Dark Room

Did This Child See a Ghost?

Dear Sara,

My son is five years old and has been waking up crying almost every night and almost hysterical because he says that there is a ghost under the bed. He describes it as black and white and bloody. He says that it hides when I turn the light on. I haven’t been able to convince him that there is nothing there. Is there anything I can do to convince him that he’s OK and safe from this phantom?

Dear Debra,

First, listen and respect whatever your son tells you. Let him know that it’s natural to be afraid and worry about things. You can look under the bed and in the closet but don’t act worried. Let your son know that you both know the ghost isn’t there but every child worries about them. You can reassure your son that sometimes everyone has nightmares and feels afraid and it seems very real. During the day talk to him and let him see that even though he’s afraid at night, it’s not really real.
If his fears last longer than six months, you might want to see about getting help from a therapist.

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