When someone calls your name...

#1
Recently, I went on a bit of a binge-reading of hearing one’s name called, especially when alone or in the forest/woods/jungle, and how there are many cultural interpretations of what this phenomena is. I have also previously read the “skeptic” or scientific explanation for it. I just wondered if anyone had any stories about this, or perhaps heard stories from elders about it. I find it really fascinating.

I have experienced this myself, two times in my life. It was not a case of hearing a pattern with some other sound (have had that happen, too), but distinctly hearing a familiar voice call my name. Both times were really creepy, and I did not answer, which, according to many stories and legends, one must NEVER do.

I am interested in personal stories or of stories rooted in cultural backgrounds, told by elders or family.
 
#2
I can't say this has happened to me, so I'm a bit uncertain what it is about. Do you have any links or references where we can find out more about the topic please.

(I did think it might be related to some other topics we've discussed - but I wouldn't want to start by heading off in a totally wrong direction by discussing something else).
 
#3
It happened to a friend of mine - IIRC, she was walking on a nature path back to her hut in a less developed South-East Asian country (Bali?), when she heard her name called unexpectedly, with nobody around, let alone anybody who knew her name.

It's happened to me too, during a spiritual emergency: a voice from beyond my home called out to me by name for help. I left my home in response and spent some time looking, but didn't find anybody. I was drawn to one house in particular, but didn't have the nerve to knock on or open (or even break down) the door, in case I was utterly mistaken as to it being the source of the voice - didn't want to make a fool of myself. I'm not sure whether I should be sharing this publicly.
 
#4
I can't say this has happened to me, so I'm a bit uncertain what it is about. Do you have any links or references where we can find out more about the topic please.

(I did think it might be related to some other topics we've discussed - but I wouldn't want to start by heading off in a totally wrong direction by discussing something else).
Here is a reddit thread I found while reading about this that is full of personal stories, if you want to read them.
 
#5
It happened to a friend of mine - IIRC, she was walking on a nature path back to her hut in a less developed South-East Asian country (Bali?), when she heard her name called unexpectedly, with nobody around, let alone anybody who knew her name.

It's happened to me too, during a spiritual emergency: a voice from beyond my home called out to me by name for help. I left my home in response and spent some time looking, but didn't find anybody. I was drawn to one house in particular, but didn't have the nerve to knock on or open (or even break down) the door, in case I was utterly mistaken as to it being the source of the voice - didn't want to make a fool of myself. I'm not sure whether I should be sharing this publicly.
Thanks for the stories. Upon thinking about your second one, do you think now that maybe your instinct was correct on not opening that door? If that happened to me like you described, I'd be scared to death to go to a house where I heard my name called!
 
#6
Thanks for the stories. Upon thinking about your second one, do you think now that maybe your instinct was correct on not opening that door? If that happened to me like you described, I'd be scared to death to go to a house where I heard my name called!
I don't know. It sounded like a long-lost (spiritual) friend's voice, a friend who had reached the limit of endurance, possibly whilst trying to help me out. Maybe it's better not to live with regrets - I might have made a fool of myself, but at least I would have known that there was nothing more I could have done to help my friend.
 
#7
Recently, I went on a bit of a binge-reading of hearing one’s name called, especially when alone or in the forest/woods/jungle, and how there are many cultural interpretations of what this phenomena is. I have also previously read the “skeptic” or scientific explanation for it. I just wondered if anyone had any stories about this, or perhaps heard stories from elders about it. I find it really fascinating.

I have experienced this myself, two times in my life. It was not a case of hearing a pattern with some other sound (have had that happen, too), but distinctly hearing a familiar voice call my name. Both times were really creepy, and I did not answer, which, according to many stories and legends, one must NEVER do.

I am interested in personal stories or of stories rooted in cultural backgrounds, told by elders or family.
It got me thinking of, the first experience of an EVP, that researcher Friedrich Jürgenson had. He was recording bird-songs and chirping from the forest near his home as he was a film producer collected different sounds to use in movie productions. When he played the tape back later, he heard a women's voice saying his name;​
Out of an old habit I kept the microphone in front of the open window and when I heard a finch starting his merry trills in front of the window I decided to record his song. I played back the recording immediately, and all of a sudden - in the middle of the birdsong - I heard a voice calling my name. It was my mother’s voice. Her name was Helene and she had died in 1955 following a pelvic fracture.
Unintentionally my mind jumped back to her last hour when I sat at her deathbed and held her soft warm hand in mine until her last weak pulse beat had ended.I played back the tape again. The voice sounded lively and warm, one could even hear something of concerned impatience when she called
my name for the fourth time: It sounded as she worried that I could not hear her. I hurried from home to call my sister and my wife who had gone out.

