A Perspective on the Supernatural: Why are People so Interested in the Unknown?

By Christina Kim - April 14, 2015

Do you believe in ghosts?
Do you believe in spirits living among mankind, roaming unseen to our naked eyes?
Do you believe that there are other manifestations of lost souls of the dead?

I think most of us would probably say yes, in some way or another; knowingly and unknowingly.
I am not sure about the non-believers who probably do not believe in anything anyway, no offense meant. I respect that they believe in their own beliefs and we are not in any position to judge them for no one could truly be sure of what truly is; spiritual or not.
It is a fascinating subject which has caught the attention and interest of many for generations; which explains the fad behind the millions of dollars spent in the movie productions centered on the theme of the other kind. True stories and encounters inspire many of these productions; many of which are major blockbusters in the movie industry, drawing enthusiastic movie goers, specifically those who are curious and fueled by the excitement from the horror genre.
(Horror genre is classified by the types of movies which include that scare elements; from ghostly tales to slasher films – think gory massacre and lots of blood).
It is interesting to see this huge fan base, of something which could just well, give us a scare and yet people are voluntarily queuing to pay for the tickets to give themselves that opportunity to be frightened out of their senses.
It is probably that very reason why people are often going into prohibited haunted places despite knowing that it is haunted; even proven with the statistics of the almost non-existent survivors.
While most of us, yeah, the remaining of us who pride ourselves in being on the sane end, would roll our eyes and scoff at yet another of this story and wonder why people never learn despite being told numerous times of the danger.
We even have movies and documentaries, and repeated advisories from our parents, teachers, religious leaders and almost everyone who cared about us in our lives.

Yes, the question is WHY?
Why do people go for the unknown; or maybe even known, dangers of something which could pose a risk?
It is not that they are not aware of the danger of dealing with the supernatural, and education through experience sharing was also incorporated to create that awareness.
The message is clear: Do not dabble with the supernatural.
Black magic, voodoo, occult, and such are all big No-Nos.
There are countless times we are told or even heard/seen the real-life stories of those who dealt with all the above, and initiated their very own attempt to contact or interact with the spirits.
Mediums were approached or even imitated in their séance attempts and other forms of ways to connect with the spirits include the popular Ouija board (also known as the ‘coin spirit game’ in some cultures) which has been struck off the list by most religious communities.
It may have deterred most of us; the sensible lot (or maybe cowardly so to the daredevils) to venture into that area but then there is still that group of people making up the statistics to brave the unknown, albeit the risks.
They know the stories, they went through the same documentaries and education with us, but they are the ones still taking that leap.
Are they not afraid?
Are they not aware?
Of course, another side of the coin offering that perspective of had they not ventured into the unknown, there would be no stories to be told or experiences to be shared to further educate others.
They are heroes? In a way?
But, really?

It is something interesting to look at; and perhaps the very same study to shed that light on the reasons people choose to do the wrong thing when they are well aware of the line between the wrong and right, and the consequences and the list just goes on.
It is just one part of the subject, but this is one that piques my curiosity and thoughts, for this is more than just breaking the law or the code but this is something dealing with the spiritual world.
It is a world which is unseen and practically, unknown and extremely mysterious to us, yet people choose to cross that invisible border.
It is a Risk and it could cost their lives, but they are willing to, why?
This is higher than any stake one could possibly bet on and it is one that no one can predict or even calculate the returns.

I am not here to be the expert, to provide that conclusion or the definition of the overall matter but rather, I find it fascinating to be a case study (though I am pretty sure most of the psychology experts have already shared their findings and theses on this; backed up by science).
I am just here to discuss, and perhaps share my very own perspectives in a general and layman manner.
I will leave the science to the experts.
I studied science myself, but I am going to leave science out of this because I wanted a very simple depiction of this whole matter, which is not going to be a thesis anyway.
At least, that’s not the intention.

People often like to venture into the unknown, despite knowing the dangers and that, well, it is the unknown.
The mystery of it all entices them.
It is the thrill.
It brings excitement and ignites that need to be right; that truth-seeking gene to work.
We all love to be right about something – now, don’t go shaking your head, you know I am right.
It is not just the women who love to be right; everyone, loves to be right.
Everyone wants affirmation, they want that recognition, and they want to prove themselves, even if it meant going against the norm, or nature.

