Irish Daily Mail - YOU
TALES FROM THE CRIB
There are many stories of baby monitors picking up supernatural activity. Three mums share their creepy experiences
When my daughter Sarah was two we moved into a very old rural cottage. Previously a brilliant sleeper, she began getting up every night, crying and unsettled, complaining she was cold even though the house was warm. The GP checked her out and said she was fine so we invested in a video monitor to keep an eye on her. Every night we would hear a ‘shhhing’ noise, and the temperature notification on the screen showed her room was much colder than the rest of the house, before Sarah would start crying out for us. I was really frightened and confided in my mother, a practising Catholic, who insisted the house be blessed by the local priest. My husband and I agreed and after the blessing – which included holy water being sprinkled in Sarah’s room – she returned to sleeping through and there were no more noises via the monitor. Angela
Once, when my daughter was about two, my monitor picked up my daughter laughing at something in her bedroom. I went to check on her and she was pointing at something and saying, ‘Man, funny man’ then, ‘Mummy’s grandad.’ I told her, ‘No, Grandad is at home, go to sleep.’ She looked at me very seriously and said, ‘No. MUMMY’S grandad.’ He had died a year before she was born. Kirstie
One night when my son was three months old, we were staying at my parents’ house with his crib and monitor in the spare room. Mum and I were watching TV when we heard a tuneless whistling via the monitor. I raced to the room but it was empty, bar my son. A few days later, Mum mentioned it to a neighbour who told her that an elderly man, known for walking around whistling, had lived in her house years before. Catherine in-law saying “You’re so perfect, I’m so proud of you.” I leapt out of bed and ran to his room but he was sleeping peacefully.Around the time she died I had experienced very strong, premature contractions – I was only 28 weeks pregnant. Two years after her death my second child, a girl, was born on the same date she’d died. Towards the end of that labour I didn’t think I could carry on, but I heard her voice comforting me and saying that I was having a girl. It’s hard not to believe that she wanted to be part of her grandchildren’s lives even after death.’
Amanda believes it’s common for loved ones who have died to want to be around when a new child is born.
‘If parents are open to the idea that a deceased relative is present, then they may well see or hear activity that otherwise would be missed or dismissed, because spirits are very subtle.’
Of course, for every believer there is a sceptic and consultant psychologist Dr Elena Touroni of The Chelsea Psychology Clinic says all of these experiences are rooted in normal parental emotions, not the paranormal.
‘It’s very natural for parents, especially those of young babies and toddlers, to have an intensified sense of anxiety and alertness triggered by physiological factors and things such as sleep deprivation, plus the stress and new responsibilities that come with parenthood. It’s a time of great change in every sense, and that can have a knock-on psychological impact,’ says Dr Touroni.
‘Parents pay more attention to what is around them because of that heightened concern, noticing things they may previously have missed, and may read these sights and sounds as suspicious or even dangerous, because of their anxiety.’
Dr Touroni also explains that believing a deceased relative is present is more likely to be rooted in grief than the paranormal. ‘The arrival of a child can trigger feelings of loss and a deep-rooted desire for that absent person to be there. So a person can project that desire and believe something they see or hear is a “sign” of their presence.
‘It’s totally understandable and if it gives someone comfort there’s no harm in it.
‘These beliefs only become problematic when they start to affect a parent’s day-to-day life. For example, if they become paranoid about their child’s safety or can’t move on from a loved one’s death because they believe they’re still present.’
I ask Amanda about the green lights in my son’s room. ‘Orbs, which can be different colours, are often angels – these are different to spirits. Spirits are loved ones who have passed over, but we all have an angel assigned to us,’ she says.
I’m not sure how I’m going to explain this to my husband – or whether I’m convinced. But there is no disputing that many parents believe something supernatural is going on in their child’s room. Do you?
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A lovely event at Avoca last week unveiled their Christmas food offerings which, of course, are utterly delectable. From mince pies to puddings, turkeys to stuffing, everything you need for the festive feast can be found there. Handmade and artisanal are their hallmark and this is very much on display again this year.
The wealth of things on offer is truly vast. In fact the store’s bakers will produce 5,500 Christmas cakes, which go through a handmade process of soaking, mixing, icing, labelling and hand-wrapping each individual cake, with 15,000 iced stars cut out and applied to the cakes by hand and 135,000 iced stars applied to mince pies.
This dedication can be tasted in every mouthful. My favourite is the reindeer cake, pictured right, which is utterly divine.
To place an order for Avoca’s delicious festive treats, visit one of the 13 stores nationwide or see avoca.com.