Quick Analysis of the Library of Congress Supernatural List

Optional audio transcript

Did you know that the Library of Congress has a list of supernatural things? Did you know each one has a digitized section of documentation? It’s true. I peruse this government-based sites from time to time to see what information they have. It is interesting to see what the U.S. government thinks is paranormal, and it will shock you. This supernatural list was a fun and strange find.

The Library of Congress has a list of supernatural creatures and information on them. While it doesn’t contain a full list of creatures, it does contain a few I never thought to be paranormal. These include those of religious aspects, like angels and demons. Of course, they are portrayed as paranormal in media, but I’m going to go a bit farther.

Merriam-Webster defines the term ‘supernatural’ as

of or relating to an order of existence beyond the visible observable universe.

It also adds in the context of relating to a god or spirit. This differs from ‘paranormal’, which gets the basic definition of

not scientifically explainable.

From here, we will assume that the list is both supernatural and paranormal.

The history of the Library of Congress

So, let’s get some background on the Library of Congress. I mean, it has always existed for researchers, but what is it used for? Well, this library has a plethora of documentations for many types of information.

Library by WikiImages

If you want to know something and can’t find any information on it, it is very likely that the Library of Congress has something about it. Well, most of the time. It, like most things government, is in Washington, D.C. It started in the year 1800, with President John Adams wanting to add in legislature to move books from Philadelphia to Washington. This was while they were moving. These books were to aid Congress in a variety of things.

From there, it grew like wildfire. Even after the War of 1812, it still was replenished. Surprisingly, the library didn’t go through too many pitfalls and kept growing.

What the Library of Congress list does have

Besides the religious context, it contains information on plenty of strange beings. What really threw me off was that there are many creatures just listed as ‘monsters’. This even includes a hydra being. There is even a group that is just called ‘extraterrestrial life’.

What the Library of Congress supernatural list doesn’t have

But, the Library of Congress goes with supernatural, so that is the definition that we will cover. The list does not cover every religious creature as that would be the longest webpage on the internet. There are thousands of creatures out there relating to religious and otherworldly framework.

Besides the religious grouping, on the list contains dragons, goblins, and mermaids. Now, these I would not expect to see do much in a religious view. Well, dragons, yes, but the latter two and others just don’t fit well.

There are even vampires and witches on the list. The information given on the list of creatures is that they have other information in the Library of Congress. There are pictures, books, and old documents on the creatures themselves.

This is funny to me as shapeshifters are not on the list and they are prominent in many cultures around the United States. I checked for this creature type in the ‘monsters’ sections and couldn’t find anything.

Even searching for ‘shapeshifter’ on the Library of Congress gave me no results. Why are they excluded when there is so much on them? Surely the library was given something to digitize on the spooky creatures.

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