The supernatural world fits the bill perfectly.
It is lurking there and that mystery of the existence of the world which propelled the world into religious and frenzy beliefs just created that factor of attraction.
Nobody knows, nobody could prove; try as they could (because most of them don’t come back alive anyway). Those who claimed to have been to the other world and back, or have had first hand encounter with the supernatural were often questioned as well, by the skeptics.
It is simple, it is still a personal experience and nobody can prove it when it is personal.
It is your word against the world.
Nobody knows the truth, except those who experience it themselves.
I am not a skeptic, and I am not creating or casting that doubt over stories of real life experiences, but it is this reason of mystery and unknown/unable-to-prove kind of situations which just further sparks the curiosity of the rest of the world who did not have that experience.

The supernatural world is often viewed as a subject of fascination, for this very reason.
Sometimes perceived as taboo, just like death, it is probably avoided at all costs by most of the culture.
Awareness is created, to remind the people of the dangers of dealing with the unknown but somehow; it failed to have that effect on everyone (though they have succeeded in convincing majority, there is always that minority who will always be the rebels).
Fair enough, we cannot please or control everyone, but why do we have this minority who dares to go against the culture?
And, can we say for sure, the rest of us who do not take that step forward to check out for ourselves, are not burning with curiosity either, of that mysterious world?
Who are we kidding, when we see high ratings and interests in the horror movies produced, and the ghost stories published in books.
We are all, just curious people.
Difference is, we do not take the physical or actual action to confirm for ourselves, while there are some of us who do.

The supernatural world is one that will continue to be one big mystery; like it or not.
It is probably thrilling for many to wonder whether the dead still dwell among us living, in floating and evaporating forms; invisible to our eyes and whether they could really see and hear us.
I am not sure to say that they are truly courageous, or just foolish for trying to take that inevitable risk of exploring a world that is filled with questions on its very existence.
It does not matter whether you are a believer or not; religious or not, many are still wondering (and even scoffing) when the subject comes up.
For those who are not into the genre or topic, it is not because they are unaware, but on the contrary, they could be too aware and are just avoiding it with care out of their own fears.
Yes, as much as we love to be right, we, humans, are just fearful beings as well.
Venturing into the unknown just seemed like a challenge to subdue that fear in our hearts and to appear heroic.
It is probably that much unspoken reason existing in our sub conscience which moved those to attempt the acts deemed courageous to reach to the other world.
Of course, they can probably refer to themselves as the truth-seekers for they could be the ones to risk the situation and then emerge with new theories and knowledge to share with and further educate the world.

A word of caution though; I am still a strong believer of religion and by that, I definitely do acknowledge the existence of spirits.
I am your average conservative and extremely cautious person who will not dabble or even dream of venturing into the world.
Call me a coward and all, but I still stand on my ground.
The truth is always out there, and I always feel that sometimes, you don’t need to have the answers to everything.
I am not sure whether I should applaud these people who explore the spiritual world; unless they are naturally gifted with psychic abilities and are trained, or perhaps recognized by religious organizations (we do have people like that, the accredited demonologists, psychics, etc approved and work for the religious organizations), or just shake my head for attempting to risk their lives.
(They may not think so though, for some of them are just skeptics who are out there to bust the myths surrounding the unknown).
Challenging the spiritual world is not in any way similar to bio-science and finding that cure for diseases, and there is always a reason why the religious folks are always emphasizing on this very fact.

If you are just a follower who got dragged into the ghost hunting expedition and did not really want to, speak up and just say no. Do not let others decide your fate, or just to be accepted by the crowd, you are doing something against your own beliefs and even your own decision.
Listen to your inner voice, you know the answer.
My stand remains; do not dabble with the unknown and the supernatural world is just one big no-no.
Ouija boards, black magic, witchcraft, occult are just to name a few.
The movies, true stories and documentaries say it all and I am just adding to that emphasis.

Some things are better left unknown.
The spirits, let’s just leave them to their own worlds and their own liberty.
We wouldn’t want to be disturbed in our own space either; it is not very nice or polite.
Besides, it is definitely not going to be a very pretty sight when All Hell breaks loose, would it?

Leave the heroic acts to the superheroes.
Conquer your inner fears with something else, and perhaps, psychiatrist.
If you are curious, well, have you ever heard of the old adage that ‘Curiosity Kills the Cat’?

So, just stick to reading and watching the movies, and keep away from attempts to conjure your dead ancestors/friends.
There is a reason behind that plate, Rest in Peace.
Respect that.

Peace to all of you.

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  1. While some are helpless such as family member having sudden illness and thus seeking for god/supernatural's help, some are just curious like you said. Most of the time is human scares human. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Glad you enjoyed the article too, Waco!
    It's fun to share perspectives and thoughts I have :-)