Dear cute but creepy, dangerously naive kid in every ghost movie ever made…
This letter goes out to all the kids who are standing in the corner of their room with their back to the door whispering to themselves, or sitting on the floor with some paper and crayons, drawing some disturbing yet charmingly crude depiction of a crime scene. I’ve got a message for you:
Cut it out. Just cut it out already.
You know what I’m talking about. Your folks just moved you into a big, spooky new house, and you’re feeling out of place, maybe even a little sad that you’re not going to see that one friend as often as you used to. But hey, before you know it, you’ve already made a new friend. Hooray for you! Even better, they actually live in the house too, specifically in that dark little crawlspace that was hidden behind some old furniture. How super convenient…there’s nothing creepy about that at all!
But here’s the problem. That friend of yours — this shadowy person with a pale complexion who’s always hovering in the air, telling you weird stuff about their past and giving you soft suggestions like, “Take that axe in the garage and hack up your parents while they’re sleeping. Don’t think just do it.” They’re not your friend. They’re not even a good person, or a person at all anymore. You’ve been getting all buddy-buddy with an evil ghost or, worse, some centuries-old demon that exists for the sole purpose of devouring the souls of innocent families like yours.
Okay, I’m sorry, I know that’s a lot of information to dump on you all at once. You’re not even ten yet. But here’s the thing kid, I know you’re young and all, but seriously, has it never occurred to you that a specter wandering around your home might not be a good thing? That hanging out with one is creepy, and not in a cool Addams Family, way but in a terrifying they’re-going-to-find-you-in-pieces-in-the-backyard type of way?
I mean, listen, I was a kid once too. But even in my aloof toddler years, I knew that ghosts were scary as Hell and not to be trusted unless its name was Casper, and even he had those three jerk uncle ghosts you had to keep an eye out for. Speaking of names, is it really not setting off any alarms in your head when you ask this ghoulfriend of yours—Don’t roll your eyes at me, you’re the one messing up, I’m allowed a pun or two—their name(s), they always go with something like “Pipes” or “Mr. Scratch” or “Boppo the Bad Touch Clown” or something disconcerting like that? I know you’re still in elementary school, but you’ve got to have some common sense, right?
Okay, maybe not. Maybe Uncle Chris has to school you on some stuff real quick. So here it goes. I’m going to rattle of some general rules of conduct for any apparitions who might be trying to befriend you:
- If this “friend” of yours is living inside an object – a creepy doll, a pop-up storybook, an antique mirror, etc—throw said object into a fire. If it won’t burn, throw it in the nearest body of water. Or maybe even gift it to someone you don’t like. Whatever you do, get it out of the damn house.
- If the spooky friend keeps telling you to stuff that would hurt you or others, such as cutting yourself, throwing yourself off of a high spot, poisoning your parents or siblings, or anything like that, they are B-A-D bad and you need to get away from them. I’m honestly horrified that I have to explain this but yeah, definitely don’t harm people you’ve known all your life at the command of some weird spirit that died before your grandpa was born.
- If this otherworldly acquaintance offers to take you to a far away place, a secret spot where you’ll always have fun and you’ll never get old and mom and dad won’t be there to make you brush your teeth or clean your room…don’t buy it. It’s a lie. Best case scenario, they’re going to take you to some dark, devilish dimension where you’re stuck in a small gray room that’s filled with the skeletons of all the other kids that were gullible enough to take that trip.
Did you get all of that? I hope so. I really hope that you can learn from the mistakes of so many wide-eyed creepy kids before you and give up the ghosts. They’re a bad influence, and hanging around with them is only going to lead you to one of two places: the insane asylum, or a cemetery. So put down that knife or that weird book with all the funny Latin words in it and go play some video games or something. Geez, kids these days…