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Do Ghosts Like Cake?

Renee Hagar-Smith

“I'm scared to go in,” Grandma said. 


She gripped my hand. Moving forward with her, I felt the attic floor dip and rise like the old, tilted sidewalk in front of St. Rose Elementary. 


She whispered, “Ghosts live here.” 


Grandma grasped my hand harder. I wasn’t sure which one of us she wanted to keep safe. 


I found my mouth frozen, like when I ate a cherry popsicle so fast that everything went numb. I managed to squeak out, “But why, Grandma?” 


She pointed up. Through the light from the single hanging bulb, dust danced like magical specks of glitter. On the end of an upper shelf, sat a hard, round hat with a hole punched right into the middle. 


“A German soldier died in it.” 


Died. Like the tiny goldfish I had won at the fair. 


The nutty sweet scent of Grandma’s yellow cake baking had followed us up the stairs, but my stomach no longer growled at the smell. 


Grandma grabbed the box she needed and hurried us out of the room. 


Do ghosts like cake? 


Worried they did, I pulled hard on the door handle to be sure it was closed tightly behind us.



Renee Hagar-Smith is a New York writer and mindfulness coach. She is also a mom, suicide loss survivor, and spiritual seeker who is always learning and trying to be a good human. If you want to learn more about Renee, visit


Image Credit: Emma Grey Rose, "333"

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