No One Still Believes in VampiresThe bloodsuckers from folklore have enjoyed a nice comeback in paranormal pop culture in the last few years, but they never completely went away in some societies. Recently, Indian politicians placed a $2,000 bounty on vampires sucking the blood from villagers’ cattle in the town of Dharampuri in Tamil Nadu, which called to mind the 2004 exhumation and subsequent staking of a corpse in Marotinu de Sus, Romania. The supernatural ghouls may not resemble the sexy beasts of “Twilight” and “True Blood,” but they are still very much alive (or undead) in various parts of the world. Even within the United States, there are subcultures of individuals who believe they are among a class of vampire -- with especially active groups in New Orleans and New York City.
Modern Zombies are SupernaturalThe term “zombie” has been in use for well over a century and, before 1968, applied to seemingly soulless slaves created by Haitian voodoo “magic.” After 1968, when George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was released, the term was forever changed. Modern zombies are the result of an unexplained contagion but are not supernatural. According to zombie expert Matt Mogk of the Zombie Research Society, the modern zombie is a relentlessly aggressive, re-animated human corpse driven by a biological infection. So, supernatural vampires, mummies, Nordic draugrs and all revenants need not apply for brunch with this bunch.
Skeptics and Believers Don’t Get AlongThere are actually many skeptics involved in the paranormal community, and they are normally welcomed by investigative groups. When the 2 groups operate together, the skeptics can assist in disproving misidentified phenomena. If something cannot be disproven, it then leads believers closer to a possibly legitimate experience. Dave Schrader, host of the popular paranormal radio show Darkness Radio, says paranormal believers are not at war with the “skeptic nation,” and he embraces their input because he’d rather be taken seriously when findings are reviewed. Additionally, most skeptics are confused for cynics but actively want a paranormal experience -- but they want it to be real and not just a false positive.
The Paranormal is Bad for BusinessEven if the phenomenon is unexplained, the business world is a big believer in the paranormal. Paranormal Tourism, where travelers spend vacation money on pilgrimages to genre conventions and famous hotspots, is an active industry. Instead of shying away from a paranormal reputation, locations are embracing it. Every city seems to have a few ghost tour operations, while haunted house attractions and vampire balls abound, and entire towns in America are defined by their paranormal personalities. The Roswell UFO Festival attracts droves of alien enthusiasts to New Mexico every July. Meanwhile, Point Pleasant, WV, belongs to The Mothman, and Salem, MA, has a tourism industry focused on the infamous witch trials. Zombie walks, runs and obstacle courses (along with proms, protests and pub crawls) are weekly occurrences in cities across America.
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