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  • Writer's pictureDesirae-Haunted Traverse

Children and Spirit Visitations

Updated: Apr 25

I love hosting children on my tours because they often share stories of their spirit visitations with me. They are full of energy, vibrancy, and stories to tell. And they do share their stories, most enthusiastically. In my line of work as an historian, folklorist, and paranormal enthusiast, what attracts my attention most is when children share their stories about seeing a ghost.

Their Ghost Story

Children and spirit visitation stories have variances and each child's is unique in some ways. The similarities in the patterns is what I will touch on with this blog post are the following: the child is younger when the encounters begin, usually before school age. The child does not know this person or place this person as familiar to them. And last, the specter is often someone that becomes a companion or observer of the child and is known to the family but not the child.

My Nephew's Story

As a young child, my nephew "J" would sit just outside his closet and just chatter away. My sister, at first thought J was just playing with an imaginary friend.

When asked, J would say that he was just playing with his toys, but has he grew a bit older and his vocabulary became more evolved, J started to share what he was speaking about during his playtime as he sat outside his bedroom closet.

One particular conversation of note was when J shared with his mother that the man in the closet had hurt himself. This worried my sister a bit and she tried to press J on how the man had hurt himself. J went on to tell that the man had blood all over his wrists and he had used a knife to cut himself.

J would have been about 3 years old at this point. We may have dismissed this as scary movies influencing the imagination of a child, but at that age, nothing at this level of graphic horror was in J's circle of influence. After several more descriptions that exceeded what any child of that age could imagine and J starting to express fear from the "bubble people" my sister began to suspect that J was sensitive to the paranormal.

Carefully my sister would guide J through his first encounters with the paranormal. Afterall, she and her siblings had grown up experiencing similar encounters with spirit. This author's family has a sensitivity to the paranormal.

Haunted Traverse Ghost Tours Blog
Spirits can visit children

We attribute this to my mother's side of the family, who descended from Ireland then Scotland then the United States to settle in Kentucky. A family matriarch, Addie Belle, on my mother's side was known to be a witch out of Kentucky. A legacy no doubt earned by her abilities as a natural healer, sensitivity to the paranormal, and a knack for having predictive dreams.

J was just the next generation to inherit whatever gifts Annie Belle herself carried.

J would go on and experience other encounters as a young child including spirit he described as bubble people. In the paranormal community, we call spirit that take this initial form orbs which are commonly described as balls of light.

However, this author believes, that the more sensitive, or the more open that door in one's mind is to the paranormal, the more defined the orbs can become. Even taking the form of spirit in their more human state.

J would describe the faces coming out of the orbs. Naturally, at first this was upsetting to my young nephew, but my sister, with all of her vast experiences with the paranormal was able to assure him that what he was seeing was part of the natural order of the world-even if it is hard to explain or find reason for how it unfolds in our lives.

The others

Because of my own experiences with the paranormal and love of history, it seemed that I was destined to operate ghost tours in my hometown of Traverse City Michigan.

When the tours began, I didn't have a lot of expectations. I had a bit of hope. The main wish was that those they came on my tour would love what I had created and found the time shared with me to be worth it and just plain fun. After 7 years of hosting guests to Traverse City, I have accumulated an assortment of interesting encounters with my guests. My young guests and their ghostly encounters shared I find to be the most chilling and memorable.

As I share my ghost stories, my young guests enthusiastically share theirs. As they do I see comparisons to my own growing up as well as my nieces and nephews.

Their stories start usually the same way- a person would come to visit them usually while they were in their rooms or outside playing. This person would visit and watch mostly. Sometimes these visitors would speak to them, sometimes they would move an object as well.

At some point as they grew older, this person would stop visiting. Then, as families often do, family photos and stories would be told and my younger guests would finally become aware of who this visitor was and the relation they had with this spirit.