When I came back I turned the tape machine to microphone recording once again because I had the distinct feeling that something else was going to happen. The result of this second recording was even more startling because out of the stillness of the room a female voice started suddenly to speak, I recognized the voice as that of my mother. This time her voice sounded a little tired, not as lively as before and she sounded as if she was half asleep, speaking in gasps and with some difficulty.“You love, you live in love...” Her voice seemed a little shaky. “In me lives Elly... Friedel lives...you live...oh! We live...Elly, Friedel, Papa lives...many live, oh, oh you love Helene...” When I played this recording later to my sister and my wife, they recognized mother’s voice immediately. They listened with emotion and could hear the same words I had heard. Later that evening I turned on the radio and immediately heard Lena whispering; “Pelle...all mothers have a heart...” Lena said with emotion in her voice. This charming sentence ended a successful and happy day. The next day – it was the first of May – I started early in the morning to check out the latest recordings. In joyful gratitude I listened to my mother’s voice and had thoroughly analyzed every word. http://itcvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Jurgenson-Voice-Transmissions-with-the-Deceased.pdf PAGE 99
Then there is those cases when patients has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. hey have developed a new method for the patients, to "come to terms" with them, so to speak. Many proponents is saying that the voices are real, in the sense as them beings spirits, and not hallucinations, and that the patients aren't crazy. Most psychic mediums would also agree upon this. And I'm not saying that those who hear a voice occasionally are schizo, and should be worried by it. But if they are aggressive or threatening one should seek some sort of counselling.

Here are a few cases of schizophrenia that has improved by the method of a sort of communication with the "voices".
Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special, and they wrap you like a cocoon. Hans found it impossible to concentrate on everyday things. He sat in his room and hid. But then the voices went away for good.
recently a new grassroots movement has emerged. It argues that if patients learn to address their voices directly and appropriately, as if each voice had intention and agency, the voices will become less hostile and eventually go away. From the perspective of modern psychiatry, this assertion is radical, even dangerous. But it is being taken seriously by an increasing number of patients and psychiatrists.

Hans is a Dutch man in his 20s, kind and large and careful in his speech and movement. He has the profile typical of someone with schizophrenia. He had been an excellent student in grade school, but things started to fall apart in his teens. He began to smoke a lot of marijuana and quit school at 17 to work in a factory. One evening, he heard a woman outside his apartment screaming for help. She was shrieking that five men were raping her and that they were going to kill her. Hans was afraid. He called the cops, anonymously, and they came to search, but they couldn’t find the woman in the apartment complex. Hans saw them drive away. He could still hear her screaming, high, loud, spine-chilling screams. Hans began to think that if the men raping her knew he could hear them, they would come to kill him, too, so he ran to his car and drove. He drove for half an hour, hard, until he could no longer hear her screams. She’s dead, he thought, and he didn’t dare go back to his apartment. He slept in his car that night, then went to work the next day. He got a newspaper to find out what had happened, but no one had reported the murder. He concluded that the men who had done it wanted him, too. Then he decided that one of them was his closest friend. He took a knife and went to see his friend, intending to slit his throat. He sat there with his friend, drinking tea, waiting for the right time to kill him—but he didn’t. He left his friend’s apartment and went back to his car, where he lived for two months. He heard voices outside his head, talking about him, commenting on the way he dressed, the way he looked, what they thought he should do. Which was mostly to die.

Hans joined a group of people like him, who met once a week. They talked about their voices, and they were encouraged to talk back to them. They were even encouraged to negotiate with their voices. One of Hans’s voices thought he would be better off if he devoted his life to Buddhist prayer. Hans is not a Buddhist—like many Dutch, he grew up as a secular Protestant—and he did not want to follow the voice’s command. The group persuaded him to cut a deal with his voices. He told his voices that he would read a book on Buddhism every day for one hour—but no more. He would say one Buddhist prayer every day—but no more. And if he did this, he told them, they had to leave him alone. They did, more or less. He began to feel better. https://theamericanscholar.org/living-with-voices/
Another story where communication was the key to handle the problem;
Rachel Waddingham is an independent trainer and consultant with Behind The Label and a trustee of the National Hearing Voices Network and the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis.

Rachel hears voices, sees visions and has struggled with overwhelming beliefs.

Rachel explains: "I hear about 13 or so voices. Each of them is different - some have names, they are different ages and sound like different people. Some of them are very angry and violent, others are scared, and others are mischievous. Sometimes, I hear a child who is very frightened. When she is frightened I can sometimes feel pains in my body - burning. If I can help the voice calm down, by doing some grounding strategies, the burning pains stop.

