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What Every Ghost Needs to Know

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You must be new.

Hmm? Oh, everybody who's new has the same worried look. That's fine--it's normal to be worried. I was worried too, when I went. And confused. I bet you're feeling just a little confused right now. Maybe it would help if I introduced myself. I'm Phil. Been dead now, oh, five, six years. Good to meet you.

Well, let's start at the beginning. I'm guessing you saw the lights? That's a good thing. If you don't see lights, they don't exactly let you hang around here. The other option, the whispering voices and the claws, they're not so patient. I've seen that happen too. Scary stuff. I don't really like to think about it. But since you saw lights, you're okay. There's a lot of reasons people don't follow the lights right away. They're confused or scared, or they feel like they have things left to do.

No, no, don't worry, you haven't missed it! The lights always come back. The second time they come back, it's when you're ready. Some people aren't ready the first time. That's okay. Sometimes it takes a long time to be ready. There's people who've been ghosts longer than me, but they'll find their way too. Everybody does eventually. I met a lady here, she was a composer in the 1850s. Always humming something, and good at crossword puzzles. These researchers found an opera of hers, what she was working on when she died, and said it was a lost masterpiece. They put on the opera at Lincoln Center, and she saw it opening night. She got to know she was appreciated. She was telling me about it right over there when the lights came back for her.

Why am I here? See that lady over there? My wife. I was twenty-two years old the last time I went anywhere without her, and you know what they say about old dogs. I think it might be easier for her if she sees a familiar face right after. She talks to me sometimes, so I think maybe she knows I'm not too far away.

She's feeding the birds, and then she'll read the newspaper. She comes to this park and feeds the birds and reads the paper every Saturday. We always did it together, so we still do. Gives me a chance to stretch my legs and see what the well-dressed ghost is wearing this season. No, that was a joke. We don't have fashion shows or anything. At least, I don't think we do. If we do, they didn't tell me.

You must have questions though. What questions do you have?

Oh, sure, you can go anywhere. Anywhere on earth, as far as I know. It does feel strange at first, but you'll get used to walking through stuff. I don't even think about it anymore.

Looks like it's newspaper time. If you think of anything else, you know where to find me.

Nice talking to you too. Take care. I know it's hard at first, but you'll be okay.