Paranormal Phenomena in Popular Culture

Ghosts. Witches. Demons. The Extra-terrestrial. Vengeful spirits. Faith Healing. Cryptids like vampires, werewolves, yeti, the Jersey devil, the Bigfoot. Clairvoyance. And even astrology and the Bermuda Triangle. They are an anomaly, an enigma. And their existence cannot be explained by science itself.

With more than million accounts of personal experience of the supernatural, the existence of the paranormal phenomena has not been confirmed in this world. Actually, to come to think of it, the existence of such a phenomenon would actually shake the natural order of the world. To explain the term “paranormal” to a layman, it is such a phenomena or event that is not subject to scientific or rational explanation. To believe in such occurring, that has already been upheld as false by science, one must have unshakeable faith in such effects. A believer in the paranormal has to have faith to support his or her position because it goes against every aspect of science; it is unverified, unreliable, inconsistent, contradictory, unexplainable, unconfirmed and unproven. The paranormal appeals to pseudo-science, which is exactly the contrary to science. Pseudo-science deals with appearances whereas real science deals with repeatable and objectively observable facts. Science and pseudo-science are diametrically opposed to each other. Thus pseudo-science allows parapsychologists to put forward their argument that although they cannot validate or prove their claims to be true, science also cannot disprove their claims. We can only prove that something exists; nobody can prove that something does not exist.

On 6th March 1988, in the small, quiet and secluded village of Mura, 50km north of Barcelona, the local priest, Llufs Costa, found a 70 cm tall marble statue had tears of blood coming out of its eyes. It astounded the whole village, and then the world, as it came to know. Many aspects of the paranormal are closely related to the underlying principles of religions, because religion is also a faith-based belief system. Religion itself does not have any solid, unquestionable proof of existence of God. To an analytical rational human mind, something that cannot be logically proven, it is disregarded and the idea is thrown out of the window. Religion, also stridently against paranormal phenomena, believes in miracles, to what we never have had any sort of explanation. Who could prove that any occurrence is an act of God?

In today’s popular culture, more than 70 percent of the world is bent to believe in supernatural happenings; at least they consider it to be a possibility. There are a number of real life hunters who go to places hunting supernatural beings, equipped with a lot supernatural arms. There are a number of said to be conventional arms against supernatural beings. Iron is said to be harmful for ghost; salt keeps spirits away; any place with presence of a ghost or a spirit is said to give out electromagnetic readings; demon exorcism in Latin and there are many other ways.

The Loch ness monster, from Scotland, is a famous cryptid. History dates back to 1933 when it was first reported to be seen. Since then onwards, numerous men and women have narrated accounts of it being sighted and many blurry photographs have also been taken. Its shape and description seems to have varied over time but no clear cut evidence has been acquired so far. Thus the scientific community considers the Loch Ness monster to be a hoax and a modern day myth.

Besides the Loch ness monster, there are innumerable number of paranormal creatures and phenomena. The UFOs are also paranormal phenomena. And even astrology and numerology. Astrology, another faith-based belief system, is a parallel development of religions. Claiming to be divine knowledge, astrology predicts future through the influence of heavenly bodies. Religion is also against the idea of astrology because firstly, it is a competing faith-based belief system and secondly, it conflicts with the doctrine of free will which must be an integral part of a religion. Although there are people in existence who embrace both at the same time. Numerous scientific experiments conducted have come to a conclusion that all the claims made by astrology are utter gibberish. They are extremely generalized and ambiguous.  Numerology is a close relative of astrology, and even more complex. Linking every aspect of your life with numbers, and that too with your birthday or the name given at birth is another concept that has no rationality in its background. It is indeed a vague idea that a person’s personality can be derived from a few numerical studies. Faith-healing is another phenomenon to be questioned by science since it has no clear evidence of its functioning. Faith-healing is indeed mentioned in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testament, carried out by Elisha, curing Naaman of leprosy by washing him in the river Jordan and also a number of times by Jesus himself. But the scientific community absolutely disregards it.

This will be an eternal war between the paranormal and science. There is no doubt that the paranormal appeals to many in the world, because there are many areas where pseudo-science can be an answer and real science can be difficult to pursue since it places demands on the rational mind. Pseudo-science disregards any need of independent proof; it is easier to invent and understand as it replaces facts and logic with wishful thinking. Paranormal advocates, very contently, remark that science does not have the answer to everything.