The immune systems of psychically gifted children are often depleted by negative energy absorbed from those around them. Until entering my teens and embarking upon a daily regime of vitamins and stretching exercises, I suffered a succession of metabolic collapses: Uncle Gregor's presence invariably caused choking fits while a visit from the Hegartys was sufficient to induce seizure. It gives me no satisfaction to record that in both cases my instincts were subsequently vindicated, but at the time I was accused of play acting and, on occasions, dragged to my room. Parents and babysitters should note that this is a potentially fatal response to a clairvoyant child's distress symptoms. Unsupervised, he might choke on his own drool or bludgeon himself to death in an effort to obliterate the unwanted images gathered in his mind. In fairness to my parents, until my aunt contacted the Gibson Institute, neither was offered any guidance in the specific needs of clairvoyants. Many gifted children, of all types, have their fiery essence drenched by incomprehension and disapproval. Ninety per cent have their potential nullified by the time they can walk. How many parents are competent to the task of raising a special child? Obviously, it's difficult to identify gifted children at an early age. My solution is that all children by removed from the home and reared by qualified nurturers until their individual capabilities become apparent. That, however, is by the by.
The period leading up to Hallowe'en is particularly fraught for children of clairvoyance. As a five year old, I had a terrible experience of psychic transportation while dunking for apples. I still retain a vivid memory of rough handed men in coarse leggings holding me underwater while their wives encouraged them from a distance, banging tambourines and singing "Green Grow the Rushes", a song I've subsequently associated with acts of cruelty. For some reason, the name Goodie Protheroe and the English county of Hampshire come to mind whenever I think of the incident. Consultation with local historical societies confirmed a spate of witch purges in the county throughout the mid 17th century. Though no record exists of the victims' names, I'm confident that Protheroe might be found among them.
Many of the playful traditions enjoyed at this time are rooted in a sinister reality. I'm aware of how eagerly some of my friends anticipate Hallowe'en: it pains me to seem a killjoy, but please be aware that the enaction of certain rituals, even in jest, invites catastrophe. Children of enhanced intuition are especially vulnerable to the psychic disruptions caused by the reckless agitation of spirits. How many are permanently traumatised by oblivious parents determined that they 'join in the fun'? The same tragic scenario is repeated every year: "Will you please stop squirming?" demands a fractious mother as she unwittingly forces her special child's head into a pumpkin shaped mould in which he'll be permanently transported to a realm of darkness*. "But, Hamilton, my child is as sensitive as a door-knob!" This might be the case, but he should be discouraged from blundering around, provoking entities that might attach themselves to his friends. All parents should exercise caution at this time, particularly as event organisers increasingly refer to the internet to tap into the festival's origins. While I'd hesitate to recommend that Hallowe'en be outlawed, certain types of costume and rituals should be legally proscribed with on the spot fines imposed against scofflaws.
*Parents who insist on forcing their children into costume for Hallowe'en should be wary of allowing them to adopt personae with negative connotations. The post-modern parent might consider it amusing to dress his child as Crippen, Lizzie Borden or Tom Baker's Dr Who, but the psychic repercussions are potentially devastating and permanent.