“Honey, why were these dolls were out in the hallway last night?” she later asked Alison.
“I don’t know,” the little girl said.
“Now, sweetie, someone had to put these dolls out there. So, again, why did you put these out there?”
“I didn’t, Mommy.”
“Well, honey, these dolls didn’t just walk out there by themselves, so please don’t do it again. Ok?”
The girl shrugged, ending the debate.
The next morning, the same dolls were found lined up along the hallway. Once again, they were perfectly aligned. Such detail seemed impressive for a 6 year old. But that wasn’t all that Susan noticed in the days that followed. Little items from Alison’s room were moved without explanation or just lost entirely.
She began to worry. Shoes would commonly be separated from each other without explanation and Alison’s hairbrush was constantly missing.
But the final straw came on Halloween. The night before, Susan had laid out several packages of candy for Alison to take to school in the morning. But when Susan woke, she found the candy strewn all along the hallway and living room.
That’s it, Susan thought, something has to change. Again she scolded Alison, more harshly this time. Again, Alison protested in earnest that she hadn’t done it. But as Alison pled her innocence, tears welled up in her eyes.
Immediately, Susan pulled her child to her and assured her that it would be ok. There was extra candy in the cabinet for Alison to take to school.
Later that night while getting Alison ready to go Trick or Treating she brought it up again.
“Honey, do you think you could stop putting your dolls in the hallway?”
“I didn’t do it,” said Alison, looking solemnly into her lap while her Mom brushed her hair.
“Alison, it’s time to stop this. The dolls, your shoes.”
“But Mommy, I told you. I didn’t do it. Why don’t you believe me?”
Susan was silent as she tied off one ponytail.
“Then who did it, Alison?”
“The girl who lives in my closet.”
Susan paused and looked at her daughter. “What did you say?”
“The girl who lives in my closet,” said Alison innocently.
“There’s a girl who lives in your closet?”
“Yes. And this used to be her room.”
Panic gripped Susan that her healthy child would say something so outrageous.
“So you talk to this girl? What does she say?”
“She says she is glad she’s not sick anymore.”
“She used to be sick?”
“Yes, but she’s feeling much better now.”
Susan wasn’t quite sure how to respond and as she paused to choose her words, she noticed Alison’s expression go pale.
“I wasn’t supposed to tell,” she whispered.
In that instant, the lights in the home went out and Susan dropped the brush.
The last line was added to make it more fun, and I am happy to report the ghost still happily resides with her host family in Roswell today.
Melissa Carter is former co-host of “The Bert Show” on Q100, where she broke ground as the first out lesbian radio personality on a major station in the city and was one of the few out morning show personalities in the country. Keep up with her at www.melissatimes.com.