Beloved Chapter 21
Denver believes Beloved to be the reincarnation of her sister's ghost that kept her company after Paul D had come to 124 and scared the ghost away. The ghost had been Denver's companion while she waited for her daddy to come. Denver had always been scared of Sethe and what she might do to her.
"All the time, I'm afraid the thing that happened that made it all right for my mother to kill my sister could happen again. I don't know what it is, I don't know who it is, but maybe there is something else terrible enough to make her do it again. I need to know what that thing might be, but I don't want to. Whatever it is, it comes from outside this house, outside the yard, and it can come right on in the yard if it wants to. So I never leave this house and I watch over the yard, so it can't happen again and my mother won't have to kill me too." Chapter 21, pg. 205
When Beloved appeared at 124, Denver knew she had to protect her from Sethe. Denver remembers that during the time she couldn't hear, she could hear the ghost breathing with her own; the sound of the baby ghost crawling up the stairs restored her hearing. The ghost kept her company and then Beloved came to her when Paul D scared the ghost away. As a result, Denver loves Beloved devotedly and possessively.