When Kids Really Do See Dead People

posted: 02/22/17
by: Kelly McClure

Photo: Thinkstock

There's something about children and the way they navigate their surroundings with such unveiled curiosity that makes you wonder if they can see things that adults can't. Beyond the trope of children used in films and literature as creepy props that can "see dead people", real life brings about its own examples of children being seemingly more aware of what lies beneath the surface of the norm.

Caron B. Goode, a psychotherapist and author of the book Kids Who See Ghosts, helps parents to recognize their child's powers of perception and coaches them to distinguish whether they are coming into their newly blossomed psychic abilities, or experiencing a fluke event. According to Goode, a child's chance sighting of the paranormal can be brought on by stressors such as too much diet soda, food allergies, emotional overload, or a negative home environment. She goes on to point out that certain stressful situations can trigger an adrenal overload of the stress hormone cortisol, which sends the part of the brain most associated with psychic activity into overdrive. According to her research, stressful situations or a traumatic event - like the loss of a loved one, could bring about a one-time ghost sighting for children, but it's not always an indicator that they'll have others.

A scan of the numerous blogs available online that are geared towards parents of young children, such as Baby Center, will show that the topic of kids witnessing paranormal activity isn't as out of the ordinary as you would think. An anonymous user who wrote into Baby Center in 2011 posed the following question to the site's other members and was met with page upon page of similar stories and inquiries.

"I know everyone has a different view on this subject, but from the age of two I have seen ghosts. (don't care if you don't believe me.. I wouldn't either if it didn't happen to me..) For the past year my daughter has shown signs of seeing them too ... For example, the last two nights she has come to my room crying. The first night she told me I called her name (I didn't) I took her to bed and she hugged me and said she was scared and wanted the man in her room to leave. Last night, she was screaming and freaking out in the hall, when I opened the door she ran to me and said "don't let him take me!" and I asked who and she said the man coming up the stairs!! My mom said I used to do the same thing and she would have me sleep with her. The only thing I could think to do was pray... Anyone else experience this?! She is no sleeping or dreaming.. it happens all times of the DAY and night!"

Carla Cain Walther, a writer for the parenting blog, We Women, wrote an article in 2014 called "Can Children See Ghosts? What Parents Need To Know" in which she goes over the many theories as to why children seem to be able to see ghosts such as 1) They have yet to be conditioned by society to ignore what seems impossible, 2) Adults can see 400nm - 700nm on the electromagnetic spectrum, while children can see things at 380nm, putting them in the UV range, and 3) Due to their short time on earth, babies only just recently left the spirit realm themselves, so are still tuned into it until they're more firmly planted here in this one.

Just as adults have different ways of coping with unusual things, children have different ways of coping with their run-ins with the paranormal, such as in this instance told by a woman named Robyn to the site Circle of Moms in 2009:

"We went out of town and stayed in a hotel room Saturday night. We were with some friends in our room and Garrett, my three-year-old came up and said "Hey mama, how do you spell ghost?" I said "g-h-o-s-t, why do you want to spell ghost?" Then he pointed and said "like that one right there...by the towels." It was so out of the blue and out of character that it gave me chills. I looked at my girlfriend and her eyes opened wide. I didn't want to probe him about it so I kept doing what I was doing. When we got back from dinner I said "Hey Garrie, is that silly ghost still here?" He looked to the corner and said "no it's not." Then a little later my girlfriend came back to the room and I told her "the ghost" was gone. A while later my friend was talking to Garrett and said "You're so silly. Mama said that ghost is gone." He popped his head up and looked at the corner and said "No Miss Marka (Monica) it here again...right here...see!" Then he ran to the corner by the towels and pointed. It was so freaky!"

Whether a child seems intrigued by their seeming ability to pick out ghosts in a room, or terrified, it's hard to dispute that there's something behind instances like these other than pure youth of imagination. If you're reading this and have a child who's never claimed to see a ghost, and are thinking "this can't be real, my kid's never seen one." Well ... have you asked them? You may just be in for a surprise.

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A mother is horrified to find her child's room completely in shambles as a result of an unknown presence.