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Children's Encounters with the Unknown

They see and experience extraordinary things that many adults cannot

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ARE CHILDREN MORE attuned to the supernatural? Many researchers suspect that children, from the youngest ages and into early teens, are more likely to experience paranormal phenomena because they have not yet developed the prejudices that many adults have against such far-out, "unscientific" ideas. Perhaps they have not yet created their own filters for feelings and experiences that most of society consider irrational or abnormal. Or it could be that young brains or minds are, for whatever reason, physically more receptive to such phenomena as ghosts, near-death experiences, past-life recall and premonitions.

Whatever the reason, here are several true stories from readers that seem to confirm that children can be extraordinarily tuned in to the strange and the unexplained:

THE MYSTERY MAN

Years ago while in my teens, my mom took me with her to pick up one of her elderly friends to give her a ride to our church. We weren't going that night, but my mom was always helpful to the senior citizens at our church. When we got to my mom's friend's house, mom asked me to go to the door to tell her that we were outside waiting on her.

I rang the doorbell and the elderly lady opened the door, said "hello" and left me standing in the doorway for a few minutes while she finished getting ready. The couch in the elderly lady's living room was partially shielded by the door, but I could see a man sitting on her couch in front of her TV, which was turned on. He never moved or spoke to me as I stood there. I was very shy and didn't attempt to speak to him either. I distinctly remember he had on a white shirt, black pinstriped pants, black nylon socks and shiny black shoes. His hands rested on his knees. I remember that his hand was wrinkled and appeared to be that of an elderly, very dark, African-American man, but I was positioned in a way that I could not see his face.

After a few minutes, the elderly lady grabbed her coat and walked out the door locking it behind her. She left the man sitting on her couch watching television, but she hadn't said anything to him when she left. I thought that it was rather strange, but said nothing about it to her. After we dropped the elderly lady off at church, I said, "Mom, Mrs. McClain left a man in her house, but she didn't say bye to him when we left." I also told her that he was sitting on her couch in front of the TV. She asked me what he looked like because Mrs. McClain's landlord came to visit her from time to time. I described what I saw to my mom, but told her that I didn't see his face. My mom said that the description that I gave did not match that of her landlord, because he was a very pale-skinned man.

My mom was very concerned, so she called Mrs. McClain at church and, in order not to alarm her, asked, "Did you have some company? My daughter said that you left your TV on." Mrs. McClain told mom she didn't have any company that day and that she leaves her TV on whenever she goes out because she wants people to think that someone is home, so that no one will break in. Hearing this really frightened my mom, and I guess the elderly lady could hear the fright in my mom's voice and she started screaming out, asking my Mom, "What did your daughter see? Please tell me, what did your daughter see? You are scaring me. I can't go back there. What did she see?" I remember my mom having to talk to her for quite awhile to calm her down. My mom finally convinced her that we were just wondering why she had left the television on. When my mom finally got off of the phone, we were both very shaken. I was crying and extremely afraid that I would see this man again because at this point we knew it had to be a ghost. I kept repeating, "I am so glad that I didn't try to see his face." My mom comforted me by saying that it was probably Mrs. McClain's husband, who had passed away, watching out for her because she was all alone. I never saw the man again and we never told Mrs. McClain what I had really seen that evening in her house. - H. Holmes

WHAT DID BABY BROTHER SEE?

When my little brother was a baby, maybe nine months old, we lived with my grandma. My grandpa had just died. My mom was sitting in the living room around midnight trying to get my brother to sleep, but he wouldn't stop crying. Suddenly, out of nowhere he stopped crying, sat straight up and said, "Hi, grandpa." There was no one else in the room at all. The weird thing is, he said those words so clearly, and he had never spoken before, not even to say "mom"! - Beth B.

ANDY PANDY COMES TO PLAY

Many of your UK readers between the ages of 45 and 55 will probably remember a TV show called "Watch with Mother". The show was on the BBC in the 1950s and featured a string puppet named "Andy Pandy", he had a sidekick named "Loopy Lou or Looby Lou". One day my brother and sister where playing upstairs in our front bedroom. This room was about 12 ft. x 12 ft. and had a cupboard in the corner, which was directly over the stairs. My sister and brother, both now in their late 40s, swear to this day that Andy Pandy came out of that cupboard in the corner and spent the next hour playing with them both. This Andy Pandy, however, was about four feet high and had no strings attached. I have questioned both of them over the years and still their story remains the same. - Mike C.

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