If the paranormal does not exist, why does it scare us?

We tell you why the paranormal scares us, so that you can tell us which phenomenon you believe in the most.

It’s 3 in the morning and you’re at home, alone. A terrible rumble sounds and a distant scream pulls you out of bed. You turn on all the lights to discover that your home is intact… What do you think? In ghosts? witches? We want to believe that it was the wind or some drunk in the street, but the child in us is scared to death at the thought that, even if we don’t see anything, the house may not be alone.

André Didyme-Dome, a psychologist professor of perception theory at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University, explains that “from cognitive psychology, having ‘magical’ or ‘animistic’ thinking is a reflection of a child’s cognitive stage“. Our inner child is scared by the paranormal.

Many of us tell ourselves, “don’t be scared, ghosts don’t exist”, however we die of fear. Why, despite scientific advances, do we still believe in paranormal phenomena? «Because in the face of the inexplicable, science offers questions, doubts and concerns, but people prefer answers that do not explain but give peace of mind,» says Dr. Didyme-Dome.

“The main characteristic of mythical thinking is that it doesn’t question, it just answers ‘that’s the way things are’. The lack of critical thinking generates that kind of ‘ideological effect’ where we believe without evidence. Our perception has to do with previous experiences and contexts, so if one wants to see ghosts everywhere, they can be seen, just as people see faces on the moon or animals in the clouds”, she clarifies.

On the other hand, belief in the paranormal may have its advantages. The BBC cites a study by Michael Nees, of the University of Lafayette (Pennsylvania), in which «if you told a group of students that they were taking part in an experiment on the paranormal, they were more likely to hear voices in recordings of supposed psychophonies, although many declared themselves skeptical”.

To believe or not to believe? That is the question. Considering the explanation of why we believe,