Hearing Your Name Called

rjmrjmrjm

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#1
Twice, within the past month I have been walking though a busy area of Liverpool City centre, and have distinctly heared someone shout my name. I look around and see no-one I recognise.

I doubt it is someone passing by in a car as this particular area is almost a no-go area for cars due to Liverpools 'Big Dig'. The first time I thought I was just hearing things, but for it to happen twice in the same place is strange.
 

sonofajoiner

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#2
This used to happen to me quite a lot as a kid actually. Not so much the shouting but I frequently heard someone say my name as if calling me to them (if that makes sense). The first occasion I remember it happening I was alone in my bedroom when I heard a woman call my name 3 times in a sort of loud whispery voice. Assuming that it was my mum calling from the next room I went in and asked what she wanted. She had no idea what I was on about.
I'll admit that it used to frighten the bejesus out of me. Looking back though I can't be sure that most of the time it wasn't one of my younger siblings messing with me!
 

Cavynaut

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#3
I used to experience the very same thing as a kid sonofa.

I disinctly remember being in the living room, aged three or four and hearing a woman call my name. My mum was in the kitchen at the time so I went through and asked what she wanted. She said that she never called me. I wonder if it has anything to do with the development of a child's mind?
 

sonofajoiner

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#4
Cavynaut said:
I wonder if it has anything to do with the development of a child's mind?
You may be onto something. It had certainly stopped by the time we moved house (about 12ish). Although this wouldn't explain rjmrjmrjm's experience. And recently I've had a similar experience to my childhood one whilst struggling to get to sleep (I'm practically an insomniac). This time however it tends to be a male voice and much louder, almost as if someone is speaking directly into my ear. Maybe I should book myself a bed on the local psych ward!
 

Zeph_

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#5
There are probably linguists or experts in phonetics that can put this better, but I will give it a go.

Our names are something that are very important and personal to us. Breaking it down though and taking away the meaning our names are ultimately just a sound. I think everybody experiences this kind of thing at least once in their life. What probably happened is that within the background noise that accompanies your everyday life certain sounds came together and clashed, and within that mix you heard a sound that resembled your name.

Our brains usually filter this background noise, but it is listening out for sounds that we may recognise or sounds that may signify danger. When we hear these sounds they jump out at us and our brains mark them out as being something other than the usual background noise. So your brain associates that random collection of noise with your name which in turn solicits an emotional response, you recognise your name but because it is unexpected you are convinced that only another person could have called it.

I'm sorry if this sounds rambling, like I said I am no expert but I have a layman's interest in acoustics and phonetics and this is something I have read about in the past. I good analogy is staring into the 'white noise' on a TV set that is not tuned to any channel. We have all done this and we have all picked out shapes and/or faces in the randomness, but this is just our brains trying to pick out something recognisable from the chaos before it, the same thing can happen with our auditory senses.
 

OldTimeRadio

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#6
Hearing One's Name Called

Perceiving that one's name has been called out is an extremely common experience for both children and younger adults - up to age 30 or 35, at least.

And it has absolutely nothing to do with the oftentimes psychotic condition of "hearing voices," if anybody's worried.

In addition, I heard a television interview with the late Carl Sagan during the last months of his life in which he revealed that he'd just recently begun hearing his deceased parents calling his name. Sagan said that he was uncertain whether this was merely an affect of the brain tumor which was killing him or whether hearing his parents' voices might indeed be genuine psychic experience.

It struck me that the two might not be mutually imcompatible, that it might be precisely that "re-wiring" which was going on in Sagan's brain which made psychic contact possible.

However, when we hear our name called in a large crowd or a busy downtown area we are most likely hearing an appeal to some-one else who happens to bear our name. This is especially true if we bear a common name rather than one that is unusual. "George" or "Tom" or "Mary" rather than "Throckmorton" or "Trelawney" or "Birdlou."
 

ignatiusII

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#8
This (my name shouted loudly, seemingly into my ear) used to happen to me quite a lot in the moments immediately prior to drifting-off to sleep. I actually brought the matter up with a neurologist friend, who said it was actually quite common, and attributed it to some type of hypnogogic experience.
 

decipheringscars

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#9
I've had the hypnagogic (how do you spell that?) version of that. It's always an unfamiliar voice, and always spoken urgently (almost alarming but not in a scary way). I'm used to hypnagogic auditory experiences, though, so it never disturbed me.

