Children are naturally scary creatures, but what happens when your kid is more than run-of-the-mill scary and might actually be experiencing a haunting or demonic activity?

One common theme that pops up in biographic ghost stories on television is that it is always the mother who first believes their child’s claims of paranormal experiences. In these narratives, dads typically brush off the stories or get angry at the suggestion that there might be something otherworldly happening. It isn’t until the dads experience something personally that they become believers. (Curiously—and I haven’t tabulated any fancy statistics to determine this—there seems to be less reports of moms who think their child may have been abducted by aliens.)

On average, moms spend more time with their children than dads, and since various polls show more women than men believe in ghosts, it stands to reason that a mother would be more attune to her child having a case of the paranormals or ghost pox—which I guess can’t be cured with penicillin or a vaccine (What would a paranormal vaccine even involve, dead ghosts? Ghosts are already dead. It doesn’t make any sense, I mean, come on.).

It doesn’t take long to find a mom on the Internet desperately seeking help for her child who is experiencing something unexplained. It seems fair to ask whether these are some sort of pleas for attention on the part of the mom, or whether the child’s problems might best be dealt with by a psychiatrist or other medical professional, and there’s no doubt this is often the case. But what if sometimes it’s worth taking moms seriously on these matters? Most moms love their children and would go to bat for them for anything. Yet if a child is experiencing something paranormal, they can’t take the child to a hospital to get cured, and coming forward with it publicly would bring on ridicule and questions over the mom’s sanity. It has to be a tough position to be in.

More generally, since moms often socialize kids the most, they can greatly influence their children’s beliefs on the paranormal. My mom’s staunch adherence to Catholicism involved a complicated relationship with the paranormal. Séances, Ouija boards, and fortune telling were of the utmost evil, which made them all the more appealing to me. Aliens didn’t exist because God made us special in the universe (I think somewhere deep in her heart she believes the sun revolves around earth). Yet there was a complete openness to the idea that spirits existed, and some might not have passed on. The possibility of demons or evil influences wasn’t discussed, but they were understood to exist.

How might your mom have shaped your interests in the paranormal? What stories did she tell or what beliefs did she pass on to you? Did she believe you if you ever claimed you had a paranormal experience as a child? If you never thought to ask, when you call to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, ask her if she’s ever seen a ghost or a UFO, or experienced anything unexplained. I’m of the opinion that these are the sorts of fun memories and conversations one should have with their parents.

  • Archard

    My mom once dragged me out at 2am in the morning because she had seen a girl on the roadside. She was sure that she needed help and so dragged me out (in boxers and a t-shirt I might add) and we ended up searching the area. It is all farming land with not many houses for her to go to but there was no sign. 
    She was convinced she had to find her but when she mentioned it to someone at her workplace they told her that someone had died down there and it was a girl who was waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up. 
    Mom never drove that way again…

  • Henry

    Or call her up, hold the phone a little away from your face and say you have died and it is your voice from the grave!

    Mom’s love that.

    Nice article, and very appropriate for the day.

  • Valkyrie13

    Freaky!  That reminds me, this friend I had growing up lived by a river in a rural area.  One day her and her mom both heard someone screaming for help up the river.  I think they even called the cops but couldn’t find anything.  I guess that’s probably not paranormal, but still.

  • Valkyrie13

    LOL! Thanks Henry 🙂

  • Lindsay

    my mom thinks i’m bat sh*t crazy for believing in the paranormal. her and my step-dad both. my dad gets it, but not those two. my mom hates that i like it. i can’t help it! i can’t help what i like and what i don’t…ya dig?  she thinks it weird and unnatural. she thinks it’s all fake and it’s just my mind.

    one night, i was sitting on the couch watching ghost adventures and she came and sat down next to me. it was an episode about a demonic spirit. she FLIPPED on me for watching it. “turn it off lindsay. you don’t need to be watching this stuff. by you watching it, you’re running the risk of it it coming into our home.” is she smoking? she got into an argument about and she got all pissy about it. i think she might have had a horrible experience once and wants to block that memory as best as possible. who knows though. she’s crazy

  • Sunshine_jan

    I’m struggling with this as a mom,dealing with things I don’t understand happening at night to me (being pinched, touched, hair pulled, hearing the kids calling or door being knocked in the middle of the night and neither has happened) and trying to keep it to myself.  Then my kids start being scared, having nightmares, saying they see things.  I feel so alone and unequipped to help them.  I don’t know who to go to. My mom is the only person I’ve told and raised as Evangelical Protestants, the answer is always, “pray, read your bible, stop watching all that paranormal stuff, etc.”  But sites like this and paranormal shows are the only reference I have, like Lindsay.
    I think mothers have an unseen psychic bond with their children, some stronger than others, and varying with the degree of sensitivity.   Right now I’m scared and feel the weight of the world on my shoulders to protect my kids, but I hope someday our experience will be one we can look back on that binds us closer. 

  • RednGreen

    That is an awesome story Archard!

  • RednGreen

    My mom has always really been into all things paranormal (and science-fiction for that matter). I remember she always talked about how much she loved the show Dark Shadows and even to this day loves to watch that kind of stuff. But I can honestly say I don’t know if she believes in any of it. I know she’s open to it, but I don’t know if she’s ever had an experience of her own. I had an experience of my own as a child, like most of us here, and that has obviously made me look for answers. I’m not sure what caused her curiosity.. must have been something….

  • Lindsay

     such a good movie! i went and saw it thursday night! although, i never saw the series (i’ve been meaning to get it), so i have nothing to compare it to. i’m also a huge depp and burton fan!

  • AaronD2012

    My vote is good ole mid-life crisis

  • RednGreen

    We saw the movie Sunday, I really liked it too!

  • AaronD2012

    I took my 9 y/o to see it friday night–he’s in love with Chloe Grace–he’s hoping there’s a sequel. The whole vampire immortality thing intrigues us both. My 6 y/o, on the other hand, we went to see the Avengers the week before, that was cool too !

  • Lindsay

    i think there will be a sequel. i’m kind of hoping there will be one, too. haha

  • AaronD2012

    Has anyone seen “Let me in”? or the original (English subtitled) “Let the right one in”? They’re the kinda flick you either love or hate, I guess….I loved it, especially the American version cuz I didn’t have to read the whole way through it 🙂 Something about a child vampire that causes the viewer to cheer for the monster instead of the humans, err in this case, the monster appears to be an innocent little girl but by the time she shows her vicious nature you’re still on her side cuz she’s giving the bullies what they got coming.

  • Matt

    When I was a kid I was physically pushed over twice, with nobody else in my bedroom. I would also see skeletons standing in my doorway at night time, and the occasional skeletal coyote running around our property, which was near Granite Mt. in Arizona. I thought I was insane growing up, but I told my mom these stories a couple of years ago. Lo and behold she felt terrible presences in that house, but she didn’t want to scare us kids, or my dad and never said anything. I live in New Orleans now, and occasionally go through some weird shit…. nothing like it was in AZ though, thank God.