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Night Terrors


Unfortunately, a common claim we hear is that children have night terrors and the child and/or parents are convinced a paranormal entity is responsible. While children represent the bulk of claims we receive, adults are prone to this condition – and being an adult does not make the situation any easier. 

What Exactly are Night Terrors?

Many doctors believe that night terrors are a form of sleeping disorder. The typical night terror involves a person waking up suddenly, jumping into a sitting position and screaming uncontrollably. They will also be confused and seem to not recognize others in the room. In most cases, the victim does not remember what caused them such fear, whether it was a dream or something else. Most times, the person does not even recall waking up. As a parent, I have experienced this several times with a young child. What’s more frustrating is the fact they cannot recall what upset them so much.

Night terrors typically occur in the first few hours of sleep before the REM stage, and should not be confused with nightmares. Some estimate that approximately 5% of children have or will have at least one episode of night terror in their lifetime. Pediatricians and researchers believe night terrors is not the result of a nightmare but a sudden reaction of fear that may happen during the transition from one sleep phase to another.

Paranormal or Hallucination?

It is proven that when people are in a state between sleep and being awake, sometimes the mind can create hallucinations. But there can also be paranormal explanations to this event.

If other “paranormal” events take place in the property, one can assume there is a slim chance the night terrors might be related to a paranormal entity. If no other paranormal activity seems to occur, one can assume the night terrors may be related to a sleeping condition.

It is also important to remember that young children are prone to paranormal activity because they are more open to it. They have not been conditioned to think that ghosts do not exist. Since they are open, they are more likely to see, hear, and experience things that most unintentionally or intentionally miss. As most children age, they experience less paranormal events and so does night terrors.

It is important to talk to your children (who whoever is experiencing the event) and try to get as much information as possible. If two or more children experience the phenomenon, talk to them separately and see if there are any similarities. It may be possible only one experiences a phenomenon, however.

It is also important to remember that children can be easily scared and normal noises or sights can cause them to be scared. Talk to your child and relieve their fears.

True night terrors causes are not known to children, but when spirits mess with children, the child usually talks about a spirit. 

Genetics and Medical

Some studies suggest that some children are more predisposed to night terrors and other sleeping disorders (such as sleep paralysis) due to genetics. There are also some studies that sleep deprivation, irregular sleeping patterns, improper diet, stress, and fevers can increase the odds of having night terrors. Some medications can increase the risk for night terrors as well. Children can also experience night terrors if they sleep in a location new to them as their comfort level is a bit lower than usual. 

Possible Solutions

As a parent, I understand how frightening and upsetting it is to have children experience night terrors. As a parent, it pains you to feel helpless that a child cannot be comforted. The best bet is to wait it out as most, if not all are non-paranormal in nature. I would venture to say paranormal night terrors are extremely rare.  It is important however as a parent to make sure the child does not hurt themselves when they thrash about as a result of a night terror (Note: many parents will notice scratches and assume the worst – demons). Children that have night terrors have not developed that ability to paralyze one’s self to prevent injury during dream phase. This paralysis is the cause for most adults’ claims of “Old Hag Syndrome”.

It's best not to try to wake kids during a night terror. Attempts usually don't work, and kids who do wake are likely to be disoriented and confused, and may take longer to settle down and go back to sleep.

There's no treatment for night terrors, but you can help prevent them. Try to:

  • reduce your child's stress
  • establish and stick to a bedtime routine that's simple and relaxing
  • make sure your child gets enough rest
  • prevent your child from becoming overtired by staying up too late

If night terrors are part of a problem, if other activity is present which may be paranormal, it is important to contact a local paranormal investigation group to investigate. An experienced one can try to alleviate the situation by attempting to connect to whatever spirit to move on.

It is true that most children outgrow night terrors and most do not even remember waking up or why they are even crying. So time may help – but if it happens every night or too many times for your liking you should consider help.

If all else fails, there is the power of prayer. Trust us – it works!  Pray for Saint Michael or the child’s guardian angels to protect your child. While our strict privacy rules prohibit talking about specific cases, we do have some goose-bump causing inspirational experiences of the power of prayer.  Even if you don’t consider yourself religious or spiritual, the angels are there for help – you just have to ask.


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