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Paranormal phenomena

Updated on March 27, 2013

Paranormal phenomena

For centuries people have believed in the Paranormal and also reported to have experienced such phenomena (Haraldsson, 1985; Haraldsson and Houtkooper, 1991; Ross and Joshi, 1992; Moore, 2005; Irwin, 2009).

As the years go by more and more Paranormal beliefs as well as experiences seem to be revealed. However it is rather our understanding of them (beliefs and experiences) that has increased. Surveys have shown that approximately fifty per cent of people have one, or more than one paranormal beliefs, and also that approximately fifty per cent of these support that they have experienced a unique paranormal event themselves (Irwin, 2009, pp. viii).

But are these phenomena real or not?

This is rather a question which still cannot really be given an accurate answer. There is still considerable debate concerning this area of study and continuous research is conducted investigating the existence of these phenomena.

Nonetheless, paranormal phenomena are considered to be cases which lack scientific explanation, rather than scientifically unaccepted (Irwin, 2009).

According to Irwin (2009, pp.vii) there are numerous beliefs which are undertaken as, and therefore called “paranormal”. Such beliefs are extrasensory perception (ESP), psychokenesis, telepathy; beliefs in life after death as well as beliefs in spirits; beliefs in astrology, magic, New Age Therapies, witchcraft, Wicca, etc.

Interview: Dr. Lukoff from the Mental Health, Wellbeing and Spirituality Conference in Dundee Scotland (2005)

Paranormal belief and experiences

A survey carried out by Haraldsson in 1985, showed that there are numerous people who believe in, and who support to experience the ‘paranormal’.

Moreover another survey, carried out by Gallup and Newport (1991) investigated paranormal belief in 1236 Americans.

The results had showed:

  • three out of four people read their horoscopes in the newspaper,
  • one in four showed to have a slight astrology belief,
  • one in four supported to have experienced telepathy,
  • one in four believed that ghosts exist,
  • one in six stated that they had seen a UFO.

Telepathy: Experienced by twin sisters

Belief in Fairies: An author's experience and view

Personality differences between believers and non believers?

Some, such as Irwin (1993), Kennedy (2005), Thalbourne and Haraldsson (1980), argue that paranormal beliefs are associated with personality. There also has been research conducted to test if there is a correlation between personality and paranormal beliefs (Eysenck, 1967; Kanthamani and Rao, 1972; Tobacyk and Tobacyk, 1992; Rattet and Bursik, 2001). From the findings of the studies carried out, it has been suggested that there are personality differences between those who believe and those who do not believe.

Do you believe in the paranormal?

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    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

      Thank you very much for your very nice comments SMonaghan119 :) I am glad that you have found this subject interesting.

      Thanks for visiting, I hope you find my other hubs as interesting.

    • SMonaghan119 profile image

      Sean 4 years ago from PA

      I found this article to be very interesting and spoken on a topic I take great interest in. Very well done, I'll be reading more :)

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you for your kind comments Roohi, I am really glad you have found this subject interesting. I will be sharing more. Thanks for the follow, much appreciated.

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      Roohi Khan 5 years ago from India

      Very interesting, Chris! I wrote a hub on sleep paralysis about 2 years back and tried to give a scientific explanation to the old hag syndrome as it is popularly known as. Although there were quite a few people who were relieved at the thought that there was an explanation for what they experienced, many of them just would not accept it. They continued to believe that they were possessed by demons.

      I do believe that there are personality differences between the believers and non-believers. Would really appreciate if you could present some more information on this aspect. Maybe a new hub!

      It must also have a lot to do with childhood experiences as well. As a child, we do tend to pick up our parent's beliefs, especially if these parents are insistent on raising a child in "their particular way".

      Nice hub! Will be following your hubs from now on!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you for reading and sharing your own thoughts about the subject Mark. I understand what you are trying to say and you have got a point. The final quote says it all.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you stessily. I hope you enjoyed reading :)

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      markbennis 5 years ago

      Nice hub about an interesting subject, not to sure I am inclined to believe it could be a personality association as that is too obscure and not really definitive enough, in my opinion.

      I believe mostly everyone has had some sort of paranormal experience in their lives, although depending on its intensity and impact on you at the time, most usually dismiss them as just one of those mysterious occurrences that must have an explanation.