Family looking through a family photo album
Children usually have no knowledge of the spirit visiting them

Often times, it was a loved one that had passed before they were born. A grandparent or immediate family member. And the only way the child would know about them was when the family pulled out the pictures of the loved one that had passed on and shared stories.


At this point, I get the chills. These type of stories told by my young guests always mirror the same type of experience time after time. When the frequency of these stories shared by me started to accumulate over the years, I realized this phenomenon is quite present and experienced by many children throughout the world.

How does one explain a child that accurately describes a loved one that has passed on before they were even born? Yet, somehow these children can describe this loved one or pick them out in family photos even though they have no knowledge of that loved one and have never met them.

Some can even tell their parents the visitors name. Some can recall details told to them by these spirits that the child would never have known.

The chills continue when the child seems to be a conduit for transmitting a loved ones final message. The wonder I feel in these moments just reinstalls my belief that loved ones make themselves known from the beyond to us-we just have to listen.

Why Children?

It's a good question. I like to think the ability to perceive something on the fringe of our reality is innate to all on this plain of existence we call Earth. This perception somehow gets lost to quite a big portion of the population.

Why this happens is anyone's best guess, this author will weigh into this debated topic and theorize that it is simply a part of our minds, a door so-to-speak, that closes.

Like the perception for some to have the ability to smell odors that others cannot or to see a shade of red that others cannot perceive. This door when open allows some to perceive the paranormal while others close this door and this fringe reality on the edges of our scope of what we see is lost.

How does the door close?

Some believe that we get too entrenched in our modern lifestyle and the hustle of life and our attention drawn toward screens causes the door to close.

Some believe that we enter this life from another plain of existence, and we are closer to it as a child or as an adult as we draw closer to our death.

Some think that we have an overlap of dimensions and one just makes itself known and then disappears again. The person just has to be at the right place and the right time. No special abilities needed.

It could be a combination of all three or one on its own. The theories are out there and difficult to prove.

But what I will tell you, Dear Reader, from my own experiences and listening for decades others share with me their paranormal experiences. I lean toward all three.

In the case of the subject of this post, I see that children can see and perceive the world different than adults. As we raise our offspring, we tell them and show them just simply how the world must be. A person that hears the buzzing, sees yellow, and feels a sting never thinks anything other than a bee after all.

Children seem closer to something that for adults seems beyond us. And if a loved one has passed on and the adults they care for have that door closed, then the next avenue for connection becomes their family member's children.

Ghost Tour in Traverse City Michigan
Why can children see spirit?


Children represent possibilities in so many ways to our species. They see the world different and this may open them to being more perceptive to the paranormal unfolding's that occur every day.

Loved ones may come to children to visit and to see how they fare or to relay unfinished business or thoughts that adults may be unable to hear.

But I can tell you this, Dear Reader, of all the chilling ghost stories told to me by my ghost tour guests, the children's stories freak me out the most! Their quite voices tell of matters and people they simply should not and cannot know about and yet do. How can you explain that!?

I hope you enjoyed my blog post. Please leave a comment if you have thoughts that can add to this topic.



When do children stop having these paranormal experiences where loved ones come to them?

I cannot tell you a specific age, but I find that the children that share their encounters usually had them before they started school. For my family, we start experiencing the paranormal quite young and continue on throughout our lives. The only time it seems the door closes for myself, is during times of trauma or extreme attention to the more material part of our world.

Is this something to be scared or worried about?

No. If you do not want these type of interactions with loved ones that have passed on, many take the position that one must simply not give any attention to it. With no attention paid, the activity simply fades away with time.

Is a child's visitations always paranormal in nature?

Sometimes a child just has a healthy imagination. Even I have had imaginary friends growing up. How to differentiate is by the imaginary friend clearly having data and facts attached to it that lead the adults to conclude this is a spirit instead of something made up.

Sometimes, there are psychiatric parameters at play as well. Seeking medical help for a child is never a bad idea to get a good understanding what the child is going through and if there is anything to assist the child through this part of their life.

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