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The Ghost Belonged to Me
The Ghost Belonged to Me.jpg
First edition
Author Richard Peck
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children's novel
Publisher Viking Press
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 183pp
ISBN 0-670-33767-6
OCLC 1174625
LC Class PZ7.P338 Gh
Followed by Ghosts I Have Been 

The Ghost Belonged to Me is a novel written for children by Richard Peck, author of Newbery Medal winning A Year Down Yonder.


1913. Alexander Armsworth is a normal boy until he sees a ghost of a girl in his barn, warning him of an impending disaster. This leads to him to become a local hero. But when he explains that a ghost warned him, it uncovers the story of how she came to rest on their property, far from her home in New Orleans, Louisiana. He takes it upon himself to take her body home to New Orleans.

Main characters

Alexander Armsworth

13 years old, and a 7th grader at Horace Mann Middle School, he is informed by his classmate Blossom Culp, that he is receptive to ghosts. When she also tells him his barn is haunted, he thinks that she is playing a trick on him. Eventually he meets the ghost of Inez Dumaine, the ghost that haunts his barn. With her help he saves the lives of others when a mad man weakened and set a fire to the supports for the trestle in hopes to crash the trolley. He becomes a famous local hero, but when he explains he had help from a ghostly source, it leads to a journey to return her body to New Orleans. With the help of Blossom, and his great uncle Miles, he eventually returns her body to New Orleans, to be placed within her family’s crypt.

Blossom Culp

She is a 12-year-old girl, who first informs Alexander of his ability to see ghosts. She lives in a shack by the trolley tracks, and she helps out Alexander on his trip to return Inez’s body to New Orleans.

Uncle Miles Armsworth

Alexander’s great uncle. He is a carpenter who works as he pleases. He is the only one who knew the history of Captain Campbell and Inez Dumaine. He accompanies Blossom and Alexander to New Orleans, and to sees to it that Inez returns home.

Inez Dumaine

She is the ghost that haunts the Armsworth barn. She warns Alexander about the man who damaged the trestle bridge, so he could save others. She tells him her body is buried nearby and asks to be returned to her family, who were “above ground, but they rest.”

Real Life Inspirations

According to Richard Peck’s autobiography Anonymously Yours, several characters and places were based on reality.

Uncle Miles Armsworth was based on his Uncle Miles Peck, who even in his eighties continued with his carpentry, and like Alexander’s uncle “he worked when he wanted to, he fished when he wanted to, and he said rude things in front of people’s mothers. I thought he was God”

Blossom Culp voice came from Peck's grandmother and great-aunts, and speaks in their combined voice “never wrong and always precise except for grammar.”

The Snake Creek trestle bridge in The Ghost Belonged to Me was inspired by Williams Creek trestle bridge in Decatur, Illinois.

Film Adaptation

In 1978, the book was adapted into a television film by Walt Disney Productions entitled Child of Glass.

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