Quiz on the paranormal

Joy Bhattacharjya | Updated on December 05, 2020

On December 5, 1945, Flight 19, a group of US TBF Avenger torpedo bombers, disappeared in an area that soon came to be known as the Bermuda Triangle. This week’s quiz is on the paranormal.

Paranormal activity

1 Which two-word term, later adopted as the name for a popular ’90s rock band, was used by Allied aircraft pilots of World War II to describe UFOs or mysterious aerial phenomena?

2 In 1991, Doug Bower and Dave Chorley made to the front pages of papers when they admitted that they were the main perpetrators of a hoax that they had carried out with a plank of wood, rope and some other implements. Which ‘paranormal’ phenomena was attributed to them?

3 The 1934 ‘Surgeon’s Photograph’ taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a British gynaecologist, is still regarded as the best-known picture of which creature or phenomenon? Hint: The photograph was later revealed to be a hoax.

4 Which famous Indian hotel is believed to be haunted by the ghost of Lady Garnett-Orme, who roams inside the premises in search of her murderer? Hint: The same hotel was the inspiration behind Agatha Christie’s novel The Mysterious Affair At Styles.

5 Peter William Blatty wrote a novel in 1971 loosely based on the real-life stories of two people: Emma Schmidt in 1928 and Roland Doe in 1948. The book was a reasonable success, but the film in 1973 was a monster hit, and Blatty won an Academy Award for his screenplay. Name the novel; the film had the same name.

6 Henry Newman, a writer for The Statesman newspaper in Calcutta in the 1920s, mistranslated a Tibetan word, making it ‘filthy’ instead of ‘man bear’ and then took the artistic licence in using a more refined word for ‘filthy’. Which ‘creature’ got its English name as a result?

7 Michael Thalbourne devised a test in Australia known as the Australian Sheep-Goat Scale. What is it supposed to test?

8 In 1996, the James Randi Educational Foundation launched the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge, which offers a million dollars to anyone who demonstrates a supernatural or paranormal ability under scientific testing. What was Randi’s profesion and original claim to fame?

9 What is the name for the type of divination where adherents attempt to find groundwater, buried objects or ores usually using a Y-shaped twig or rod?

10 Peter Stumpp, also known as Peter Stub, was a 16th-century German farmer who confessed to being a serial killer and cannibal. Of which paranormal phenomenon is he regarded as one of the most famous and documented cases of?


1 Foo Fighter.

2 Crop circles, mysterious perfect circles in the middle of farmland.

3 The Loch Ness monster, Nessie.

4 The Savoy Hotel Mussoorie.

5 The Exorcist.

6 The yeti became the Abominable Snowman, technically Metoh-kangmi, which was the Tibetan name that translates to Man-Bear Snowman.

7 Belief in the paranormal; the name of the test is inspired by the Biblical simile of Christ separating the people of a nation as a shepherd separates sheep from goats.

8 He was one of the world’s best-known magicians.

9 Dowsing. It was very common in medieval Europe.

10 Lycanthropy; Stumpp was known the ‘werewolf of Bedburg’.


Joy Bhattacharjya is a quizmaster;

Twitter: @joybhattacharj

Published on December 05, 2020

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor