The Problem With Children who See Spirits

There’s a serious problem with children who see spirits. But here’s a hint: the trouble with children who see spirits… isn’t the children.

Around us all the time is a reality that is largely unseen, but not unnoticed. It’s the spirit realm, or the spiritual world, or the unseen realm, whatever you want to call it. Do not think of it as another dimension, but just a reality that is layered onto our physical world that most of us cannot see with our eyes.

A surprising number of people can actually see it, to varying levels. And amazingly, many children can see it as well.

Actually, I suspect many more children than adults can see things in the spirit world. A question I often receive is, why do so many children seem to see spirits and apparitions and demons and angels and ghosts and spiritual objects and even animals, but adults cannot?

Well, the answer is pretty simple: they haven’t learned to color in the lines yet.

“Color in the Lines!”

When very young children are given paper and crayons, they begin to create art. This is natural! God made humans as God’s representatives on the planet to do God’s work, and God created. So naturally, you give God’s imagers crayons, they’ll create art.

Sometimes on the wall… or on themselves.

But hopefully on paper you provide.

Give a child blank paper and they’ll have no problem creating things.

Give them a paper with lines to color in, and they’ll disregard the lines… until you teach them to conform to how big people see the world.

Eventually, they won’t see the space outside the lines. 

But that space outside the lines is still there.

There’s No Such Thing as Spirits… really? 

Very young children will tell you what they see.

“Who’s that man?” a young girl may ask, while pointing out the door at nothing. Or “What’s that?” the young boy may squeal in terror, pointing to the empty corner.

And we adults say, “There’s nothing there. Nothing at all.”

And the child looks at you like you’re insane.

Disney Terrors

I once took our young daughter who could see spirits on a Disney World Snow White ride.

Big mistake. I should have known better.

When she saw spirits, she was seeing things that weren’t as corporeal as the physical world.

But on the Disney ride, with its glowing eyes and terrifying figures, what she normally saw in the spirit was suddenly quite physical.

And she screamed and cried and hid her eyes, terrified, trying to get out of the ride, away from what she saw, and I held her trembling in my arms, while berating myself for being an idiot.

There are No Monsters in the Closet… really?

When my wife and I get our kids to bed, we usually have a sigh of relief. Finally. Some time away from the little ones. A few moments of peace.

I imagine we’re not unique in this. And so it can be annoying when a little child gets up for a glass of water or to go potty or because…

Something’s in the closet. Or under the bed. Or outside the window…

As adults, our responses vary.

Sometimes we yell. Sometimes we threaten.  Sometimes we dismiss what they say.

“There are no such things as monsters! There’s nothing in the closet. Great Aunt Mary is NOT visiting you! GO TO BED! ONE…. TWO…. THREE! DO YOU WANT A SPANKING?”

Why are we adults so stupid?

Our child, who does not normally lie, who is not normally fearful, who is generally obedient… comes out scared, and we suddenly think the child suddenly transformed into defiant little liar who sees things?

What if the child is telling the truth? 

Hallucinations… really?

A suicidal teenager reports to the therapist he sees apparitions, and the therapist records in the notes, “He’s hallucinating.”

This assumes that the child’s brain is incorrectly interpreting the world around him.

But what if the teenager is telling the truth, and the therapist is hallucinating?

What if the therapist’s worldview is inaccurate and therefore the conclusions the therapist arrives at are incorrect?

The main problem with us adults dealing with the teenager seeing spirits is simply… he hasn’t learned to color in the lines. Obviously, he should realize that in our society you can’t publicly admit that there are spirits that some people can see. That’s crazy talk.

Despite the testimony of numerous seers over thousands of years of recorded history in countless societies, the established dogma is, “There are no monsters in the dark.”

I personally have testimonies from hundreds – and I do mean hundreds – of people who say they can see spirits, and many have seen them since childhood. Are they all hallucinating?

Or are those of us who say there are no such things as monsters incorrect?

The Problem is Us. The Adults.

We adults are the problem. We generally don’t have a way to think about the world that is accurate. And so we force our inaccurate worldview onto children who see spirits, making them believe they must be crazy to see the monster in the closet that comes and terrifies them at night, sometimes climbing on them, sometimes paralyzing them in fear.

Children experience cognitive dissonance when their parents tell them something they know must not be true.

They can’t help it. Developmentally, children believe their parents must be telling the truth. If a parent says their child is a bad boy for spilling the milk carelessly, it must be true. Even if the parent doesn’t really mean it. If a parent says the child is a worthless piece of shit, then it must be the truth… at least to the child.

(But not to God. That child, who is the image of God, was worth Jesus dying for. Maybe adults should treat their children like that instead… even when they whine.).

If the parent says there is no monster in the closet, and the child can actually see it, well… you tell me who the problem is.

