Popular opinion (subject to the propaganda of vested interests) would have you believe that anything having to do with the paranormal, ESP, psychic phenomena and the like is sheer fantasy. Okay, well, you’ll have to determine the validity of such experiences for yourself. Yet many who’ve had such experiences will swear by them. And is it really all that fantastical?
Why Incorporate Psychic Phenomena Into a Murder Mystery?
Yes, it seemingly complicates matters, weaving paranormal aspects into reality-based storytelling. After all, Dark Side of Sunset Pointe is a murder mystery loosely based on real events. And keeping it real is essential—probably foremost—for any good story. The term is known as “suspension of disbelief.”
Perhaps I’m too easily bored with artificial limits, but I write for my own enjoyment first. I figure that if I’m not enjoying the writing, how could a reader possibly enjoy it. And for me, writing another plain ol’ vanilla murder mystery isn’t all that interesting.
Not only does the paranormal aspect of my mystery books make them more interesting, it adds an additional layer of intrigue. Controversial? . . . Maybe. More mysterious? Definitely. Not horrific, murder is horrific enough. Not necessarily ghostly—broader, more expansive than a mere ghost story. It incorporates a largely ignored facet of everyday living—the spiritual nature of our existence.
The Thin Fabric of Reality Tears All Too Easily
Looking at it from the sheer volume of data ingrained in the cultures of Man, spiritual references abound. Organized religion aside, very few people will deny having had some sort of a brush with the paranormal. We all have our little tales—even those secreted away that we dare not examine in the light of day. And it hardly seems as though mere coincidence is capable of explaining all away.
What If ?
Let’s suppose for a moment that there is a rational explanation for all this so called “superstitious nonsense.” Looking at it logically and without prejudice, we can easily take reports of paranormal happenings as fact.
Not that people don’t lie—hell, as a writer of fiction, it’s my stock and trade. Sure, there are charlatans with their own agenda and plenty of carny cons. Houdini did his best to debunk spiritualism, easily demonstrating P.T. Barnum’s purported catch phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Ah, the price we pay for naiveté . . . However, fear of getting caught with our pants down is no excuse for compulsive skepticism.
Assuming that humans possess various levels of awareness much like we possess different degrees of intelligence, it’s likely some are more in tune with extra sensory perceptions than others—not much of a stretch. And that brings us full circle.
You are the only one that determines its validity for you.
If you dare, look for yourself and tell us what you see.