The One with the Ghosts

Dorothée King
4 min readFeb 19

Vignette on Spiritual, Motherhood, and Life

photo by the author, coastal Maine, US.

My first memories of visits by ghosts go back to me being around three or four years old. They came at night when my sister Selma and I were lying down in our shared room. Selma always slept at the top of the bunk bed. Selma was fast asleep. I was staring into the darkness. I remember seeing spread-out toys and clothes in the grey light. Then one night, this Egyptian boy was suddenly sitting on my rocking horse in the middle of our untidy room. At first, I was scared. I did not dare to move, not to imagine saying something. I remember holding my breath with awe. Why do I know that he was Egyptian? Probably I recalled his hairdo and his outfit from a children’s book from our public library. Then, on other nights, I saw this older sad man in uniform, also sitting on my rocking horse. Years later, while looking at family photographs in my grandmother’s house, I re-recognized my nightly ghost as my own great-grandfather, wearing exactly the same uniform, he was wearing during his nightly visits. First world war general. No wonder he always looked so sad sitting on my too-small horse. He died in a mine in France with hundreds of his soldiers.

Since then, the ghosts never left me. I learned how to meet my maternal grandfather, whenever I needed him. We always meet in black and white, in a 50s bungalow with big windows by a lake. That is his style. He never talks, but I can read his gestures and his smiles.

After her death at 99, I met my maternal grandmother. I saw her in complete childish bliss in a 70s golden dress. She was hanging out with my mother-in-law, who died in a car accident a year earlier. I was relieved to see them both happier and more relieved, than in real life.

These are examples of my European ghosts’ experiences. The ghosts I meet when I am in America are scarier. One night in a small hotel in Maine I met my husband’s paternal grandfather. Another case of recognizing the person only later when I saw a photograph of him. He has an evil energy, hate, and restlessness that I could not handle. But with that incident, I also understood, that there are ghostly tasks waiting for me, that the ghosts visit me for a reason.

This fall while on vacation in Maine, my father-in-law took us on a boat tour. Our…

Dorothée King

author, educator, artist, designer, meditation teacher, consultant /