Nicola Pannofino

Extraordinary encounters. Representations of paranormal experience in the practice of ghost hunting

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: spectrality, paranormal culture, visualism, ekphrasis, perception

Contemporary imaginary has been going through a «paranormal turn» as shown, in recent years, by the growing spread of esoteric festival, magic, conspiracism, dark tourism, fiction, digital folklore and the other mystery-related issues in popular culture. This trend raises the unprecedented paradox given by the increased exposure that the ocularcentrism of media culture confers to the symbolic domain of invisible and of controversial knowledge. This paper focuses on a practice associated with paranormal milieu, ghost hunting, the investigation carried out by groups of enthusiasts in alleged haunted places. The analysis, based on a corpus of qualitative interviews and participant observation among ten groups in Italy, aims to illustrate how ghost hunters, thanks to the mediation of technical devices, address the problem of the depiction of non-ordinary contact with the spiritual dimension that eludes the five-sense perception and communicate their experience within an emergent market of visual consumption.

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