This will be my last blog post before diving into the A to Z Challenge. In case you missed the announcement last Friday, for this April my theme will be the paranormal, again. I know that surprises no one since it's kind of my thing in my fiction writing. I also have written about the paranormal quite a bit in the nonfiction sense, which has required me to gather primary resource information for my articles, blog posts, etc. In other words, I've spoken with quite a few people who claim to have experienced paranormal phenomena.
When I first started writing about the paranormal, I had no idea it would alienate me from some people, but it did. I've had "friends" essentially tell me that studying the subject is "evil" for any number of reasons, or that it isn't "healthy." Other people have questioned how I can believe in science, since I write about science-based topics regularly (like automotive technology and energy). I've been perplexed at these responses.
Recently, I've been reading through data from Baylor's Religion Surveys and feel validated by the picture painted by the data. As sociologists have pointed out, the American public has an uncomfortable relationship with the paranormal. Different questions in the surveys ask if people believe in any phenomena on a list of several paranormal topics. Most people respond that they believe in two of the items, but it varies which ones. Almost nobody responds that they believe in all of them. Interestingly enough, very few people respond that they believe in none.
People who are well-educated professionals are much more guarded about their belief in the paranormal, because they know that even though most other people believe in it to an extent, the public distrusts anyone who makes a big deal about their belief. I'll be honest, many people I talk to who believe in "everything" paranormal often seem to be rather gullible. I've actually pretty careful about believing anything, because scams and even delusional people abound.
So who believes in the paranormal? Most people do, but to varying degrees. Those beliefs vary dramatically when it comes to the subject. The majority of people would not describe themselves as paranormal "believers" yet they think aliens exist, or that mothers have a sixth sense that helps them protect their children, or that praying or fasting can heal people. All of that falls under the purvey of the paranormal.
We will go down the rabbit hole again this April and explore 26 different paranormal topics. I don't expect anyone to believe in all of them, because quite frankly neither do I. Still, I find studying paranormal topics to be interesting, and if nothing else they make for some interesting topics for my fiction writings.
As an added treat, I wanted to show you all the trailer for a creepy Aussie movie called The Babadook. It showed during Sundance and releases in the U.S. this year.
See you all in April!