Aviva Directory » Faith & Spirituality » Paranormal » Paranormal Research

Paranormal research is the examination of phenomena that cannot be explained through normal scientific explanation.

It is an investigation into claimed occurrences of events such as psychokinesis, extrasensory perception or other purportedly supernatural phenomena, as well as such things as ghosts, hauntings, cryptozoological beings, UFOs, extraterrestrial visitors, and so on.

To many scientists, paranormal research is a misnomer. Approaching paranormal topics from the perspective of a scientific researcher is made difficult by the lack of acceptable physical evidence of the phenomena. By its very nature, the paranormal does not conform to the expectations of nature, a phenomenon cannot be confirmed as paranormal using the scientific method because, if it could be, it would no longer fit the definition. For example, if a paranormal researcher could prove the existence of a ghost using the scientific method, ghosts would no longer fit the definition of the paranormal, and would be reclassified as science. Nevertheless, paranormal investigation is conducted by researchers from various disciplines, including at least thirteen accredited universities.

A common approach includes the anecdotal approach, which involves a collection of stories told about the paranormal by people who believe them to be true.

When investigators immerse themselves in qualitative research by collecting EMF readings at haunting sites or photos taken by researchers, this is sometimes referred to as the participant-observer approach.

Another technique is the experimental approach, conducted by parapsychologists, although many scientists consider parapsychology to be a pseudoscience.

Skeptical scientific investigations are conducted by researchers who apply the scientific method in the hope of reaching a natural explanation for the phenomenon.

To many people, there is little difference between a paranormal investigator and a ghost hunter. However, the word "paranormal" is derived by combining the prefix "para," meaning above and beyond, with the word "normal," which is a reference to the explainable scientific world around us. Thus, ghost hunting is a subcategory under the larger category for the paranormal, as it is a particular type of paranormal investigation. Ghost hunters should be listed in the Ghosts Hunters subcategory rather than here, as they specialize in that one aspect of the paranormal.

Paranormal phenomena refer to that which is beyond the normal explainable experience. The subject of paranormal investigation is broader and more complex than that of ghosts and ghost hunting. For that matter, amateur paranormal investigators often assume that any contact they may have with an unknown entity is that of a human being or animal that has died. However, we have no idea what the entity actually is.

Objectivity is difficult in paranormal investigation, in part because most of the people who join paranormal research groups do so because they already believe in the paranormal. Thus, they will be more susceptible to suggestions of a haunting than would someone who did not believe in ghosts or hauntings.

The study of UFOs, extraterrestrial life, cryptozoology, telepathy, and extrasensory perception are all types of paranormal investigation.

Many modern ghost hunters and paranormal television shows ignore the scientific approach, relying solely on pseudoscience. This lack of scientific diligence also describes many of those who investigate UFO phenomena and cryptozoological entities, such as Bigfoot. Podcasts and television shows are often focused on drama and ratings.

A major problem in paranormal research is that traditional science rejects and even ridicules the possibility of the paranormal, which often leaves paranormal researchers dependent upon ratings and drama in order to finance their investigations.

The focus of this portion of our guide is on paranormal research.


Ghost Hunters

Psychic Investigators

Psychic Research



Recommended Resources

Search for Paranormal Research on Google or Bing