Harold the friendly ghost

Harold the friendly ghost

Madi Remenschneider

Ever wonder what it would be like to live with a ghost? A family in Chicago, Illinois knows and lives it every day. 

During Spring Break in 2017, my family and I went on a trip to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. My parents’ friends from college invited us to stay at their house.

They are a couple with no children and one dog, we’ll call them Josh (husband),  Abigail (wife), and Spot (dog).

It was a cloudy slightly warm spring day; all the snow was melting after an intense winter and the ground was very slushy. 

When we got there, we set our stuff inside and then went outside to where they were having a huge bonfire. The flames were about three feet tall and so hot I thought my eyebrows were going to melt off. Josh, Abigail, and my parents were catching up when I walked up to the bonfire. 

The conversation was mostly about Josh and Abigail’s new move. They were very excited about the move and the house was beautiful. 

At around six o’clock, Josh recommended going out to eat for dinner at an Italian restaurant. We were there for four hours just talking and listening to the music in the background.  It seemed like we talked about everything, but there was no mention of their “friendly house ghost”.”

After getting back to the house, we watched a movie and went to bed. My brother and I slept in the office on air mattresses and my parents slept in the guest room. Josh and Abigail slept in their room in the basement. 

My dad is known for being a loud snorer, so at two in the morning my mom woke up to his snoring and asked him to go sleep on the couch in the living room.

My dad stumbled out to the living room and this is when he met Harold.

The next morning, my dad was talking to Josh and he said, “Funny how we both got kicked out of bed for snoring last night, right?”

Josh responded, “What are you talking about? I never got up last night.”

 “Josh, we had a full conversation last night. I remember we were both in the living room.” he said.

Josh again said, “No I don’t know what you’re talking about…”

However, my dad was not convinced. He was sure he had seen Josh last night. In fact, he had slept on the floor so that Josh could have the couch. 

But Josh was never there.

Josh and Abigail looked at each other, concerned.

They paused and my family prepared for the worst. My mind ran wild trying to figure out what seemed to be bothering them so much.


At first I was relieved; they must just have an extra guest in the house. I glanced around quickly looking for Harold before looking back at Josh and Abigail. 

Josh said, “Harold is a man that lived here before we did and died in the house. Our neighbors said he was very nice and a lovely neighbor.” 

According to Josh and Abigail, Harold died in the hallway between the main bedroom and the bathroom. Oftentimes at night, their dog Spot sits in that hallway for hours or sometimes for the whole night. 

Spot will sometimes be sleeping and just jump up out of his bed and start barking… but there is nothing he is barking at. 

On top of that, Josh and Abigail have seen things too.

After they first moved in, they both started to notice unexplainable occurrences. 

 “When I was brushing my teeth I noticed something that caught the corner of my eye and I had no idea what it was,” said Abigail, and there were many other scenarios like this. 

Josh was experiencing the same things. However, they never told each other to avoid sounding crazy.

One day they were in the living room watching a movie and they both at the same time noticed something that they said looked like a “shadow running through the room.”

“Did you see that?” Abigail said. “YEA YOU DID TOO?” Josh said surprised. The dog started barking, and at that moment they connected the dots.

They told each other everything they’ve been seeing over the past few months. They then asked the neighbors if there was anything weird about the house. When they learned about Harold, they were a bit startled but they knew he was a friendly ghost.

Now their wifi password is Harold and they have embraced his presence.

That morning, I thought my dad was full of it but I now believe he was really talking to Harold the friendly ghost.