If something unusual happens, on the verge of the real, people try to find an explanation for this in the framework of everyday life. The perception of the supernatural changes with the change of historical epochs and cultural traditions, not to mention the individual characteristics of each person. Even the closest people to the question, do you believe in ghosts, they respond differently: some unconditionally believe, others skeptical grin.
Have primitive tribes the first reaction on clash with inexplicable phenomenon - to believe in him. English anthropologist Edward Evans-Pritchard says that the African tribe azande no concepts of "natural" and "supernatural". For azande, witchcraft is the most common occupation. The existence of a parallel world is recognized by many other peoples in different parts of the globe. Australian aborigines, for example, believe that the spirits of sleep not only created the world, but also watch every step of man.
In the middle ages the worldview of a civilization was determined by religion. In the East, it was laid down in the rigid canons of faith. In Europe, too, the Church was the only authority that imposed its unquestionable interpretation of any event or phenomenon. If the nun had visions of heavenly bliss, then divine grace descended upon her, and if she had a nervous fit, she is possessed by the devil. In 1484, Pope innocent VIII lamented that "many people of both sexes gave their souls to demons — "incubi" and "succubi" — and, incited by the enemy of the human race, do not hesitate to commit the most obscene abominations and fall into obscene extremes, exposing their souls to mortal danger." Saving Christians from the devil who overcame them, the Church led a ruthless witch hunt, as a result of which hundreds of thousands of people were burned alive at the stake.
Such a zealous belief gave rise to its negation. When in the XVII century in Sweden, many innocent people were burned as heretics on the basis of the babble of young children, even the most ardent supporters of the faith doubted whether to hold the devil responsible for every evil committed under mysterious circumstances.
When the age of Enlightenment came, people believed in science, which by that time had already explained many mysteries. Struggling with superstition and ignorance, scientists seemed to banish ghosts and ghosts from the limes of the earth forever, declaring stories about them empty fantasies. The possibility of transmitting thought at a distance was strongly rejected by German physicist and physiologist Hermann von Helmholtz: "No oath of every single member of the Royal society will convince me that it is possible to transmit thoughts from one person to another in addition to the usual way. It's just not possible." Many scientists did not believe in hypnosis, believing that hypnotized subjects undoubtedly lie, claiming that they do not feel pain under the surgeon's scalpel in order to "please" the hypnotist.