The Supernatural As A Human Conception


Why are tales, stories, folklore, and dreams based on supernatural elements popular, ranging from the media to personal conversations? The perception of the supernatural reflects one’s individual emotions, beliefs, and knowledge. It is seemingly mundane events that tend to be more complex or multifaceted to the point of assumption of something supernatural. These forces affect people’s general perception and attitude toward dreams, stories told between friends and even folkloric storytelling. It is important to note that the connection to the supernatural can be seen in history, boredom, inner reflections, and hardships of life.

Supernatural in Culture

Firstly, human understanding and perception of the supernatural relate to history due to the constant and continuous development of society and civilization. It is stated that “the postwar period saw rapid rebuilding and further industrialization, even thinkers and writers struggled to comprehend the enormity” (Puchner et al. 688). This can be seen in folklore, where stories were used to translate some form of wisdom to the next generation (Armstrong and Keddie 82). In other words, the conception of the supernatural relates to the folkloric by how the most prominent literary thinkers and storytellers were shaped by historical events.

Secondly, the relationship between the supernatural and one’s perspective on it can be seen in the boredom and interest manifested in one’s dreams. For instance, in The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman, the author writes: “boredom … such awful boredom. … How sickening! How very annoying! When all is said and done, heaven help me” (Lispector 805). Thus, the reality is often disappointing, boring, and uninteresting, which is why people tend to spend their time daydreaming and fantasizing, where supernatural concepts can easily be implemented to fill the gaps.

Thirdly, human understanding and perception of the supernatural relate to tales between friends through hardships of life. Ndiaye writes: “she was unhappy and started hating me. She said I had to leave the house and make my life elsewhere” (77). It is evident that life viewed objectively is full of challenges and struggles, which can cause suffering and dissatisfaction. A close inner circle of family and friends usually struggles together, which is why it becomes easier to attribute the cause from oneself to the supernatural.

Fourthly, the conception of the supernatural relates to the stories through inner reflections. When discussing the emergence of the fantastic, Jordan writes: “we are at once curious about and fearful of the spaces we inhabit, and every space, however domesticated, is nonetheless redolent” (97). People have inner fears of the unknown, and they seek to project what they know about the world onto everything else. For example, it is more comforting to think about pure angels’ existence and protection than to face challenges alone. Similarly, it is easier to attribute one’s misfortunes to some demons than to admit one’s fault or ignorance about the causes.


In conclusion, the human conception of the supernatural relates to the folkloric, dreams, tales told between friends, and the stories not often lauded through history, boredom, hardships of life, and inner reflections. The very concept of the supernatural refers to some occurrences or forces out of the natural order, which implies that they are unexplainable and mysterious. In other words, they are projections of people’s desires, challenges, boredom, and the perception of societal changes by using a framework that does not require elaborate explanation.

Works Cited

Armstrong, Kate, and Hannah Keddie. “Telling Tales: Inspiring Creativity through the Myths, Legends, and Folklore of England.” Preternature: Critical and Historical Studies on the Preternatural, vol. 11 no. 1, 2022, pp. 82-108.

Jordan, Shirley. “Fantastic Spaces in Marie NDiaye.” Women and Space, vol. 93, 2010, pp. 97-108.

Lispector, Clarice. The Daydreams of a Drunk Woman. 1960.

Ndiaye, Marie. Three Strong Women. Vintage Books, 2009.

Puchner, Martin, et al. “Post-War and Post-Colonial Literature, 1945-1968.” The Norton Anthology of Western Literature, Vol. 2, edited by Martin Puchner et al., W. W. Norton & Company, 2014, pp. 687-691.