      Then you have others that seem to have had a very profound experience or experiences, and the dismissal becomes less evident as they have had to apply more energy in the analytical analysis of these experiences.

      Where the persons involved will have applied all their logic to explaining these experiences, which will have exercised through the practise of logic a firm believe in what they have experienced.

      When you have exhausted all logical reasoning and by doing so you will have a confirmed belief, only when you have balance in both then you have a knowing of it being real.

      Quote: ‘When we seek the knowledge, we are exercising our beliefs and through practise we gain an understanding, when we have found balance in our beliefs and understanding of it, we will reach a knowing that confirms all of it’.

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      Chris, It's interesting, but really not surprising, that "there are personality differences between those who believe and those who do not believe." Two people may look at the same event, person, or thing, from completely different perspectives which seem real and true to both of them and which reveal the paths which are familiar to their minds. So much is interpreted according to what is familiar, so that paranormal phenomena nudge observers to step outside of familiarity. That can be quite a frightening hurdle.

      Herbie Brennan's discussion of his acquaintance with fairies is thought provoking. Ireland's great poet William Butler Yeats believed in fairies, etc.

      The scientific approach to assessing and understanding paranormal phenomena is well presented by you.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      annaw: Thank you for sharing your own experiences, I am sorry about your parents deaths, it must of been a hard time for you. Thank you for reading, commenting and voting. Truly appreciated.

      jirel: Thank you jirel, I am glad you have found this topic interesting.

    • jirel profile image

      jirel 5 years ago from Philippines

      This is one of the topics I'm always interested in.It's really interesting.Nice hub!

    • annaw profile image

      annaw 5 years ago from North Texas

      The thing is I do not need any experts to tell me about life experiences that have stayed with me for over 48 years, that is a long time to recall the incidences as I do, but some things stay with us a lifetime because the impact on our lives is that great. The visuals stopped when I was about 6 years old and I was left alone until I was visited by a woman who had been killed by her husband in the military housing unit inwhich I lived, with my abusive husband. She was there to make sure I was okay this was in the 80's. I remember my husband confessing his fear of what was going on in the house when I had left him for a short time. He reported he was unable to have any peace in the house; Cabinet doors were opening and slamming shut, inner doors opening and closing too. For once he was not the big man anymore. He was actually frightened.It was not until the deaths of my parents in 1994 that I once again experienced a strong presence in the room with me, more specifically I felt my father. Some would say how do you know it was your father - I just do.I know that may sound crazy but he was the type man that would be most likely to check on me. My mother not so much, In fact I dreaded the possibility of her coming back to visit me, She never did though. I voted this up and interesting

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you Eliza.

    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 5 years ago from London

      Interesting statistic about 50% of people having these experiences. That's a lot! Thanks for publishing this hub.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you for stopping by hoteltravel and yoginijoy. I really appreciate your very kind comments and votes:), and am glad you have enjoyed this subject.

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      I remember in high school trying to send telepathically images on cards to my friend. Interestingly, I was much better at receiving than sending. I almost went into psychology in college because of how interesting parapsychology is to me! Wonderful hub! Very well written and explained.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 5 years ago from Thailand

      I have often wondered how people can entertain beliefs with no scientific backing. As you said, may be it is personality differences. Informative hub. Voted up and interesting.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you very much alekhouse, its really nice to know that you found this subject interesting. I will be sharing more on this soon :)

    • alekhouse profile image

      Nancy Hinchliff 5 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      This is an interesting question. I guess most of us have pondered over the subject from time to time. I definitely believe paranormal beliefs are associated with personality.

      Thanks for a thought-provoking hub.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 5 years ago

      Thank you

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting hub.

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 6 years ago

      Thank you Imw5. I am glad you have found this topic interesting as I have much more to share :)

    • lmw5 profile image

      lmw5 6 years ago

      I can't help but find this an interesting subject. Nice article!

    • Chris Achilleos profile image

      Chris Achilleos 6 years ago

      Thank you Marsei :)

    • Marsei profile image

      Sue Pratt 6 years ago from New Orleans

      This is a subject I'm very interested in. It is an informative and thought-provoking article.