Well I Wasn't Expecting That !
I recently visited the Royal Oak in Swanage, one of my favourite little pubs to investigate, but on this occasion I decided to take my kids for a mini break for a weekend away.
I know what you're thinking and no I didn't take my kids on a paranormal investigation. However that in itself is an interesting point. For me I know my paranormal investigator side is never really off duty and whenever I walk into a location with some history or possibilities I'm always analysing what's about me.
This is a part of me that has developed over the years where I always seem to manage to be fascinated by the stories associated with places as well as their activity. In all honesty it could equally be linked to the writer side of me too. Something that never really rests and to be fair I'm glad as you never really know when the paratheorist will pop up with an idea either.
Getting back to my visit to the Royal Oak. I hadn't been there more than twenty minutes and I was welcomed by the landlady Rachael. My youngest then asked; "Is that your friend?" Obviously I replied advising that Rachael wasn't just my friend, but also the owner of the pub we were staying in that night. Then the oddest thing occurred. My youngest looked up and exclaimed something similar to; "Is John your friend too?" At that point in time we were sat in the pool room, Rachael had left us and my youngest was pretty much looking at nothing. I looked around slightly confused by her statement.
What is important to add is that there was no one there (as far as I am aware) by the name of John and I dont have any friends that she would have met that are called John. Certainly no one there with us that evening that I could see. However what is interesting and something my youngest could not have known is that one of the prominent 'spirits' that mediums communicate with at this location is called John.
So, is my daughter a medium? Did she see the spirit of John that night?
In all fairness once she had slapped me around the face with that piece of information I was in two minds whether staying a couple of nights in the same pub maybe a wise idea.
What's Really Happening Here!
It's extremely difficult to comprehend fully if indeed my daughter is spiritually gifted or if the information was acquired from other sources. However the timing was very interesting indeed. No one walked passed, Rachael had just left so she knew who she was and nothing really occurred to prompt the statement. Once again I am left by a simple event at the Royal Oak that leaves me without a good solid explanation.
However it did remind of the research of Ian Stevenson, who pioneered some great research around children and their recollection of past lives or events. In fact Stevenson spent a large part of his life on this research looking into past lives, reincarnation, near death experiences, out of body experiences and much more. Dr. Stevenson also documented and authored papers on how in some cases birth defects or marks appeared to pass from one life to the next too. Fascinating stuff really, which I must write about in more detail at some point.
The point here is that an interesting piece of information suggests that children under the age of six are more likely to 'pick up on things' for some reason. My youngest is three years old. The very fact that she picked up on something as specific as the name 'John' could suggest that Stevenson was onto something, but why? My understanding is that before the age of six the children haven't been through enough education and social situations to allow them to formulate an understanding of the world as its commonly seen by us all. Thus perhaps their reality differs from ours. Also, if you try to think back to this period of your life and accurately recall events its very hard indeed. Try it? What you do remember maybe your current perception of the events, but may not always be the actual course of events that occurred.
This in itself presents some interesting concepts around memory, but then how do these children before the age of six remember prior to being born the lives of others? This is also where I believe telepathic interaction may come into play. As these children have no social or educational boundaries in place they can receive information telepathically without question. When you become an adult certain information that 'pop's into your head' is often discarded as imagination or simply irrelevant to our current busy lives. Children under six dont have this problem.
So Why Don't All Kids Talk About Past Lives or Ghost?
This is the interesting factor, why doesn't every child under the age of six talk to us about the ghosts they see or past lives? Perhaps the problem with that it actually us, how many parents have thought their child has an imaginary friend or even simply discounted a piece of information from their child thinking they have an excellent imagination. I'll admit it I'm sure I have. Except when that piece of information is directly related to the location I am sat in, then my ears prick up!
Information is an interesting thing really, it is a part of everything we do these days and makes up the majority if not all we come into contact with. Oddly though we are as accepting of some information as we are able to discount many pieces of information too. We accept what we feel is valid to us and in that often discount important information that holds great value to others. Often its this under valuation of information that holds importance to others that can cause many disagreements in my opinion. Something to bear in mind perhaps.
Of course we have to bear in mind that the name John is relatively common too and although there seems no real reason why my daughter may ask what she did when she did, there's still that possibility that it was pure coincidence. Thus the timing and location gave the information greater meaning to me than it may have actually had.
As with everything in the paranormal you really have to keep an open mind, as brilliant as things may seem try not to get overly excited and falling into that trap of believing everything as being spooky! That said should we be discounting everything too? Where can we, pardon the pun, find the happy medium?