping from the bathroom and closet
– A creaking noise that sounded exactly like my bedroom door slowly opening
– Loud clanging in the kitchen that stopped as soon as I walked in

I started getting creepy vibes. There were days I didn’t want to open my closet because I was convinced something was in there. Sometimes it felt like someone was watching me when I made tea in the morning. This was both terrifying and embarrassing, because I’m usually not wearing pants during that process.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but it’s an old apartment, full of lead paint. It didn’t seem outside the realm of possibility that a former tenant might have licked the wall and died of lead poisoning, so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to read about how to de-ghost an apartment just in case.

Ghostbusting Techniques:

– Chant
– Throw holy water around and pray
– Burn sage
– Use juniper, birch, or fennel essential oils
– Have a priest perform an exorcism
– Call Bill Murray
I didn’t know any good chants, Bill is out of the ghostbusting business, and I didn’t know where to procure holy water or a priest. The only local place that sold the right kind of sage and oils was the all-natural grocery store that had just opened. I will live with a ghost before I’ll brave a store opening.

I came up with my own ghostbusting plan–a chair pushed in front of my bedroom door and a heavy softball bat within reach at all times. (Because ghosts are known for using doors and being clubbable.)

During the daytime, I wasn’t scared of the ghosts in my apartment so much as annoyed. It’s exhausting being scared all the time. I complained about my haunted apartment a lot so my friends would know not to let any unsuspecting young women rent it after the ghosts murdered me.

“Maybe you brought the ghost,” said my friend Jeff. “You do have that creepy taxidermied turtle. You literally brought a dead body with you when you moved in.”

He is an heirloom, and his name is Winston Turtle. I’ll thank you to treat him with a little respect.

He is an heirloom, and his name is Winston Turtle. I’ll thank you to treat him with a little respect.

I won’t lie. I was starting to reconsider my stance on ghosts.

One morning, while I thought about turtles and rinsed my hair with my eyes open because I didn’t want anything to sneak up on me, I started to wonder something: shouldn’t we be way more freaked out by dinosaur ghosts than human ghosts?

Dinosaur Ghosts Are the Worst Kind of Ghosts:

1. Casper taught me that ghosts are trapped because they died with unfinished business. I’m sure dinosaurs had all kinds of unfinished business.

Sublist: Possible Unfinished Dinosaur Business

– Dinosaur appointments they meant to keep
– Dinosaur dates they were really looking forward to
– Dinosaur ventures that never had a chance to get off the ground

2. Ghosts usually died violently. I can’t think of a more violent way to go than death-by-asteroid.
3. Unless the human ghost is starring in a Japanese horror movie, the worst thing it can do is sneak up on you at bad times and throw your stuff around. Yes, it would be pretty freaky to look in the mirror and see someone standing behind you, but it would be worse to look in the mirror and see a ghostly velociraptor.
4. Try communicating with a dinosaur ghost via Ouija board– it’s impossible. Dinosaurs can’t spell!
5. We are constantly desecrating their burial grounds and using their body parts for fuel. They’re just supposed to be cool with it?

They look so laid-back.

They look like they’re fine with it.

The more I thought about dino ghosts, the better I felt about my apartment, because there are a lot of stories about ghost cats and dogs, but I don’t know one dinosaur ghost story. If anything has the right to be a disgruntled ghost, it’s a dinosaur, but we’ve never heard of them (and it’s not like a phantom dinosaur would be discreet), so I’m forced to conclude that ghosts are not real and that the noises are coming from my senile baseboards.

Either that, or undead dinosaurs are incredibly forgiving.


  1. ardenrr

    I live in the same town as Bill Murray so if I run into him, I’ll see if I can get him to come out of retirement for you…

  2. donofalltrades

    We had a ghost in our first house for real! She was a friendly ghost though. She used to keep my baby daughter’s room nice and warm in the winter when the rest of the house was freezing, and nice and cool in the summer when the rest of the house was a freakin’ oven! Drove the dog nuts though! I swear it!

  3. shenanitim

    “Poltergeist” explains all. It’s not a ghost, human, dinosaur, or otherwise, but an inter-dimensional portal! In the film it was located in the closet, probably the same closet you don’t open often.

  4. michellelinettelim

    Awesome post! I used to have nightmares that that weird tickling/itching feeling that would crawl up my legs when I snuggled under my blanket before going to bed were the ghosts of cockroaches past. That apartment was definitely a low point for me.

  5. The toymaker

    I have ghosts… Acctually I don’t. I have bats. My room is set into the roof and they use the slope right above my head. I know it’s bats, but still late at night I’ll huddle under the covers and think it’s a ghost. My family says it’s a furtile imagination but… it still scares me to death as they scratch and move around. Creepy!

  6. shewhowrites

    I actually did a spit take over the taxidermy turtle. Funniest thing I’ve thought of for a while. Another reason why dino ghosts aren’t scary is that T-Rex can’t even mischievously move your stuff: His arms are too short! He’d just struggle around for awhile and then give up.

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