This is the weekend to let the subjective reality run wild. And the media are there to help.
Subjective reality, of course, is a personal view of the world strained through the mind, the media and experience. Objective reality is what is really out there and what scientists seek.
People today can be forgiven for their distorted beliefs. Fred Flintstone has a dinosaur pet. Uri Geller bends spoons through psychic force. Bigfeet are all over on Discovery Channel, and ghost hunters are real people who have encounters with phantoms. Not to mention psychics and faith healers.
Time was when ghost stories were shared around the campfire. Or demons were pandered by the clergy. Today the campfire is the media. This weekend of Halloween provides a continual menu of spooks, vampires, exorcisms, invulnerable murderers, aliens and similar.
Only infrequently is the supernatural mocked with satire, as in “Ghostbusters.”
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London surveyed 1,500 people in the United Kingdom and announced this week that 55 percent believe in ghosts. Some 51 percent believe in space aliens and 27 percent believe in angels. That’s 2 percent more than believe in God.
A survey of 500 children gave similar results,
Natascha Crump, general manager for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! London said in a release: ”We live in the age of science and turn to it for most of our answers, but the results show that many
of us still hold belief in things that might exist outside of our world and beyond our understanding.”
In Colonial days Costa Ricans conjured up strange creatures as social control techniques. Those staying out late and drinking might run into the Cadejos, the big, black, surly dog.
Or La Segua, the beautiful women with the face of a horse, is easy to pick up by adventurous men, but she kills with a kiss.
In the modern world there is money in spooks, “‘Harry Potter,’ ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ and the ‘Left Behind’ series are but the latest manifestations of American teenagers’ longstanding fascination with the supernatural and the paranormal.” according to a summary of a book on the topic, “From Angels to Aliens: Teenagers, the Media, and the Supernatural” by a Denver professor, Lynn Schofield Clark. There even is a television series called “Supernatural.”
For most, the lighthearted acceptance of some supernatural characters is harmless. And Friday and Saturday bar goers in Costa Rica will be dressed up to represent spirits, ghosts and vampires.