There are exactly nine ghosts in this house.
They are all real, even though you cannot see them.
On days where the sun warms the brown bricks of the stately home and her rays are breaking through the rounded high windows you can almost adumbrate them, each one in her window, an apparition paler than a mirroring but more than mere imagination.
The stately home is quadratic, no gables and turrets, no coiling ivy along the wall, only brown bricks and white cornerstones. Driving up to the house on the gravelled path from the entry gate, you can already see the house from far away, in all its regal splendour. There’s no twisted pathway, no hidden trail.
There is only the house with its nine symmetrically placed windows in the three top floors, and a white door that is always shut.
If you were to use the bronze door knocker, shaped like a hare’s foot, nothing would stir in the house, not even the ghostly half-shadows sitting in their windows. Everything about this place is quiet, paralyzed, mute.
But not dead.
Ghosts, I have been taught to believe from an early age, are something to be feared. They linger in this world for one reason or another, unfinished business that ties them to a never-ending watch, for example, sat inside a window.
Today I know that they are vital for healing, and absolution.
I am no longer afraid of the ghosts in my house.