Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Teenage Fascination With The Paranormal


I was listening to some students in my college the other day. This is basically what the conversation went like:

Person 1: "(Insert name) had a premonition last week and it came true yesterday"
Person 2: "You're kidding! That's so creepy"
Person 1: "I know!"

Okay, I don't know what the premonition was but they talked about it for a few minutes and left.

I spent the rest of the day thinking about this and was reminded by something that happened last year. I mentioned to some people I'd used an Ouija board before and they were shocked and fascinated. They asked what it felt like? They wanted to know everything.

And think about another thing. Walk into a bookshop and count how many books (especially YA books) contain Paranormal elements. Teens love it.

These are the reasons why I think the Paranormal genre has taken off in YA literature:

1) Teens feel like outcasts. Many teenagers, like myself, feel like we're outcasts. And if' you've been keeping up to date with YA books, you'll know that outcasts tend to be the main characters. Harry Potter was an outcasts. Bella Swan made herself an outcast despite never being one since she was so ordinary. Teenagers can read these books and identify with the main character.

2) It provides them with an escape route. Being a teenager sucks. Going to college sucks. Growing up sucks. Sometimes, teenagers like reading these books because they just want to forget and I know I like escaping into a book and forget about my science report due in the next day.

3) It's fun. Would you rather do a chemistry experiment or go on a ghost hunt? I'm sure most teenagers would rather go on the ghost hunt. The point is simple, the paranormal is fun. Most don't believe it can happen but love the idea of meeting monsters.

4) Rebellion. Everyone wants to rebel but some are too scared to do it. Those teenagers can then rebel in their own way by pretending to be the main character. It's the perfect solution from them. While reading, they can be someone else and defeat an evil vampire but then they can put the book down and just be themselves.


I know why I love the Paranormal. My life is dull. If only I was a witch and could go demon hunting in the middle of the night. Actually, I'd rather just dream about it, in my comfortable bed!

So why do you like the Paranormal? And if you don't like the Paranormal, why? I'm interested to know! 

Kamille

4 comments:

  1. I like to escape my dull world, too sometimes. And how cool would it be if magic really existed, like in HP? :)

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  2. The magic part wouldn't be the best. I'd just be happy to be in Hogwarts!

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  3. Escapism is definitely a factor in my love of the paranormal, too. It's fun to get swept up in the magic and mayhem of it all! My obsession started when I was a little kid, after my mom exposed me to the show BEWITCHED. My paranormal-love has ceased to waver since then!

    Aside from that, however, I've been able to relate to more characters from this genre than any other. There's that whole "outcast" aspect, like you mentioned. I've also been able to relate to some of the characters as a diabetic (on a metaphorical level, of course). There's an utter lack of diabetics in fiction, so it's nice to see characters struggle regardless with SOME kind of change, even if it is of the supernatural sort.

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  4. I love Bewitched! It never comes on tv anymore though. The last time I watched it on TV was at least a year ago.

    I like that part too. I may have this kind of disease and it makes me feel so much better when I read a story about someone who grows wings or something. I'd rather have wings than a disease though.

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