"Since going to a Hearing Voices Group, I have found ways of making sense of and coping with my voices. I no longer feel terrorised by them even though some of them say some very frightening things. I now have a family of voices and have a better relationship with them. I can make a choice about how I respond to them - whether I listen to them, and how I reply. Some of them are now much more helpful - they can be a window to my feelings, letting me know about a problem that I have in my life that I need to address. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-...l&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
 
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#8
I don't know. It sounded like a long-lost (spiritual) friend's voice, a friend who had reached the limit of endurance, possibly whilst trying to help me out. Maybe it's better not to live with regrets - I might have made a fool of myself, but at least I would have known that there was nothing more I could have done to help my friend.
Yes, you're right, it is probably best not to live with regrets, and you can never know exactly who it was calling your name. Thank you for your story.
 
#10
Only once. I laid down to take a nap before going in to work that evening and had just closed my eyes when I thought I heard my mom call for me twice. I opened my eyes expecting to see her in the doorway, but no one was there. I got up and asked if she needed me, and she was two floors up and said she hadn't called for me.

Full disclosure, I do get hypnogogic hallucinations. But this was the first and only time I have heard my name. It was also different in that, the hallucinations are often many voices, like being in a crowded restaurant. This was one clear voice that called my name twice, no other voices.
 
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#12
Only once. I laid down to take a nap before going in to work that evening and had just closed my eyes when I thought I heard my mom call for me twice. I opened my eyes expecting to see her in the doorway, but no one was there. I got up and asked if she needed me, and she was two floors up and said she hadn't called for me.

Full disclosure, I do get hypnogogic hallucinations. But this was the first and only time I have heard my name. It was also different in that, the hallucinations are often many voices, like being in a crowded restaurant. This was one clear voice that called my name twice, no other voices.
I am prone to hypnogogic hallucinations as well. I experience voices like that too -- many at once, or sometimes a single voice, sometimes familiar, talking to me. It always seems like what they are saying is important, but I can never remember what they say when I come out of it, just a few words. But I don't recall any of them saying my name.

The two times I have heard my name called, while alone, were when I was wide awake.
 
#13
I am prone to hypnogogic hallucinations as well. I experience voices like that too -- many at once, or sometimes a single voice, sometimes familiar, talking to me. It always seems like what they are saying is important, but I can never remember what they say when I come out of it, just a few words. But I don't recall any of them saying my name.

The two times I have heard my name called, while alone, were when I was wide awake.
The funny thing about mine is that I'm still awake. I am fully aware but can hear the voices. It's never important, just sentence fragments from male, female and child sounding voices, sometimes laughter. It's actually become a comfort of sorts, since I know that when it starts, I'll be asleep pretty quickly. So it almost acts as a signal to my brain and body to relax and drift off. I do recall being startled once by a child's laugh that was incredibly loud. Perhaps it's related to exploding head syndrome.

I do get others, of a different kind. But these are of an entirely different quality than my usual. It usually involves images as well as audio, but I am definitely in probably the first stage of sleep. I will sometimes wake up in the middle of one of these and that is when I get a feeling that it was important but it drifts away before I can fully recall it. It's definitely a strange sensation.

I also, as noted here before, get sleep paralysis that seems to be more frequent when I'm actively mediating and delving into otherworldly content.

I also dream very vividly, always have. When I was a teenager, I actually loved going to bed at night because I was excited to see what I would dream about. I've had a few dreams more recently that were truly bizarre but wonderful at the same time. I know others dreams are usually boring to everyone but the dreamer, but in one I was on a different planet, that had these large beautiful crystal structures in the sky and what looked like sea grass, but it was shiny like chrome. I was fascinated by this, and my companion in the dream (not anyone I recognized from waking reality) told me to touch it and when I did it was very soft. The other dream involed standing on an enormous deck of an alien ship in space, as I, along with a crowd of people, watched stars super nova and collide like we were watching fireworks.

I also had another rather unusual dream several years ago. I dreamt I met with what I would interpret as an angel who told me her name was Emily Jane. The next day at work, I found out that one of the ladies I worked with had had her baby and she named it Emily Jane. It really threw me, but I didn't know this woman well. I had talked to her a bit, but we were by no means friends. I didn't know what to think of it then, and still don't years later.

Sorry for the tangent, but it's all to say that I think I have a very weird brain that does some really weird things when I sleep. I'm also weird when I'm awake, so...

Funny thing though, I very rarely have insomnia.
 
