Lessons From The Ghost In My Room: A Story From Ex Fabula

By Ex Fabula and Karl Christenson | October 28, 2021

  • Photo by Nicole Acosta

(Photo by Mike McCune)

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Everyone likes a good ghost story, especially around this time of year. Dorothy Malone of Milwaukee shared a childhood encounter with the supernatural at Ex Fabula’s StorySlam ‘Identity’ event held in March 2020.

(The following story has been edited for brevity and clarity.)


I was a little girl and I was able to see ghosts. I could see them all the time, everywhere. Someone told me that if you throw salt over your shoulders, that would get rid of them. So I got every box of Morton Salt I could find and just toss — I’m tossing them.

[One time] I’m going down this dark hallway. I see a white, shadowy figure. So now I’m cursing, “Oh sh-t! Not again! Not again!” I’m trembling, at about ten years old.

I have heard that they cannot hurt you. You only get hurt yourself.

I was running into walls, falling down stairs — you know — outside at three o’clock in the morning.


So as time went on, I heard that poltergeists will leave children by the time they’re 13 years old. So I can’t wait until I’m 13. I just can’t wait. I mean, hurry up, you know! Because all this time these ghosts are effing with me.

Someone said if you curse them out, then they’ll leave. So now I’m having a field day. “Leave me the hell alone!”

My mother said, “Whoa, what’s going on in there?”

That didn’t last too long because I got spanked. I’ll be using that mouthwash with Ivory soap and all of that. But I’m thinking — this would have the ghost leave me alone.


Dorothy Malone performs her story at an Ex Fabula event in Milwaukee. (Photo courtesy of Ex Fabula)

Now, here I am at 13. No ghosts! I’m like, “Oh my God, they’re gone! They’re gone!”

Only to have one hovering above my bed.

I get the blanket, throw it over it. “Leave me alone! Go somewhere; I don’t want to see you no more!”

It was howling, too, while it was up there. I beat the sh-t out of him.


But, I learned I have a gift. And part of my identity is that I could — in Black terms — read people. I can tell a little bit about your spirit by talking to you. You know, you can’t play a player. I’d know if you tried to play me. I can tell that.

And I just have a way with babies. They would just look at me and like, “That’s a good person. That’s the good one right there.”

Little kids would give me compliments all the time. “I like your glasses. I like your wig.” I’m like, “Thank you!”


So going through that experience and always trying to find a meaning in life — or why I’m here — looking to the cosmos for my existence. I think that had a part in it growing up with these ghostly images all around me.

But today, I’m at peace with them. I don’t fear them as much. And that’s my story.

Ex Fabula

Ex Fabula

Since 2009, Ex Fabula has been strengthening community bonds through the art of true, personal storytelling. Ex Fabula, which is Latin for “from stories,” presents storytelling  workshops, StorySlams and Community Collaborations where people listen to each other, feel heard, and grow in empathy and understanding. Special projects like the Ex Fabula Fellowship, the Puente Project, and Equal Access use...
Karl Christenson

Karl Christenson

Karl Christenson is a producer at Wisconsin Public Radio. He enjoys taking his family on cross-country holiday road trips to theme parks and eating bologna sandwiches and parking in the last spot so he can get out of there first.
2021-10-28T14:04:38-05:00Tags: , , , , |

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