MSU Professor: Belief in Ghosts and Other Paranormal is Strong
Things were getting a little spooky at the 38th Annual Frontier Forum Lecture on Monday.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Professor, Dennis Waskul was discussing his most recent book, "Ghostly Encounters: The Hauntings of Everyday Life."
From specters to poltergeist, and from what makes us believe, to what makes us a skeptic. How society interprets the paranormal was the subject of this lecture at MSU Mankato on Monday. Research shows that people's beliefs in the paranormal are still strong.
"Studies indicate that 75% of Americans believe in at least one of the supernatural phenomenon surveyed, and while scholars over the last century have been predicting that believes in things such as ghosts and hauntings would dissipate as a result of the increasing efficacy of science, technology, and education. That's just not proven true at all," said Sociology Professor, Dennis Waskul.
In an era where information is literally at our fingertips, people have a new set of tools at their disposal to discuss and research the paranormal.
"Instead what we're finding is science, technology, and education just providing people with new resources, by which they can support their reported beliefs," said Waskul.
Prof. Waskul is interested in hearing about people's experiences with the paranormal, and their reactions. During Monday's lecture, the professor spent time discussing and categorizing many of these experiences.
"You know when people hear the word 'ghost' they're expecting to hear a silly campfire story," added Waskul. "Failing to acknowledge that there are often times very profound and moving human dramas that surround these allegedly ghostly encounters."
More information is needed.
Prof. Waskul now hopes to hear for those who have had experience with "haunted houses" and is looking for people's input.
"This research is ongoing. We are interested in hearing from anybody who has a ghostly encounter that they would wish to share with us."
Sociology Professor Dennis Waskul's Email