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#14
I also, as noted here before, get sleep paralysis that seems to be more frequent when I'm actively mediating and delving into otherworldly content.
I think there is some common ground between sleep paralysis, and the state one needs in order to have an OOBE. The difference is, in sleep paralysis, one is actively trying to regain control of ones physical body, while in the preparation for an OOBE, one is voluntarily relinquishing it, while remaining awake.

In addition, after the end of such an excursion and when one has returned to the body, one may be in a state equivalent to sleep paralysis for a while, but there is no sense of unease, just a little patience until fully re-engaged.

Some have said that we (everyone) regularly leave the body during sleep, but are not aware of it, because of the dreaming state.
 
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#15
I am prone to hypnogogic hallucinations as well. I experience voices like that too -- many at once, or sometimes a single voice, sometimes familiar, talking to me. It always seems like what they are saying is important, but I can never remember what they say when I come out of it, just a few words. But I don't recall any of them saying my name.

The two times I have heard my name called, while alone, were when I was wide awake.
Now that you and Vault mention it... I did one time hear my name called when I was just about to fall asleep and it really freaked me out. I was of college age and in my bedroom at my parent's house and I was lying on my bed on my back on the edge of falling asleep and heard a sound like a "whoosh" as if someone were bending over my face and exhaling deeply and slowly directly into my face and it sounded like it originated about 1' about my face. At the same time, I heard a deep man voice say my name. I snapped awake with my heart pounding and looked around my room thinking maybe my Dad had stepped in and said my name. I had never experienced a hypnogogic sound before and being very "spiritual" at the time I wondered if this was some sort of entity "god?" trying to get my attention. Eventually my heart rate settled down and I started to drift off again, and the exact same thing happened a second time - a breathy whoosh directly over my face, my name in a thunderous man's voice, heart pounding awake, "what in god's name was that?" ...eventually I went back to sleep. I've never experienced such a hypnogogic sound since.
 
#16
I've heard my name called a few times, and while startling, it never seemed particularly important.

For a while as a young child after going to bed I would hear a chorus of voices... I could never make out what they were saying but it sounded accusing, and would keep descending in pitch, becoming more and more sinister. To this day hearing someone practice vocal scales in a descending pattern creeps me out.

Vault, I used to often have dreams about large beautiful structures in the sky... I haven't had one in a long time, I miss them!
 
#17
The funny thing about mine is that I'm still awake. I am fully aware but can hear the voices. It's never important, just sentence fragments from male, female and child sounding voices, sometimes laughter.
That's really interesting! I do have that while falling asleep, at least I used too. Like you, I had very vivid dreams, but after around 30 they got less frequent. I still have them from time to time, just not nearly as much as I used to. I miss them in some way, but I also had a lot of vivid nightmares, so I don't miss that aspect!

When I said "wide awake," I didn't mean lying down to fall asleep. The two times in my life I heard that voice was, first, when I was around four while playing with my toys, and later when I was an adult in my twenties, alone in my house. The first voice sounded like my father, but rather than answering I went to ask my mother if my father was home from work. I guess I knew he was not home, so it was strange. My mother of course said my father was at work.

The second time I was sitting on my couch on my laptop, with the TV on, when I thought I heard my mother's voice call my name from the top of the stairs. It was creepy and gave me a bad feeling, but I was in full-on Skeptic-mode then and said to myself, well, of course that's just an auditory hallucination. BTW, my mother was still alive but living several states away from me at the time.

My stories aren't particularly interesting stories, but reading about the cultural aspects of the phenomena fascinated me, so I thought I'd ask Skeptiko about their experiences!
 
#18
Now that you and Vault mention it... I did one time hear my name called when I was just about to fall asleep and it really freaked me out. I was of college age and in my bedroom at my parent's house and I was lying on my bed on my back on the edge of falling asleep and heard a sound like a "whoosh" as if someone were bending over my face and exhaling deeply and slowly directly into my face and it sounded like it originated about 1' about my face. At the same time, I heard a deep man voice say my name. I snapped awake with my heart pounding and looked around my room thinking maybe my Dad had stepped in and said my name. I had never experienced a hypnogogic sound before and being very "spiritual" at the time I wondered if this was some sort of entity "god?" trying to get my attention. Eventually my heart rate settled down and I started to drift off again, and the exact same thing happened a second time - a breathy whoosh directly over my face, my name in a thunderous man's voice, heart pounding awake, "what in god's name was that?" ...eventually I went back to sleep. I've never experienced such a hypnogogic sound since.
Interesting. Reminds me a bit of the shadow man I saw twice, also as a teenager. First time he (?) was standing by my closet and started walking towards me when I "woke up". This was a sleep paralysis episode, so, I figured it was a nightmare. The second time, again during paralysis, I heard a chorus of voices saying "he's coming, he's coming..." then suddenly right next to my ear (I was lying on my side with my head on the edge of the bed) was "the shadow" leaned over whispering something very fast in a language I didn't know. I again "woke up". I checked the side of my bed and found a pile of pillows next to my bed and managed to convince myself it wasn't real because they would have had to have been standing on those pillows, lol! Scared me like nothing else before or since. I spent the next few hours sitting in my room with the lights on reciting the Lords Prayer over and over again. And no, I was not religious, but I knew it from going to Lutheran church off and on when I was younger. It was over a decade later that I learned about sleep paralysis, and about another ten years after that, that I found out others had seen "shadow people" like I had.