It’s Time to Think Differently About the World

Adults, it’s time to go to back to school. It’s time to retrain your mind to think differently about the world. It’s time to embrace the reality that there is an unseen realm interacting in real ways with the physical world, and many children can see it.

A good first step would be to begin thinking like Jesus did about the unseen world and how to live in the physical one.

I go into considerable detail regarding this in my book Peace in Your House, available in my store (I ship only to the continental US) or digitally (and physically) from Amazon.

For an overview to begin thinking like Jesus did about these things, see this, this, and this.




  1. Hi, Doug, you are 110% on the money with this. I have worked with children’s ministry for over 25 years and I deal with families regularly who have children who see very easily into the spirit world. (I LOVE your analogy of not having learned to “color in the lines.”) Christian children easily see angels. But the problem is, the spirit world that angels live in is shared space with the demonic realm. so sooner or later they will also see demons. Unless they are trained and equipped, they do not know how to respond or what to do. Our little ones need to be trained in spiritual warfare, which boggles the adult mind. But if we don’t, they are helpless in that world.

    It might interest you to know that autistic children are even more sensitive to the spirit world than the average child. It makes sense. If their natural senses are extremely heightened, their spiritual senses probably are too. I teach on the subject of the Spiritual World of Autistic children. Since then Christian parents of autistic children have come out of the woodwork telling me the stories and experiences of their autistic MUTE children who have learned to communicate through typing on a mobile device. They share volumes of what they see and hear in the spirit.

    I would like permission to repost this article on my website Is that possible? I have written several aritcles on children and the spirit world. This spiritual sensitivity is greatly complicated in our society because of our openness to magic, witchcraft, casting spells, talking to the dead, and more in our children’s entertainment media. How do I get permission to re-post this article? I will be linking it to several of my articles.

    Recently, in response to the dozens and dozens of parents who contacted me for help because their children had night terrors, I wrote a children’s book called “Monsters in My Closet, but not for Long.” It’s a story of a boy who saw monsters, and how his parents and pastor trained him in the basics of spiritual warfare and taking authority over the demons. In the back of the book is a section just for the parents of real testimonials to help them help their children.

    It’s one of my top selling books. I would be glad to give you a link to download for free, but I don’t want to do give it here publicly. Let me know if you are interested.

    Read the testimonials on the book here.

    • This looks great. Thank you. Yes, feel free to republish it, and consider a guest post on my site as well. I’ve worked with some parents of children with autism regarding similar issues, and have been sitting on a post to address it as well. Maybe it’s time to dust that post off and get it released!

    • Hi I’m really interested in that. My 7 yr old son has had night terrors since he was a baby. They’re awful. He never remembers them but when they are happening his eyes are open and he sees things that absolutely terrify him. Nothing I do can calm him….only way I’ve learned to deal with it is to of course pray…but also get him focused on a song or turn on the TV…it helps him focus and snaps his out of his trance. I’ve told him about his authority over these things through Jesus name ….but I’d love to learn more.

  2. One more thing, I am not familiar with your website and policies, but would you consider linking some of my articles to your site?


    My Child Sees Monsters! Help! —

    Kids, Magic, and Witchcraft —

    Charlie, Charlie, Are Filling a Void? —

    This is a Generation of Seers —

    Do You Talk to Your Kids About the Kingdom of Darkness? —

    Christian Teens & Their Supernatural World —

  3. I saw some fear based images as a child in nightmares that any worthwhile psychologist could interpret. I had animal friends as a child who only I could see but they disappeared when adult real monsters came in to the room who terrified me.

    Only as an adult did I begin to see spirits either soon after or soon before I became a believer in Jesus Christ.

    The first I call “The Big Man In the Shadow”. I saw him when I wondered what was I compared to infinity. He was there on the horizon between me and infinity as the potential for everything humanly good. He was in a shadow cause I could not fully comprehend him. I thought he was my subconscious for a couple of years until energy fields rested on me that showed me things my subconscious originating from me and whatever knowledge or experience I had was incapable of. I saw people I never met before I ever met or knew I’d meet them. I became aware of many things I had no way of knowing like that a person was going to confront me or a friend I did not see for 5 years was going through a hard time…

    Then I saw an evil shadow I call “pig pen” cause it reminded me of the character Pigpen in Peanuts comics. It caused confusion but when I saw it I told it “Jesus’s blood took care of you” it left.

    When one of my 2 dogs died I saw him in a vision while awake sitting with my eyes closed. He was in my arms. My arms unfolded of they own volition. He walked a little way at an upward angle, turned and looked at me and was gone.
    When his companion, my other dog did 5 years later I felt her presence a day or 2 after. She was free and happy and I could smell her. It was very similar to a friend of mine, a christian who died in his 50s.

    Not everything kids see is a discernment of spirit. Some is a manifestation of they fear but the one at disney was definitely what is there. I found a beautiful new looking stuffed toy clown someone left in the junk. It had a tag I removed that said “evidence”. My niece was terrified of it.

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