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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 31 Jul 2003

Night Terrors/Ghosts QUESTION from Mickey Staudt May 20, 1999 About one month ago, I awoke with a terrible nightmare. I had been dreaming that my three year old son, Maxwell had been screaming for me. When I went to his room he was crying for me to help him. He said, The Dark Man was trying to get him. I pulled on his hand and when I did his bed became a rectangular shaped pool of dark water on the floor. He was being pulled in. I dove in after him. Then, I remember calling his name. I felt this sense of urgancy to get him back, save him, his soul. I remember pulling him from the pool and getting out of the room. When I awoke, I found that I had been praying Hail Mary's in my sleep. I came out to the livingroom, blessed myself w/holy water and continued to say Hail Mary's until about 6 am that next morning. Then, about 2 weeks ago, my son Maxwell awoke screaming, like I have never heard a person scream. The panic was so clear. He was curled up against the wall, in the corner. His eyes were open and he was shaking. He was screaming, The monster-ghost is getting me!. He has refused to sleep alone since then. He has become frightened of any kind of shadows. Someone always has to be in a room with him. We have five children, yet I haven't ever experienced anything like this before. Could there be spirits in my house. Is he seeing something I am not? Now what do I do to help this?
Very Sincerely, Mrs. Mickey Staudt
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius on May 24, 1999 Dear Mrs. Staudt:
Please know that we are prayer for you and your family.
I think we have to look at a couple of possibilities here:
Your son’s experience may be a direct result of your nightmare. That is, he might have overheard you talk with your husband or a friend about this nightmare. Do not underestimate the power of a 3 year old to overhear you. 3 year olds I think are omnipresent when it comes to overhearing things. If he overheard you tell the story of your nightmare, that alone could explain his experience.

Dreams in and of themselves are devices that help process anxieties and fears that may not be conscious but are underlying in the subconscious. The dream scenario uses various memories, thoughts, and desire in an imaginative way to construct a dream sequence that may be bizarre or unexplainable but which, in reality, relates to fears and anxieties, or unresolved emotional issues. That could explain your own nightmare and also explain your child’s. It is only coincidence that the two occurred within a couple weeks of each other. But on the other hand it may not be coincidence since in the same manner as in possibility Number One above the anxieties that you might be having that may have caused your dream may have influence your child. Children, particularly those that young are quite keen on picking up the anxieties of their parents. Thus your child’s experience could also be an expression of those self-same anxieties.

A third possibility is that both your dream and his may be caused by some other bio-chemical issue in the body or the brain. Various medical conditions or other biological issues can sometimes affect dreams.

A fourth possibility is that a spiritual presence may have been indeed bothering your son and maybe your dream was a premonition. Sometimes the imaginary friends, or imaginary monsters, children have are spiritual entities, and sometimes they are imagination. Imaginary friends who are real can be either angels or demons.
Regardless of which of these possibilities are true in your case, my advice is the same:
Pray for your child and family – including prayers of protection. As his parents you can apply authority over any dark forces that invade your household. Even if there are no dark forces present, it never hurts to do this has a preventative measure.
Pray WITH your child. Teach him the Rosary and the love of the Blessed Mother.
Teach your child a devotion to his guardian angel.
Get the CD, Sleep Sound in Jesus and play this CD low in the background all night in the child’s room. In fact this CD is useful to adults as well – to calm tensions and anxieties. But this CD also seems to have a special anointing in being able to keep dark forces at bay.
See the Spiritual Warfare Prayers on our site.
Also here is the URL to purchase the Sleep Sound in Jesus CD: Sleep Sound in Jesus (Gentle Lullabies for Baby)
God Bless, and we are praying for you and your family.
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