by Karen Frazier, Managing Editor
Paranormal Underground Magazine
The other night, Jim and I were discussing a cover letter I had written for a job for which I was applying. In the cover letter (and in my resume), I cited my experience with Paranormal Underground. Jim felt this was a huge mistake, because anyone reading my resume would see the word “paranormal” and immediately tune me out as some kind of a freak.
I had a different take on the situation. Aside from Paranormal Underground being a great showcase of my abilities as a writer, editor, and marketing content writer (amongst other things), being involved in the paranormal is who I am and that’s not about to change. If a prospective employer doesn’t even want to interview me because of that, then I am probably better off not working in a place where I don’t have the freedom to be who I am. I am an extremely talented writer with more than 20 years of experience at writing pretty much everything. My experience and the work I do speaks for itself, and I feel that is the case regardless of whether or not I am interested in the paranormal and have had paranormal experiences. After all, the paranormal is a pretty innocent hobby. It’s not like I wrote in my cover letter that I produce, direct and star in porn or that my hobby is a penchant for cat burglary. For the record, I don’t, and it isn’t.
I spent a lot of years keeping my experiences with the paranormal on the down low. Let’s face it – if you tell people you’ve had a run-in with something unexplainable, they tend to look at you funny. Unless, that is, they too have had a similar experience. If they have, however, chances are they’ve been keeping it to themselves.
I know I am not alone in having kept my experiences and the fascination that they sparked to myself for years. I’ve talked with many who have echoed the way I spent much of my adulthood feeling.
“Oh my gosh,” they say. “If I told my family (friends, coworkers) that I was interested in the paranormal, they’d totally flip.”
I’ve heard it. I’ve said it – or something very similar.
I worked eight years at a job and didn’t feel comfortable telling them that I was writing for a paranormal magazine. Its only been in the past two years – when my interest in the paranormal became very obvious and public – that I talked with anyone in my family about any of it.
Why the big secret? Over 20 years ago, something happened to me. It defied explanation, and trust me, I’ve spent years trying to explain it. It happened repeatedly. It was not my imagination. It was not sleep paralysis. It was not one single event. I tried to recreate it over and over and couldn’t. I didn’t ask for doors to slam and open on their own. I didn’t ask for faucets to turn on and off. I didn’t ask for whatever it was in my apartment with me to sit on my bed and whisper, “I love you,” in my ear several nights a week.
And yet, it happened anyway. Whether I asked it to or not. I didn’t go seeking the paranormal – it came and found me. That doesn’t make me irrational. It doesn’t make me crazy. It doesn’t make me unintelligent. It doesn’t affect my ability to do a good job for an employer, be a good mother, be a good wife, contribute to my community or anything else. It makes me like a huge number of other people in this world who have had a brush with the unexplained.
When people find out what it is I do, quite often they will get a certain look in their eyes. I can see them looking around to see if anyone is listening. Then they drop their voices and confidentially tell me about their brush with the unexplained. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened over the past two years. A lot. And it’s happened with people that might surprise you. Normal, everyday people like me. Those with intelligence, responsible jobs and happy families.
A PTA mom, a police officer, a minister, two scientists, a former Marine, the person sitting next to me at church, a teacher at my son’s school, a psychologist. These are just a few of the many people who have shared their paranormal experiences with me. Most have kept it quiet as they’ve spoken. They’ve kept their eyes down and their voices hushed. They usually start off by saying, “I’ve never told anyone this, but….” and then they go on to tell me their tale of the unexplained.
If the paranormal is a secret, it is a collective secret that many of us share. Sure, it is outside of the mainstream, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are having experiences that sometimes defy logical explanation.
I say it often. I didn’t choose the paranormal. The paranormal chose me. After years of keeping that very first experience locked away in some secret closet — and after a few more experiences — I finally decided that if the paranormal was going to come to me whether I wanted it to or not, I would go and seek it out instead. I became proactive, and I’m glad I did. Because now I encounter the paranormal on my terms. And now I can talk freely about my experiences. In coming out of the paranormal closet, I can only hope that others who have locked their paranormal secrets away will feel a little less alone, and that finally they can confide in someone.
If this costs me employment or makes people look at me funny, so be it. More than 20 years ago, the unexplained came – quite literally – knocking on my door. It took me a while, but finally I realized something. It’s not just okay that it did – it is wonderful that it did. Because when I finally decided to face it head-on, I discovered a whole new fascination that fit seamlessly into my passion for and curiosity about the universe in which we live.
Unexplained things happen daily to the people all around us. Sometimes they happen to us. We can either keep that a secret, or we can start sharing our experiences with one another in hopes of turning the unexplained into something that can be explained. What that explanation is remains to be seen.
The tag line to the popular series, The X Files promised, “The Truth Is Out There.” And it is. The explanation may be paranormal. It may be something entirely rational. But until we collectively come out of the paranormal closet and start sharing and exploring our experiences, the truth – whatever it is – will remain elusive.
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