In a way, you've got a sort of 'cliche in waiting' set-up here, haven't you? It feels like the ingredients in an Insidious sequel. My instinct is perhaps to work hard against this expectation - so think very laterally and move away from genre conventions, or use audience familiarity with these tropes as a way to misdirect and set-up some kind of punchline.I'm thinking too of a story in which a character doesn't yet know they're a ghost (and likewise the audience), so your story isn't 'about' a ghost at its first viewing, but only in the final reveal, like that great movie, The Others.
I don't plan to venture far into the realm of cliche. I just felt that certain ideas/words needed to be put out there to be taken out of my mind, that way I wouldn't dwell on such things. So far I am thinking romance.
Hey Tom - I didn't mean to infer that 'you' were thinking in cliches, I just meant that, by the magic of the blue box you'd ended up with three elements that sit almost too comfortably together in an 'Insidious' sense. I'm more than confident you'll be bucking the trend :)
also 'Toy Hospitals' - basically where old and broken toys go to be repaired; you might find some music boxes as 'patients' in a 'toy hospital'.The other thing about hospitals is that they're threshold spaces; they are literally 'death's door' or 'death's waiting room' - patients go in there and might leave again as ghosts. I can imagine a narrative in which a person - perhaps in a coma - is making up their mind to live or die - only the audience doesn't understand this until the third act in some kind of reveal.