Saturday, June 8, 2013

Maine: An Imaginary Friend or a Ghost?

I wrote a post about how ghosts sometimes appear as imaginary friends to young children here. 

Four years ago, I read about a teenage girl named Jamie, who had an imaginary friend when she was a young child while living in a small town in Maine. 

To this day, she wonders if her imaginary friend, when she was eight years old, was actually a spirit. She and her mom lived in a rural area of Maine called Old Town. She spent a lot of time at her grandmother’s house on the edge of this town because her mother, a widow had to work.

Jamie mentions that it is her mother that likes to tell the story for she barely remembers her “imaginary playmate. She does remember that she loved to play in a cemetery that was just a half-mile down a side dirt road from her Grandmother’s home. 

She would ride her bike and take freshly picked flowers to place on her father’s grave for he was buried there. 

She remembered that she often sat on a tree stump and made up stories about the people in this old cemetery. She also played a game to see if she could memorize all the names of the people who lay beneath the slanted tombstones. 

Most of these stones were marked from the 1830s to the early 1900s.

She mentioned she no longer remembered these names, but Jamie does vaguely remember a boy named Tom who was about ten years old that she played with on the dirt road and in the cemetery. 

She remembered asking him why he wore the same clothes every time she saw him--jeans and a button-down shirt. She also remembers he had curly brown hair. 

Her mother hearing about this “Tom” she played with concluded he must be an imaginary friend for there wasn’t a young boy named Tom, or any children in the rural area where her mother lived.

Often when she would pick up Jamie, after work, she would listen to stories about her day. When Jamie mentioned Tom, she would just play along and ask her questions.

One day when Jamie mentioned how much fun it was to play with Tom; she asked Jamie where Tom lived. Jamie replied, “Oh, he lives in the graveyard.” 

Thinking her daughter didn’t understand her question, she tried again. “You mean you play with him in the graveyard?” To her surprise, Jamie told her, “We always play in the graveyard because that is where Tom lives.”

Her mother now wondering about the oddness of her daughter’s response encouraged her not to go the graveyard so often. Jamie remembers she ignored her mother’s request and continued to play with Tom for another year. 

She continued to talk about him, but her mother found it creepy, so she stopped. 

As a young teen, Jamie couldn’t find the name of anyone named Tom in this cemetery that has seventy tombstones, but later she discovered that in Old Town there is a record of a boy named Thomas who died and was buried on July 18, 1882.

No comments: