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Children and the Paranormal

Could the ghosts, creatures and psychic visions they see be real?

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ARE CHILDREN MORE connected to the world of spirit and psychic phenomena than adults? Based on the sheer number of anecdotal reports, most paranormal researchers would probably say yes. They see dead relatives (often those they’ve never met in life), play with “imaginary friends”, recall details of past lives, and see many other strange things that are invisible to their parents.

The rationalist or skeptic doubts or completely dismisses these accounts from children as the products of vivid imaginations – fantasies spun for the attention they receive. Or perhaps they are just the uninformed interpretations of natural events as filtered though immature minds.

What if, however, the ghosts, strange creatures, and psychic visions of children are real? Consider the cases that follow, told by adults as they recall them from their childhoods.

GOODBYE VISIT

Kristin was five years old when she was living with her parents in Trafford, Pennsylvania. At the time, she recalls, her grandmother was in the hospital, recovering from a stroke. “She and I were very close,” Kristin says. “I never got to visit her in the hospital; my mom and dad thought it would be too much for me to handle at such a young age.”

Early one Sunday morning around 5 a.m., Kristin was suddenly awakened and sat straight up in her bed. “I saw a woman’s figure standing at the end of my bed,” she says. Thinking the figure was her mother, Kristin had no reason to be frightened. She called out to the woman, but there was no answer. Again she called, “Mommy?“ but there was only silence. “The woman just stood there staring at me and extended her arm,” Kristin recalls. “I began to panic because I didn't know why my mom wasn't responding to me. I began to scream ‘Mom!’”

Kristin’s mother came running into her room to see what was wrong. “She asked me if I was ok and I asked her why she wasn't answering me and why she was standing there just staring at me,” she says. “She came and sat on my bed, felt my head to make sure I wasn't spiking a fever, and told me I must have been dreaming. She told me she was in bed sleeping the whole time.” Kristin reluctantly accepted her mother’s answer and went back to sleep.

Later that morning, Kristin’s parents received a phone call from her uncle. It was news about Kristin’s grandmother. She had passed in her sleep during the early morning hours. “My mom began to cry, but composed herself to continue the conversation,” says Kristin. “Her brother informed her the time of death was about 5:00 a.m. that morning. She explained to me that grandma had passed away, and now she would not be in pain and she was an angel in heaven.”

It wasn’t until a few days later that Kristin’s mother connected the time of her mother’s passing and Kristin’s waking vision of the shadowy woman in her room. “She did not tell me this story until I was about ten years old,” Kristin says. “I remembered it so clearly as she told it to me, and I realized it was my grandmother coming to see me and to say goodbye.”

GARGOYLES ON THE BEDPOST

It’s an age-old fear children have: monsters in their closets or under their beds. When Josh was six years old, he feared them, too. In his case, however, he swears he actually saw one.

It was the spring of 1990 when Josh, his brother Aaron and his mother were living in a mobile home on a farm outside of Laurelville, Ohio. On this night, Josh awoke from a disturbing nightmare. Today he cannot recall the details of the bad dream, but he does remember that it scared him enough that he had to get out of bed to seek his mother’s comfort. “I walked up the short hallway to my mother's room to try and crawl in bed with her,” Josh says. “She told me to go back to my bed, so I walked back toward my room, which I shared with my brother, Aaron.”

Josh was not prepared for what he encountered as he began to enter his room. “I will never forget what I saw. There on my brother's bedpost was a dark figure that looked like a gargoyle or gremlin. I really couldn't make out anything like its feet or legs. It just had a really square, rigid head, like a gargoyle. It was about two feet tall and was hunched over a bit and was looking at Aaron. I stopped dead in my tracks and gasped when I saw it. It turned its head as if it heard me! I couldn't see any eyes, just the outline of its face.”

Terrified, Josh turned and ran back into his mother’s room. Figuring Josh was just in need of a little assurance, she walked him back to his bedroom to show him there was no monster there. And indeed there wasn’t. Whatever Josh saw was now gone. “She didn't believe me, so I just tried to forget it,” Josh says. “I didn't mention it to anyone after that night.”

So it must have been Josh’s imagination, influenced by his nightmare... right? A few years later, when Josh was in tenth grade, he was sitting with a classmate named Ryan. Josh noticed a few large scars on his neck and asked Ryan how he got them. Ryan said that when he was about eight years old, he accidentally ran through a sliding glass door. He claimed the cuts almost killed him due to loss of blood.

But then he confessed to Josh a strange element to the story: "The strange thing was,” Ryan told him, “the night before the accident, my brother saw a little dark figure sitting on my bed watching me sleep." As Ryan described it, what his brother had seen sounded exactly like the gargoyle-like creature Josh encountered.

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