Glossary of Terms

This page is dedicated to provided you a glossary of terms that are often & not so often used in the field of paranormal research. Additionally, I would kindly urge you to educate yourself  with these terms.

A

ABDUCTEE: An abductee is someone taken, generally against his or her will, by nonhuman beings. An experiencer is someone who has been taken by nonhuman beings. An “experiencer” is considered an alternative to “abductees,” and less pejorative of the experience.

ABDUCTION: Kidnapping by non-human beings. The first reported claim of alien abduction was in Brazil in 1957 and since then there have been reports from all over the Western world – in Europe including the UK, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and North America. Although people’s experiences vary quite widely, the following features recur *Light, especially a beam which draws the person up, and sometimes vibration. *A spacecraft of some kind. *Humanoid beings, especially small gray ones with large black eyes, who communicate by telepathy. *Medical tests being performed and eggs or sperm removed so that human/alien offspring can be produced. *Lost periods of time and inexplicable small wounds. *Very few accounts are complete but sometimes the full story is recovered through hypnosis.

AFTERLIFE: One of several terms used interchangeably to refer to life after death. The word “afterlife” has been used since 1615, and is generic enough to use in almost any setting and culture. Other terms include “crossing over,” “the Otherworld,” and “the other side.” Most ghost hunters avoid specific religious terms such as “heaven” when discussing ghosts, hauntings, and an afterlife.

AGENT: A living person who is the epicenter of poltergeist activity.

AGNOSTIC: Somebody denying God’s existence is provable: somebody who believes that it is impossible to know whether or not God exists.

ALIEN: A being or creature not of this Earth, e.g. from outer space.

AMORPHOUS: Without definite form or shape.

AMULET: An item that is worn as a charm to help combat disease, evil and or witchcraft. It is an item worn as a preservative piece of jewelry and used for the protection of an individual against things that are generally considered to be bad.

ANGEL: A nonhuman entity who’s believed to be aligned with God. An Angel is a spiritual or celestial being sent to earth to relay a message to a person, serve as a protector or help them in their transition into the afterlife.

ANGELOLOGY: A term used to describe the study or science of angels.

ANNIVERSARY HAUNTING: An imprint that usually manifests around the same time each day, month, year or occasion. See Residual Haunting.

ANOMALY: An experience, occurrence, or object outside of the normal. An irregular image that appears on photos or video taken by film, or digital media.

APPARITION: A spirit that a witness can see; a supernatural appearance of a deceased person or animal. It is often too distant to be in the normal range of a person’s view and is uncommon to see an appearance. A full bodied apparition shows the entire body of an animal or person. A partial bodied apparition is shown more often but only show part of a body such as; torso or arms. They often appear as white (or various shades of white/gray) or solid black. Usually apparitions can appear to hover in the air. It is rare that apparitions show their legs or feet.

APPORT: The appearance or disappearance of an object during a haunting that seems to come out of nowhere.

ASC (Altered State of Consciousness): A brain state differing from normal consciousness.  Sometimes associated with the transportation to a higher realm of consciousness or mystical experience.  Feelings experienced during an altered brain state can be both pleasant and unpleasant. There can be a number of different reasons why an individual might enter an altered state of consciousness and these can include: use of drugs, sometimes hypnosis, trauma, sensory deprivation, sleep disturbance, fever or a neurochemical imbalance.  Certain behaviors such as chanting and frenzied behavior are also known to produce effects.

ASPORT: An object that a spirit causes to appear or disappear from nowhere.

ASTRAL BODY: The essence or spirit of a person having an out-of-body experience.

ASTRAL PLANE: Believed to be a non-concrete realm existing above our own physical world inhabited by spirits and other immaterial beings.

ASTRAL TRAVEL/PROJECTION: Voluntarily or involuntarily leaving one’s body and traveling somewhere else. This is the process of a human spirit traveling outside the human body. Also called Out Of Body Experience, OBE or OOBE.

ASTROLOGY: The theory and practice of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs.

ATHEIST: Someone who disbelieves and/or denies the existence of God(s)/deities.

AURA: An energy which surrounds all living things which is invisible to most people. This energy is said to be made up of many colors. These different colors have different meanings and can show the state of a person’s health, personality or abilities such as healing.

AUTOMATIC WRITING: A method of spirit communication where a spirit uses the hand of the living to write words or draw pictures. These intelligible messages are created without conscious control of the host, often used in conjunction with trying to channel a spirit or entity into yourself. This can be a very dangerous method! As with all channeling methods (Ouija boards, crystals, etc.) you are opening a door way and have no control over who or what may come through, and no way to be sure to make it leave and “close the door”.

B

BALL LIGHTNING: Magnetic fields associated with certain types of lightning strikes are powerful enough to create hallucinations of hovering balls of light in nearby observers lasting anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. These spheres are thought to consist of ionized gas.

