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Is this normal 3 year old rubbish? Or a bit unusual? It freaks the hell out of me...

(58 Posts)
funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:06:53

DS ( 3 1/2) says that a lady comes in the night - he is often nervous of her coming at bed time. He doesn't like her (I tried to suggest she was nice, he said "He, she is bad" - an ususual choice of words for him). He wants us to tell her to go away, and sometimes wakes in the night saying she has come - once we tell her to go away he calms down. This has happened in houses other than our own. This morning he said "She has big hair, and she says things and makes me sad". He has been talking about her for probably 4 months or so now.

It should also be said that he has regular visits from sharks, crocodiles etc - but the lady visits with more consistancy, and is clearly always the same lady...

Any ideas on how to tackle it?

So far our policy has been not to deny that she is there, but to tell her to go away when he asks us to, and assert that she's now gone.

yelnats Sun 08-Jul-07 22:10:37

Hi dont have much to add except that you must be pretty freaked out! My dd1 went through a phase when she was about 18-22 months saying that there was a man and that she didnt like the man but we were in the middle of moving house at the time and since we moved she has never mentioned him since. Though I was at a spiritualist lady in October and she mentioned the man that dd1 sees and says that she will see him again but not to be frightened because she isn't and he can't do any harm.

Freaky!! It terrifies the life out of me!

edam Sun 08-Jul-07 22:11:13

eek. How disturbing. Would give me the shivers, tbh. Don't know if you are into alternative stuff but there are cleansing rituals you can carry out to rid houses of bad ... well, stuff. Someone on these boards will know about them, I'm sure.

Might help ds to carry out a little ritual so he knows the lady has been asked to go away permanently.

fingerwoman Sun 08-Jul-07 22:11:59

it does sound a bit odd, but then, I don't have a 3.5yr old so maybe I am the wrong person to comment?
Have you tried asking him if he can think of anything that might stop her coming? perhaps you could write a letter to her and put it on his door saying please stop coming, thank you.

edam Sun 08-Jul-07 22:12:13

(I noticed the bit about other houses, but might help to start with your own.)

fingerwoman Sun 08-Jul-07 22:12:44

btw, I don't think it's a "ghost" thing, if he has visits from sharks and crocodiles and things too then this is more likely to just be an extension of that- overactive imagination

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:13:40

lol, yelnuts - I THINK it's nice to know I'm not alone!
And yes, it does freak me out quite a bit. Esp one night when he refused to let me leave his room and clung onto me saying 'she's coming, she's coming..." - all a bit too much like some bad straight-to-tv thriller....

pirategirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:14:01

I guess I would be concerned if my child was getting upset, and saying the person is bad.

Hey who am I kidding, I'd be pretty scared. I think they are not made up words, esp for a 3 1/2 yr old.

muppetgirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:14:23

Hi, not had any experience of this sort of thing but if it were my 3 year old I would be looking to seek further help. If your ds was okay with the lady and talked of her in an accepting or even happier tone I would let it ride but he's not. He doesn't like it/her and asks for your help. He's clearly asking you to make her go away. Doctor would be my 1st point then to be referred to a child psychologist?

He's asking for your help....

pirategirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:19:11

'she's coming, she's coming..."

i think i'd crap myself, but seriously, like posterbeow, maybe your concerns are stronger than you conciously show.

How did this start, or do you have an inkling as to why??

any info, maybe an event, change etc...

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:22:45

fingerwoman/edam - I have been wondering about some kind of ritual - hadn't thought of asking him. In one way, I don't want to draw more attnetion to it (he doesn't tend to talk about her in the day time - I guess I'd assumed that it was a 'phase' that would pass ... but tbh, am beginning to think I need to help a bit.
Doctor, muppetgirl - really? I find them pretty unhelpful when there's a 'real' symptom to deal with, let alone something less 'solid... - maybe just my cynical view though...
DS is otherwise as normal as any other 3 year old...

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:25:36

pirategirl - yes, you're probably right. I think I'm determined that if whatever this is is trying to/is scaring my boy, it's going to have to come through me first - I'm usually a complete and total scardy-pants with anything even slightly supernatural!

Can't think of anything particualar that changed around the time he started talking about her...we have quite dull lives...

fingerwoman Sun 08-Jul-07 22:26:11

I think he needs to know that you're doing something to make her go away. I am not a total cynic but I honestly don't think this is some kind of weird spirit being following you from house to house.
If he says "she's coming, she's coming" I would just reassure him and say "that's ok ds, I am here and we will tell her to go away now ok?"
Once you've told her to go is he ok?

edam Sun 08-Jul-07 22:27:29

Agree with muppet that he's asking for help. Suppose GP can't hurt and may have some ideas. Or maybe not. I'd go for someone who knows about cleansing rituals - you can probably google them these days but am certain you'll find something in the Mind/Body/Soul section of any bookshop or library.

