Monday, April 2, 2012
Can Children See Ghosts?
My little one spends a considerable amount of time staring at nothing and laughing and smiling. He'll stare at a spot on the couch that is empty or a place behind my head where nothing is happening. I have to ask myself, is it possible he sees things I don't see? I found an interesting study on Ghoststudy.com that evaluated the very questions I have had. The study was done by Nicole Leader who presented several surveys to parents of children of various ages in order to determine if children were in fact more receptive to the paranormal world than adults and if so, at what ages does this ability peak and fade. The results of the study found that most parents did believe their children were more receptive to the paranormal and that children's encounters with ghosts usually began between the ages of six months and 4 years. Children seem to be naturally born with the ability to see and communicate with ghosts, according to this research. The study also found that over time children cease to communicate with the other side. A few children maintain their abilities into adulthood, but this is rare. The researcher believes that this may be caused not only by a lessening of ability to communicate with the other side but also by parents steady discouragement of such communication. The research also found that children most commonly have contact with the ghosts of deceased loved ones. If you would like to read the entire study you can at http://ghoststudy.com/new8/studies/children.htm .
Another paper I read discussed a child psychologist who indicated that at least a third of his patients believe they see ghosts (Mark Hall via HubPages.com). This paper focused more on the terror created by children's connection to the other side and ways to banish such terror. If what it suggests were true, perhaps the reason children have a more profound fear of the dark is because they are more able to sense the unseeable spirits that lurk in the shadows. As adults, we have shed our connections with the other side and have lost our fear of things we can no longer sense.
When I worked as a child therapist, I certainly found that children are sensitive to many things that adults have learned to tune out. Children are deeply observant on a level adults are not. They lack the inner dialogue that distract adults from being completely present in the now and that opens them up to observations adults, who are lost in their own thoughts, are not able to make. For example, if I saw eight children and their parents in one day, every child would notice and comment on my new tattoo while most adults would just focus on the business that had brought them into my office. To me, this very trait in children would make them more open to encounters with the paranormal.