Interestingly enough, I just recently found out that according to the Gnostics, the Lords Prayer has greater meaning and is more "powerful" than generally considered within mainstream Christianity.
 
#19
Interesting. Reminds me a bit of the shadow man I saw twice, also as a teenager. First time he (?) was standing by my closet and started walking towards me when I "woke up". This was a sleep paralysis episode, so, I figured it was a nightmare. The second time, again during paralysis, I heard a chorus of voices saying "he's coming, he's coming..." then suddenly right next to my ear (I was lying on my side with my head on the edge of the bed) was "the shadow" leaned over whispering something very fast in a language I didn't know. I again "woke up". I checked the side of my bed and found a pile of pillows next to my bed and managed to convince myself it wasn't real because they would have had to have been standing on those pillows, lol! Scared me like nothing else before or since. I spent the next few hours sitting in my room with the lights on reciting the Lords Prayer over and over again. And no, I was not religious, but I knew it from going to Lutheran church off and on when I was younger. It was over a decade later that I learned about sleep paralysis, and about another ten years after that, that I found out others had seen "shadow people" like I had.

Interestingly enough, I just recently found out that according to the Gnostics, the Lords Prayer has greater meaning and is more "powerful" than generally considered within mainstream Christianity.
Thanks for bringing up the shadow men! When I was around two and a half to three, I had persistent experiences (dreams?) of a shadow man coming out of my closet. My parents thought it was bad dreams or night terrors, but it seemed completely real. I even remember feeling that one time he touched my hair.

I remember one night I was so terrified, I left my room to the room opposite mine, which was the sewing room my Mom had. I managed to step on a sewing needle and it got embedded in my foot, with scotch tape on it. I was so afraid of being in trouble with my parents for being up, that I dragged myself, injured foot behind me (because when you are three, it seems like a big deal), into the hallway. My parents found me and removed the needle, and I, for the record, did not get into trouble over it.

I also wrote this some weeks back on Skeptiko:

I think I’ve told this story before here, but when I was fourteen my mom and I moved back from another state to our former state as we’d relocated for a temporary job for my Dad’s employer. My dad was to join us later, but my parents had purchased a house, and my older brother was living in the house until we returned. He lived with us for awhile until sometime after my dad moved back.

My brother told me, when we moved in, that he thought the house might be haunted. He said that he heard strange noises in the night and that electronics would turn on and then off again. My brother had always been a bit of a prankster, so I didn’t take him too seriously, thinking he was just trying to scare me. Also, I didn’t believe in ghosts. My brother worked second shift, so I didn’t see him that much since he slept during the day and got home late at night, and I was, of course, in school.

One night, a few months after we moved in, only my mom and I were home. She tended to go to bed early, so this night I was alone in the living room. The lights were on, so it wasn’t dark in the room. I was fooling around as fourteen year olds do, and I was dancing around (badly — I couldn’t dance) when I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched. I whipped around and saw… I don’t know what… It looked like a shadow, the form seemed male, with no distinct face other than a huge grin. It was just an instant I saw it because it poofed within a second. I was shaken up and unsure of what I’d seen, and I remember saying, “Mom?” even though I knew that was ridiculous since that was definitely not my mother. I looked around the house, finding nothing.

That was the only time I saw anything strange in the house, and I never heard the noises my brother talked about or had problems with electronics. I asked him a long time later if he said all that to scare me, and he swore it was true.

Over the years, I’ve wondered if it was a ghost, some other kind of apparition, or just my imagination. That maybe the feeling of being watched was so strong, that when I turned around I EXPECTED to see something, and so I did. However, I was never prone to hallucinating things, and I haven’t seen a “ghost” since then.
Another synchronicity --I was recently thinking about the Lord's Prayer as ward against evil, but stopped short of researching it because I got distracted with something else. I'd be interested in what you have to say about that, though.
 
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