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Double Ghost

No one had lived in the Blakely house for years. No one human, that is. But a family was living there -- a family of ghosts.

Now the ghost family was terribly upset. A wrecking company was going to tear the house down. "How can they do this to us?" wailed Mother Ghost.

"We'll have to stop them!" thundered Father Ghost.

"What can we do?" asked the little ghost.

The ghost family talked far into the night. By morning they had worked out a plan. When the wrecking truck stopped outside, all of its tires mysteriously went flat. Pieces of wood and shingles kept falling off the house, almost hitting the workmen. There were scary moaning sounds coming from the house.

The foreman searched the house. But he didn't see anyone there. So he just shrugged, and his men knocked the house down anyway. Now the ghost family had nowhere to live. For days they searched and searched for just the right house. Finally they came to the Ramsey house.

"Ah, this is just what we need," said Father Ghost.

"It looks like a nice house," said Mother Ghost, "but look at the sign there - 'John Ramsey, MD.' That's a doctor's house."

"All the better," said Father Ghost. "Doctors don't believe in ghosts. We'll have plenty of peace and quiet."

So the ghost family settled in the Ramsey house. There was a large attic that was never used. It made a perfect apartment for them. There were even some old trunks with interesting things to look at. The little ghost spent many hours looking through old picture albums and trying on old-fashioned clothes.

His mother had warned him to stay upstairs in the attic and keep out of trouble. The little ghost, like most ghosts, had a little good in him and a little bad in him. Sometimes his good half and his bad half did not want to do the same things. In fact, sometimes the bad half broke away and left him altogether. Then the good half had to follow him and try to keep him from getting into too much trouble.

One day the ghost's bad half got bored. He was tired of staying in the attic and looking through the same trunks over and over again.

He wanted to see the rest of the house. And he thought it might be fun to play some tricks on the people living there. So while the good half was taking a nap, he sneaked away downstairs.

Almost immediately the little ghost woke up. He felt funny. His bad half was gone again. Somehow he knew that his other half had gone downstairs. He floated quickly through the trap door and down the hall. He spotted a wisp of ghost flitting around the corner. There he was. He caught up with his other self and grabbed the end of his cloak.

"Aw, you never want to have any fun," said his bad half. "What harm will it do if we just look around? Nobody can see us anyway, 'cause nobody in this house believes in ghosts."

The good half agreed to explore the house with him if he wouldn't cause trouble. So in an instant the little ghost was whole again. He floated from room to room. In one room he found a boy reading a book. The little ghost sneaked up behind him.

"Wouldn't it be fun to scare him a little?" whispered the little ghost's bad half. And before the good half could stop him, he stuck the boy in the back with a pitchfork.

"Ouch!" yelled the boy.

The bad little ghost giggled. He felt safe, because he knew the boy wouldn't be able to see him. But when the boy turned around, he looked straight at the little ghost and said, "Why did you do that? And who are you?"

The bad half was so frightened that he joined right back with his good half. Just then the door opened. "Did you yell, Bob?" asked Dr. Ramsey.

Now the little ghost was really frightened. He had been discovered. And because of him, his family would have to move again.

Bob looked straight at the ghost and smiled. "Oh, it was nothing, Dad!" And Dr. Ramsey couldn't see the ghost at all.

When Dr. Ramsey left, the little ghost whimpered, "How come you didn't tell?"

"Why should I? We're going to have a lot of fun together."

When the little ghost floated upstairs, both halves of him were happy. He was thinking of all the adventures he would have with his new friend.





©1972, 2013 The Silversteins