America’s Paranormal Fascination is New


Although the paranormal has become quite popular with the arrival of investigation-based reality shows, America’s fascination dates back to the origins of the nation. The paranormal peaked in the US in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries with the introduction of Spiritualism, a religious philosophy that espoused that communication with the spirit world is positive. Mary Todd Lincoln, Mark Twain and Harry Houdini were among the American celebrities who became part of the paranormal conversation, and the public gathered in homes and auditoriums to connect with the dead in séances. Beyond ghosts, future president Teddy Roosevelt wrote of a frontiersman’s encounter with a Bigfoot-like creature in 1893, and other Sasquatch stories would periodically make their way into the news. Long before the Battle of Los Angeles in 1942 or The Roswell Incident in 1947, “airships” were reported in the skies above America — and newspaperman S.E. Haydon wrote about the crash of such a ship in Aurora, Texas, in 1897, about 6 years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

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