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Why Kids Are More Likely To “See” Ghosts

It’s a common theme in Hollywood films that kids have an inexplicably spooky connection with the paranormal.

Even Kanye West has rapped about the phenomenon on his track "Kids See Ghosts".

But there could be a few logical reasons why children are seemingly more likely to report seeing spirits floating around the house than adults.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Aleta G Angelosante, PhD, told Refinery 29 that there's no reason to be alarmed if your little one spots a spectre -- saying a lot of it has to do with their vivid imaginations.

"Children are hard-wired to learn through imaginative and pretend play, and therefore they can slip between reality and fantasy much more easily than adults," Dr Angelosante said.

READ MORE: Why Kids Lie And When You Should Start To Worry

Plus, with Halloween just a few weeks away -- there's an abundance of spooky decorations around and an increase in the number of scary movies programmed on TV.

The expert added that kids are still developing their visual perception and how they process what they've seen in their periphery.

"While an adult might dismiss something they see quickly out of the corner of their eye as “nothing” or have a reality-based explanation, children might insist they saw a ghost or a fairy or some other creature," said Dr Angelosante.

What Has Science Got To Say About Ghosts?

According to two cognitive psychology experts from Manchester Metropolitan University -- Neil Dagnall and Ken Drinkwater -- there are three main explanations for why someone might report seeing a ghost.

1. People are more likely to feel a ghostly presence after hearing "verbal suggestions". For example, being told that a particular house is haunted.

2. Electromagnetic fields and eerie noises have a lot to answer for. The researchers found that areas with "erratic magnetic fields" were more likely to be associated with ghostly experiences. Similarly, certain audio frequencies can make humans feel that paranormal activity is occurring around us.

3. Toxic substances such as "carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and pesticide" can cause people to hallucinate and give the impression that something creepy or bizarre is happening around them.

What To Do If Your Child Reports Seeing A Ghost

If your child does claim to have seen a ghost, it's a good idea to listen to them and not dismiss their claims, according to parenting blog Scary Mommy.

“I can tell you though, don’t tell your child not to be scared. Let them be scared, but tell them they’re safe," the blog noted.

READ MORE: 7 Phrases To Avoid When Kids Are Anxious Or Worried

Validating their concerns and explaining the difference between fantasy and reality is also important, according to Dr Angelosante.

And if you're inclined to believe that your child really *has* seen a ghost -- cross your fingers that it's one of the fun kinds of spirits that are just here to party.

Main Image: Universal