Your Child’s Seen A Ghost
‘Mummy, I saw a ghost!’. This may be one of the most terrifying sentences to hear as a parent. But with these claims comes one important question: Can children actually see ghosts?
The answer to this question really depends on where you stand on the debate of ‘Do ghosts exist?’. Most people with an interest in spirituality or the paranormal believe that ghosts and energies are very real. However, sceptics are inclined to look for more logical answers to things that go bump in the night.
Can Children Really See Ghosts?
For believers, it has long been thought that children and animals have a heightened ‘sixth sense’ when it comes to the paranormal. In fact, it’s not uncommon to believe that your child or your dog can sense ghosts that you aren’t able to see.
Rather, there are plenty of people who believe that babies and young children are far more in tune with the spirit realm than adults are. This is why it seems as though children are more connected to their past lives. It’s important to remember, though, that a healthy dose of scepticism is normal since children often learn through play.
Children’s fertile imaginations cause them to come up with some really crazy stories. And they’re usually influenced by the things they’re exposed to.
For example, if your child has just watched an episode of ‘Casper the Friendly Ghost’, they’re more likely to start incorporating the idea of ghosts into their imaginative play. In this case, having your child pretend to see a ghost wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibilities.
However, it’s when children bring up the idea of something that they haven’t been exposed to before that you may need to start questioning what they’re really seeing…
How Common Is It For Kids To Claim That They See Ghosts?
The phenomenon of kids being able to see apparitions is nothing new, and it’s more common than you may realize. But, not every case of a so-called ghost sighting is as simple as it seems.
On occasion, kids may claim to see a ghost when it’s an imaginary friend. Similarly, they may see a shadow or something out of the corner of their eye and assume that it’s a ghost. This is normal!
Since children have a relatively small base of knowledge to draw from, they may not be able to rationalize what they’re seeing. While an adult can understand that shadows can be cast from a tree blowing in the wind outside, children can’t always understand the source of what they see.
Of course, this also means that kids claiming to see spirits is extremely common, but it doesn’t mean that every sighting is true.
The Difference Between A Ghost And Imaginary Friends
Having make-believe friends is a normal part of healthy child development. Although it can be absolutely terrifying when your little one mentions there’s a little girl crying from inside their closet, it’s not something to be alarmed about.
Even if your child is talking to someone who has the same name as their deceased relatives, it may just be the case that your child overheard the name in conversation or that they’re trying to process their emotions around certain events.
For example, if your toddler mentions their imaginary friend that has the same name as their grandmother, it may be because they’re trying to process their grandmother’s death in their own way. It doesn’t have to mean that their dead granny has come to pay them a visit!
Old ways of thinking assumed kids were abnormal when they began to mention an imaginary friend or two. However, psychologists and child behaviourists started to study these occurrences. And it became clear that it was just a powerful manifestation of their imaginations.
If you sense that there is something more going on in your home (if you think your home is haunted), you may want to try to reach out to these spirits or have a paranormal investigator get to the bottom of your unseen houseguest’s intentions.
Could It Be A Fear Of The Paranormal?
Whether you’re a believer or not, there’s no denying that exploring the link between children and the paranormal can be a terrifying rabbit hole. But when your little girl runs into your room at night and tells you that she’s scared (nay, petrified) of going to sleep in the dark, you may want to explore the possibility that they have a fear of the paranormal.
For some people, their fear of the spirit realm and everything that lurks within it can actually be attributed to a phobia of the paranormal. According to research done within the field of psychiatry, people who suffer from this phobia noted that ‘The fears were first noticed in childhood and persisted into adolescence and adulthood’.
Other psychological causes of reported ghost sightings in children
Besides actually seeing ghosts or playing with imaginary companions, some children may manifest the idea of a ghost when they are dealing with psychological distress. For example, children who are subjected to the process of their parents’ divorce may have high levels of stress. This can cause them to act out or cause strange behaviours.
Before you assume that there’s a ghost haunting your child’s room, it’s important to assess any external circumstances that may have led to their claims of spotting apparitions. This is relevant if your child hasn’t mentioned any strange experiences with the supernatural before.
How To React If Your Child Claims To See Ghosts
If your child claims to see spirits, it can be unsettling, to say the least. But, it’s important for you to be supportive since your child genuinely believes what they saw.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Stay calm. If you react with fear, you may end up frightening your child as well.
- Validate their feelings. Acknowledge how your child feels and let them know that you take them seriously.
- Avoid dismissing their claims. This can make them feel silly for sharing.
- Create a safe space. Your child may be frightened, so it’s important to help them feel safe and secure.
Can I reach out to the ghosts that my child claims to see?
If you believe that what your child is seeing is real, then you can definitely reach out to the ghost and try to communicate with it. You can do this by using ghost equipment like an EVP recorder or a spirit box.
Does it mean that my house is haunted if my child sees ghosts?
If your child is seeing ghosts, it doesn’t always mean that your house is haunted. Your child may actually be ‘seeing’ an imaginary friend or misunderstand certain things that they’re seeing.
When your little one claims to have seen a ghost, it’s important to take them seriously. Whether what they saw was real, their experience should always be validated. Of course, you should also pay attention to the circumstances. If you’ve been hearing unexplained bumps in the night, there could be some truth to what they’re saying…