What Puts the 'Para' in Paranormal?

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Coined in 1905, para+normal implies events or perceptions that cannot be explained scientifically.  It includes the super-natural phenomena that seems to exceed the parameters of natural laws.  The field of para-psychology developed in the late 19th century to address a specific perception alongside the field of psychology.  Considered quack-science, it created a field of study of psi models including but not limited to telepathy, telekenisis, pre-cognition, apparitions, reincarnation, past-life experiences, near-death experiences, and the belief in inter-dimensional organisms. 

Why do people believe in this stuff?  And what precisely puts the "Para" in Paranormal?

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