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Seeing is believing, or at least so the old adage goes. But is it? Because certainly it would be tempting to believe that things that can’t be seen, heard or touched do not actually exist. However, despite this, there have been thousands upon thousands of people who seem certain that they have, in fact, witnessed or even come into direct contact with things that “normal” science just can’t explain and that there is sometimes absolutely no evidence for.

UFOs. Ghosts. Chupacabras. Visitations. Is it actually possible that these things do exist? And if they do not, why have there been so many sightings and close experiences?

National Paranormal Day is all about trying to answer these and other questions that circle around the idea of the paranormal. So get ready to learn more about this day!

The History of National Paranormal Day

For thousands of years, people have been claiming to have seen or experienced things in some form or another that were impossible to explain. However, these reports have only been carefully documented for the past few hundred years or so.

American writer Charles Fort is perhaps the best-known collector of paranormal anecdotes. Fort compiled at least 40,000 notes on unexplained paranormal experiences and he is often considered by many to be the father of modern paranormalism, which is the study of the paranormal.

Reported events that he collected include teleportation (a term that Fort is actually credited with coining); poltergeist events; falls of frogs, fishes, and inorganic materials of an amazing range; crop circles; unaccountable noises and explosions; spontaneous combustions; levitation; unidentified flying objects (UFOs); mysterious appearances and disappearances and a myriad of other inexplicable occurrences that defy logic and even science.

Fort is also most likely the first person to explain strange human appearances and disappearances by the hypothesis of alien abduction, an idea that has definitely caught on, with hundreds of such reports being filed every year.

Despite the extremely wide variety of these different paranormal events, they all have something very important in common: they lack the reproducibility of empirical evidence, and they are not amenable to scientific investigation.

National Paranormal Day was created in 2013 to help people give some thought to the things that are difficult to know and understand, in hopes of learning more about the universe we live in with all its dimensions, oddities, and great unknowns.

National Paranormal Day Timeline

18th Century

Paranormal research gets its start 

During this time, people begin to get more serious about paranormal activity.[1]


Society for Psychical Research begins 

This organization in the UK is created to ‘understand events and abilities commonly described as psychic or paranormal’.[2]


Harry Price, Biography of a Ghost Hunter is published 

Authored by Paul Tabori, this book tells the story of Harry Price, a well-known British parapsychologist and psychic researcher.[3]


The Atlantic Paranormal Society is founded 

This American organization is based in Rhode Island and begins after founder Jason Hawes begins having personal experience with spirits.[4]


Ghost Hunters TV series first airs 

This “docu-soap” show features paranormal investigators from TAPS who look into places that are reported to be haunted.[5]

How to Celebrate National Paranormal Day

Certainly, there can be lots of fun and interesting ways to spend observing and celebrating National Paranormal Day! Here are some ideas for getting started:

Watch a Movie about the Paranormal

Those who are avid fans of scary movies are in luck because ghosts, unidentifiable monsters and aliens are among some of the most popular horror movie topics in existence. In fact, there is even a movie that many people may have heard of titled Paranormal Activity, which is about a couple witnessing increasingly disturbing paranormal occurrences in their house. Most people have never thought that a sheet could be scary, but viewers of this movie may well change their minds after an evening spent watching this scary film in the dark!

National Paranormal Day is a great time to try out some of these other movies as well:

  • The Babadook (2014). Another interesting horror flick about paranormal events is this impressively moving Australian production about a mother and child who become paranoid when a childhood storybook character, “Mr. Babadook” comes alive in their home.
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999). This positively chilling horror film might be considered the mother of all “found footage” horror films. Though it is fiction, the story features three young filmmakers that make the movie seem incredibly real–and the actors were even listed as “missing” or “deceased”.
  • The Conjuring (2013). A supernatural movie is a fictional retelling of a couple of famous paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, whose purportedly real-live stories were also the inspiration for the film Amityville Horror. The film’s sequel, The Conjuring 2, was released in 2016.

Throw a Party for National Paranormal Day

Get friends together and celebrate the things that are misunderstood. It could be a tongue-in-cheek gathering with decorations or snacks that are made to look like aliens or ghosts. For drinks, serve the “Alien Secretion” or “Drunk Ghost”. It might even be fun to have guests dress as their favorite paranormal character.

Entertain guests by watching one of the above movies, or dim the lights and get people to share their own personal ghost stories with the group. Everyone can have a delightfully spooky evening!

Learn Some Interesting Trivia about Paranormal Beliefs

Some people might be embarrassed to bring up the topic of the paranormal at work or in a group of adults around the dinner table. In fact, there’s no need to be embarrassed! It seems that about 80% of Americans actually say that they believe in ghosts, which is much more than might be expected!

Here are some other interesting bits of information that might be useful at a party or in a conversation with those who are nay-sayers:

  • 36% of people say that they have personally felt the presence of a spirit or ghost, and 4% of people surveyed think that they are living in a house that is haunted!
  • 12% of Americans believe that the US government is hiding information about aliens from the common people. In fact, 63% percent of people believe that life actually does exist on another planet somewhere in the universe.
  • 90% of people say that they are afraid of paranormal activity, which might include ghosts, demons, aliens, and many other unexplained incidents.
  • Only 13% of people believe that vampires exist and dwell among humans, although this might go beyond the paranormal into the realm of fantasy.

Do Some Local Paranormal Research

Another interesting way to spend this day would be to find out about some of the reports about paranormal occurrences that happened near you, in your city or town or local area. Just don’t let yourself get carried away if you find out anything a little creepy about your area—it’s not true anyway…right? What is the creepiest story about the paranormal that has been heard? Or maybe you’ve experienced something unexplainable, yourself? Perhaps take some time to share on social media so everyone can enjoy the chills and attempt to unravel the mystery, and have a great National Paranormal Day!

National Paranormal Day FAQs

What is National Paranormal Day?

This day is one that is meant to encourage and celebrate everything related to paranormal phenomena.[1]

When is National Paranormal Day?

National Paranormal Day takes place each year on May 3.[2]

When was the first National Paranormal Day?

The first mention of National Paranormal Day on Twitter was in 2009 though, at the time, some people were celebrating the day in August.[3]

Why is National Paranormal Day on May 3?

It is speculated that this day may have been chosen because Charles Fort, an influential paranormal researcher, died on May 3.[4]

How to celebrate National Paranormal Day?

This day can be celebrated by searching out the paranormal, reading books about it, or watching films and shows like Ghost Hunters or Paranormal Activity.[5]

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