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Children Who Interact with Ghosts

Image by Penny Mathews from stock.xchng
Image by Penny Mathews from stock.xchng

This morning I read an email from Patty of A Haunting We Will Go. I had left a comment on her Haunted Town post along with a question and she followed up with a personal email answering me.

In addition to her response, she happened to mention some experiences her grandson had had seeing people who had passed on. What really stood out to me was how he didn’t seem to be alarmed. He just accepted he was meeting someone new.

Like many of you, I’ve heard story after story about such incidents. (I can even remember having one of my own from when I was little.) But something dawned on me today. It struck me like it hadn’t before that the majority of Child Meets Ghost stories involve the child not being afraid.

Like I told Patty, sure, there are those incidents where children feel threatened by some unseen force or presence. But her email made me realize that more often than not the child just sees the ghost as a friend (regardless of the ghosts age). They have no trouble talking to him or her and often enjoy spending time “playing” together.

But this is what really struck me. One of the incidents Patty mentioned about her grandson happened when he was two.  Not that her grandson sounded shy, but lots of kids go through a phase of being cautious (if not downright leery and afraid) of strangers.

I can’t help but think of one of the ladies in my tennis class. Her son is two. He’s in that “don’t leave me alone, I don’t want to be with these strangers” phase. She tries to leave him in the daycare at the center where we take our lessons, but often one of the attendants has to come get her because he’s inconsolable. (Sometimes so much so she ends up not being able to continue with the class some days.)

It’s not always at age two they experience this phase. It can start that early and end in months, or it can start a bit later and last for years –or any combination thereof. Yet, regardless if they’re in that stage or not, kids are usually a bit guarded when meeting strangers. But it seems in the stories where they meet ghosts, they don’t display the same reticence as they would with a unknown human. (Well, yes, sometimes when they do feel threatened by the ghost, but I’m talking about those times they don’t.)

In a weird way, this just reinforces my belief that (a) ghosts do exist, and (b) they don’t mean harm and shouldn’t be feared.

Although, that said, I also believe there are dark forces out there, just as there are dark people walking amongst us now. Ghosts, like people, should be assessed on a case-by-case basis before deciding just how much interaction should be had.

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her in one of three places: on a tennis court somewhere, on a yoga mat somewhere, or watching a horror movie somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

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2 thoughts on “Children Who Interact with Ghosts

  1. Great post! I love it when folks ask themselves some of the context in which hauntings occur and look for patterns and things that might be like unraveling a CSI mystery to discover new aspects they hadn’t considered. You’re very open-minded about the entire phenomenon so you’re probably going to often come up with these great observations and I see a lot of great contributions to the field by people who think like yourself. Here’s the thing about kids. They have no concept of what is dangerous or bad yet. When I was 2 and 3 (yes, I recall those years well, I’m one of those odd ones–I have memories from 2 onward), I remember coming home from vacation and going over to a huge rat and petting it as it cowered against our house and calling it a kitty. I also stood on my porch one evening while a black snack wound its way around my legs and my brother became hysterical. I brought home a snapping turtle and had no idea it could hurt me. My mother was screaming and freaking out. I didn’t understand why at all. There’s no sense of danger. But, when it comes to strangers, there’s the usual fear that involves strange voices and people stooping down to pet you. I know when I’ve read the deceased for people, the way they present themselves is more of a memory. Like if you look at your sofa and imagine your spouse lying there and talking. It doesn’t involve size differences or strange voices. It’s like “knowing” more than “experiencing.” If spirits exist and they can communicate with children, my guess is that they are presented with an inner voice that’s soothing to a child and a size and location that’s not threatening to a small kid. Nearly every single child has the ability and nearly every single child loses it by the time they hit preschool. It’s a real shame. The good thing is it can come back to them as an adult, it just takes figuring out what pathway it entered their consciousness and retapping it. Cool post!

  2. Cool comment! I appreciate the compliments…I dig the view of me through your eyes!

    I also really dug how you said the “experiencing” vs. “knowing.” That makes a lot of sense to me based on various encounters I’ve had.

    Also, a lot of our friends with small children often say their children have no fear, don’t understand danger. Like the water. They see other people jumping in, figure they can do it too, but don’t realize there’s a bit more to it than that.

    And animals…they’ll often approach things with abandon too. But you crack me up! I love animals but not so sure I’d pet a rat…even when I was an innocent child! And the snake? I don’t fear them, but I think I’d be alarmed to have one wind around me!!

    Which makes me think you have a special gift. (Well, it’s obvious you do, but something about how your brain processes things is more open and “seeing” than others. It’s pretty groovy really.)

    Thanks again for the comment!

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