Extraordinary Experiences In The Culture of the Supernatural

Vernacular Theories and Identities


  • Kristel Kivari University of Tartu




supernatural, legend, dowsing, UFOs, the paranormal


The article discusses supernatural experiences within the wider culture of the supernatural as a discourse in communication and performance in the liminal area between the credible and the incredible. The interviews analysed in the article were recorded within the context of research into the paranormal that includes several themes, for example apparitions of ghosts, humanoids, dowsing. The concept of belief pervades vernacular discussion and takes the form of the performance of truth in various forms. The teller’s position to the truth of the story can be seen from their narrative strategies, which present the teller as an expert in the supernatural, or on the contrary as an individual struggling in the face of the unknown. Paranormal enthusiasts give social legitimation to single experiences and to networks of thinking, along within the wider culture of the supernatural. Moreover, the places of these encounters can become experiential evidence for meeting the supernatural through dowsing practices that shape the spiritual worldview of those engaged. Thus, single experiences and stories will be woven into a wider story about the intervention of the supernatural in everyday life.


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How to Cite

Kivari, K. (2022). Extraordinary Experiences In The Culture of the Supernatural: Vernacular Theories and Identities. Implicit Religion, 24(1), 87–109. https://doi.org/10.1558/imre.19355




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