What does one classify as paranormal? Like ghosts, supernatural creatures, or setting is in the city or what?

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I like the definition on TV Tropes

those things that are spooky but not outright magical.

I don’t think there is a need to define the environment, the character type… I’d put the limit with tangible vs intangible… with no supernatural explanation…


Ghosts and aliens maybe? I’d also throw in superpowers with little to know explanation on how they got it, or if someone gains powers as a result of a near-death experience (nothing much to explain other than the near-death experience) or aliens.

From etymology, because that’s my way of figuring things out:


para- (“above, beyond; abnormal”) +‎ normal ; compare supernatural .


paranormal ( comparative more paranormal , superlative most paranormal )

  1. That (ostensibly) cannot be explained by what scientists know; supernatural; especially of or pertaining to ghosts, spirits, and hypothesized abilities like telepathy.

Hope that helps!

From Goodreads;

Paranormal books involve unusual experiences that lack a scientific explanation. Some popular subjects in paranormal books are supernatural creatures, ESP, clairvoyance, ghosts, UFOs, telepathy, and psychics.

A subgenre of paranormal books and of romances is paranormal romance. These books focus mainly on the romantic relationships with a background theme of vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, time travel, fantastical beings, and psychic abilities.

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This is exactly how i was going to explain it XD

That’s weird. I’ve never thought of aliens as paranormal. Does anyone know why it might be put in this genre?

Hmm, it’s sort of like how spirits and the afterlife are not considered as “normal”. Not everyone believes in aliens, and some feel that their existence needs to be backed up by solid, scientific evidence.

Aliens can also be looked at as a strange phenomenon, delving into the unknown. It’s not just the existence of aliens that interrupts what people know as “normal”, it’s the idea that said aliens have been or have the potential to be in contact with our world, which shakes the idea of what humans know or think we know. It’s outside of what we understand, but not impossible. Paranormal.

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Ah! Thank you. That makes a lot of sense now! :slight_smile:

No problem!:smile: