Monday, March 28, 2011

The Popularity of the Paranormal

Twenty years ago, if you told someone you believed to ghosts, you were likely to get a strange look. Or a shrug. Or an argument.  Even though people liked telling ghost stories they were thought to be pure imagination at its best by just about everyone. But things have changed.

Nowadays, a huge percentage of the population believes in ghosts, or aliens, or some sort of fantastical creature. For the most part, these people aren’t thought to be crazy or lying. People are starting to accept that there might be more to the universe than we ever previously thought.

It almost seems strange that people would turn away from the idea of scientific evidence and look for more. But science doesn’t have all the answers. There are some things we may never be able to prove. Some things you just have to experience for yourself to understand.

So why are people turning away from scientific proof and looking into the world of the paranormal?

There are a lot of theories about why all things paranormal are popular right now.

-One of the most common ones is that because people are experiencing economic hardship, they are looking everywhere they can for help. For answers. Even for an escape from reality. And the paranormal is one place that can supply that.

-Another theory is that because information travels so fast (with the internet and all) people are able to easily share their paranormal experiences. If stories of ghost sightings (or aliens, or whatever) keep popping up over and over again, people begin to be more accepting of the idea.

-There’s also been an explosion of shows and books on the paranormal lately that attempt to prove or understand paranormal phenomenon. And many people have this strange reliance on the media. Sort of like ‘If it’s in a book, it must be true” mentality.

-Many people have also been experiencing hardships with their religions and churches. A lot of the big mainstream religions have faced a lot of bad press lately, which causes people to question them. Many churches disapprove of the idea of discussing the paranormal but once someone’s left a religion, the whole word of paranormal phenomenon becomes something that can be explored.

-And there’s always the fact that many people just enjoy a good strange (occasionally creep) story. Paranormal is fun.

Of course, I’m loving the fact that paranormal is hot right now. It’s something that’s always fascinated me. I hope it’s a trend that isn’t going anywhere. But I’m curious about what everyone else thinks.

Why do you think paranormal is so popular right now? Do you think its popularity is a good thing? Do you think it’s a trend that’s going to stick around?

Also a reminder that there are only a few days left to get your short story or poem in for the writing contest. Entries are due April 1st. Details can be found here.


  1. I think the trend will stick for a while. I've always been fascinated by the paranormal. All of your theories have merit, as I think there is never one clear-cut answer to anything.

    Be sure to check out my giveaway. :)

  2. Thats's a good point. It's likely a blend of different things. I've already checked out your contest-looks pretty cool! :)

  3. Fringe does a great job of supplying a paranormal scientific universe. I have no problem with religion, paranormal, and science all playing in the same sandbox.

  4. I love the fact that the paranormal is on a high at the moment, anything that puts religions nose out of joint is fine by me.

  5. I think it has always been popular, but in smaller pockets. The internet has really allowed fans to connect in ways that couldn't have been done in the years before. Now, there's a blog or community for everything! If only ten people in every city enjoy something, they can unite globally via the web and it suddenly becomes a movement of sorts. Which I think is awesome!

    I'll 2nd the Fringe vote above for a fine example of the 'amalgam' approach. Love that show!

  6. Charlie, I have no problem with religion and paranormal and science all playing nice but many others don't see it that way. I've only seen the first epsiode of Fringe and liked it but haven't had the chance to watch the rest of the series.

    Ryan, I'm loving the paranormal thing right now (obviously) too. :)

    E.J., I love the way the internet has connected people. Tiny niche markets have become major players and I think that's a good trend.

  7. I disagree with you that people are just now turning to the paranormal. Twenty years ago, people believed in them just as much today...only now it's everywhere because it's easy to package paranormal as exciting and you can couple it with hot actors on screen.

  8. I know some people believed in paranormal stuff twenty years ago but I think it's much more acceptable in todays society than it ever has been.