The Paranormal industry has seen an incredible spike in recent years, with TV shows, movies, and books about alleged hauntings dominating the airways and sending chills up thrilled viewers’ spines who have an interest in ghosts, spirits, and more.
With scientific advances advocating the research into the paranormal and unexplained, shows like the SYFY channel’s “Ghost Hunters” follows the adventures of a small team of paranormal investigators from location to location across the country and the world. Paranormal investigation teams use various methods to detect and record paranormal activity. These teams are called in to investigate alleged: “hot spots” of paranormal activity as requested by home and business owners, museum curators, and more.
Western culture has been fascinated by the paranormal for centuries. In the middle ages, every failed crop or crossed look meant witchcraft – often to the person accused’s detriment. Witches were tried, tortured, convicted, and often executed for nothing more than looking at a neighbor the wrong way, and the United States was not immune to the “witch craze” that plagued the European continent.
Salem, Massachusetts, remains infamous for the trial of hundreds – leading to the eventual execution of nineteen people. The history books record this period as one of the darkest times in American history. A common consensus is that these poor, convicted “witches” were guilty of no more than poor community spirit and being outcast from typical society.
In Europe, witches often fared far worse, suffering horrifying tortures that lead to forced confession and often execution in brutal and horrific ways. Many paranormal researchers maintain the belief that the spirits of these condemned, tortured souls still roam the halls of many medieval castles.
The United States, in particular, has its fair share of claimed hauntings. Including everything from simple, single-family homes to state and federal prisons and insane asylums still haunted by their long-dead residents.
Horror writers and movie directors have capitalized on these claims, as evidenced by the famous novel turned horror movie “The Shining” based on the infamous Stanley Hotel in Colorado.
Native American spirits are said to roam the battlefields where they met their fates and were forced out of their homelands against their will.
Also topping the list is the terrifying Amityville house in New York, which witnessed the horrific murder of an entire family and is reportedly one of the country’s most haunted locations. Future residents of the home stayed on the premises for only 28 days before being forced to move out due to pure terror.
Historically speaking, the Alamo in Texas is reportedly haunted by the spirits of the men who bravely stood and fought against all odds. The building is said to be haunted by a wide variety of supernatural entities ranging from monks to fallen soldiers, and it has been the site of many paranormal sightings from the time of the battle up to the present.
There seems to be no shortage of spirits, ghosts, or even demons in most Americans’ hearts, imaginations, and minds. Palpable in pop-culture, Americans flock to the theaters to see depictions of hauntings and exorcisms. There’s even evidence abound that the gaming industry is capitalizing on this niche area.
The Paranormal Witness franchise has grossed millions of dollars in depicting the stories of demonic hauntings and vanishings into the paranormal world. More and more television shows are depicting ghostly entities, and the public consumes them en masse. There’s even a wide variety of paranormal conferences available each year.
There’s little doubt that hauntings, ghosts, and mysterious, unexplained phenomena are a large subset of American culture, and this trend is in line to continue indefinitely.
As long as mysteries remain unknown, there will always be a sense of wonder when it comes to the paranormal.
Curiosity and imagination are human knacks and will continue to be sparked by these supernatural tales. While the spiritualist age may have passed by, it’s spirit lives on in the imaginations of the people – and it’s doubtful that it will die any time in the foreseeable future.