It’s not uncommon for children to tell their parents they have seen a ghost or have a monster hiding under their bed or in their closet. They may have an imaginary friend they refer to as vividly as a real-life friend. In most casts, this is the result of an active imagination. What if it seems like something much stranger is afoot? What do you do?
First, consider if this behavior is uncharacteristic of your child. If they are not typically imaginative or daydreamers, take note of it. Ask your child about what they are experiencing, focusing on the senses, such as what they’re seeing or hearing. Check in with them and ask how they’re feeling.
Some spirits befriend children, as it’s easier for them to interact with them. A benign imaginary friend could be a malicious entity, creating a “stranger danger” beyond the grave. Does your child seem scared, anxious, or anxious about the imaginary friend? Ask them to describe their imaginary friend as vividly as possible. If you believe a paranormal force could be at play, this information could be important to investigating the haunting. In a few cases, children have had imaginary friends who have perfectly matched the descriptions of deceased children who haunt the home they’re living in. Do not conduct a séance or use a Ouija board to try to communicate with the spirit – leave any contact to a paranormal investigation team.
Communication is key. Be an active listener and provide your child with your complete attention. Do not place any judgment on what they are saying. If your child trusts you and confides in you by telling you about what they’re experiencing, it is pivotal you don’t become frustrated, upset, discouraged, or angry with them. Expressions of anxiety, fear, doubt, or disapproval will read negatively to them. Don’t tell your child ghosts don’t exist or that they have an overactive imagination. Though there’s no cut-and-dry evidence proving or disproving the existence of ghosts, it’s important to make sure your child feels heard. It may seem like you’re offering comforting reassurance, but it can leave your child feeling confused and like you don’t believe them. Let them know you think this is important. Try to maintain an outwardly unbiased perspective, regardless how you personally feel. Be comforting and reassuring. Assure them you are here to protect them and will do what you can to fix the situation.
If you truly believe you are dealing with a paranormal situation, seek help from a local paranormal research group with experience in investigating and removing spirits.