BANISHING: Formal, ceremonial, procedure affected to cast an invisible presence or influence out from an area. This term can refer either to a spiritual cleansing, or the closing of a magical rite, when the invoked powers are dismissed.

BANSHEE: A wailing spirit or “death omen” that will appear to be in two different places at the same time.

BATTERY DRAIN: An unexplained phenomena in which fully charged batteries will suddenly become devoid of all charge without any warning or other effects. This often accompanies other forms of paranormal activity. Frequently reported by paranormal investigators when on an investigation.

BEING: The state or quality of having existence, a living entity.

BELL WITCH HAUNTING, THE: A poltergeist legend from Southern United States folklore, involving the Bell family of Adams, Tennessee. According to the legend, the first manifestation of the haunting occurred in 1817 when John William Bell, Sr. encountered a strange animal in a cornfield on his large farm in Robertson County, on the Red River, near Adams, Tennessee. The animal, described as having the body of a dog and the head of a rabbit, vanished when Bell shot at it. This incident was quickly followed by a series of strange beating and gnawing noises manifesting outside and eventually inside the Bell residence. Betsy Bell, the family’s younger daughter and the only daughter still living at home (Bell’s oldest daughter Esther married Alexander Bennett Porter July 24, 1817), claimed to have been assaulted by an invisible force. Bell Sr., later in life, suffered frequent facial seizures, often rendering him speechless. He died on December 20, 1820. A small vial containing an unidentified liquid he allegedly ingested was found near his body. When some of the contents were force-fed to the family cat, the animal died. The vial was then disposed of in the fireplace. Pat Fitzhugh’s retelling of the Bell Witch legend concludes with a statement to the effect that some people believe that the spirit returned in 1935, the year when the witch claimed it would return (“one hundred years and seven” past 1828), and took up residence on the former Bell property. Other sources say that 1935 brought nothing out of the ordinary to the Bell descendants or the surrounding community.

BENIGN SPIRIT: A kindred spirit that is not harmful.

BERMUDA TRIANGLE: Known as the “Devil’s Triangle”. The area became infamous because of ‘ a high incidence of unexplained losses of ships, small boats, and aircraft’. Similar, extensive and futile search and rescue cases have since led to a popular belief that the area known as the “Bermuda Triangle” exhibits mysterious and supernatural qualities.

BILLET READING: Procedure in which a question is secretly written on a piece of paper which is folded or sealed in an envelope, and handed to the psychic who attempts to answer the question. Various trickery can be employed by fraudulent psychics and mentalists.

BILOCATION: The presence of a person or object in two places at once.

BLACK DOGS: There have been countless reports of phantom like creatures of canine form, which have been termed, black dogs, devil dogs or hellhounds. They are said to exude a distinctly sulphurous smell and their crimson eyes glow like fire. It is said that anyone who touches one of these beasts usually dies shortly afterwards.  Even the act of seeing a black dog is believed to be an omen of doom.

BLACK EYED CHILDREN: Otherwise seemingly normal children who seem to have black irises or the whole of their eyes are totally black. They are generally unfamiliar to, and cause a feeling of uneasiness in witnesses They often demand to be allowed to enter ones home or vehicle. Most witnesses claim to have felt strongly influenced by the Black Eyed Children and report feeling subconsciously coerced to grant their requests. They are a relatively new phenomena in the paranormal sciences. (Another definition): According to some witnesses, they are strange, young children, usually in their teens or pre-teens, who insist on coming inside somebody’s home or car. Not only are they intimidating and pushy, they also have extremely strange eyes—fully black—as if the pupil stretches out covering the iris and sclera.

BLACK MAGIC: Magical spells or rituals practiced with the intention of harming others. Cf. white magic.

BLOODY MARY WORTH: Typically described as a child-murderer who lived in the local city where the legend has taken root years ago. There is often a specific local graveyard or tombstone that becomes attached to the legend. On the other hand, various people have surmised that the lore about taunting Bloody Mary about her baby may relate her tenuously to folklore about Queen Mary I, also known as “Bloody Mary”, whose life was marked by a number of miscarriages or false pregnancies. Speculation exists that the miscarriages were deliberately induced. As a result, some retellings of the tale make Bloody Mary the queen driven to madness by the loss of her children. It is likely, however, that Queen Mary only provided her nickname to the Bloody Mary of folklore. She is also confused in some tellings of the story with Mary, Queen of Scots. The mirror ritual by which Bloody Mary is summoned may also relate to a form of divination involving mirrors and darkness that was once performed on Halloween. While as with any sort of folklore the details may vary, this particular tale encouraged young women to walk up a flight of stairs backwards, holding a candle and a hand mirror, in a darkened house. As they gazed into the mirror, they were supposed to be able to catch a view of their future husband’s face. There was, however, a chance that they would see the skull-face of the Grim Reaper instead; this meant, of course, that they were destined to die before they married.

BOGEYMAN: A grim spectral figure who delights in menacing mortals with rather gruesome pranks and abductions. Although the lore of this character has degenerated into a familiar device used to threaten rambunctious children, the ‘Bogey’ was formerly soundly dreaded in Celtic regions, and was said to prowl the stretches of fields, marshes, and moors, looking for hikers and travelers who had strayed from their paths.

C

CANDILEJA, THE: A type of ghost found in Colombian Folklore which is said to be the spirit of a vicious old woman, who was in charge of her grandchildren but neglected to teach then any moral principles, so they grew up as murderers and thieves. In the afterlife she was damned to travel around the world surrounded by flames. The Candileja is related to the Will-o’-the-wisp phenomenon.

CANDOMBLE: A Brazilian spiritist religion. See also Umbanda, Voodoo.

CASE STUDY: An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.

CEREBRAL ANOXIA: Lack of oxygen to the brain, often causing sensory distortions and hallucinations. Sometimes used to explain features of the near-death experience.

CEREOLOGY: The study of the “crop circle” phenomena.

CHANGELING: A creature found in Western European folklore and folk religion. It is typically described as being the offspring of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. The apparent changeling could also be a stock, an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die. The theme of the swapped child is common among medieval literature and reflects concern over infants afflicted by as-then unknown diseases, disorders, or mental retardation. A human child might be taken due to many factors: to act as a servant, the love of a human child, or malice. Most often it was thought that fairies exchanged the children. Some Norwegian tales tell that the change was made to prevent inbreeding: to give trolls and humans new blood, humans were given children with enormous strength as a reward. In some rare cases, the very elderly of the Fairy people would be exchanged in the place of a human babe, and then the old fairy could live in comfort, being coddled by its human parents. Simple charms, such as an inverted coat or open iron scissors left where the child sleeps, were thought to ward them off; other measures included a constant watch over the child. Not to be confused with a “Shapeshifter“.

CHANNELING: Communication by a spirit through a human being where the spirit comes through the Channeler. The process a medium undertakes to receive information from spirits.

CHANNELER: Someone who allows a spirit to temporarily possess their body to allow for communication with the living.

CHARM: A spell or object possessing magic power.

CHUPACABRA: From the Spanish for “goat sucker”, an alleged creature that is supposedly responsible for draining the blood and/or removing the organs of mammalian and avian livestock. The name comes from the creature’s earliest attacks in Puerto Rico where goats where completely drained of blood. The monster is described by most as being bipedal — some say it walks, some say it flies, and some say it has a kangaroo hop — and around four feet tall, weighing an odd seventy pounds, having a spiked crest, with a round head, greenish-gray fur, large pointy spikes on the back, tailless, huge red eyes devoid of lids, lipless mouth, fangs and claws. There have been numerous sightings of Chupacabras in lower North America, Central and South America, starting in the early 1970s (some even say 50s and 60s, although it has been “formally identified and baptized” only in 1994). There is a lot of speculation about its origins, the most popular theory being that the creature or creatures are from outer space, left on earth by aliens for some unknown purpose. Others claim that the Chupacabra is an American Army genetic experiment that went terribly wrong.

CIPHER TEST: A coded message left by a person who intends to communicate the cipher after death.

CLAIRAUDIENCE: The ability to hear things not audible within normal hearing ranges. This is an example of Extra Sensory Perception. (ESP) It includes the audible perception of ghosts, spirits, and those who are on the astral realm. Clairaudience is essentially the ability of hearing the paranormal as opposed to seeing it.

CLAIRGUSTANCE: Is a form of extra-sensory perception that allegedly allows one to taste a substance without putting anything in one’s mouth. It is claimed that those who possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste.

CLAIRSENTIENCE: Is a form of extra-sensory perception wherein a person acquires psychic knowledge primarily by feeling. The word “clair” is French for “clear”, and “sentience” is derived from the Latin sentire, “to feel”. Psychometry is related to clairsentience. The word stems from psyche and metric, which means “soul-measuring”.

CLAIRVOYANCE: The ability to communicate with the other side, see the future, or be given other information using only the mind.

CLEANSING (PSYCHIC): A less ritualized form of exorcism, where-in a dwelling or site is purified and malevolent influences are banished through prayers, spoken as the petitioner moves through the area.

CLEANSING: Using occult or nontraditional means to remove something supernatural from a place.

COLD READING: This is a technique commonly used by fake mind readers, mediums and magicians which allows them to obtain previously unknown information about a person by asking a general series of statements, questions and answers.

COLD SPOT: A small, defined area of intense cold (5+ degrees colder than the surrounding area) that can not readily be explained by other natural or mechanical causes (e.g. A/C, drafty window, ice or snow). In paranormal research the prevailing theory is that when an entity is trying to manifest itself it draws on many sources of energy. One of those sources is the heat energy in the air. As the entity draws the heat out of the air the area in that specific immediate location becomes unusually cold.

COLLECTIVE APPARITION: A rare type of sighting in which more than one person sees the same apparition or phenomena.

COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS: Concept put forward by C.G. Jung to refer to a level of unconscious thought and experience shared collectively by humans.

COMMUNIGRAPH: An instrument for mechanical communication with spirits of the dead. Known as the Ashkir-Jobson Communigraph, it consists of a small table with a free pendulum underneath. The pendulum may make contact with a number of small metal plates representing the alphabet. The contact closes a circuit and makes the corresponding letter appear illuminated upon the face of the table. According to the inventors’ claim, no medium is necessary for the instrument to work. If a circle sits around the table, the pendulum will begin swinging by what seems to be its own volition. The communigraph was developed by the Ashkir-Jobson Trianion—A. J. Ashdown, B. K. Kirby, and George Jobson. After the death of Sir Vincent Caillard (1856-1930), a prominent British diplomat, industrialist, and writer, his widow, Lady Zoe Caillard, transcribed a book on the communigraph said to be dictated by the spirit of her husband and entitled A New Conception of Love (1934). She had previously written a book of her own, Sir Vincent Caillard Speaks from the Spirit World (1932).

CONTAGION: The act of being followed by a paranormal entity, such as an earthbound spirit from a haunted location.

CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT: This is a procedure in paranormal psychology that ensures that the experiment is conducted in a standard fashion so that the results will not be influenced by any extraneous factors.

CORPSE CANDLE: A death omen in the folklore of Wales and elsewhere in the British Isles. Corpse Candles, also known as “canwell corfe”, as they are called in Welsh are mysterious lights which bob over the ground and stop at houses or other sites where death is imminent. Similar lights are called “Fetch Candles” or “Fetch Lights” in Ireland and northern England. They seem to be similar to the “Corpse Lights” phosphorescence but, differ in that they have the distinct appearance of a candle flame. Corpse Candles are said to be seen floating through the air at night . Beliefs about them vary by location. They are said to ward of the death of those who see them or of someone beloved or of someone else known to the party. It is said that they appear approximately half way between the doomed persons home and their grave. In south Hampshire England, the lights are said to accompany the souls of the departed and are extinguished when they leave the earth. Ghostly funerals are said to accompany some lights.

CORPSE LIGHTS: The glow sometimes seen around the spirit of the departed. Phosphorescent light seen floating about the air at night which are believed to be harbingers of death. They are white, red or blue and are seem both indoors and out doors. They hig the ground, float in the air, hover over the roof of the doomed or appeared over the chest of the doomed, Corpse Lights are called by various names, including: Corpse Candles, Jack-o-Lanterns, ignis fatuus, corposant, fetch candles, and fetch lights. Since they often appear in marshy areas, they may be produced by atmospheric conditions. Nonetheless, numerous accounts exist in folklore of their seemingly supernatural appearance.

COSMIC CONSCIOUSNESS: A blissful experience in which the person becomes aware of the whole universe as a living being. See also altered state of consciousness, mystical experience.

CRISIS APPARITION: A one-time paranormal experience where the spirit is seen at the time of its death by a loved one as a way of saying goodbye or communicating information. An apparition that is seen when a person is seriously ill, seriously injured or at the point of death. The theory behind this phenomenon is that the afflicted person (the sender or agent), who is either ill or dying, sends out telepathically an image of themselves to someone who has a close relationship with them.  It is thought that in general the sender or agent is unconscious or unaware of sending any message. However in the case of a death crisis, where the sender/agent actually dies, this is clearly difficult to verify.

CROP CIRCLES: Circular or more elaborate formations found in growing crops, most commonly in Southern Britain. Sometimes they are associated with UFO sightings. Many formations appear to have been intelligently created and to have some symbolic meaning. Despite several “confessions” made by various individuals and groups, the crop circle mystery remains unsolved.

CROSS SPECIES COMMUNICATION: To have a special rapport and understanding with animals, plants or alien beings.

CRYBABY BRIDGE: A nickname given to some bridges. The name often reflects an urban legend that the sound of a baby can be, or has been, heard from the bridge. Many are also accompanied by an urban legend of a baby or young child/children being killed nearby, or thrown from the bridge into the river or creek below.

CRYPTOMNESIA: Knowledge (acquired in normal ways) that may be revealed without the person remembering its source. Such memories may falsely appear to be paranormal revelations. Sometimes cryptomnesia is used as an explanation for apparently paranormal experiences such as xenoglossy or past-life memories.

CRYPTOZOOLOGY: The branch of paranormal research which deals with the exploration of legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, lake and sea monsters, etc. It involves the search for animals whose existence has not been proven. The animals cryptozoologists study are often referred to as cryptids, a term coined by John Wall in 1983. This includes looking for living examples of animals that are considered extinct, such as non-avian dinosaurs; animals whose existence lacks physical evidence but which appear in myths, legends, or are reported, such as Bigfoot and Chupacabra; and wild animals dramatically outside their normal geographic ranges, such as phantom cats (also known as Alien Big Cats). Cryptozoology is not a recognized branch of zoology or a discipline of science. It is an example of pseudoscience because it relies heavily upon anecdotal evidence, stories and alleged sightings.

