Explaining the Unexplained

A lot of people, myself and many other Satanists and witches included, are fascinated by the paranormal. There’s something alluring about unexplained phenomena; it sparks the imagination, and from it, we can creat dark and terrible creatures, powerful beings from worlds entirely unlike ours. All stories – at least, all the good ones – are attempts to explain the paranormal. The paranormal is often conflated with the supernatural, but there is a difference. The paranormal is something that cannot be explained by current scientific knowledge, and the supernatural is attributed to an invisible agent like a ghost, demon, angel, or god. Paranormal is the phenomena or experience, and supernatural is an explanation for the phenomena.

When it comes to the paranormal and the supernatural, I consider myself a skeptical believer. I believe it would be foolish for anyone to make the claim that the whole of scientific knowledge on earth has been obtained. However, it is equally foolish to make the claim that all seemingly paranormal activity has a supernatural explanation. This is a self-made trap that many paranormal investigators fall into; some of them certainly try to debunk the activity they experience or record before making the claim that the activity was caused by a supernatural force, but more often than not, their practical scientific knowledge is lacking. Most paranormal investigators are hobbyists, so their fields of expertise lie elsewhere. Anyone asking for money for a paranormal investigation is, more likely than not, a scam artist whose results are not to be trusted.

Paranormal investigation TV shows are a whole other game. Don’t get me wrong – I quite enjoy them. I use them as inspiration for my own supernatural horror stories, and they are quite entertaining. That’s the key word, though: entertaining. The main purpose of those TV programs is to entertain the viewer. With all their insistence on helping people make sense of a confusing or dangerous situation, their job isn’t to figure things out or educate the viewer. Their purpose is solely to weave a story, and any tools they bring (such as REM pods, flashlights, audio recorders, etc.) will be used to that effect.

There is much in the world that science has not answered; we are only just beginning to explore our solar system, and we’ve barely even fully explored our own planet. To say with 100% certainty that all paranormal events are explained by perfectly natural if sometimes unusual causes strikes as somewhat arrogant and condescending, but so is claiming that all paranormal activity is caused by ghosts and demons. Perhaps if more people were comfortable with the phrase, “I don’t know,” more serious attention could be given to researching unexplained activity.

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