On the topic of this maybe being common in childhood - In the Bible the prophet Samuel had the same experience as a boy. The story is that his parents had committed him to the care of the High Priest, Eli, when Sammy was quite young, and one night the boy heard his name called. He kept running in to ask Eli what he wanted - I think this happens 3 times before Eli suggested maybe it was God and the story then turns into Samuel's calling (prophets usually have some experience like that, but not always at such a young age).

Just thought I'd throw that in, because it's interesting that this is set in Samuel's childhood - although the text doesn't specify his age, so he might be closer to his teens. It just made me wonder if that's such an enduring human phenomenon that it becomes the basis for that kind of a story in the Bible. :?:


/exits singing, "Hush, hush, somebody's callin' my name..."/
 

blakta2

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#10
I posted on an experience some time ago that included an incident of being spoken to loudly in my ear. I was wide awake and eating popcorn. (I was about 16) and watching some program, I think it was "I Love Lucy". I happened to be in my parents bedroom because it was the only other room with a television at the time and I was on a waterbed.

Anyhow, I heard a rustling sound in the room and stopped chewing my wad of popcorn in order to hear the sound more clearly and there was nothing. I began to chew again and suddenly, loudly and right in my ear I hear the words, "EXCUSE ME, KIM." It sounded like a man speaking in monotone.


I literally became paralyzed with fear at that moment. The popcorn was still in my mouth but it now may as well have been a mouthful of dried sod as it quite suddenly seemed that all normal bodily functions had ceased, including the production of saliva. Again...and when I say again I mean that probably only a few seconds had passed, maybe 15 to 30, but it seemed like a lifetime, the voice clearly speaks in my ear, "EXCUSE ME, KIM."

I regained all function immidiately and absolutely FLEW off of the waterbed and down the hallway to where my mother was in the livingroom. I didn't venture anywhere near that bedroom for the rest of that night. If I recall, it took me some time before I would even enter that room alone again.

I am pretty sure I was awake as I can plainly remember chewing my popcorn and the television program I was watching. I was not the only one to experience this phenomenon in that house.

I'm not exactly sure what to make of what happened, but there were other experiences in the house that made me believe that my family and I werent the only ones residing there!

~Kim~
 

Mob1138

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#11
This happens a lot to me on the London Underground, especially at night for some reason.

The last time it happened was the last time i was in London.I'd got off the train at Paddington and went into the tube station to get a train to Kentish Town to see a gig there.
It was during the day (about 3pm) and the District and Circle line was fairly busy with the first few office workers making their way home.I was looking up to see when my next train would arrive and then i heard someone call my name from the opposite platform.
I looked over expecting to see someone waving (and half expecting to see a friend who perhaps was going to the same gig) but saw nobody.Putting it down to me mishearing it i stood waiting my train but again heard my name being called, this time my full name, not just my first name.
Again i looked over and again i saw nobody i knew or anyone trying to get my attention.

Feeling a bit weird i was glad my train turned up but it wasn't til i sat down in the pub with my friend that i realised how weird it was.
 

rynner2

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#12
I've posted this before (but hoo kares - it's probably been lost in the site upheavals anyway):

Went to town to do a few chores, and was heading to one destination when someone called my name. I looked round (as you do) and it was a real person calling, but he was waving at somebody else! So, just a coincidence...

...except that I then realised that I was about to walk past a shop where I had another errand to perform. If this person hadn't called my name I might have forgotton that task entirely.



So did my subconscious conjure up a vision of someone calling my name as a way of reminding me of this particular errand, or was it really just coincidence?
 

Cavynaut

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#13
Not quite on topic I know, but a few years ago, when I was in my late 30's, a bloke dressed as a giant rabbit called my name and waved at me from the other side of the road.

I can only presume that he was engaged in some kind of commercial promotion, but no-one I know has ever admitted that it was him. Don't now why, I would have done! :D
 

OldTimeRadio

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#14
Hearing One's Name Called

Cavynaut's experience reminded me of something which happened to the pastor of the Southern Baptist church I attended in the 1960s. A highly educated man, he had a Ph. D. in English and had been a university professor of English before joining the clergy.

He took his wife on vacation to New Orleans.

As they walked through the French Quarter they ran into a barker or shill outside one of the strip joints.

"Why, hello, George," greeted the barker. "We haven't seen you for a year!"

The pastor's first name was George.

And he'd been in New Orleans just a year previously, as his region's delegate to the World Baptist Convention.

I don't think his wife ever quite believed his explanation, but the pastor did a little local investigating and established that this particular barker was fond of calling out names and dates at random, sometimes getting them right.

Hey, I believed him.
 

Zeph_

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#15
Ha, that sounds like an excuse Geoffrey Archer would come out with :lol:

(For overseas members of the board, Geoffrey Archer is a notorious British politician / novelist, that went to jail for lying in court).
 

Iris

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#16
I have had 3 that I remember quite well and I wasn't going to sleep in any of them
1. I was hanging out the washing and I heard a clear youngish man's voice call my name. It seemed to come from above me.
2.One of the mother's helping in the school tuckshop brought along her sister in law. I heard man's voice, I think it was Cornish ,say in my ear" She's a convict, lass" ( It turned out she'd been in gaol for assault.)
3. I was watching Riverdance on tv and was quite caught up in one of the drumming sequences. I heard a man's Irish voice in my ear saying my name and " It's for the Dagda" which I didn't quite understand, but he repeated it.
 

citizencane

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#17
This has happend to me many times,and under different circumstances.
My neighbors have also had the same experience. Once my neighbors wife almost lost a finger in a blender because she heard her name quite loudly ,right in her ear, over the noise of the blender and jerked from being so startled ,making her finger dip into the device and nearly cutting it off completely.
Her husband was outside doing yardwork and rushed her to the ER to get it re-attached.
 

sonofajoiner

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#18
Isis177 said:
3. I was watching Riverdance on tv and was quite caught up in one of the drumming sequences. I heard a man's Irish voice in my ear saying my name and " It's for the Dagda" which I didn't quite understand, but he repeated it.
Now Im really going to sound mental. :D
I have vivid memories of 2 occasions as a child where I thought people on the tv spoke to/about me!
As a 5 year old I used to like to do my morning exercises along with Lizzie off TVAM. As the first time I did so my mum laughed at me, I decided that she had to leave the room and wait on the landing so I could do my daily aerobics in peace. One morning however whilst doing star jumps and listening to Lizzie's over excitable babbling, she clearly said "I can see a little girl in her living room wearing pyjamas and she's joining in" and then said my name. I ran screaming from the living room and have avoided all aerobic exercise ever since. I think it's a reasonable excuse anyway ;)
When I was about 11, an early morning biscuit raid left me traumatised when turning on the tv I was faced with Brian Cant talking to a puppet of a horse. That was fairly disturbing in itself. He began asking said horse what he could see around the farm they were on. He could see sheep. He could see a barn. He could see a girl eating stolen biscuits in her kitchen. And Brian Cant has given me the creeps ever since.
 

auroraisit

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#19
This has happened me only once (thank god). About 10 years ago I was almost asleep when I taught I heard someone walking up the hall. There wasn't but after a few minutes someone shock me by my left shoudler and called my name. I screamed so loudly it woke the whole house. Now my brother who likes playing jokes wasn't at home that night.
To this day I will not sleep in that room on own or even visit it after dark.
:shock:
 

rjmrjmrjm

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#20
The fact that I found strange is, rather than the voice itself being heared (As people have pointed out our brain filters sounds and looks for important ones) the fact that it happened in almost exactly the same place and I just wondered if there may be some sort of resonance that makes echo's sound like my name.
 