If all else fails, ask your vicar. Seriously - CofE still carries out exorcisms (I don't think every vicar does them but they will know a man who can).

fingerwoman Sun 08-Jul-07 22:27:34

also, has he only started waking in the night since he started talking about her? or is it something he sometimes did anyway?
If so do you think that this lady has just become a bit of a "thing" for him and it's just become habit for him to say she has come when he wakes up in the night?

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:29:58

fingerwoman - if I say 'Go away, lady, this isn't your room, Thom says go away please' in my best firm-mummy-voice, he calms down pretty much straight away - that seems to be all he needs.
For eg - this eve when I was settling him down for sleep, he asked if I'd come if she came again, and I said, yes, if she came, he should call me and I'd come and tell her to go away. He was happy with that.

lulumama Sun 08-Jul-07 22:32:45

we recently had someone from the spiritualist church come to cleanse our house, as we had a spirit child in the house, that me, DH and DD ( not quite 2 ) had all seen....see my threads in this topic called 'Lulumama;s haunted house'

DD was not scared, she was smiling and waving, but I was not happy with the spirit child being in her room....or ours ! so we had someone come and help him find his real trouble or seeing things since.

worth a try?

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:32:52

Humm, might think about local vicar - he's quite nice - feels like it would officially be taking this seriously, though - not sure I'm ready to do that yet.

And fingerwoman, waking in the night is absolutely NOT anything special for him - he didn't sleep through at all til 18mths, and is a very erratic sleeper.

I do think it is possible that he has picked up that mentioning 'the lady' means that mummy is much more receptive. he does talk about her to dh, but rather less so

fingerwoman Sun 08-Jul-07 22:32:59

I reckon you should get him to help you make a big sign to put on his door which says exactly that"GO AWAY LADY. THIS IS NOT YOUR ROOM"
he can stick it up and you can tell him that when she sees it she will go straight away and not come in.
That might be all he needs.
If not thne back to the drawing board, but i think it's a good first step before arranging exorcisms and things!

pirategirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:33:18

hmm, this is tricky. chicken egg scenario. maybe he had a bad dream, and its now replaying, maybe he's getting weird sleep patterns, cos he's worried about it?

Is he sleeping when he calls out, for you, or when he starts getting disturbed.

Or is he sitting up in bed, pointing, and cleary awake?

muppetgirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:33:48

Just had a thought
Humour me...

WOuld it be worth taking her out of context? She is only bought up at bedtime -in the middle of the night (which is a scarey time anyway) with reference to fright.How about talking about her during the day when things seem less frightening?
What about drawing a picture of her, putting the picture somwhere special so you can say later -she's not here in your room she's.....(wherever you put her) This would give the control back to him. He feels he's lost control as it's hapening to him and askling you to deal with it.

pirategirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:36:13

muppet, yes, kind of desensitizing the he/she person.

Then would follow on to it not being such a scary night thing.

edam Sun 08-Jul-07 22:36:47

Btw, I have a nearly four year old, and am thinking about how I'd react/try to handle it if he came out with stuff like this. Think I'd be doing the same as you, not rubbishing his experience, reassuring him and telling her to go away. That's what I do whenever ds has a "I'm scared of monsters" moment.

But it sounded as if you wanted something more than that, which is why I suggested a cleansing ritual - might help ds to see you doing a 'begone once and for all' thingy. IIRC cleansing rituals involve things like using a form of words to ask someone respectfully to go away and never come back and sprinkling water or salt at the entrance points, ie doors and windows.

funnypeculiar Sun 08-Jul-07 22:36:53

lulumama - yes, I wondered whether to ask for you by name on this thread! Vaguely saw the beginning of your story, but not the end - so the spiritualist church sorted things out ... hummm.

I am telling myself that this is just one of his 'things' rather than a spirit, tbh - partly becuase it has followed him to the US on holiday ( a very transatlantic ghost) - and he also had a good 3/4 months of being terrified of owls at night after my dad told him a rather graphic story about owls hunting little birds and mice at night...

muppetgirl Sun 08-Jul-07 22:37:54

..also drawing her would get her out of his head. (which is where he clearly doesn't want her.)

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