Truth be told, the thought of ghost children or the spirits of dead children is unsettling. We often see children as the epitome of innocence and love, and death is wrongly perceived as anything related to love, warmth, and care. But, as sad as it is, children do die far too early. What can be seen as sadder is that they are reported to be haunting various locations. When a haunted location announces that they are haunted by children, ghost hunters will flock to the location with toys as trigger objects. They may sing a few songs, or ask a few questions, talking in a baby voice, etc. But there are other effective ways of establishing communication with ghost children.
From my experience as a teacher and as a paranormal investigator, I’ve learned the following things about communicating with deceased children and pre-teens.
- Research child development: A child who is five years old will act very differently from a child who is nine. The first decade of a child’s life is crucial in their social and academic development. What I typically find in investigations involving children is that ghost hunters will streamline and treat the children all the same regardless of age. What results is talking to a ghost child as if they are several years younger than what they were when they died. Now, I don’t know if deceased children still grow and mature in the afterlife, but talking to a child like they’re younger is insulting to them, and they won’t want to talk with you. So, essentially, know your audience.
- Keep in mind of attention spans and trigger objects: This is both for the investigator and the ghost children. If you’re a teacher or have children of your own, you’re probably aware that a kid will only play with a toy for so long before they get bored and find something else more exciting. Or, if they’re not interested in talking to you anymore, they will simply walk away. You have to figure out what will keep the young one engage. So this means you might need to bring multiple toys, books, music, and different things to talk about.
- Let them show off: If you’re reading a book or singing a song, don’t finish the last word or two and let the kids fill in the blanks. Not only will you possibly have some interesting EVP’s, but you’re also creating an effective rapport with the child and gaining their trust. Kids love to show off their knowledge and abilities, especially to adults. Create an environment that allows them to do so, and your data collection will be very interesting!
- Practice: If you’re a teacher or have kids of your own, then you have an idea on how to talk to children. If you don’t encounter kids on a regular basis, consider babysitting or volunteering for an organization. I’ve learned that kids can smell hesitation and fear from a mile away and can take advantage of it. If you’re struggling with connecting with a child (and no, baby talk doesn’t count), practice by interacting with kids in your free time.
- Know Children Through History: Kids from the early 1900’s obviously lived different lives than children in the 21st century. The childhoods from the past had more responsibility where they might have even worked to help support their families when they were only 6 years old. This is much different from today’s child where they have preschool and modern technology to entertain them. For example, if you’re dealing with a ghost child from the Industrial Revolution, then they child most likely had a job. Knowing tidbits such as these will help you in your questions.
- All They Need is Love: From my experience of interacting with children, both living and dead, young and old, they crave love and attention in some from. If they are deceased, there is a good chance that they miss having physical contact such as hugs and lap sitting. This is why, especially at places like the Orphanage in Gettysburg, people will feel kids climbing into their laps and touching their hands. If you find yourself having this kind of experience, embrace it. You’re helping that child get the emotional attention that they need that will hopefully bring their souls at peace. Obviously set your boundaries if you don’t want that child going home with you.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to create a productive and rewarding communication session with the child. Communicating with young ghosts is much different than interacting with adults. Effectively communication is key in gathering information, and you might make a positive impact on not only your team and the location, but also for the child that you’re talking to. These deceased kiddos are more than a spooky story, they were once real people and souls that need some sort of resolution. Remember that, and you’ll make positive waves in the field.