When you run across the paranormal the first time, whether it's a UFO, Bigfoot sighting, a ghost - you have two options - either you're crazy or what they told you about the world was incomplete.
Believe me, your education was incomplete, not your mind.
Everyone has a different way of handling it.
For some, depending on their religious upbringing, the peers around them, their family and worries about being "different" or seeming "crazy," they shut up. They walk away from it and try to forget it. Over time, they might even convince themselves they had skewed what they saw and it wasn't truly paranormal, just something explainable misunderstood at the moment.
There is another set of people who accept what happened was unusual and unexplainable and they go forth seeking answers. They might read up on phenomena, tell their story to others, or in the case of being inpatient for answers, they begin a voyage into the field of para-research.
It can be a Hallelujah moment for those who never believed in a higher power, if they see an apparition and realize there might be other ways of being after this lifetime. For others, it could be proof that we don't know enough about our scientific world and there are oddities that need study to explain physics we have not revealed yet.
Experiencing the paranormal seems to divide people into camps - those seeking a logical explanation and those wanting proof of the spiritual. These two arenas duke it out in the forums of paranormal research daily.
There are Bigfoot researchers who believe they are from another dimension or perhaps a higher spiritual form than ourselves, perhaps even Biblical nephilim, and then there are those who know without a doubt in their minds that Bigfoot is a this-world being sharing our great outdoors.
There are ghost researchers who have ascertained that phenomena is either born in the human brain and its chemistry or something other dimensional explained by physics while others are true believers that there is a Heaven, a soul, and an afterlife.
There are researchers in UFO studies who are certain the government is hiding new technology while others are staunch believers that we are being visited by outsiders.
The only time we trip ourselves up is when we get weighed down by a belief. When you think you know what a phenomena is, everything you encounter supports it and your knowledge dies. You go nowhere, you gain no new knowledge.
For an example, the show "Ghost Hunters" for a dozen seasons has showed TAPS team performing the same things, coming to the same conclusions and not updating anything with new tests, trying other avenues, or in any way gaining new knowledge. They simple "know" what a ghost is and how it works and have divided them into new categories. For a phenomena that has yet to be proven even, this team seems to have a well embedded belief system that they indoctrinate new team members to follow rigidly without question. This is a sign that knowledge has dried on the vine and will go no further.
So, do not marry any belief system. Follow phenomena, not what you believe phenomena to be. Treat it as if its origins are completely undetermined and find ways to test where it might be coming from and how it might be happening. Then, you can ultimately make a good judgment on what is happening. Don't let any supposed "expert" (there are no experts in paranormal, only conjecturists) tell you what something is and how it works. Always keep your own mind in seeking answers even if it does not follow popular concepts.
You may not pursue researching the paranormal after encountering it, but the experience is exceedingly humbling. It's impossible not to encounter something as of yet unexplained and not realize that your education was lacking, your life experience was lacking, and the world is not everything you had learned in school but also contains that which no one knows of yet.
For some, this is unsettling and those are people who fear novelty and the unknown. For others, this is a curiosity and wonder and they run to it freely.
If you want to understand my exact attitude about the paranormal realm and how I deal with it and how I help others deal with it and reframe it, please give this radio talk show a listen where I spoke very candidly about this subject. You might find it illuminating and you will begin to understand why I have this blog and why I do what I do.