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I am a restless writer of fiction, film, and music. I scripted such films as 9 and ½ Weeks, Sommersby, Impromptu (personal favorite), What Lies Beneath, and All I Wanna Do which I also directed. Both my documentaries, Marjoe and Thoth, won Academy Awards. Formerly a recording artist, I continue to write music, posting songs on my website. I live in New York with my husband James Lapine. My second novel, the paranormal thriller Jane Was Here, was published in 2011. My latest film, Learning to Drive, starring Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley, came out in August 2015, now available on VOD, DVD, and streaming media. This blog is a paranormal memoir-in-progress, whenever I have spare time. It's a chronicle of my encounters with ghosts, family phantoms, and other forms of spirit.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

At Home With a Ghost - Part 1

It always amuses me to listen in on people debating whether or not ghosts exist. For me, there’s no debate. I have one.

When I was 27 I didn’t believe in life after death. The proof just wasn’t there for me. In that same year, on the recommendation of a friend, I visited a psychic (Frank Andrews) for the first time. I had a problem.

I had moved out on my boyfriend and was temporarily without digs, spending nights in an upstairs guest room at my parents’. I’d never used this room before, but after I went to college my old bedroom had been taken over by my dad as a study. I didn’t sleep well from the beginning in this unfamiliar room. I would start to fall asleep, and then strange things would happen: sounds like something rolling across a wood floor (the room was completely carpeted) or once I had the sensation my head was in someone’s lap who was stroking my head. Another time, I felt my toes being yanked sharply, as if someone was impatiently demanding my attention. I was frightened, and didn’t know where to turn for help. A friend suggested I see this psychic.

Towards the end of the reading, and without my prompting, he mentioned there was a spirit around me. “It’s male, and you knew him. Don’t worry,” the psychic said, “he’s protective.”

I returned to the guest room without fear, and was able to identify, from clues in the room, exactly who my ghost was. In fact, I don’t know why I didn’t see it right away.

My grandfather was not someone I remembered much of. We didn’t see him that often. I recall his knees and his fancy cane. I recall the circus he sent us tickets to. I recall his house in New York City. He died when I was eight.

But here in this room were his furniture, his books, his portrait, and a bas-relief of his family crest. My parents had stashed all these things up in this guest room to keep them out of harm’s way (we were five rowdy children and a couple of dogs).

The question remained: why me? Why was he trying to make contact with me? I stood and addressed the room: “I know who you are now. I’ll try not to be afraid anymore, if you find some way to communicate with me that doesn’t frighten me as you’ve been doing. I’m open to knowing what it is you want from me.”

Thus began a relationship between a family phantom and myself, which has endured, off and on, until the present.


  1. I love it Sarah. Keep going. How did you build the relationship? What did your family think? Is he still with you? Curious, nosy writer here, wants to here it all.