Coming from the Greek word for ‘Para’ which means ‘next to’ or beyond and ‘nomos’ which means ‘rule’, the paranormal has been something that has fascinated humans for hundred of years. The definition of the paranormal; phenomena that cannot be explained with logic or experiments using the scientific method. Putting it simply, it is the things that occur in our world that we cannot explain. Most commonly associated with ghosts aka spirits, it also includes physics/matter, energy and culture. ( In every culture throughout the world, there is some aspect of the paranormal. For example, in Catholic/Christian beliefs, there is the demon and angels. In Egyptian beliefs, there is Ba, an entity that can travel between the world of the dead and the world of the living. In Celtic lore, there is Ankou, the personification of death.)
To better explain something that is considered paranormal the way we know it, I’m going to give you an example of a well known haunting. About forty minutes outside of Chicago, Illinois is Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery. It’s first burial was in 1844 and the last recorded burial was in 1989. I say recorded because the small lake/pond the cemetery is located near became the burial place for people killed by the mob in Chicago. This cemetery is unfortunately extremely vandalized. From people digging up bodies to stealing the gravestones which created a legend that the gravestones move by themselves.
It’s common paranormal phenomenons are ‘phantom vehicles’ which might be a residual haunting, and floating lights. These lights have no source and are often red or blue in colour. It’s most common apparition is not a person but a house. According to witnesses, the house is always far away and always described the exact same. It’s a white house with porch pillars, a swing and soft lights in the windows. Yet whoever gets near it says that it will disappear before you can get close. The house is never reported in the same spot.
There are also other apparitions seen in the cemetery and the forest that surrounds it. Some of them include a farmer and his horse who is said to have drowned in the pond, a two headed man and a large black dog. The most famous is the “White Lady” or the “Madonna of Bachelor’s Grove.” One of the most famous photographic pieces of proof that the cemetery is haunted as well as one of the best pieces of photographic evidence is of a woman, possibly the “White Lady” sitting on a tombstone. It was taken in 1991 by Mari Huff, a member of the Ghost Research Society. Mari said that the woman was not there when she took the photo. Some people argue that it is a double exposure but professional photographers say that is it genuine.
When you think of the paranormal you might think of psychics and people standing in the dark and asking “can you give me a sign that you are here?” That is the metaphysical approach. In the Paranormal, there are two approaches. The metaphysical way and the non-metaphysical way. The non-metaphysical way is very scientific, using equipment to document phenomenon and disprove it as well as prove it. However, skeptics find the paranormal hard to believe in because the paranormal even with the non-metaphysical approach because it cannot be tested with the scientific method.
“We have to understand that we are dealing with the unexplained. We only know what we can see, hear, smell, taste and feel; everything else is just a theory. Sometimes I feel that humans have the mentality of a two year old. Why does it do that? Why is this the way it is? Why, why why, why? We’re curious beings who are programmed to ask questions, but if there isn’t an answer than it must not exist and we ridicule it or make fun of those who believe in it. Anyone who has spent a day in the paranormal field has experienced this kind of skepticism. ‘Ghosts aren’t real and you’re an idiot if you think they are’ people say. – Zak Bagans, lead investigator of the Ghost Adventures Crew
Since this is a metaphysics post though, I’ll keep it to the metaphysics, but if you want to explore the non-metaphysical side of the paranormal like seeing some of the devices used to research the paranormal, you find some references here. (x) (x)
People believe that with a sixth sense, you can sense spiritual energy through different ways from empathy to telepathically. Yet because of so many frauds and lies, it is hard to believe these people. I, myself, am skeptical of people who say they can communicate with spirits, saying they can talk to them and hear them. I do believe however, that people may be able to see or sense them more easily, sensing energy that others cannot. Maybe this is could tie into the collective consciousness idea that we are all connected in some way and when we die, that connection might become weaker for some and/or stronger for others.
This topic has been one that has been talked about for centuries, becoming increasingly popular since the Victorian era when things like Ouija Boards and Spirit photography were invented. As well, people were starting to really think about death, especially during and after the first world war when death was something people faced every day. People want closure when they lose someone. People want to know that this isn’t over, that there is something that makes all of this worth it.
There is more to the paranormal than things that go bump in the night. If you truly believe, a ghost is more than something scary. It’s someone’s consciousness. It’s someone who lived a life like you and me. The paranormal is like direct contact with our past. For example, if you were to go to a place where there was a battle, you can still experience sounds, and see things from that time.
When you look past the things people experience in the paranormal, you realize that something must be keeping this energy here and that is the greatest mystery of all. Maybe it’s their actions and choices from when they were alive. Maybe it’s something that is bigger than what we can possibly understand that keeps them here. (I haven’t even touched on demons/demonology and other entities that are not human-like that have been documented. If you are interested on reading more of that, you can go here (x) (x) )
That only leaves more questions that with our current technology and thinking cannot even begin to answer yet. What is consciousness? What keeps a soul/spirit here after death? Why are some more connected to these spirits than others?
So until we fully answer these questions, all we can do is stand in the dark and ask “Are you here? Can you give me a sign?”