CURSE: Words spoken or written in order to influence others paranormally, causing them harm. (Also known as a hex)

D

DEBUNK: to expose or excoriate (a claim, assertion, sentiment, etc.) as being pretentious, false, or exaggerated

DEMON: One of many nonhuman spirits. According to the Catholic faith demons are angels that were cast out of Heaven by God during the rebellion against God that was lead by Lucifer. Although the term is commonly used in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term applies to many different spirits and traditions. There are several levels or hierarchies of demons, each with different powers. Other faiths may have different concepts of what demons are.

DEMONIC HAUNTING: A haunting by a nonhuman entity can be very dramatic, even violent. Demonic hauntings often start out with subtle and relatively simple paranormal activity, and then quickly increase to stronger activity. Most often affects people or families that are already under great personal stress from conditions such as alcohol or drug use, psychological or emotional problems, family or marital problems, etc. It is believed the nonhuman entity takes advantage of people in such weaken psychological and emotional condition. This phase is considered infestation. Persons who believe they and / or their families are the subject of a demonic haunting should immediately seek both professional paranormal assistance and counseling help by those specifically trained.

DEMONOLOGIST: A person who is an expert in demons and nonhuman entities. They actively pursue demons and other nonhuman entitles both for study and to help people rid them from their lives. Usually demonologists are very religious people as they believe strongly that only faith has the power to combat a demon. They are also usually schooled and or experienced in the field of psychology and mental health. IMPORTANT: Active pursuit of demons and demonology is not something to be tried for fun or kicks. Serious injury – both physical and mental – can occur! Please read out article on Demonology 101.

DISCARNATE: Another name for a ghost.

DOPPELGANGER: The spirit of a living person viewed by that person. Doppelgangers are seen as a bad omen, usually as a sign of impeding death.

DOWSING (a.k.a. Divining): The ability to use a pair of rods (typically metal) held in the hands to locate objects, most commonly water. A “Y” shaped tree branch can also be used to find water. This is also known as water witching. In the paranormal investigation field Dowsing Rods are sometimes used to locate energy sources that could be paranormal in nature.

E

ECHOLALIA: A professional clinical word that means to repeat back what you hear. As applied to the paranormal field it means when a ghost or spirit repeats back something you have just said in order to show they are there and are trying to communicate with you. The words repeated back could be EVP questions or just casual conversation. It is not clear why an entity might repeat back your words rather than respond on their own. Perhaps it is easier / simply for an entity to repeat what it has heard rather than form new words.

ECTOPLASM: The substance left behind when an entity tries to manifest itself. Although still largely theoretical (none has yet been collected for chemical analysis) it has been photographed on many occasions. Ectoplasm often appears in photographs as a thick white mist or smoke in nearly straight lines. Vapor and humidity is often mistaken for ectoplasm. It is rarely seen with the naked eye. It can, however, be felt as a dense area of cobweb-like strands.

ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF): In its natural form it is the natural electric field (sometimes thought of as an aurora) that is generated by all living things and many inanimate objects such as metals and certain minerals. EMF is also generated by man-made electric sources such as lights, radios and wires. In paranormal investigations the theory is that entities are largely composed of energy which may be electrically based. By trying to detect EMF it may be possible to locate an otherwise unseen entity. The stronger the EMF detected the potential greater the paranormal phenomena.

ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF) METER: One of several devices used to measure EMF and detect a ghost.

ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA (EVP): The hearing of unexplainable disembodied voices during the playback of a recording made on an electronic recording device. The voices cannot be readily identified as persons speaking or events (mechanical sounds, background noise, etc.) that took place while the record was being performed. EVP’s can be captured on both tape and digital recorders, as well as on video recorders (not film however).

ELEMENTAL: An inhuman spirit who is closely tied to the elements.

EMPATHS (empathetic abilities): Some people are sensitive to the typically stronger feelings a paranormal entity gives off. They may also be able to see people and events that have occurred years in the past at a given locations. While feelings are hard to confirm or deny, when recorded along with other paranormal evidence that can be documented, empathic ability can be a helpful investigation tool.

ENTITY: A generic all-encompassing term used to describe a paranormal object / being that is presumed to be a ghost or spirit. Since no one is yet 100% sure what paranormal objects really are the term “entity” is used as a pronoun to include any and all possible things such as ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, non-human spirits, etc.

EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION (ESP): An awareness of outside happenings or information not attained through the normal human senses.

F

FAMILIAR: Any animal that is used by a witch for surveillance or for casting spells. A familiar can also be the witch in animal form.

FEAR CAGE: A term used to describe a confined area such as a walk in closet, hallway or basement with very high EMF readings. The combination of being close and confined within an area of strong EMF often brings out extremely great feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia and / or uncontrollable fear. When this occurs the best thing is to quickly and calmly leave the area and go to a more open area with lower EMF.

FULL-BODIED APPARITION: A ghostly encounter where the complete body of the ghost is seen.

G

GHOST: A spirit or shade of a dead person / animal believed to haunt people or previous habitats / locations. The spirit remains of a living being, strongly attached to the living realm by some form of emotional force. Often ghosts do not realize that they are in fact dead. Others live out the routine of the day they died, and continue this in a cycle. Other ghosts interact with everyday life of the living.

GHOST LIGHT: The disembodied essence of someone.

H

HALF-REAL OBJECTIVE: When you perceive nothing subjectively but obtain objective documentation.

HALF-REAL SUBJECTIVE: When you subjectively perceive something that was not documented via objective means.

HAUNTING: The interaction between the paranormal and the normal.

I

IMPRINT: It is theorized that events and strong feelings / emotions can leave a copy or record of themselves on places (tunnels, rooms, fields, etc.) and objects (furniture, buildings, personal affects, etc.). Most notably this occurs when a sudden and violent death occurs such as a powerful accident, a murder or other crime, a war or battle area, etc. The energy that is left can result in a non-intelligent haunting, usually a residual haunting. In these cases people often report seeing and hearing the same thing over and over like a tape playing, rewinding and playing again. Sometimes the event seems to be recorded on the specific location rather than a building, room or object. There have been cases reported where an imprint haunting has occurred in a building, the building is later totally demolished and a new one built (or the area just left vacant) but the haunting still continues. In the situation of imprinting on an object the haunting can follow the object through several owners. This is often reported with items purchased at a yard sale or flea market.

INFESTATION: A haunting that implies multiple spirits or something demonic. The word is also associated with a rise in the intensity of a haunting.

INFRARED (IR): Infrared light is light from the lower end (long wave length/low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum (between the visible light spectrum and microwaves). IR light is not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special equipment. IR is not to be confused with thermal imaging. While IR and thermal energy are both on the short end of the electromagnetic spectrum they are not the same thing. There is evidence that ghosts/spirits and other paranormal entities may be more susceptible to being viewed (including video and image photography) using the IR light spectrum. IR sensors are also often used for measuring temperature and detecting movement. Click here to read our article about using alternate light spectrums for paranormal investigations.

INHUMAN SPIRIT: A spirit that was never a human. The two most common forms of inhuman spirits are elementals and demons. Entities (ghost or spirit) that are not the result of a human person that once lived on Earth. This category also includes angels, demons, devils, etc. It is not known exactly where these kinds of entities come from but it is reasonably well accepted by the paranormal community these spirits are not from people who had lived on Earth and have since died. Encounters with inhuman spirits are rare and usually dramatic. Extra care should always be used if dealing with a potential inhuman spirit!

J

K

KINETIC ENERGY: Energy needed to force an object at rest into motion. Objects in motion have kinetic energy. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. As the kinetic energy diminishes it changes into potential energy.

L

LEY LINES (a.k.a. Ley): The theoretical lines that can be drawn to connect ancient (and some modern) sites across a country, even around the world. The term “Ley Line” (“Ley” being a Saxon word meaning meadow or cleared strip of ground) was first coined by Alfred Watkins in the early 1920’s. He noticed that many ancient and prehistoric structures (e.g.: mounds, stone circles, temples, river crossings, ceremonial hilltops, etc.) could be connected by straight lines. Often these lines exactly fit compass directions, and sometimes at certain times of the year match up with star alignments. He also noticed that many of these lines intersect and where they intersect are significant other structures such as churches, temples, and burial grounds. Some people believe Ley Lines also follow the natural magnetic forces of the Earth and therefore are very powerful for spiritual and mystic activity. Ley lines are also known as corpse ways, church paths, church lines, and coffin lines.

“LIGHTS OUT” INVESTIGATION: A paranormal investigation, usually conducted indoors and at night, where all the light sources and other electronic devices in the building have been turned off. The equipment used for paranormal investigations is typically more sensitive at night and in the dark. There are many theories that the barrier between the living and the dead dimensions is thinner as the energy from the Sun isn’t as strong at night. Having lights & power off reduces the possibility of false or misleading evidence caused by reflections, glares and EMF generated from them.

LIVING GHOST: The manifestation of a ghost or entity, usually a living close family member or friend, that appears a long distance (sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away!). This event usually coincides when the other person (the one manifesting) is facing an immediate great stress or life-threatening danger. Examples include an aircraft pilot or crew flying through a storm, a soldier on the battle field, an automobile driver or passenger during a sever accident, etc. Some believe this is related to astral projection and out-of-the-body experiences. This phenomenon is related to the moment of mortality manifestation.

LOST TIME: With paranormal ghost / spirit activity it is possible that a small concentrated area of high paranormal activity may briefly alter the physical environment (see Warp) such that time slows down or stops altogether. For example, a person in such an effected area may be in the area for 20 minutes as measured by a clock outside the area. But the person’s watch only shows them in the area for 15 minutes. What happened to the 5 minutes difference? This phenomenon is similar to what sometimes in reported UFO cases.

M

MANIFEST or MANIFESTATION: The act of an entity trying to make itself appear in our world. Entities are believed to exist mainly as energy with no physical form. When an entity is trying to make itself appear or make its presence known in our world it is said to be manifesting itself; trying to make itself into some form of physical state.

MEDIUM: A person who has a special gift and believes he or she can act as a bridge between the world of the living and the other side.

METAPHYSICS: A field of study dedicated to the nature of reality and an individual’s distance from it.

MIST: An energy field that looks like a cloud or haze but has a paranormal ectoplasm substance. There may or may not be any particular shape, color (typically white or light colored), thickness, or consistency.

MOMENT OF MORTALITY: A ghostly manifestation that occurs when someone is at the exact moment of their death. A ghost, spirit or other apparition appears to a close friend or family member and can happen over great distances (hundreds, even thousands, of miles away). This phenomenon is similar to the living ghost and Death Bed Visions phenomena.

N

NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE (NDE): The experiencing of temporary death or loss of biological life where the subject goes through an archetypal event.

NECROMANCY or NECROMANCE: The attempt to conjure, summon or raise the dead in order to learn secrets and insights from the spirits. This is usually intended to gain personal advantage or fortune over others. The person who is trying to perform the necromancy process is called a Necromancer. This deals heavily into the unsavory realm of magic, spells, and dark / forbidden witchcraft rituals and can also be attempted with Tarot cards and Ouija boards. Regardless of the process used, necromancy is highly dangerous from the point of view that you are opening a doorway and have no idea what thing may come through and into your life!

NIGHT SHOT: A setting common on hand held video cameras. Originally it was a term used to describe the night vision (total darkness or 0 Lux) recording capability of the Sony Handycam series of camcorders. This term has since become synonymous with meaning any night vision / total darkness video camera or recording device regardless of the manufacturer. The night shot feature uses a built-in IR (infrared) illumination source. An external IR illuminator can often be attached for additional viewing range.

NIGHT TERROR: The sudden overwhelming of a person during a nightmare or unexplained nocturnal occurrence.

O

OBSESSION: The process by which a demon gains its initial access to a targeted human. The subject literally becomes obsessed with the demon.

OLD HAG SYNDROME: A nighttime experience where one wakes to a heavy force on the chest and is unable to move. Folklore tells of an old woman who sits on you and steals your breath while you sleep.

ORB: Orbs appear to be a form of energy of an unknown origin. An orb can take different shapes. They can also be seen by the naked eye, but most of the time you only get orb sightings in photographs, and on video tape (VHS). They seem to defy gravity and change directions quickly. They seem to also twinkle. The presence of people makes them react. They appear both indoors and outdoors. False orbs tend to be transparent and pale white, or blue. Real genuine orbs tend to appear dense or brighter on film. To increase the probability of you getting a photograph of a genuine orb, it is good to take the photograph at the same time as other unusual phenomenon are experienced, such as sharp changes in temperature, and increases in electromagnetic energy. In a genuine orb there is a nucleus. It has concentric circles or bands within. It can be active in visible realm, but more active in infrared. They appear abundantly in supposed haunted locations. Drops of rain, specks of dust, insects, reflections, as well as many other things can be mistaken for orbs.

OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE: Leaving one’s body during an unexplained event, most times during a near death experience.

P

PARANORMAL: A term used to describe unusual activity that involves ghosts, apparitions, spirits, hauntings, poltergeists, etc. These events are considered above the normal or everyday experiences and that cannot be readily explained by known conventional reasons and / or commonly accepted science. Not to be confused with Supernatural that implies a deity explanation.

PARAPSYCHOLOGY: The study of phenomena, real or supposed, that appear to be inexplicable to presently accepted scientific theories.

PENDULUM: A crystal or rock suspended from a chain; used for divination or spirit communication.

PHENOMENON: A term used to collectively categorize an event or occurrence that cannot be explained by science or the natural world.

PHYSICAL MEDIUMSHIP: A form of mediumship in which the spirit communicates using both the physical energies and consciousness of the medium.

PLANCHETTE: A pointing device used in conjunction with a channeling board.

POLTERGEIST: Term is German for “noisy ghost”. It can be dependent on a certain individual or group of individuals. They usual make the biggest impact on physical objects. They tend to be temporary. In some instances a poltergeist can appear as the psychic extension of a person, usually most common in adolescent females. Tend to be mischievous and like to play pranks. More recently developed theories move away from ghost activity to the realm of spontaneous and unconscious (unintended) telekinesis.

POSSESSION: The result of a demonic attack where a demon may take complete control of its victim for an unknown purpose.

PRECURSOR NOISE: Any noise or signal recorded during an EVP signaling the beginning of a communication.

PROGRESSION HYPNOTHERAPY: The act of visiting past lives through the use of hypnosis.

“PSI”: A term used to describe psychic ability or power.

PSYCHIC: A person who uses feelings or abilities to engage nonphysical forces.

PSYCHOKINESIS: The ability to move objects using only one’s mind.

Q

R

RESIDUAL HAUNTING: Non conscious and unintelligent (no thought or purposely actions), usually appear as person but can sometimes be a group of people, and animal or any non living thing. An example is the famous “Flying Dutchman” legend. There are no interactions with observers. They stay in same location replaying the same event over and over usually on some rhythmic cycle or pattern (though what the pattern is can be hard to determine) sometimes causing electrical environment interference to occur. They are often compared to a video recording that automatically plays itself over and over.

S

SHADOWS: (Shadow Beings, Shadow Entities) Shadows refer to the possible paranormal apparition which appears as a dark human-form manifestation. We say “possible” paranormal apparition since the true nature of this type of paranormal event is still unknown and the subject of much research.

SIXTH SENSE: A term used to describe psychic ability or “psi”.

SPIRIT: Any entity who is not part of the known natural world.

SPIRIT WORLD: The ambiguous place spirits go after death. This term does not imply any religious idea but rather a general dimension or place.

SPIRITUAL GUIDE: A spirit that watches over a living person and offers wisdom or guidance. Some may refer to one as a guardian angel.

SUPERNATURAL: Anything beyond the accepted definitions of the natural world. Events or happenings generally attributed to the will of a deity. Usually includes the concept of angels, demons / devils, and other God-like creatures.

T

TABLE TIPPING: One of the original forms of Spiritualist ghost communication where the responses of the spirit are related through the movements of a table or similar device.

TELEKINESIS: (telekinetic power) The ability to manipulate physical objects using the body’s static electrical charges. Chi is the Asian term for telekinesis. Psychic extension of the person transported through the electrical field surrounding the individual, more commonly known as a persons’ ability to move object with just their mind and thoughts.

TELEPATHY: Communication using the mind as opposed to other senses.

TIME SLIP: A displacement where the witness experiences a different time, usually while in the same place.

TOUCHED: The act of experiencing physical contact from a ghost, spirit or other paranormal entity. Can be as simple as a tug in your shirt or pressure on a part of your body to scratches, burns or being pushed / shoved. However, serious physical injury is very rare.

TRANCE MEDIUMSHIP: A form of mediumship in which the medium shares their energy with a spirit through the use of trance.

U

ULTRAVIOLET (UV): Ultraviolet light is light from the upper end (long wave length / low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum. As with Infrared light, UV light is normally not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special viewing or photography equipment. Some paranormal investigators have experimented with using UV light to take video of ghosts and other paranormal entities. The results have been indeterminate. Other paranormal investigators have claimed UV light is an effective barrier to block demonic entities.

URBAN LEGEND: Any story told as having happened to a friend of a friend. Many reported hauntings are recycled urban legends.

V

VORTEX (vortices, vortexes): A concentrated yet brief area of high electromagnetic energy often found in photographs taken at paranormally active locations. The often appear as sold (opaque) white or silver tubes, rods, or elongated ovals. They can also appear to be braided like a rope or chain (care has to be taken to ensure it is not a rope, chain, camera strap etc). A vortex is not an entity. However, some paranormal researchers believe a vortex is a momentary doorway or portal to another realm that allows entities and other paranormal phenomena to come into our world. Some researchers also believe vortexes are linked to the Earth’s own Electromagnetic Field which at least in part helps determine when these portals open/close. It is also believed that some locations are more prone to having active vortices due to the alignment of the Earth’s magnetic field and local geological structure.

W

WARP: There are two possible meanings:

1. Areas where conventional laws of physics can break down, linear time may not always apply. They can be locations infested with entities, imprints, and barrage of other paranormal activities. They may be unpredictable areas that can twist perceptions beyond the understanding of logic.

and / or

2. Areas of paranormal activity so intense that time itself changes. Time may speed up, slow down (Lost Time) or briefly stop altogether. The area effected is very small and of short duration.

WHITE NOISE: White noise is the random non-descript static sound produced by various electronic devices. The sound covers and combines all wavelengths and frequencies. In this way it is like the color white, a combination of all colors. Hence the name white noise – the combination of all sounds. Examples of common white noise sources are the radio or television static when set to an empty channel, the hum of an electric fan motor and the babbling sound of a fast moving stream or brook.

WHOLE REAL: When you are able to document an experience both objectively and subjectively. There are three different types of whole real:

Type I: When the subjective and the objective appear at the same time.

Type II: When the subjective and the objective appear at different times.

Type III: A combination of types I and II when the subjective and objective match but additional information is documented on either side.

X

XENOGLOSSY: The ability to write or speak in a language not known.

Y

Z

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