Caught on Video: Kids See Ghosts


My mom passed away in October 2016, when my kids were just 3 and 1.5 years old. They didn’t get to know her very well during the short span that they all inhabited the world together, since my mom lived in the Chicagoland area and couldn’t travel. We had limited travel ability, too, because… well, the little ones were a handful and a half. But we squeezed in one or two trips a year after my first was born, thinking we’d have plenty of time to visit more often when the kids got a little older and would present less of a nightmare on a 4-hour flight and 2-hour time change. Then, my mom fell very ill and we suddenly found ourselves dealing with Hospice care and a limited window of opportunity to spend time together.  In those last couple of months, I tried to visit with one or both of the kids every 6-8 weeks.

“Lola,” as my kids called her, seemed to live for those visits. She lit up, smiled, laughed, and delighted in her tiny grandchildren crawling and toddling around her bedside. She recalled how the most joyous times of her life were when her own kids were little. Their screams and whines and cries made her wax just as nostalgic as did their giggles and excited squeals and squishy hugs. In short, Lola loved her grandchildren, and she shared a special bond with them that I am so grateful I had the chance to see.

When my mom died, we all flew to Chicago for the week. I didn’t know whether my kids (particularly my 18-month-old son) would understand what had happened, but I had been honest that Lola was sick and I told them that now Lola was gone and not be coming back. They saw me cry, and they were there for a long open-casket visitation and her burial (where, yes, my son nearly toddled right into the gravesite while I was distracted talking to an old family friend). But I mostly held it together and explained to my kids that death is a part of life—and is the reason we need to make our relationships and experiences count! So we moved on, not too worse for wear, and soon returned to a busy routine in California that was full of distractions and milestones and all the joy and chaos of life with two active little kids.

We didn’t really talk about Lola, not because we were actively avoiding it, but because she just generally didn’t come up as part of our day-to-day discussions. She was not a huge part of my kids’ young lives, and her passing did not affect them like it affected me. So it was extra jarring when the first Lola sighting occurred.

I was outside with my daughter, about six weeks after the funeral. It was a sunny afternoon, and she was content to sit on the patio tracing shapes on the ground with some chalk. Suddenly, she stopped what she was doing and looked up attentively as though she was listening to someone speak. She giggled and a quizzical expression crossed her face. I asked what was so funny, and she responded, “the King is alive.” Now, to most people, this would make no sense. But to me, I instantly thought of my mom. My mom was obsessed with Elvis Presley, whom she almost exclusively referred to as “the King.” She emigrated from the Philippines in the hopes of meeting him; we took annual family pilgrimages to Graceland; she collected and cherished Elvis paraphernalia, and she often talked of seeing him someday, in Heaven. “The King is alive.”  I texted my [very scientific] husband to let him know that our daughter was communing with my mom’s spirit.  His response: OK.

Sure, I thought, maybe it was a coincidence. But then, not long after, we had another Lola sighting that still makes my little arm hairs stand up when I think about it. It was late in the evening (kid-time) and I was alone with the kids. My son was finishing his evening bottle, which he usually took while lounging on a cushion on our living room floor. Everything was normal, until suddenly my son sat straight up, staring at the space across our kitchen into a little hall between his and his sister’s rooms.

His eyes got wide like saucers, and then he started leaning forward and squinting, almost as though he was trying to make sense of what he was seeing. I looked, and I didn’t see anything—but he was acting so strangely that it made me nervous. I asked what he was looking at, and without hesitation, he spoke:  Lola!

Then, he said it again and again, seeming more and more alarmed. “Lola… Lola…. Lola!  Lola!” He crawled over to our ottoman and stood up, still staring across the room and acting very nervous. I whipped out my phone and started recording (vertically, ugh).  “What do you see,” I asked.  “What are you so nervous about?” “Lola! Lola!” So I did what any rational person would do… I told my mom that we love her and blew a kiss in the direction of the hallway. And two seconds later, my son broke into a big smile, and it was over.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”kid-sees-ghost-youtube”]

My husband’s reaction to this story and video, “Well, I guess you’ve proven it, Lorrie… ghosts are real!”

I guess so!  Honestly, I was never a believer in the afterlife or ghosts or spirits, until all of this happened. A big part of me still thinks it’s just all coincidental, and of course there is a rational explanation.  But another part of me likes the idea that our recently departed loved ones have an energy that maybe lingers for a while, and young kids are somehow open to sensing it. If my mom were going to visit anyone as a spirit, it would be her only two grandkids. When I die, I am definitely going to visit my husband with a big fat “told you so” before hopefully checking in on my kids and grandkids of my own.

I haven’t thought too much about it, but there are countless stories about this kind of thing online. And since I experienced these “Lola sightings” first hand, you can call me a believer!  Has anyone else experienced this sort of thing?

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Lorrie lives in Cupertino with her husband, two small children, crazy dog, and obese cat. Originally from the Chicago area, Lorrie headed west in 2010, and hasn’t looked back. She loves exploring the Bay Area, and finds that even after six years, there is always something new to discover. Lorrie is a licensed and practicing attorney in both Illinois and California. She is proud to represent employees in all manner of work-related disputes, and partners closely as Of Counsel with Caffarelli & Assoc. Ltd., a Chicago-based firm. When she is not working or chasing her kids around, Lorrie likes to tinker with home improvement projects, walk around on sidewalks and trails, zone out on the internet, and “Netflix and chill.” She also likes to run, and aspires to one day make it to a yoga class.


  1. My grandfather died in March. My daughter (3) knew he was sick, but not that he had died that Day. At bath time, she was playing with her toys in tub, singing them a song, she then stopped mid sentence- looked up towards the ceiling and said with a smile “Great Grandpa!” . I was obviously alarmed and said “what? What did you say?” And she said “Great Grandpa!!!” Then went back to playing. I still don’t know how I feel about it, but there is no other way to explain it, really.


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