Latest Issue

The Ghost

Since my father died, something has been wrong with my son. At least, I hope it's something wrong with him

By Toby Litt   January 2009

Schleich, the German company that mostly manufactures plastic animals—horses, goats, pigs, ostriches—also makes a ghost. It stands about three inches tall, is white-painted, besheeted, drags behind it a black-painted ball and chain. The two implied hands are raised to head level, and its mouth is open in the silent whooo of a wail.

My son, Jim, saw it in the local toy shop, wanted it and got it—I was, I’ll admit, the parent who gave in.

Jim held the ghost all the way home, with me pushing him in the McLaren buggy. We went through the park. It was autumn,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect