Paranormal Survey Questions: Are You a Skeptic or a Believer?
The Paranormal Survey: A Semi-Scientific Inquiry
I like to explore the paranormal. You know, mysterious creatures, ghosts, UFOs and the like. In the time I’ve been writing here it has become pretty clear that people have some strong opinions on what may or may not really be out there.
Some people believe, some don't, and many think anyone with an opposing viewpoint must not be seeing things clearly. Some topics, such as the afterlife, are extremely emotional. Others, such as the possibility of life on other planets, bring out the science geek in us all.
The word paranormal simply refers to something that is beyond current "normal" state of scientific understanding. What we consider paranormal today may be validated or dismissed by science tomorrow. I try to approach all of my topics with an open mind, but also a healthy dose of skepticism. In my heart I like to believe anything is possible, but I also believe logic should play a part in my view of the world.
But this isn’t about what I think. This paranormal survey is about what you think. Are you a sucker for a good campfire story, or do you need to see it to believe it? How do you stack up to other people when it comes to belief in the paranormal? Are you open-minded, or are you overly skeptical?
Compare your answers to what other people are saying, and you just might be surprised!
First, a warm-up question. This is intended to find out how much of a believer or skeptic you think you are. I’ll ask you again when we get to the end, and we’ll see if your answer has changed!
When it comes to paranormal beliefs, how do you compare with other people?
Ghosts, Angels and Demons
We can’t know where the first ghost story originated, but it’s a good guess it was far back in the early days of language and organized culture. The idea of ghosts, hauntings and the afterlife seems to span every time and society.
Some pragmatically minded folks say our belief in the afterlife developed as a coping mechanism for managing our grief over departed loved ones.
Of course then there are those who believe we live on after death in spirit form.
Whatever the truth, it seems even back in antiquity people frequently encountered what can only be described as ghosts, apparitions or spirits of the dead.
Thousands of years later, we still don’t know what ghosts really are. Paranormal investigators gather data from supposedly haunted locations in an attempt to put a scientific spin on it, but other people find the explanations in religious sources.
Most major religions relay accounts of angels and demons, along with compelling tales of what happens to us when we die. With so many conflicting opinions, where does the truth lie?
What do you believe?
Do you believe in ghosts?
Have you ever seen a ghost, angel or demon?
What are ghosts, anyway?
Cryptids and Strange Paranormal Creatures
Weird critters are spotted all over the place. Bigfoot is probably the most famous, along with the Loch Ness Monster. But there are far stranger creatures lurking in the dark.
The study of these animals is called cryptozoology, and there are men and women around the world who have dedicated their lives to seeking the truth behind sightings of odd beasties.
Some, such as Bigfoot, The North American Kangaroo and some phantom cats, may be an undocumented species of unknown animal. As much as we know about the world today and with the amazing technology at our fingertips it is hard to imagine a large mammal could escape our sight. However, that is exactly what some cryptozoologists say is happening.
Others, like the Megalodon shark and South America’s Mapinguari, may be species thought to have gone extinct, yet may survive in isolated areas. This is something called the Lazarus Taxon, when a species it documented as extinct but then turns up again in modern times.
What are the chances that these things are really out there, unseen by serious researchers for decades if not hundreds of years?
What do you think?
Do you believe there are still large animals out there yet to be officially recognized by science?
What do you think of the evidence supporting the existence of Bigfoot?
Has there ever been a reported sighting of a strange creature in your community?
Aliens and UFOs
Sci-fi movies have given us all kinds of expectations of what might be out there in the cosmos, most of it bizarre and unlikely. But there are people here on Earth who are really on the lookout for ET.
SETI has been searching for tangible proof of alien life for decades, yet to date they've come up with only one viable instance of possible alien contact, which today is referred to as the Wow! Signal.
Of course that didn't pan out, or I wouldn't have to ask you the paranormal survey questions below!
But there may be other evidence of alien visitation, depending on who you ask. UFO abduction victims need no convincing when it comes to alien life, and those who have worked at Area 51 know the real deal. Some researchers even think aliens may have built the pyramids of Egypt and other ancient structures.
Even putting this "evidence" aside, it really does appear that space so vast we couldn't possibly be alone. So, if alien life is really out there we have to ask, as physicist Enrico Fermi did, where are they?
Shouldn’t we be hobnobbing with the Vulcans on some far-off starbase by now?
Is there intelligent life on other planets?
Do you expect we will make contact with an alien civilization in your lifetime?
If an alien species did come to Earth, what would they be here for?
Some people claim to be more in touch with the spiritual realm than the rest of us. They not only see dead people, but talk to them and often get advice from them.
If you know one of these folks, they may be kind enough to summon a dead relative so you can have a little chat, through the medium of the medium of course.
Others use their skills to investigate haunted locations, hold séances and communicate with trapped spirits or serve as mediums using devices such as the Ouija Board. Guys like Nostradamus claimed to be able to predict events in the future.
Still others use the powers of telekinesis and psychokinesis to manipulate object in the natural world.
There are some interesting theories at work here. There are those who suggest we don't fully control some powers we might not even realize we have, and this strange phenomenon explains haunting and other paranormal happenings.
Then there are others who say we all have paranormal powers available to use, if we only learn how to tap into them.
Then there are those who say it's all a sham. Some psychics come off hokey, while others are far more professional, but could they all be pulling our collective leg?
What do you think?
Do you believe that some people have special powers that let them communicate with the dead?
Is there such a thing as sorcery or witchcraft?
Do you ever change your plans or routine based on a premonition?
Did You Learn Anything?
One of the reasons I wanted to write this Hub is to find out what people really think about the paranormal world, and an anonymous survey should make it easy for anyone to weigh in. I’m hoping it will give me some good data, which I’ll certainly report back on.
I'll be honest: When I started blogging about the paranormal I found my preconceived beliefs challenged in many ways. Through my research I discovered some phenomenon I always thought plausible probably isn't as likely as I imagined. I also discovered a few things I thought were impossible, which may in fact have hope.
But what about you? Were you surprised when you reviewed other people’s opinions on the weird and wild? Here’s that question again: