Squier's Paranormal Series returns, putting a bizarro twist on classic Fender designs

Squier Paranormal Series 2021
(Image credit: Fender)

Squier has reanimated its Paranormal series of electric guitars and basses with an exquisite lineup of carefully designed oddities expected to reach retailers in October – just in time for Halloween.

There are seven models in the Paranormal series: with a Jazz Bass '54 joining the Cabronita Thinline Telecaster, Cabronita Baritone, Super-Sonic, Cyclone, Offset Telecaster and Toronado. The series is a chance for Squier to play around with some new spec and remix Fender's catalogue of hits.

The Jazz Bass '54 might be the most conventional of the bunch, but only from a distance. Up close you'll see that Squier has augmented the Jazz format with a 54 Precision Bass aesthetic. 

It has a poplar body, a pair of Fender-designed alnico single-coils, a vintage-style bridge and tuning machines, dual concentric volume and tone controls and a very cool '50s-style pickguard. It is available in black with Anodized Gold pickguard or in 3-Tone Sunburst.

Squier Paranormal Series 2021

Squier Paranormal Series Jazz Bass '54 (Image credit: Fender)

The series offers two distinct versions of the Cabronita Telecaster – the semi-hollow Cabronita Thinline and the solidbody Cabronita Baritone. Both come equipped with Fender-designed alnico single-coil soapbar pickups, string-through-body bridges, with poplar bodies and bolt-on maple necks. 

The baritone model has a longer 27" scale length to accommodate its lower tuning, and comes in 3-Color Sunburst with a maple fingerboard, and Surf Green with a laurel fingerboard.

Meanwhile the Cabronita Thinline is available in Lake Placid Blue and 2-Tone Sunburst – the latter featuring an Anodized Gold pickguard. 

The Squier Paranormal Super-Sonic is where things really start to get weird. This is Twilight Zone Fender, with a reverse solid poplar body, bolt-on maple neck and reverse cutting a most original silhouette. It's a compact little electric, too, with a 24" scale and narrow 38.1mm nut that is ideal for beginners and small hands, but really interesting for anyone.

Available in Blue Sparkle and Shell Pink, the Super-Sonic has a pair of Squier Atomic humbuckers at the neck and bridge positions, a vintage-style tremolo, and is very cool.

Squier Paranormal Series 2021

Squier Paranormal Super-Sonic (Image credit: Fender)

The Paranormal Cyclone is a real mishmash of Fender designs. It is another short-scale electric – at least 24.75" is short for Fender – taking the body from the Mustang, the controls from the Jaguar, and has a vintage-style tremolo and is equipped with a trio of Fender-designed Alnico single-coil pickups.

Again, we've got a poplar body, with a bolt-on maple neck and an Indian laurel fingerboard. It is also available in Candy Apple Red and Pearl White.

Squier Paranormal Series 2021

Squier Paranormal Cyclone in Candy Apple Red (Image credit: Fender)

The Offset Telecaster is another true hybrid, applying a Telecaster spec to a Jazzmaster offset body. Another solid poplar build, it comes equipped with a vintage-style Telecaster bridge and control setup, Tele single-coils and will surely provide you with a certain degree of twang and that strange feeling you are playing a guitar from an alternate timeline.

Available in Shell Pink, as pictured below, Olympic White and a classic Tele Butterscotch Blonde finish, with maple fingerboards as standard.

Squier Paranormal Series 2021

(Image credit: Fender)

Finally, the Toronado has an offset body for players who don't like offsets. That is to say the lower half of the body is a little more symmetric and the shape a little less pointy. 

The tones will be a little less pointy, too, in a manner of speaking, as here we have Dual Squier Atomic humbuckers, with a shoulder-mounted three-way toggle switch and the dual-volume, dual-tone control setup reminiscent of something Gibson would do. The bridge is a no-nonsense six-saddle hardtail. The finish options are 3-Color Sunburst and Mystic Seafoam, the latter arguably the nicest colour in the series.

Squier Paranormal Series 2021

(Image credit: Fender)

The 2021 Squier Paranormal Series models are available to preorder from most retailers now, but will ship in October. With the comfortable but quick C profile necks, the original aesthetics and some tasteful spec, these made a very compelling option for affordable pawnshop chic with a modern feel, and they retail at £349 / $429.

See Fender for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.