by Kris Sedersten
Major studies show that one third of Americans polled believe in ghosts, haunted houses, and the paranormal. Many of those surveyed have had a personal paranormal experience, at some point in their life.
What is a paranormal experience, exactly? That is a difficult question. It can be any unexplainable occurrence; as individual as the person experiencing it. It may involve an uneasy sense of being watched, or bizarre electrical malfunctions; lights, and other appliances randomly turning themselves off and on. It can manifest as extreme variations in temperature, frigid bursts of air appearing on a hot summer day with no explanation.
Experiences with the paranormal may be as profound as hearing disembodied voices or seeing full bodied apparitions that suddenly vanish into thin air. Others are subtle and can easily be written off as a passing coincidence.
But, most agree that unexplainable incidents exist in the world today, and have since the beginning of recorded history. How people react to them depends upon many factors, including religious beliefs, cultural norms, superstitions, and personality traits.
Many people have never given the concept of the paranormal much thought one way or another until something happens that turns their attention in that direction. The first response, in general, is the age old; “fight or flight” stress response. The body reacts, and we either instinctively run from the stimuli we can’t understand, or we stop to face it head on. That’s how God made us!
Those of a more rational, scientific mindset tend to look at the world in a set of black and white facts and figures. Everything is compartmentalized neatly into its place and there are no gray areas allowed. They believe only in what they can see, touch and prove, giving no credence to the things they can’t. True skeptics lack the capacity to recognize a spiritual event, even when right in the middle of one, and, therefore, will never experience a paranormal event. They rationalize it away, and go on with their day.
On the other end of the spectrum are the new age, mystical believers. They are open to all things, and enjoy a spiritual side of life without question. They love the whimsical and the fantastic. There are religious groups from wiccans and spiritualists to born again Christians who spend time daily in prayer and communion to the spirits they believe in.
In the middle, are the everyday people that have experienced the paranormal; astounded and unprepared for the sudden interruption into their lives. Some are from a conservative background with fundamental religious beliefs; others may be liberals with no preconceived notions of an afterlife.
Those who react to the paranormal with fear and dread can suddenly be thrust into a whole new level of unknown territory. With it brings new fears of mental illness. Visual and auditory hallucinations are definite signs of mental problems and people must consider that possibility when they suddenly start hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there. Physical illnesses such as Dementia, brain tumors, hormonal imbalances also come to mind. Those particular worries can be more terrifying than the prospect of dealing with the paranormal.
But, not everyone is afraid of the unknown. Some embrace it, and view it with awe and curiosity. They have the ability to accept the things not easily explained and yearn to learn more about it. In many instances, staff of haunted hotels, or families living in haunted houses, learn to live in harmony with what they perceive as restless energy or spirits of past inhabitants. They have found that spiritual energy is not always scary. It can be warm and comforting, too.
I want to believe in the paranormal, and for the most part, I do. Life after death is something I believe in with all my heart and soul. Still, I have some skepticism about whether or not spirits of the deceased can communicate with the living. But, I remain open to the possibility.
I’m not afraid of the spiritual side of the world. I’m a seeker, and I welcome any experiences that come my way. I do believe I’ve had a brush or two with the paranormal over the years, and they were extraordinary but not frightening. I hope to have many more, and when I do, I will remember the motto, My God is greater than my fear.
Or, in the words of my three year old grandson, “God is bigger than the boogie man!” He is always with us and we have nothing to fear!
Image courtesy of Sarej.
About The Author
Mojo is a fast paced paranormal thriller.
If you’ve got Mojo; look for upcoming releases in 2011
Edgy and fun, this book will show the reader how having faith in a power greater than ourselves will lift us through even the most unforeseeable obstacles in life.