One evening I got a frantic phone call from my mom asking me if I had seen the e-mail my brother had just sent.  When I told her no, she started to get excited and started explaining that when he was over at my house, he snapped a picture of Ellie and in the background you could see a ghost.  Excited was an understatement.  “Oh wow!  This is SOOO cool!  I wonder if it’s grandpa!?”  Followed by, “don’t tell Aya, it’ll freak her out!”  All of this information was coming at me so fast it took a while for it to register.  A ghost?  In my house?  Captured on camera?  What!?

I went to check my email when Aya wasn’t around so it wouldn’t scare her per my mom’s request.  It was later in the evening and the last thing I wanted to do was freak Aya out just before bed.  I had no idea what I’d be looking at.  I was really just expecting a photo with maybe a dust particle caught in a flash.  You know, your typical “orb” photo.  But when I opened the photo I was a little alarmed.  First of all, I rarely get e-mail from my brother.  The subject read, “check this out!”  Attached was the ghost photo in question and the text he wrote was “look in the back by the doorway.”  That was it.  And when you looked in the doorway, you could see a shadowy figure.  Hmmm.  This was compelling.  There have been sightings of my grandparents by family members at major family gatherings.  Maybe this was one of those moments captured on film.  It could be possible, right?

The photo was so small it was hard to get a good look.  That didn’t stop my mom though.  She brought out her magnifying glass to examine it closer…on the computer screen.   And then my dad opened it with Photoshop to try to zoom in and clean it up a bit.

If this was sent by a stranger I probably would have dismissed it.  But this was from my brother.  He’s not one to do jokes or pranks at all.  When my dad suggested it was a hoax my mom replied, “NOOOooo, he wouldn’t do that!”  I didn’t know what to think.  I did already have a ghost upstairs in my house.  Maybe this was real.  One upstairs, now one downstairs.  What was this!?  Was my house built on an ancient Indian burial ground?  I needed to let this sit for a little bit.  I did however reply, “wow! So cool!”  I mean it was cool.  I had a ghost in my house!

That night I was up late working on a project in our back office.  I was on the computer, alone, with my back against the door.  It was 1:00am and I felt like someone was watching me.  I had my headphones on, but then I realized that all the bad things in movies happen when someone is oblivious to their surroundings.  So I took them off.  The silence was deafening.  I heard noises that weren’t there.  I just pictured this dark shadowy figure hovering over me.  I couldn’t take it anymore, so I finally went to bed… with the lights on.  Because, you know, turning the lamp on will ward off the ghosts and protect me.

I’m happy to say, I made it through the night without incident.  The light worked after all.  I laid there in bed that morning thinking about the photo.  Was it a shadow?  Was it a reflection?  Was it real?  Was is it a glitch in his crappy i-Phone camera?  Maybe it’s an i-Phone app?  Ever since he got that thing he’s been like a teenage boy on Christmas morning.  “Check out this app!  Check out that app!  Apps apps apps…”  The only kind of “apps” I like are served at parties before dinner.  I wasn’t able to look at it for a second time the night before because it was so late… and scary.  Since it was morning and safe, I decided it was time to check it out again.

When I opened my e-mail, there was the response from my brother.  “Relax, it’s an app on my i-Phone that inserts ghosts into photos.”



  1. When you first said my brother doesn’t play jokes, I knew he was up to something! 30+ years of being his friend I was sure he was up to something.

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