Our culture has developed a deep fascination for the idea of paranormal existence in the past few years. There have been countless movies blowing up the box office about ghosts and demons. I didn't understand this craze because I thought that as technology and knowledge improve, these beliefs would seem juvenile. With so little evidence to support it, why do so many people believe in the paranormal?
After learning about terror management theory though, I am starting to understand. This theory states that the realization that death is inevitable sparks an underlying sense of terror. To cope with this fear, we adopt beliefs to make our lives seem meaningful and purposeful. Many times people find comfort in believing that there is some sort of life after death. This could explain the strange fascination with paranormal activity.
The latest hype has been about evil demons and ghosts, like in the Paranormal Activity movies. A lot of people are genuinely scared after watching these movies and are afraid that a demon will come in their house, bang around some pots and pans, drag them down a hallway, and then possess their body. Sounds crazy, right? But this just shows the intensity of some beliefs in the paranormal.
This makes me wonder if the fear of demons is related to the terror management theory as well. Do people fear demons because it is easier to fear than death? Is it scarier to believe that there is no afterlife than to believe that there is a paranormal existence, even if it is evil?