I grew up in a house on the north side of Omaha that was nearly one hundred years old. I lived there until my twenties, as I worked my way through college. The house was beautiful. It had wooden beams on the ceilings, and French doors that opened into a bright sunroom. It sported original hardwood floors and a beautiful, creaky staircase that led upstairs. The only problem was the house was VERY haunted. I lived in that house before I learned to control my psychic abilities and before I’d figured out how to spiritually/emotionally protect myself. Feeling the presence of ghostly visitors in that old house gave me goose bumps the size of raisins.

There was a standing rule in our house. The last family member to go to bed at night was in charge of shutting off all the lights before coming upstairs (all the bedrooms were on the second floor). Being the night owl of the family, I was usually the one preforming this bone-chilling duty. It was scary for one simple reason. Immediately after turning off the living room lights, I always felt the presence of a ghost.

It made my hair stand on end. The worst part was walking up the staircase in the dark. As the stairs groaned and creaked beneath me, I felt the ghost following close behind. I would glance behind me once or twice, wondering who was following me, and WHY. Half way up the stairs, the uneasy feeling would get the best of me, and my pace would quicken into a run. I would scurry to the top hallway, bolt into my bedroom, and slam the door behind me. My elevated heart rate pounded like a samba drum, but the presence never seemed to follow me into my bedroom; it only followed me to the top of the stairs. This was my nightly routine for many years.

As time went by, and my intuition slowly blossomed, I realized something. The ghostly presence in our house was that of a little girl. My sixth sense led me to believe it was not her intention to scare me. It dawned on me that the reason she’d been following me up the dark staircase all those years was because she was afraid of the dark. This scared little spirit didn’t want to be left alone all by herself. The thought of this saddened me. My fear of shutting off the lights had turned into to empathy. I felt sorry for the little girl, and thought of a way to help her.

One night, I decided to leave on the living room lamp in hopes it would allow her to be less afraid. It worked! From that point forward, I didn’t feel the need to scurry up the stairs. There was no longer a presence behind me in hot pursuit.

Apparently, I was a real trend-setter. My brother and sister then began leaving the lamp on during nights when they were the last to come upstairs. Our mom complained about wasting electricity by leaving that lamp on. However, my siblings and I unanimously agreed it was well worth having a higher electric bill if we didn’t have to be chased up the stairs each night by an invisible presence.

Back then, my family didn’t openly talk much about ghosts and paranormal phenomena, so I never divulged that I felt our resident ghost was a little girl who was afraid of the dark. We all knew there was a strange presence on the staircase and that leaving a light on helped a bit, so we left it at that.

Years went by, and I eventually “came out of the psychic closet”. Paranormal discussions became commonplace among most of our family members. During one conversation, my sister shared with us that many years ago, she had seen the ghost of a little girl standing at the top of the stairs.

My sister Elizabeth reported it was a translucent silhouette of a girl who was wearing a dress. She had long hair, and appeared to be seven or eight years old. When Elizabeth saw the ghost, she sidestepped around the phantom girl, doing a 180 degree spin, and dodging her with the agility of an NFL running back. My sister dove into her bedroom as if it were the end zone, and slammed the bedroom door shut. In hindsight, Elizabeth says the girl did not appear to be menacing. The sheer surprise of unexpectedly seeing her was enough to temporarily startle my sis, and throw her into “get the hell out of there” mode.

Hearing my sister describe this was very interesting, considering I had never told her I thought our ghostly house guest was a little girl. My sister had independently validated it for us, and had seen the apparition with her very eyes! Many years have now gone by. My mom has since moved out of that haunted house for unrelated reasons. I often wonder if the people who now live there ever feel the little girl’s presence on the staircase. I hope and pray that little girl found her way towards the light and has crossed over into Heaven. Lord knows she’s welcome anytime.

Ghosts have their own free will, you know? Regardless of their age, location, or demeanor, they have a mind of their own. Sometimes, for reasons not known to us, they’re too stubborn to leave Earth and cross over into Heaven. Ghosts are often confused and disoriented. They are somewhat aware of their surroundings and actions, but it’s as if they’re sleepwalking. Their judgment is skewed, almost like they’re inebriated. Ghosts are still drunk on life. It’s not until they cross over to the Other Side that their hangover will subside. The indescribable beauty of Heaven is sure to instantly sober them up, as they cross the threshold into Paradise.