BY MELISSA NEWMAN
EVERY YEAR, AMID the excitement of Halloween-related fun, conversations commonly turn toward scary and unnerving talk of the mysterious world of paranormal and supernatural phenomena. Unlike the entertaining “safe scares” that Halloween brings, for those who encounter “real paranormal phenomena,” the encounters can be truly terrifying and even life-changing. And while these otherworldly phenomena have been a part of the human experience since the dawn of humankind – and, incidentally, is where Halloween originates – not even western society’s modern-day cynical culture of scientific analysis could dismiss and suppress the existence of these elusive phenomena. On the contrary, whether you are a believer or a hardened skeptic, an avalanche of experiences involving paranormal and supernatural phenomena continues to be reported worldwide.
According to several polls and surveys conducted around the world, belief in the paranormal and supernatural is at an all time high and shows no evidence of decline. In the U.S. alone, a recent Gallop poll showed that 75% of Americans have some sort of paranormal belief; a Harris poll showed that half of Americans believe in ghosts; a CBS poll showed that one in five Americans have seen or physically encountered a ghost; and still another survey taken from more than 400 college students with the highest GPAs found seniors and grad students more likely to believe in the paranormal then their “uneducated” freshman counterparts. Paranormal beliefs include such phenomena as extraterrestrial and UFO close encounters, all types of psychic phenomena, miracles and demonic possession, ghosts and poltergeists, witchcraft and metaphysics, and encounters with extraordinary life forms, including Bigfoot and the notorious chupacabra.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, encounters with the paranormal and supernatural are more easily reported, communicated, and documented around the world. Here are a few recent accounts:
- While walking home from the store at twilight, Mrs. Wajda of Poland and her three children were attacked by several creatures that emerged from the ground. “They looked like monkeys,” she said, “but their skin was rough and prickly, like some sort of lizard. We fought them off until one of them let out a high-pitched shriek and they quickly crawled back into the ground.” Local authorities were dumbfounded by the report and the injuries that were sustained by the family, as well as the strange animal tracks that were left behind. Exploration of the fissure that the creatures originated from showed that it had recently collapsed or been sealed from within.
- During a hike in the mountains near Tibet, Mr. Ferguson of Australia, and friends, were jolted awake by a huge, luminous craft that hovered over their campsite. “I woke to screams, a blinding light and a rumbling noise that sounded like static,” Mr. Ferguson reported. “I tore through my tent to see what it was, but it was so huge and brilliant, we couldn’t make out any detail. The light that came from it burned and prickled our skin, like it was raining boiling water. It lowered to about fifty-feet above out campsite then suddenly shot straight up into the night sky and disappeared.” Mr. Ferguson, his friends, and guides cut short their trip and returned to the nearest village, and after receiving medical attention discovered that they were all suffering from a mild case of radiation burns. While Chinese authorities stated that nothing appeared on radar and air defenses, several reports were made over a wide area claiming to have seen a brilliant light performing phenomenal aerodynamics.
- “At first we rationalized away the strange events happening around our home, until we all began to witness ghostly figures moving through our house and they began to physically injure us in clear view of others,” states Terry, a 35-year-old wife and mother of two from upstate New York. “While I’m open-minded, my husband is an atheist and a skeptic and insisted that there must be some sort of rational explanation for the incidents. He refused to listen to others about ‘ghosts’ and ‘poltergeists’ and tried to dismiss the incidents. Then one Saturday morning, he woke me up frantic with a black eye and bloody nose and insisted that they all get out of the house.” Terry and her family were claiming to be under attack of what is referred to as “poltergeist phenomena.” While thousands of haunts and poltergeists are continually reported around the world, the actual number that are as violent as Terry’s case is unknown since the majority of people who have these experiences prefer to keep them private.