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Supernatural: Not-So-Imaginary Friends
The Truth About Imaginary Friends
By Ghia Vitale
Every cool kid had at least one imaginary friend when they were growing up. Some children invent imaginary friends to fulfill a purpose and then promptly get rid of them. Others have more consistent identities and remain with the minds that imagined them to life. Mental health experts and adults conclude that children invent imaginary friends as a psychological defense mechanism, a way to satisfy the needs that real people were failing to meet. I’ve heard about children befriending imaginary people in times of abandonment, such as an when older sibling whom they once spent a lot of time with starts attending school full-time. However, my experiences have taught me that there is far more depth to imaginary friends.
Paranormal experts (and people in general) accept that children are generally more capable of perceiving spirits than adults are. The purity of young minds allows them to trust their supersensory abilities without question. After so many cups of coffee and clock-punching, adult brains get tired and we settle into a routine. Plainly put, the humdrum of adulthood closes our minds to preserve whatever remains of our sanity.
In many instances, imaginary friends are actually spirits who pursue a child's friendship for a host of different reasons. Some are the spirits of dead people who enjoy children's company, like the friend of my aunt whose daughter started talking about how she played with a woman named "Olivia." They later found out that a woman named Olivia died in their house. I could imagine how the novelty of being dead would get old pretty quickly.
Other imaginary friends might be spirits who acquaint themselves with a child for reasons that range from wholesome to malevolent. Like mortal predators, spirits with unkind agendas are more than happy to invest time and energy into earning the child’s trust. Although Olivia didn't hurt my aunt's friend's child, there are other reports that are akin to what happened in The Exorcist. Captain Howdy does what real life predators wish they could do: morph into any form, call themselves dorky names like "Captain Howdy" to disarm them, and pull the entire thing off. Good luck trying that with an adult. I met a middle-aged man whom swore that when he was a child, some creature with glowing red eyes popped out of his closet door. He screamed as he felt some invisible force try to drag him into the closet. I truly don't think that this adult man was lying. The fear in his eyes as he told me the story explained it all.
When I was younger, I had an posse of imaginary friends that included Jack Skellington (my boyfriend), Piraton (a Chucky doll in a purple pirate suite), and the original cast of The Puppet Masters. One of my best friends was a big black beast with horns. He looked like an enormous bovine-like bulldog with rust-colored horns. Despite his fierce appearance, he was a very grounded and calm creature. The whites of his eyes contrasted his large, black irises as they lolled about wherever he set his gaze. I “met” him at age four when I was being plagued with nightmares. When he began accompanying me to bed, the nightmares disappeared.
I didn’t see him again until many years later when I was a senior in high school. I was very troubled at the time, one of the main reasons being that most of the adults in my life simply weren’t acting like adults due to their own issues. I had no guidance or boundaries to serve as moral compass. One sunny morning, I was making some coffee when I sensed a presence nearby. I looked in the breakfast nook and spotted a large, black, horned beast with a peaceful vibe. I didn’t immediately recognize him, but I began interacting with him and was excited enough about my new spirit friend that I decided to tell my mother. Since I had grown and my third eye sight had sharpened, she believed me and warned me about the stranger-danger of spirits, something that I know all too well.
A week later, one of my friends came over to hang out with my mom because she had been tutoring him on how to use tarot cards or something. She hadn’t told him about the spirit I befriended. Nonetheless, he told her that he dreamt about a black beast with horns that chased him over a fence. He said that he didn’t feel threatened but he felt sensed that the beast was trying to protect him from his own destructive decisions. Upon hearing that, it dawned on me that this spirit was the “imaginary friend” that I knew so long ago. Perhaps the dream was a coincidence, but whenever I've summoned him in the past and asked others to point him out in a room (without obviously pointing out his location in some way, of course), they always point to the exact location in the room where I perceive him to be.
A dear friend of the family has a darling daughter. Exceptional in every way, she has a very bright and engaging personality. Since she is so creative, her mother wasn’t surprised when she began mentioning that she had an imaginary friend whom she described as “tall with a witchy face.” One day, she was in the bathroom with her daughter while she was talking to her invisible companion whom, according to the little girl, was standing next to the toilet. Her daughter wasn’t shocked when the knob pushed downward "on its own" and the toilet flushed, but her mother sure was.
Before you dismiss children's perceptions, remember that there is a great chance that they might see something that you missed in your jadedness. At the very least, be considerate of their invisible friend's feelings, as they might not be as "imaginary" as they appear. My not-so-imaginary friend and I momentarily parted, our friendship enhanced my perspective of the unseen and I lived happily ever after.
#ImaginaryFriends #ChildhoodFantasies #Supernatural #Children #Delusion #PerceptionIsReality #Ghosts
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