Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Are Teenage Girls More Able to See Shadow People?

Over the years, I have worked with numerous teenagers.  I am a therapist, so most of the teens I see are struggling with some massive issue in their life.  They are unhappy with their family, they have been abused, or they have mental illnesses.  Many issues have brought teenagers to my sofa and I love working with teenagers.  They are open and willing to try new things.  They haven't been so scared that they can't change.  Over the last several months, I have become profoundly aware of a trend I have seen in a couple dozen of the teenage girls I have seen over the years.  I have noticed that over my long history of practice, many teen and preteen girls ages 10-15 have come to me saying they see shadow people.

From a clinical perspective, it is easy to say that flushes of hormones through the brain and the unique social stressors of puberty and adolescence at this age push young adolescent girls over the edge and they begin to imagine things.  Neurologically adolescent children are going through radical change and it could cause shadow like visions.  The girls who come to me with the shadow person issues have many different philosophical and religious orientations and perceive the shadow people as different things.  Some girls think they are ghosts.  Others think they are demons.  Quite a few of my girls have believed they are going crazy and that they are hallucinations.  It should be noted that none of these girls have ever had any other symptoms consistent with psychosis.

As I also am interested in the paranormal, I also think it is relevant that poltergeist activity is most common in children ages 10-15.  Poltergeist activity has been reported since the Roman Empire and history is littered with tales of young girls haunted by ghosts and hostile spirits.  In a recent article in the new scientists theorists described this activity as being attributed to changes in the brain during puberty.  "Rovetto and Maxia hypothesize that the changes in the brain that occur at puberty involve fluctuations in electron activity." (

In the paranormal community, shadow people and poltergeists are believed to be very different beings.  Shadow people are thought to be hostile spirits, demons or ghosts as poltergeists are thought to be the manifestations of telekinetic power in young teenagers.  Shadow People are sometimes linked to hypnogogic dreams or sleep paralysis, but these girls were all wide awake when they saw their shadow people.  So this leads me to the question?  Could these girls actually be more perceptive and more open to seeing into the spirit world?  Could they actually be seeing ghosts?

From a clinical perspective, I have to say no, but the ghost story collector in me has to wonder if it isn't something paranormal.  Perhaps puberty opens these girls up to something larger and the terror associated with this is what should be treated?

Interesting Links:

Sunday, March 5, 2017

An Ode to The Cabin in the Woods

A friend of mine recently posted this cool meme on my Facebook wall and people who had never seen Cabin in the Woods responded passionately about the murderous unicorn.  They clearly didn’t get the joke. I reposted the meme on the page of my favorite H.P. Lovecraft group, The H.P. Lovecraft Historic Society, thinking a group of horror fans would get the joke.  The response was primarily hatred of my use of the word “Lovecraftian” but secondarily showed that not enough people have seen The Cabin in the Woods, Joss Whedon’s loving homage to all things horror.   I am writing this post to encourage people to fix that wrong immediately! As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best horror movies ever made.  It isn’t The Exorcist, but it is something of its own.  It is a love letter to horror tropes and horror writers carefully wrapped in snarky dialogue and obscure references.

For those of you who missed this gem, it is essentially the tale of five college kids who go stay in a cabin in the woods for a weekend.  This is utterly cliché and very purposely cliché.  But beneath all the clichés this movie is so much more.  The opening scene says everything you need to know.  This is actually a deeper story that is carefully crafted to combine every single horror movie cliché into one film.  The cabin in the woods is  a trap designed to create the perfect sacrifice for the old gods who apparently love horror movie clichés.  The teens in the cabin must be sacrificed to one of many horror movie staples.  The board below shows all the possible ways the teens could die.  They chose which horror movie monster will kill them in a scene that whispers of a classic scene from The Evil Dead.  The teens stupidly are lured into a basement where they mess with a bunch of junk.  When one girl reads from the journal of a dead girl, the choice is made and the redneck, zombie, torture family is released from their prison and sent to kill the teens by the keepers of the old god. 

The movie climaxes in a blood bath in which every horror movie monster that has been imprisoned is released to feed upon the keepers of the old god.  Clive Barker, Lovecraft, Romero, and Carpenter would all be proud to see creatures reminiscent of their own feed on the blood on the innocent…..ish.  Unicorns and fairies and other silly, nonviolent creatures join the mix for texture.   I have placed a link to the opening scene of this beautiful film below.  Enjoy.