My Family Moved To America And Into A Real Haunted House. Here's What Happened.
Oct 22, 2021 3 mins, 47 secs

As a child, my first brush with a ghost wasn’t Casper or some other spook from a children’s book.

The timing couldn’t have been more off ― he left for America when I was 3 and my mother was pregnant with my brother ― but my parents felt their sacrifices would be well worth the potential opportunities neither of them had been fortunate enough to grow up with.

My parents scurried to check the doors and windows but found them closed and locked.

My parents scurried to check the doors and windows, but found them closed and locked.”.

Pots and pans would clang together in the middle of the night, but when my parents raced downstairs, the kitchen would appear innocently spic and span.

My parents were familiar with ghost stories.

But hearing stories is different than coming face to face with the real thing in your own home.

Because we were poor, moving simply wasn’t an option, and my parents tried to face the situation with as much grace as they could, determined to make the best out of a circumstance we couldn’t escape.

As far as our ghost was concerned, I discovered that if I thought of her as a friendly older woman bustling about her kitchen in an attempt to bake us otherworldly treats, she wasn’t nearly as scary as when I imagined her as a witch trying to butcher us all with her favorite knife.

But we never felt truly at risk of being harmed, and I learned that fear is only as powerful as you allow it to be.

“As far as our ghost was concerned, I discovered that if I thought of her as a friendly older woman bustling about her kitchen in an attempt to bake us otherworldly treats, she wasn’t nearly as scary.”.

Even though I was very young when we moved to America and therefore had a very limited understanding of the world, I immediately knew it was different from any other place we’d lived.

In America, we had no family, let alone many people who shared our background or culture.

Our family struggled financially but, admittedly, what we experienced was different than when we had been poor in any other part of the world we’d previously ventured.

Unfortunately, my parents hadn’t been so lucky at my age.

We were able to survive in America, but without the money to buy anything beyond the necessities, I felt the sting of being an outsider.

As we began to meet our neighbors and they learned about what we were dealing with, they offered whatever support they could.

However, they were some of the most beautiful people I’d ever met, and I aspired to be just like them when I grew up.

I became aware of other situations in which I was regarded differently, like when I wasn’t invited to birthday parties.

I felt like an intruder in a land that wasn’t mine to claim.

We felt blessed that the promise of a better life in America that we so famously heard about ― of communities that care and good-hearted neighbors ― was what we actually found here.

We felt blessed that the promise of a better life in America that we so famously hear about ― of communities that care and good-hearted neighbors ― was what we actually found here.

My dad had always been a hard worker, and watching how much he sacrificed for our family was inspiring.

My mom, who wasn’t educated past the ninth grade by Kuwaiti standards, did whatever she could to make it possible for us to move.

From her, I learned that an uneducated woman in a foreign country who didn’t know any English could overcome seemingly insurmountable circumstances ― especially when she was trying to relocate her family into a non-haunted house.

My father had accepted a position in Georgia, and my parents were hopeful we could get a fresh start in a new place where we could build our own home; a home that would one day boast its own history, its own memories ― hopefully, happy ones.

My family still talks about our very first home in America and the ghost that shared it with us.

Although we wouldn’t ever say it was an ideal first home, it was where I first learned how good and kind and empathetic people could be.

It’s where our family rallied together and my parents showed my brother and me the value of hard work, sticking together and love.


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