When I was in second grade, my best friend was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Two months later while I lay on the ground in my back yard, she leaned over a cloud and said hello to me. I asked her how she liked where she lived now. She said it was a good place then turned and disappeared.
The good news elated me, and I ran into the house and told my folks. They informed me it was impossible to talk to my friend because she was dead. They convinced me that I made up the whole thing and encouraged me to play with other children in the neighborhood.
From that time on, a part of me was never completely certain what had happened. I couldn't forget it, but neither did I want to mention it. I began to distrust my perceptions. Especially as I grew into a teenager, I had disturbing dreams that I tried to repress because I feared they would come true. Somehow I got the bizarre notion that, if I dreamed something, then it happened, I was to blame.
My parents didn't react as they did to be mean to me. They were trying to protect me. In the process they squelched a part of my nature.
Once I was grown I had to acknowledge that some of my dreams did seem to come true. That knowledge set me on the path of self-exploration that continues to this day.
If you have a child who sees ghosts or talks to an imaginary playmate, try to keep an open mind. Who knows? Your child might grow out of it. If not, it's important to remember we all experience the world in somewhat different ways. At least don't tell them they're wrong.
Kahil Gibran said of children, "They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts."