One night, Christian awoke to a shadow figure with a sinister smile crawling on him while he slept…was it the incubus he might have accidentally conjured, something that came through the Ouija board, or the sinister Man in the Closet that haunted his childhood home? Did little Christian sleepwalk as a kid because of a scary occurrence in a past life? And why did an unseen force repeatedly assault him while he was in bed? Whatever it was, it wasn’t his sister; that bitch was asleep.
Trauma attracts negative energy. And sometimes that energy can manifest into something physical, something terrifying. However, the converse is true as well. If we can learn how to laugh in the face of darkness, we might just be able to find the light.
Today’s guest has maintained a sense of humor throughout all of his terrifying experiences, even though they are the stuff horror movies are made from. Let’s talk to Christian, today, on Homespun Haints.
AI-generated transcript of this episode available upon request.
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About the Guest, Christian Bradley West, The Country Clairvoyant
Christian is an artist and intuitive astrologer, known to many by his Instagram account @thecountryclairvoyant. In addition to posting hilarious memes that poke fun at the commoditization of spirituality practices and astrology, Christian can be contacted for readings at thecountryclairvoyant.com or you can reach him on Twitter at @ChristianBWest.
Creepy kids who sleepwalk
The horror film industry proves that kids are creepy. Sometimes we adults just can’t fathom the source of bizarre child behavior. The child’s utter confidence that what they are experiencing is the truth, coupled with their lateral reasoning and inability to articulate the details in a helpful manner, can cause adults to interpret their words in the creepiest way possible…and that’s before the sleepwalking.
Almost all somnambulists are children under 12. While about 10% to 30% of children will ever sleepwalk in their lives, only about 1% to 7% of people have a sleepwalking experience as an adult. Although there are several medications and conditions that seem to trigger sleepwalking, the main trigger common to children would be stress. But triggers don’t constitute reasons.
Similar to somnambulism, little Diana experienced night terrors. Night terrors are the other form of non-REM sleep arousal disorder common to children. During these delightful episodes, baby Diana would wake in the middle of the night, get out of bed, hide under a chair, and scream bloody murder. Similar to sleepwalking, the child usually has no memory of what happened the next morning.
Perhaps the creepiest part of kids sleepwalking is that the somnambulist seems completely undisturbed by the whole scenario. A childhood friend of Diana’s who frequently sleepwalked made light of putting up a baby gate in her doorway every night so she wouldn’t go tumbling down the stairs. She would regale Diana with stories of the weird things she’d get up to while she was asleep. Second-hand stories, of course, as she remembered none of these antics. Perhaps Diana’s inability to sleep at sleepovers was born out of a macabre desire to witness the strangeness that is childhood sleepwalking. Which, sadly, she never did, although nowadays she gets to witness sleep talking quite frequently.
Kuan Yin and the Mother Archetype
Christian brought up the serendipitous experience of finding a carving of the goddess Kuan Yin in his search for smithsonite stone. This makes some sense, since the spiritual usage of smithsonite is to muffle the chaos of the world and the pain of the past in order to allow your inner compassion to blossom.
According to The Met, Kuan Yin or Guanyin (觀音) is the Chinese iteration of Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. A bodhisattva represents an enlightened being who choses to stay on earth as a role model. Interestingly, Avalokiteśvara was traditionally depicted as either male or gender-neutral. Imperial China morphed Guanyin into a female figure. Some now compare her symbolically to the Virgin Mary; a motherly archetype of divine compassion.
Empty chair superstitions
Christian mentioned the tradition of leaving a chair open for a spirit. There are a few traditions and superstitions based around empty chairs and ghosts. There are the nice ones: remembering a recently lost loved one by leaving a chair empty at the next holiday dinner. Some cultures leave a chair open for the deceased around All Souls Day, on November second. Some of our family members have chairs they display but never sit in that belonged to a deceased loved one.
Then there are the not-so-nice ones. Some families put great importance on making sure there’s no empty chair overnight in one’s bedroom. Perhaps as long as there’s an object on the chair the ghosts won’t sit there to watch you sleep? In Celtic tradition, rocking an empty rocking chair is an invitation to ghosts and evil spirits to have a seat and stay a spell. Albeit unintentional, you’ll know the invitation was received when the chair starts rocking on its own. I suppose having a spirit in your extra chair could be either good or bad, depending on if you know the spirit and want them around.
Center for Spiritual Awareness
Christian talked about this spiritual nonprofit a little drive outside of Atlanta. This center offers retreats and classes focusing on meditation instruction and practice and other holistic lifestyle teachings. According to their website, the CSA “affirm(s) that it is possible for everyone, by right personal endeavor and God’s grace, to have a conscious relationship with the Infinite and to fulfill all of life’s purposes in harmony with natural laws.”
Have you had a ghost in your bed?
What is it about going to bed that leaves us open to supernatural attacks? Is it that we are temporarily in an altered state while we sleep? Basically helpless? Completely relaxed and thus receptive? Why do some people sleepwalk, and what does it mean? Why are kids who sleepwalk so creepy, and are they all reliving terrifying visions from past lives? Join the discussion on our Facebook group, or at Patreon, and let us know your thoughts on these spooky bedtime stories. If you’ve got a story of your own, why not tell it on our next episode? Surefire way to have a spooky day.