JILL WATERMAN, EXPLORA:
Paranormal: Phenomena analogous to physical phenomena but with no known physical cause, as mediumistic “raps,” telekinesis, etc. According to an article in the Oxford Journals, the word “paranormal” was first defined, as noted above, in the 1920 revision of Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language.
While the existence of otherworldly phenomena, i.e., references to ghosts, apparitions, and other unexplainable forces, dates back to the dawn of civilization, the term paranormal and its related activities has its roots in the Victorian era, a time period that also witnessed the invention of photography and the rise of the Spiritualist movement.
Spiritualism, the belief that spirits of the dead have the ability to communicate with the living, developed and flourished from the 1840s to the 1920s, particularly in English-speaking countries.
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