Any experience, occurrence, manifestation or object that is beyond the laws of nature and science and whose understanding may be said to lie with religion, magic or the mystical. The term is often used interchangeably with paranormal.

The most popular view of the supernatural contrasts it with the term ‘natural’, i.e. the assumption that some events occur according to natural laws and others do not, because they are caused by forces external to nature. In essence, the world is seen as operating according to natural law normally until a higher force external to nature, for example God, interferes.

Others deny any distinction between the natural and supernatural. According to this view, because God is sovereign, all events, even seemingly supernatural ones, are directly caused by God not by impersonal powers of any kind. Another view asserts that events that appear to be supernatural occur according to natural laws which we do not yet understand.

Some believe the supernatural is a form of magic but others, particularly among the sceptical academic community, believe that all events have natural and only natural causes. They believe that human beings ascribe supernatural attributes to purely natural events in an attempt to cope with fear and ignorance.