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The Paranormal - Fact or fiction?

Updated on April 6, 2013

What is the paranormal?

Many of us associate the paranormal with ghosts – hauntings if you will, but the paranormal encompasses far more. It is a blanket expression for anything we can’t pigeon-hole in a nice, rational manner - yet.

Let’s see; we have ghosts, poltergeists, faith healing, witchcraft, voodoo, telepathy, psychokinesis, the Bermuda Triangle, the Pyramids and UFO’s are all members of that elite group that we acknowledge as being there, but can’t fully explain.

The Famous St. Mary's Ghost
The Famous St. Mary's Ghost

Take ghosts and poltergeists for instance. Despite there being many documented cases from people not ordinarily given over to flights of fancy, some believe and some do not. Some are prepared to say that there is something there, whilst others are not.

Some say there cannot be any truth in ghosts, poltergeists or spiritual entities as they would break the laws of physics, but then it was widely believed that humans would suffocate at speeds of over twenty-five miles per hour at one time and now look at us.

The Bermuda Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle

The disappearance of so many aircraft and ships over the area affectionately known as the Bermuda Triangle has had theorists and scientists alike scratching their heads for as long as the term has been coined. Still though, no-one has a definitive answer for the apparently strange occurrences that have been linked to that area.

The great Egyptian pyramids
The great Egyptian pyramids

The Pyramids

The pyramids are one of the wonders of the world and have the engineers of today at a loss to know how the ancient Egyptians managed to build structures five thousand years ago that we still can’t. The use of pyramids has not been questioned, but the methods used to construct them, certainly has.

The sign outside of Area 51 - which doesn't exist...
The sign outside of Area 51 - which doesn't exist...


UFO’s are something a great many of us have our own theories on. Like the reports of ghosts, reports of UFO’s have been well documented and the governments of today are fuelling the conspiracy theorists fires with what appear to be blatant cover-ups coupled with the refusal to confirm or deny reports linking them with UFO phenomena.

The Juggler or The Magician.  Tarot cards have often been used by psychics as a method for focussing when 'reading' people
The Juggler or The Magician. Tarot cards have often been used by psychics as a method for focussing when 'reading' people

Psychic phenomena

Psychic phenomena are more areas which can come under the banner of paranormal, encompassing areas such as faith healing, telepathy, psychometrics, telekinesis or psychokinesis to name but a few. In many instances, the psychics – for want of a better term, have been documented in scientific journals by responsible witnesses as being ‘real’.

There are those who can ‘see’ the future, those who can move objects with the power of the mind, those who can ‘talk’ to the dead and those who can heal ills for which, there were no medical cures and without the use of medical instruments or drugs.

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Perhaps the most baffling of all phenomena are the cases of SHC. Spontaneous Human Combustion is one of those things that many people have had a stab at explaining, but somehow can’t. There aren’t many documented cases of this, but those that have been seem to lean towards the fact that these people simply burnt.

All of the above can be partly explained, but not fully.

Fact or Fiction?

One man who hosted a phone-in on the radio for people who had had encounters with UFO’s, said that 95% or more of the calls that came in were obviously fakes, but the other 5% had no rational explanation other than that they were the truth.

I suspect that the same can be said of most if not all paranormal experiences reported; there are going to be fabrications, but then there are also going to be reports that are genuine.

It therefore stands to reason that the strange or apparently paranormal isn’t always caused by wilful spirits, demons or anything of that nature.

The Pontiac badge. But was this car possessed, Haunted or did it just dislike Vanilla?
The Pontiac badge. But was this car possessed, Haunted or did it just dislike Vanilla?

The Haunted Car?

A man sent a letter to the Pontiac division of General Motors with a complaint, stating that this was the second time he’d written, although he didn’t blame them for thinking he might be crazy.

He went on to explain how it had become a tradition in his family to follow their evening meal with ice cream, however the flavour varies as after the meal, they take a vote on which ice cream they should have. After that, he explained that it was his job then to drive to the local store to buy the chosen flavour.

He also explained that he had recently bought a new Pontiac and since then it had caused problems with the ice cream runs.

“If I buy vanilla, the car won’t start, but if I buy any other flavour, everything is fine.”

This seemed spooky.

Did the car not like vanilla?

Did it have something against that particular flavour?

It was something that baffled the Pontiac chaps too and they sent an engineer who was convinced he was on his way to a total nut-job and was surprised when he met a man in a nice neighbourhood who was well-dressed and obviously intelligent.

The engineer went with the man to the store and as luck would have it, he bought vanilla and sure enough, the car failed to start.

Several more times the engineer joined the man on his ice cream run and the next time they went to the store, the man bought chocolate and the car started first time. Next, it was strawberry and again the car started first time, but on the fourth trip, the flavour was vanilla and surprise, surprise, the car failed to start.

It was spooky.

On each of the runs to the store, the engineer took notes on outside temperatures, the kind of fuel etc and for a while was completely baffled, but then it dawned on him.

It was down to the layout of the store.

The fact was, vanilla was in a freezer at the front of the store, whilst the other flavours were further back and therefore took the man longer to locate and purchase. In addition, the car was suffering from vapour-lock, which was still present when the man returned from purchasing his vanilla ice cream, but had had enough time to dissipate when another flavour had been purchased.

So as spooky as it may have seemed, there was a logical explanation to the car’s ills.

Associated hubs (which will become links when the individual hubs are completed...):


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    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 7 years ago from Normandy, France


      Yes, I think I was having a senior moment with the tarot card. I think I got it right with Tarot cards - a rough guide

    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 7 years ago

      Dr. Marie is correct, the Juggler (Fool) in not the Magician

      But otherwise, good hub

    • profile image

      Ron 7 years ago

      I know there can be rational reasons for some weird issues. But, how irrational is it to believe our planet is only one of the billions, yes, witha 'B', that has life? Also, being an electrician, I know that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but changed to different states. We have just scratched the surface of knowledge. However, our species spends most if its time concerned only with immediate gratification issues, not on those affecting others.

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 7 years ago from Normandy, France

      Hi Steffy,

      Thanks for the comment and yes, most of the time there is a logical explanation. However, what proves to me that they're out there is that small percentage that defy logic or reason.

      **Cue Twilight Zone music...**

    • SteffyRose profile image

      SteffyRose 7 years ago from Bristol

      The story about the man with the car and ice cream really made me laugh! It also proves that most of the time there is a logical explanation for these spooky goings on!

      Great hub! :D

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 7 years ago from Normandy, France

      Dr. Marie

      My bad.

      I've changed it. I feel a little silly actually, having several packs of tarot cards and books on the subject. I must have been having a senior moment

    • Dr. Marie profile image

      Dr. Marie 7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this article very much. However, there is one small item I wish to comment on. In the caption underneath the Tarot Card Pic, you say the Magician is sometimes known as the Fool. This is incorrect. The Magician and the Fool are totally separate cards with completely different meanings. The Magician is never referred to as a Fool. The Fool is just starting out on the journey of life and the Magician is much farther along. Just wanted to let you know. :)

    • Nick B profile image

      Nick B 8 years ago from Normandy, France

      You and me both.

      There's more to come too.

      Thanks for the feedback, MistHaven

    • MistHaven profile image

      MistHaven 8 years ago from New Jersey

      That story about the Pontiac and the vanilla ice cream was very interesting. It had all the makings of a typical paranormal story, but ended up having a rational explanation.

      A friend I was talking to in college told me that when she would leave her baby brother in a room all by himself, she would return and find adult sized bite marks on his body.

      I definietly believe in stuff like this.