Ghosts are real. Stop fighting it!

It's official. My place of employment is haunted.

My very first day here, at closing time, I went from room to room making sure all the outside doors were closed. I entered the baby room, which had been empty for nearly half an hour, to find the rocking chair rocking all on its own.

Months later, in October, I was here all by myself on a Saturday, fixing up my classroom for a very important visit the coming week. I didn't leave till almost ten-thirty that night. What really spurred me on to leave was that I had just thrown something away, and we have that type of tall trashcan with the swivel top. As I was walking away from the can and gathering some things, I heard a loud Thunk! and looked back to see the swivel top swaying back and forth very fast, as though something very heavy had been dropped into it. Trust me. Nothing had.

Two days ago the school-age kids had a snow day. I was standing in the classroom talking with my co-teacher, and I felt something touch my back, like a finger scraping at my shirt, and what disconcerted me was that I could feel this under my shirt as well. A poor guy was coming in the room at the same time to get his kid, and I whirled around all accusatory...but it wasn't him. My co-teacher confirmed that he hadn't come anywhere near me.

One evening last summer, at the pre-K graduation, I took what might be photographic evidence of the...phenomenon. (There are other pictures, as mentioned in a minute) I was snapping a photo of one of the pre-K teachers giving her speech, and as I was using a digital camera I could see right away something was wrong. It was still light outside - and the lights were on in the room - but the picture was almost completely dark, and covering the still of the teacher was what looks very, very much like silken cobwebs.

So, the employees who have been here a long time will tell you in a heartbeat we have a ghost, and they for no good reason call it Shanaynay (yeah, like the silly character off the old sitcom Martin). Not everyone has experienced Shanaynay. But I sure have.

Probably the weirdest part of this is that one of our nearby centers seems to have a ghost as well. In the school-age room, whenever it would rain, condensation would appear on a certain window in the shape of a girl clearly wearing a bonnet and a shawl. (I've seen the picture. You have to believe me!) Sometimes she'd be facing the opposite direction. After a while her hair had noticeably grown longer.

She stopped appearing when they put screens on the windows for added child safety.

Now, I'm the kind of person who does believe there are ghosts but is skeptical of just about every account I've ever heard. All those shows on TV, while fun to watch (I do love to get spooked), I'm pretty sure are way overhyped and on the 'reality' ones, do any ghosts actually show up? Nope. At least, not ones that aren't completely staged by the crew.

So, while I still think that ghosts aren't that common (or manevolant), I can't deny what I've experienced. It makes one think.



A short exchange overhead the other day by two fourth-grade girls:

First Girl (in desperation): Aaaaaugh! She's drowning me in Legos!!!

Second Girl (unemotional): You can swim, can't you?


Vouchsafe me speak a word!


My cool cousin wanted magnetic poetry for Christmas, and I ended up getting a version for my parents also. And, clearly, a Shakespeare one for myself.