Wizards of all ages, attractive witches, and lustful vampires – these are just some of the characters with supernatural powers who have entered the entertainment world and had their place in books, movies, and video games. Why is this mystical, supernatural world so appealing to us?
According to one report, “25-50 percent of people worldwide believe in spirits, and in most cultures, ghosts are the main characters in books.” So it’s no wonder that the weird stories about the evil spirits that are seizing people enter the big door.
In our daily life, we are bombarded with a whole host of sensory information in which we try to find some meaning. Our vision systems look for objects and faces, and the ears are trying to identify the sounds and understand the conversations.
This sampling process is so vital to our survival that we would rather see non-existent patterns than missing some important. It is well-known that renaissance painters recognize the characters in random stains, and Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali abundantly used this craving. Because of this, many people believe in astrological predictions, see characters on Mars, or hear voices in the open forest.
Obsession with ghosts
People occasionally visit buildings which are rumored to be haunted. When they hear the planking of the floorboards on the floor or they see the curtain shutter, they conclude that the spirit is in the house. But this phenomenon has a very rational explanation. To protect us from dangers, our brains have developed to become overly sensitive to possible threats. The famous saying is “In fear, the eyes are big.”
Spiritual encounters can be the result of a hypersensitive system of discovery, that is to say, whether a sound is caused by a dangerous person, so crucial to survival that a part of the brain responsible for it often exaggerates.
It tells people to assume a person’s presence or appearance even when there is no visible evidence of their existence.
In that sense spirits are not souls returning from the dead, but the price we pay for our great caution.
But are contact with the spiritual world and the paranormal phenomenon just an innocent party?