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Hard Wired for Paranormal?

There is often considerable discussion in the paranormal community as to the belief that children seem more susceptible to paranormal activity.  Many researchers believe that children are more likely to experience paranormal phenomena because their undeveloped minds haven’t yet created the bias and prejudices that adults have for illogical” or “irrational” ideas or beliefs...things that most of society tends to filter out.  Or…is it possible that young minds are physically more receptive to paranormal events such as ghosts and other phenomena?

Let’s examine a couple of examples…

  • Your daughter comes crying into your bedroom late in the night.  She’s terrified, and tells you that she saw the ghost of a woman in her bedroom.  She can even describe in great detail the woman…right down to her clothing.    As a parent, how do you react?  We’re often quick to blame the event on a vivid imagination or a nightmare.  But…what if it’s not a dream or a vivid imagination?  
  • You begin to notice that your child has an “imaginary friend” that they interact with frequently.  They treat this “friend” as if they are totally real and the same as any other neighborhood child.  When you question them, they argue with you that their “friend” does exist and is standing right there at that very moment.     Again, as parents…how do you react?  In general, most parents accept…even pretend to go along with their child, in order to avoid conflict.  Other parents are afraid that this “imaginary” friend indicates a need for psychological companionship by the child.

Some scientists contend that childhood paranormal experiences are a sign of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia.  If this is the case, then these paranormal events would amount to nothing more than hallucinations. This negative view is one of the primary reasons that people refuse to talk about paranormal experiences for fear of being labeled a “freak” or “nut case”.  

Other psychologists consider paranormal experiences to be normal psychological phenomena based on purely innocent cognitive errors. Rather than hallucinations, many paranormal experiences would be ordinary mistakes in logical thinking.   These situations would fall within the realm of basic childhood growth and development.  

Believers in the paranormal contend that a lack of ability in distinguishing between the paranormal and the normal may actually make children more open towards paranormal phenomena than older children or adults.  Additionally, it is also seen that many psychics begin to exhibit their abilities when they are still children.  These childhood paranormal experiences may be the initial signs of a psychic awakening by the child.  

As a result, childhood paranormal experiences seem to fall into three categories.  A) psychological cases in which the paranormal activity is an extension of the child's own subconscious mind and b) cases in which the paranormal manifestation is nothing more than part of a child’s “growing process” of learning to decipher and filter the “real” and “imaginary”, and c) parapsychological cases wherein the paranormal activity seems to be a genuine manifestation to the child and which can’t be debunked by scientific or psychological means.

Regardless of each person’s personal belief on the subject, we would be foolish not to take seriously their experiences.  Whether from a medical, scientific, or parapyshcological aspect, it can be a very serious stage in a child’s life and should be treated that way.