The Camera Sees

Grandma was funny. She loved her family, being in pictures, and her home. Said when she died she was staying on as a ghost, "Until Jesus comes back."

It's Christmas Eve. Grandpa’s abed, and I'm fussing over her old decorations, taking pictures for a memory book.

I peer toward the kitchen, and my camera’s green “face recognition” blinks.


I shoot toward the fireplace. Face recognition again, and a sudden, cold draft.


Grandpa’s armchair. Stair-rail garland. Doorway mistletoe. Everywhere I point the camera, face recognition blinks. My hands are sweating, I can't escape the drafts.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

This is my effort in the annual Advent Ghosts 100 Word Storytelling put on by my friend Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall. See other entries there. Thanks, Loren!

My 2013 Advent Ghost Story: Olde Haunts
My 2012 Advent Ghost Story: The Madness Of The King

“Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories,” wrote British humorist Jerome K. Jerome as part of his introduction to an anthology of Christmas ghost stories titled “Told After Supper“ in 1891. “Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about specters.” The practice of gathering around the fire on Christmas Eve to tell ghost stories was as much a part of Christmas for the Victorian English as Santa Claus is for us." (Jeffrey Peterson, Telling Ghost Stories Is A Lost Tradition on Christmas Eve, Deseret News)

Read more about: The Origins Of Ghost Stories At Christmastime