Whether it be a spine-tingling ghost story, the sighting of a UFO, stories of Gods and Deities, or the fascination of the occult, most of us are curious in one way or another about the supernatural. We soak up the supernatural throughout our lives; from fairy stories as children to funeral services at the other end of life. It pervades all areas of knowledge-history, geography, literature, science-and crawls into our imaginations and our ponderings about the whys and wherefores of life.
A Chapman University survey indicated that approximately half of all American adults hold at least one supernatural belief. Likewise, YouGov (2013) reports that 52 percent of Britons believe that people have seen ghosts, and that 38 percent believe that people have witnessed alien spacecraft visiting earth.
What draws us as humans to this other dimension?
As miniscule fragments of life suspended on a tiny globe amongst a magnificent and never ending universe, common sense tells us that we are not the be-all and end-all. Yet we are still searching for definitive proof of something else, needing faith, or belief to make anything otherworldly a reality. And yet we maintain a curiosity, which we need to give shape and meaning to, so we hold on to our Gods, our demons, and our aliens.
And what of the question of our own perceived journey into the supernatural? When we die there is nothing left within the physical form. The life-breath, consciousness, and even the warmth of the body disappears. Belief in the supernatural can lessen the shock; the trauma, and the loss. Whether that belief is a God taking a loved one to himself, or that they are existing somehow around us and with us but in a different, spiritual dimension, we need not have to deal with or accept total non-existence.
Or maybe it is just good old fashioned fear! In our pampered secure lives, we no longer face many fearful encounters in our daily existence. Our fight or flight response is not naturally sparked by predators and other challenges to survival. Yet the human nervous system, like the other parts of our bodies- our brains, and our muscles, for instance- need a good workout from time to time. Hence we scale mountains with no safety net, tie a bungee to our feet and hurl ourselves from dizzy heights, and take part in other extreme sports. We flock to theme parks to experience that stomach churning sick sense of fear. And we experience excitement and stimulation through entertainment based on fear in our droves. The supernatural platform offers a unique opportunity to escape our daily lives, be terrified by the unknown, and get the thrill of adrenalin pumping from the comfort of our armchair.
One thing is sure. Interest in the supernatural is not waning. Supernatural fiction is more popular than ever. So hold on to your hat and be prepared to be spooked!