- Wednesday's Word - "Paranormal"

In doing my research I am stumbling upon many words that I thought I knew but are realizing that their meanings go much deeper or I flat out misinterpreted them due to my own ignorance. So, I decided to start a theme for a weekly post... uh, "Wednesday's Word", in which I will take a word and dissect it until I have a much better understanding as to what I am talking about.

In order to "start at the very beginning", I deemed it appropriate to apply my "research skills" to the word... PARANORMAL... As the precipitous for this blog and part of it's very description, I felt it necessary to personally understand EXACTLY what it meant and share that as I have been referred to as "Jason" (uh, of Friday the 13th infamy) and I added an icon of an alien, which absolutely aroused my need to be sure I know what I'm talking about on here.

Let's first take a look at the make-up of the word itself.... "para" - Latin for "above" or "against"... "normal"... uh, we all know what that means. So, "paranormal" literally means above (or against) what is normal.... But, if I drank a 30-pack in 30 minutes, is THAT paranormal???

So, would that make paranormal a synonym for "abnormal" - "deviating from what is considered normal or average"? But, WTF is "normal"? And whose standard of what "normal" is do we go by, being that everyone has their own interpretation of what THEY consider normal? A brief definition of normal is "in accordance with scientific laws"..

Again, I thank CrimeBrat for supplying me with that glossary of many of the common terms associated with the theme of my new "hobby", INCLUDING, "paranormal"... as, on the surface paranormal seems similar to abnormal, BUT the true meaning lies deep within.

"Paranormal - The realm of occurrences and phenomena removed from those which people are exposed in everyday experience."

Allow me to expand on that definition by adding... "seemingly outside normal sensory channels" or EXTRASENSORY", which means "being outside the normal range or bounds of the senses"... and "NOT in accordance with scientific laws".. or as Wikipedia explains "unusual experiences or phenomena alleged to be outside science's current ability to explain or measure"... HA, NOW we're talking... THAT would seem to be much more accurate than abnormal !!!!!!!! Hmmmmm...

So, now I had the meaning of the word but I still had a limited understanding as to what "occurrences" could/should be considered paranormal. Certainly "apparitions" (future Wednesday Word) and "witchcraft" (ANOTHER future Wednesday Word). But, my limited knowledge made me think that UFO's are considered paranormal phenomena too.

Soooooooooooooooooo, wanting to be as accurate as possible, I needed to search further to find out what is "commonly" known as paranormal phenomena. That research allowed me to compile the list (from several sources) as to what is commonly included under the umbrella of the term PARANORMAL... here's a compilation that I came up with, including, but NOT limited to:
  • Astrology
  • Aura
  • Clairvoyance and Prophecy
  • Channeling
  • Dowsing
  • ESP
  • Faith/Spiritual Healing
  • Hypnotism
  • Demonic Possession
  • Distance Healing
  • Ghosts/Spirits
  • Graphology
  • Homeopathy
  • Levitation
  • Numerology
  • Palmistry
  • Haunted Houses
  • Phrenology
  • Physiognomy
  • Precognition
  • Psychic Surgery
  • Psychokinesis
  • Psychometry
  • Pyramid Power
  • Qiqong
  • Reality Shift
  • Reflexology
  • Reincarnation
  • Remote viewing
  • Spontaneous Combustion (human)
  • Telepathy
  • UFO's and Extraterrestrials
  • Witches and witchcraft
Well, that's a pretty impressive list. Honestly there are several I've never heard of. And certainly scientists have done their best to "DEBUNK" (another future Word) many of the subjects involved. Obviously specific topics fall under the headings above like, Bigfoot, Yetti, the Lock Ness Monster, Tarot Cards, even the Bermuda Triangle, etc... DAMN, what HAVE I gotten myself into???... perhaps I need to specialize... BUT, suffice to say, if science can't rationalize an experience, it is considered paranormal...

Now, certainly we're all at least familiar with the popularity of the paranormal as Hollywood has "glorified" the topic in a long history of movies dedicated to the subject dating back to at least the '50s.... everyone's out to make a buck.

But don't be fooled by the difference between a paranormal movie and a horror movie. Although many horror movies involve the paranormal, not ALL paranormal movies are horror movies. "ET", "Close Encounters" and "Ghostbusters" come to mind... CERTAINLY all paranormal movies and also CERTAINLY are not horror movies.

My thoughts gravitate toward the fact that horror movies prey on people's fears while paranormal movies depict theories and possibilities that are meant to provoke thought and "understanding", not necessarily fear, although definitely some of them are scary.... "Amityville Horror" (debunked) and "Haunting In Connecticut" (also reported as debunked) come to mind. That's my story and I'm sticking to it... unless someone will debunk my theory... and I may be partial because I don't scare easily.

Certainly, this is a small sampling of Hollywood's depictions. You all know what they are and all have the ability to draw your own conclusions. The purpose of this site is to shed some insight on MY own personal beliefs, research, education and experiences... and for the record... I DO BELIEVE !!!

So, as the latest movie, "Paranormal Activity" is currently at the theaters, keep that in mind with me as I am definitely feeling the need to view it.......

As always there a number of sites that contributed to this post. Here are the most influential, as well as some other very interesting sites I found along the way. I encourage anyone with interest to look further....


On another note, I have been working hard for a few days trying to customize the site. In doing so I have used both the Firefox and Safari browsers. UNFORTUNATELY, different browsers apparently read "scripts" differently as when I viewed the site using Firefox, some of the elements looked different than they do using Safari (which is my browser of choice). I ask anyone that encounters something unusual (besides the subject matter) to please send me an email at so that I can look into it and correct it.... Thanks and

Happy H(A)UNTING !!!!

3 screams:

TheCrimeBrat said...

nah i like ya too much to shoot ya.

Chris said...

John, this blog is turning out totally awesome! I love it. I love the backd music! Great job on this and great posts! I see you got the BEST recent comments widget from Corpse of Attic, too!

plainolebob said...

John, well no wonder can't find you, you been busy.
Bess went to the other site and left a message
She wanted to know if you had a blogger you wanted to have the hot dawg award, she's givin em all out in the am. and if you do let her know.
been missin you man, this blog is totally awesome.