DESPITE OUR REPUTATION AS A SCIENCE-MINED SUPERPOWER, AMERICA HAS ALWAYS HAD A PREDILECTION FOR THE UNSEEN!
Don’t be shy. Depending on your poll of choice, anywhere from a third to nearly half of you either believe in ghosts or are pretty sure you do. And if not ghosts, then aliens, mediums, or astrology, for which belief has either held steady or risen over the last couple of decades. More than two-thirds of Americans hold at least one paranormal—unsanctioned by religion—belief, according to the Baylor Religion Survey. That’s more than voted in the 2012 presidential election.
It’s not just belief: everywhere you look in the United States today, the supernatural is more culturally important, more acceptable, and just … more than it’s ever been before. Paranormal-themed media of all types have surged, in fiction obviously, but also in non-fiction too, where the past few years have brought us everything from The Most Terrifying Places in America to Psychic Tia to The Monster Project. Then there are the Bigfoot hunts, the ghost hunting tool reviews, the UFO spotting iPhone apps—we can’t get enough of this stuff.
This should come as no surprise. Despite our reputation as a science-minded superpower, America has always had a predilection for the unseen. It has ebbed and flowed with us for as long as this nation has existed, in the form of the 18th-century pilgrim mystics, the domesticated poltergeists that knocked on command in the 19th, and even in the academically inclined parapsychologists of the 20th. Whether you believe in these ideas or not is almost immaterial: the paranormal is an inescapable ingredient in the American identity that has shaped and been shaped by our…
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Many a minister has been approached with “ghostly” stories before service, after service, during counseling, in emails and texts, on phone calls late at night, while street-side, at the coffee house, in the hospital, after funerals, everywhere and all the time. And no matter what the Sunday sermon is about, people come to church weekly, find their seats, and sit quietly with the following often on their minds:
- Why do I keep having the same dream over and over?
- I’m hearing strange noises at night. Doors open that were closed and locked; lights turn on and off.
- My son swears his recently deceased wife appeared to him and encouraged him to get on with his life.
- There’s a new coworker who is convinced she once knew me in a past life. Even though I don’t believe in that sort of thing, I can’t shake the feeling that we did know one another at one time.
- One night, my uncle was blinded by a bright light. There was no sound; it just appeared, forced him off the road, hovered, and then disappeared in a flash.
- My cousin is convinced there are aliens, and they’re on the planet right now! I don’t know what to say to her.
- I’m hooked on a new vampire novel. It’s sucked me in and I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Why do I like vampires so much?
- My kids are crazy about fantasy movies and games with characters that have various magical superpowers. Actually, I like them too. Should I be concerned? Is this ok?
For centuries the Church has waged battle with these “spiritual” matters. More often than not, the terms “demonic” and “occultic” have been used to both…
The above excerpt is from L.A. Emrich’s BEYOND THE RABBIT EARS. Download a FREE SAMPLE and read the rest of the story!