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Paranormal Events And How They Shape Lives

Updated on September 16, 2014


This paper is not to question if paranormal events (EHEs) are real but to explore how a person responds to the EHE. Before we begin, a little background into Parapsychology is in order. So what is the paranormal? According to, the paranormal is any event or perception without scientific explanation, otherwise known as supranational phenomena (2010). parapyshology is such a diverse form of study that it is cut up into five different categories to further explain.

Five Categories

The five types of paranormal phenomena are aliens, cryptozoology, ghosts, mystical places, and divination. ( 2010) The Alien section explores the possibility that there are other life-forces from space. Cryptozoology explores the various reporting of monsters like the half goat-man, Bigfoot, Lockness, and Chupacabra. The ghost section explores the various kinds of haunting that people have experienced. Mystical places section explores odd repeated happenings at certain places like the Bermuda Triangle and Vile Vorticles. This section also explores lost civilizations like Atlantis. Finally divination and parapsychology explores telepathy, ESP, and Clairvoyance.

Even the categories have subcategories. For example, the ghost section contains four subtypes: haunting, demonic possession, possessed objects, and Poltergeist phenomena (Ferrante 2010). There are major differences between the types: demonic possession is said to be more violent and a higher temperature than regular haunts. EVPs will showcase growls and other demonic sounds that other ghost-types will not have. Demonic possession has been linked to graveyards and ouija boards. However they could follow a person from a haunted building but they are more likely from the board and graveyards. This type of ghost can usually stay with that person for their whole lifespan. Poltergeist phenomena usually start haunting a young child and stops when the child hits puberty.There is no definite way to know how the poltergeist attaches itself to the child at first but once they attach, it is hard to get rid of them. The subcategory of hauntings can go on forever and the ghost is pretty much resigned to the place either death occurred or they can be attached to their favorite items/or item they were killed with. . .

In terms of Mystery Locations there is a large difference between the Bermuda Triangle which is known for planes to crash and/or ships to go missing and Atlantis which is a city that may or may not have existed. What about the many mystery spots that is spread throughout the world? Where everything feels like its on a slant but every time they do a test to see if the land is in fact slanted it is found that it is level and even.

So why is it important to study about the paranormal? For one thing the paranormal has been part of society since society first started.

The Truth Is Every Culture Has Their Own Fears About The Supernatural

In every era of humans, every city or town, and every country have had their own paranormal stories that fits into their culture. For example, in Japan, they have a high interest in the supernatural. One of their most famous ghosts is the dead girl with a white dress and long hair that covers her face. That ghost is popular in Japan and other Asian cultures but not in western cultures. USA has their own popular ghost as do Mexico as do Europe as to India. Yet surprisingly, even through every culture has its own idea about parapsychology, sometimes they have similar events that makes a person wonder. For example. a creature similar to Lock Ness has been spotted in Ireland, United States, and on the banks of the Mediterranean Sea. Another example is the similarity of a bipedal creature found in America, Italy, and Japan. This creature has as many different names as the number of countries involved but they all resemble our own American legend, Bigfoot. The claims of Alien sightings can be found on every country now.

What About Individuals?

Every person has their own tales about the Boogeyman hiding underneath their bed, a commensality of a black small creature with claws and red glowing eyes or another monster hiding outside their window during the darkness of the night. Yet those are only a small part of the paranormal world. What about superstitions? What about urban legends? Have they not affected society in some way? Like for existence: the urban legend of Bloody Mary, how many children have heard that story and had nightmares, or how many of them tried the urban legend? What about precognition dreams? What category do the dreams fit in?

The truth is, the supernatural affects people and society everyday. It teaches children lessons like talking to strange people on the internet might lead to danger (the licking pedophile under the bed urban legend). It teaches children not to get caught up in vanity and spend a lot of time in front of the mirror (Bloody Mary). It teaches children that when they are in bed they should fall asleep quickly and not get up from your bed (Boogeyman).

It also is a threshold for showing off bravery. People go to horror movies to show that they cannot be scared. The more scary the film is said to be the more people will go to watch it to try to show off that they could not get scared. That is also the reason they go to Halloween Haunted Houses. It is almost like a act of passage.

Picture of a local 'haunted' cemetery during a morning walkthrough before nighttime investigation
Picture of a local 'haunted' cemetery during a morning walkthrough before nighttime investigation | Source

Why Are People Drawn To Haunted Places

However, when it comes to real life, people do not generally go to real haunted houses to prove they are not chicken. Not saying that it doesn't happen because it does as but most come to seek out something that they need answers to. They usually enter for four different reasons:

1)To prove that ghosts do not exist

2) To see if ghosts exist

3) Drawn to it due to the risk factor of it

4) Cool it is an abandoned building with no parental supervision

The paranormal field has grown and flourished in places like France and Japan yet there is little growth in America. Research that has been done in France and Japan are trying to grow the field and make it a more prominent science while America is still focus on the disbelief of existence of the paranormal. The problem with that is it ignoring the psychological aspect of these paranormal events.


Leading Research On Paranormal Events

How does the paranormal event affect the witness of the event? How does the paranormal event change positively or negatively with a person? The rest of this paper will be dealing with the psychological aspects of paranormal events.

