The ghost of a man stands by the oak tree in our backyard. The tree is one of my favorites. Before we bought the house, it suffered a lightning strike and the trunk was scarred permanently. The tree endured and grows strong today. The attached ghost appears in the fall, and then only when the light outside is a certain shade of gold.
The first time I saw him, I thought he was a living person who had strayed into our yard. He was wearing a tan three-piece suit and a bowler hat, which was a bit odd, but not completely so. I stepped outside to ask if he was lost, but by the time I made it down the steps of our deck, he was gone. The second time I saw him, I realized he was ghost. Sometimes it takes me awhile. Same clothes, but now I could see details. The chain from a pocket watch, thick, brown hair, a waxed mustache, a twinkle of amusement in his eye. This time, I stood on the deck and waited to see what he would do. He lingered for several moments and then faded away. I hesitated to mention him to my family until my daughter (who was four at the time) brought him up. It seemed she had seen him too--standing in the same spot and wearing the same clothes.
Last year, I saw him inside our house, which took me by surprise. Up until then, I had only seen him standing beside the oak tree. I watched him walk across our kitchen and through the wall. He pops in and out of the house now, almost as if he were curious. My feeling is that he lived in the 1920's and was involved in something illegal. That's all I get. Maybe someday he'll let me know a little more. But for now, I'm left wondering why he stands beside the oak tree.