Gemaki

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#21
A friend just told me a story like that, she had gone to California to visit her daughter, and was sitting on a bench outside waiting for her daughter to come out of a store. There was a homeless, strange looking woman sitting on the opposite side of the round bench, and she was talking to herself... or so it seemed. As my friend began to listen, the woman was mentioning things that corresponded to her! My friend started to become increasingly alarmed, but didn't talk to the woman. She eventually shouted "Oh, why don't you just GO BACK to Pennsylvania!!" and stomped off.

(Yes, she is.)


Said friend then told me that she believes that people who have certain 'abilities' and find them overwhelming will have problems because no-one will believe them, etc. and eventually cease to function normally. She said if we were more willing to believe people, we might learn something.
 

jaloopa

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#22
Cavynaut said:
Not quite on topic I know, but a few years ago, when I was in my late 30's, a bloke dressed as a giant rabbit called my name and waved at me from the other side of the road.

I can only presume that he was engaged in some kind of commercial promotion, but no-one I know has ever admitted that it was him. Don't now why, I would have done! :D
Have you ever seen donnie darko? If the rabbit comes back and tells you the world is about to end, be afraid
 

DunkyJ1

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#23
My boyfriend used to go to univercity in Derby, and when i used to visit him he would take me for a drink in the town centre.Whilst milling around like students do, him and his friends used to play this joke were one of them would shout the name Dave just to see how many peolpe answered.It then went on to different names, even just shouting Mum or Dad.Maybe some of you were victims of this popular studant gag.
 

rjmrjmrjm

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#24
Quite possibly, but my name isn't particularly common - Richard. Also it is polysyllabic, much harder to say quickly and anonymously than 'Dave', 'Mum' or 'Dad'.
 

Cavynaut

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#25
Isis177 said:
I heard a man's Irish voice in my ear saying my name and " It's for the Dagda" which I didn't quite understand, but he repeated it.
The Dagda is an ancient Irish god, but I don't know what he has to do with 'Riverdance'.
 

Glamarama

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#26
It's also a bit similar to my fella's t'internet name, I shall tell him the jigging Flatly has a message for him. Maybe he is being called to dance :D
 
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#27
It's also a bit similar to my fella's t'internet name, I shall tell him the jigging Flatly has a message for him. Maybe he is being called to dance
I interviewed Flatley, the Lord of the Dance himself, once about ten years ago when I was a young radio journalist. I have never in my life before seen a man wearing so much make up. He'd make Dale Winton look pale.

Anyway, back on topic...! I read something recently about our names being the first thing we learn to listen out for (a bit like instinctively knowing your mother's voice or scent) so we hear them across a room of chatter very easily as our ears are 'trained' to pick our names out. However, I've also experienced hearing someone say my name very clearly when there's been no-one around. I asked a friend who is psychic and a medium about it, and she said it's the spirit world's way of telling you you have psychic abilities, and testing you to see if you're interested in following them and making them stronger. If you are, and you spend time honing your psychic abilities then the spirits will apparently begin to appear to you out of the corner of your eye as well.
Yikes.
 

giantrobot1

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#28
When I was still a kid, I had many experiences that may have been a bit odder than I thought they were at the time.

My family seems to have an unfortunate habit of shouting for each other form the other end of a house - not in an angry way, but to call someone over because they're wanted for something, or there may be something on TV of interest etc.

When I wa in my early teens I regularly heard my mum shout my name, and I'd eventually go down and see what she wanted, only to be told that she hadn't shouted at all. This happened many times, and when it did I had always heard the voice that sounded identical to my mum's. I wonder what this was? The house was normally quite quiet, so there would be little traffic noise etc. that might have acted as a source for a simulacra.

I might ask her if she remembers this when I next speak to her.
 

undergroundbob

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#29
This never used to happen to me, being that I have a fairly uncommon name (my real name, not 'underground'). But in the past two years or so I have noticed that it must have become more popular, as several times recently I have been innocently bumbling around in a supermarket only to leap out of my skin as some harrassed mother bellows my name at her scampering tyke. I'm quite upset about it all actually.
 

DunkyJ1

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#30
You have point there Richard. The disgussion just reminded me of the said prank.
I do think that if somone is hearing someone speaking in their ear like people have described then there is only two options, mediums or a pschycologists.
Unless someone starts some proper research on the subject.Which would be very interesting.
 
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