Writing Prompt: Ghost Encounters

By Dalia Martinez

It’s happened more than a few times. I sense someone behind me but when I turn around no one is there. While I consider myself a modern woman of science and logic, there are times when I cannot find a logical explanation for spooky things. I grew up in a beautiful 1940s art deco apartment in Los Angeles. It was spacious and well-lit. But it also came with heavy footsteps in the long dark hallway, the toilet cover that closed itself with a thud. There were doors that opened and shut at all hours of the night. My mom, my brother and me often felt something staring at us, but we never talked about the spookiness until we moved out. 




The mind plays tricks on us. Brain science shows there are times our brain fools us into feeling phantom touches or a presence. But what if it’s not always a mind trick? What if there is a presence? Perhaps of a loved one or… something, someone else?


For this week’s writing prompt, make a list of times when you thought you felt a ghost or a presence. Maybe it was your mind playing tricks on you? Think of the things that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Pick one. Add a sensory detail to it (smell, taste, sound, touch). 


Earlier this year, I lost a life-long friend. One night, I was dreaming about her when I woke up to an obnoxious loud beep coming from my electronic fan. There’s a button that presses down to turn it on and off. The only times it turns off is when the power goes off and nothing else works. This particular night, it was only the fan that stopped working. I walked to it in the dark, “it’s her,” I said to myself, turning it back on. This could’ve been an electrical glitch but I want to believe it was my friend letting me know she was still around. I wasn’t afraid, but comforted by the darkness and her playful presence.


Now for 10 minutes, write about your experience, including the sensory detail (e.g. rattling chains, someone tapping your shoulder, a strange odor…). Then, post your results in the comments of this blog. You could win a free class!