Due to the taboo of researching paranormal events, many research papers is based off of finding medical or mental reasons for these paranormal events. For example, certain tumors in the brain can cause hallucinations which may come up as paranormal events to the witness. Most of the research done on disproving the paranormal is centered on temporal lobe sensitivity. People who have experienced a paranormal event (EHEs) show a bigger right temporal lobe than unbelievers (Persinger, Michael A 2001; Persinger, M.A.C. 1984). The right temporal lobe is the lobe that controls creativity, so witnesses of EHEs are shown to be more creative in thought processes. Research also shows that paranormal beliefs and childhood trauma is linked (Lawrence, Edwards, Barraclough, Church, Heatherington (1994). Children with trauma are more likely to have EHEs than a normal child.

Interests in Paranormal

The number of Americans who reported to have EHEs is 30% (Haraldsson 2009) while the number of people who believes in the paranormal is 73% (Moore 2005). So the majority of Americans seem to have interest in paranormal yet most research done on the subject is trying to prove the falsehood of the paranormal. The amount of research done on the effects of EHEs is rare, and that is why it is important.


EHEs has been found to have a more positively affect on a person's lifestyles. Many people feel comforted at the fact that ghosts are around because that proves that there is life after death and also have less fears about death and everyday stresses (Kennedy and Hanthamni 2005). Studies has shown that a person who witnessed an event has a 72% increase of belief in higher forces, 25% shown motivation to make a positive life change as well as feel more spiritual (Kennedy 2005). EHEs have also been linked to a healthier psychological attitudes and reduced stress syndromes (Palmer &Braud 2002).

Near-death-experiences are most commonly studied and research has focused on how the experience influenced the subjects. One study done on near-death-experiences was characterized by peacefulness, painlessness, lack of fear, detachment from the body, and loss of sense of time and space (Schwaninger, Eisenberg, Schechtman, Kenneth, Weiss, Alan 2002). Near-death-experiences have been shown to improve marital relationships of troubled marriages after one or both participants experienced the event (Rozan & Rozan 2005). Also near death experiences in cardiac survivors said that the event changed their psychological, social, and spiritual awareness both short term and long term (Schwaninger, Eisenberg, Schechtman, Kenneth, Weiss, Alan 2002).

On a study of precognition dreaming, 90% of precognition dreams come true in the next day and many times the dreams are positive (Bergson, H 1914). Many times precognition dreams will influence a person’s choice of career, lover, friend, and even what house to buy. One such tale was a story about a doctor who after receiving three cognition dreams of him being a doctor decided to become a doctor (Dossey 1999).



The fact is that based on the paranormal event a person has can shape their feelings toward the haunting. In the most part, many people have reported that seeing a loved one that passed away is one of the most common supernatural event and that they felt a level of calmness and relief after seeing their event. If however, a person is being haunted by a demon, their reactions might not be so calm and positive and instead be full of stress, fear, and the feeling of despair or hopelessness. Rather in a good or a bad way, paranormal happenings directly affects a person for the rest of their lives.


Bergson, H. (1914). Presidential Address. Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research. V27:157-175

Dossey, L. (1999). Reinventing Medicine. Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing.San Francisco, CA: Harper San Francisco

Ferrante, Joe (2010) the Many Types of Paranormal Activity. Ezine Articles.

Haraldsson, Erlendur (2009). Alleged Encounters With The Dead: The Importance of Violent Death in 337 New Cases. Journal of Parapsychology. V73:91-118. Retrieved June 24, 2010, from ProQuest Psychology Journals. (Document ID: 1957426291).

Kennedy, J.E. (2005). Personality and Motivations to Believe, Misbelieve, and Disbelieve in Paranormal Phenomena. Journal of Parapsychology. V69 (2):263-293

Kennedy, J.E., & Kanthamani, H. (1995). An Exploration Study of the Effects of Paranormal Well-Being. The Journal of American Study for Psychical Research. V89:249-265.

Lawrence, Tony, Edwards, Claire, Barraclough, Nichole, Church, Sarah, &Heatherington, Francesa(1994). Modeling Childhood Causes of Paranormal Belief and Experiences: Childhood Trauma and Childhood Fantasy. Personality and Individual Differences. V19(2):209-215. Doi:10.1016/0191-8869(95)00034-4

Moore, David W. (2005) Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal. Gallup Poll News Service

Palmer, G., & Braud, W. (2002). Exceptional Human Experiences Disclosure, and a More Inclusive View of Physical, Psychological, and Spiritual Well-being. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology. V34:29-61

Paranormal. (n.d.) (2010). Unabridged. Retrieved July 25, 2010, from website:

Persinger, M.A. (1984). Propensity to Report Paranormal Experiences is correlated with Temporal Lobe Signs. Percept Mot Skills. V59(2):583-6

Persinger, Michael A. (2001). The Neuropsychiatry of Paranormal Experiences. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry. V13(4):515-524

Rozan, Christian, Rozan, Sandra (2005). Marital Satisfaction and Stability Following a Near-Death Experience of One of the Marital Partners. [Dissertation] University of Texas.

Schwaninger, Janet, Eisenberg, Paul R., Schechtman, Kenneth B., & Weiss, Alan N. (2002) A Prospective Analysis of Near-Death Experiences in Cardiac Arrest. Journal of Near-Death Studies. V20(4): 215-232.Doi: 1023/A:1015258818660


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