Coincidence or Paranormal Activity?

The two sides regarding out-of-the-ordinary experiences.


Photo by Allstar/Universal Pictures

“Based on a true story…” A common phrase heard at the beginning of various horror films. For some, the thought of such a horrifying situation being real just feeds into the anxiety. On the other end of the spectrum are those who chuckle and get a good laugh at the unrealistic events about to unfold.

A heart-stopping scene in one of the most classic horror films, The Conjuring. Patrick Wilson, the actor in the image, plays a paranormal investigator. (Photo by Michael Burgess, cinematographer for The Conjuring)

According to a poll from the North Howler social media account, 46% of students believe that paranormal activity exists. Paranormal activity refers to a claimed occurrence of a supernatural phenomenon. Typically these paranormal experiences are pretty frightening and can be scarring to some people. 

“My whole family has heard weird noises when home alone,” junior Bridget Swan said. 

Swan claims to have had many haunted encounters at her own home. A 2018 study shows that 1 in 4 Americans believe that their house is haunted. 

“My mom has seen a man standing in her doorway in the middle of the night,” Swan said. 

There are numerous ways that people will try to manage the paranormal activity in their house. One way is by burning sage in the house to flush out any bad spirits, also called smudging. This method dates back to Native American cultures. Lighting sage in every room is believed to deter any negative energy brought by spirits away. 

A less appealing way to get rid of bad spirits is to communicate with them. Being in constant fear of the spirit makes them more happy and active. Letting the spirits know they aren’t welcome, and ignoring their presence is said to be an effective method. 

Some perform rituals, some completely move out of the haunted environment, and some set in-house curfews to avoid any possible interactions with spirits. 

The opposing view to paranormal activity attacks the claimed disturbances with logic. 

“How can it be real when there’s no proof it’s just people making accusations with lack of information,” junior Tate Patterson said.

Many people use the “there’s no proof” phrase as a reason to refute the possibility of ghosts, spirits, or other supernatural worlds. 

A factor that divides the argument of whether paranormal activity is real is the legitimacy of the evidence. What may be a substantial and relevant amount of proof to one person, may not even be close to enough for another. However, stories told from close family members and friends is just enough evidence for sophomore Courtney Hagestad. 

“My cousin told me a real story about a man in Haiti who was possessed by a demon,” Hagestad said. 

In opposition, Patterson believes that the unknown is wrongfully claimed to be paranormal. Much more thought needs to be put into other possible answers to out of the ordinary occurrences. 

“Everything has a logical reason, you just don’t know about it which makes you connect it to paranormal activity,” Patterson said. 

Patterson believes that the unknown is wrongfully claimed to be paranormal. Much more thought needs to be put into other possible answers to out of the ordinary occurrences.

Paranormal activity goes beyond just personal experiences. 

Some who believe that it’s real connect it to religion. The Bible mentions evil spirits associated with Satan, or the devil. The belief of paranormal happenings comes down to the interpretation of the evidence. 

Ultimately, both sides have their reasons to believe or not believe that paranormal activity exists. One thing agreeable on all sides of the spectrum is that paranormal activity seems terrifying!