Glossary of Terms

Afterlife - Life after our physical bodies die. Common other names for the afterlife are the great beyond, heaven, and hell. Every culture in the world has their own beliefs and ideas of the what the afterlife consists of.

Agent- The ghost or spirit seen by someone. Also used to describe the cause of the haunting.  For example, in the case of a poltergeist, popular beliefs are that a child at the age of puberty usually is the cause of the disturbances through some form of telekinetic projection. In a case like this, the child is the agent.

All Saints Day-November 1, is the day the Catholic church honors it's saints. The day is said to be special for the spirit world and paranormal activity as well.

All Souls Day-November 2 is the day in which the Catholic church honors and remembers the dead. The day is believed by some to be even more charged and have more psychic potential than Halloween.  A great number of paranormal events have taken place on this day.

Amorphous- Having no definite form or shape, spirits and ghosts often appears in mist-like forms or shapes.

Amulet-Any item that is believed to bring good luck, protection and/or the ability to ward off evil spirits. These can be almost anything, some of the common items that people use are religious objects, jewels, items with personal meaning, weapons (knives,etc.), and a number of other things.

Ancestral Spirit-An ancient spirit that follows families or certain groups of families to where ever they move. These spirits are said to watch and protect over the families, and often can give forewarnings of tragedies and deaths.  Throughout history historic and royal families have claimed to have such connections.

Angel-A supernatural being that is believed to exist on a realm between God and mortal man. An angel serves many proposes and meanings, one of the many duties is to be guardians over man kind.

ApparitionThe phenomenon where the ghost takes on a physical form that can be seen. These often appear to be transparent, normally faint and disfigured as in being incomplete.There appearance is normally for very short period of time. Apparitions of animals, humans, and even inanimate objects have been seen.

Apport-The arrival of object during a seance or a haunting, these can be animate or inanimate.

Asport-The disappearance of objects that reappear elsewhere or not at all. (Dematerialization)

Astral Projection-When the spirit travels outside the body to either the astral plane or another location on this plane.  This is also referred to as an Out Of Body experience (OBE/OOBE) or remote viewing.

Aura-The emanation of energy that surrounds all living things.  It is believed that our physical health and our emotional state is reflected in our auras. For example, if someone is ill, happy, or sad it will be reflected in their aura.  Those with psychic abilities are able to see and interpret this energy.  Two Russian scientists by the names of Semyon and Valentina developed the Kirlian Photography, through the use of this photography one's aura can be photographed.  Some believe that the color of orbs is similar to that of one's aura.

Automatic Writing-Phenomena by which people write without conscious thought. Believed by many that spirits take control of the living person and are able to communicate through them by writing.

Automatism-The theory in which the subconscious communicates with the conscious by means of a vehicle such as a Ouija Board, automatic writing or pendulum swinging.

Autonographist-A professional in automatic writing.
Backwards Halloween-The reversal of Halloween's date of October 31 is October 13. Reversing numbers is a popular with occults. Backwards Halloween is relatively a modern creation. There is no known evidence that his date has any more potential for paranormal activity than any other day, unless it falls on Friday the 13th.
anish(ment)-The expulsion of a ghost, spirit, demon, or other entity/entities thought to be possessing or haunting a human being or location. The ritual, which may be conducted by anyone but should ONLY be undertaken by a professional, is usually secular in nature, but may call upon some Higher Power to cast out the evil force(s).

Banshee-A death omen in Irish folklore that manifests to herald an upcoming death. Often heard singing and wailing mournfully.

Battlefield Ghosts-These are places with great violence, trauma and intense emotion are typically subject to hauntings.  There are no places more violent than battlefields, and it is rare to hear of a battlefield that isn't haunted.  Most battlefield hauntings are residual hauntings where fragments of the battle are replayed over and over again.  Other hauntings are from spirits who have not crossed over, most likely because they feel they can't due to the nature of their death.  Some believe retrocognition is also an element in battlefield hauntings.

Benign Spirit-A spirit that is not harmful or evil to man.  Spirit guides and angles fall into this category, also the spirits of loved ones that have come back to communicate something to us.  Elementals are considered benign spirits.

Bilocation-When a person or an object is seen in two locations at the same time.

Calling Ghosts-These are ghosts that call out the name of the living in order to get their attention and lure them to their death.

Caul-A thin membrane of amniotic fluid that remains covering the head of a newborn at birth. Those born with a caul are said to be blessed with luck, protection and supernatural powers. These individuals are thought to be able to see and speak with ghosts and spirits.
Chalcedony-A type of translucent quartz, usually a smoky blue in color, that was used by the ancient Egyptians to drive away ghosts, night visions and sadness.
Channeling-A popular tool of mediums and psychics for communication with the dead. The medium will summon ghosts or spirits and allow the entity to poses that person's body to communicate through.  The entity can either poses the medium or communicate directly through them.

Circumambulation-Ceremonially surrounding a person or an object for the purpose of protection.

Clairalience-The psychic ability to receive a spirit’s message through smell.

Clairambience-The psychic ability to receive a spirit’s message through taste.

Clairaudient-The psychic ability to hears voices and sounds that are inaudible to the normal human ear.

Clairsentient-The psychic ability to feel things that are not normally felt by most people.

Clairvoyance-The ability to see objects, events, places and people not visible through normal sight. Some individuals are gifted with clairvoyance throughout their lives, while others may experience only one clairvoyant event in their life. Clairvoyance is a type of ESP (ExtraSensory Perception).

Collective Apparition-The sighting of the same apparition by more than one individual. This type of spirit sighting is extremely rare.

Collective Unconscious-The collective memory of all of humanity's past, held in an individual's unconscious mind.

Cold Spot-An area where the temperature is lower than the surrounding environment.  Cold spots are believed to be created when a ghost is presence within that area.

Confabulation-A term used to describe when real-life experiences are mixed with imagined ones.

Control-A control lives in the spirit world and is manifested by a medium, usually in a séance, to act on the medium's behalf as guide among the spirits. A control may appear as a disembodied voice, speaking through the medium's own voice, write with the medium's hand, be materialized visually either partially or full-form, or take full possession of the medium's body.

Crisis Apparition-A specific type of out-of-body experience (OBE) in which the agent projects his or her astral body at a time of crisis or death to a particular percipient, usually a loved one.

Cross-Correspondences-Interrelated bits of information received from the spirit world from different mediums at different times and locations. The communications must be joined together to form a complete message from the spirit(s).

Crossroads-The meeting and parting of ways has always been considered magical.  In addition, crossroads are said to be haunted by various entities who lead confused travelers astray.  It is also said that on All Hollow's Eve (Halloween), spirits of the dead appear at a crossroad.

Deep Trace Medium-A psychic who allows a spirit to enter her/his body so that the spirit can communicate through them.

Demon-Evil spirits, the minions of Satan.

Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP)-A spirit voice, spoken directly to sitters at a séance. The sound usually seems to come from a point near the medium, through a spirit horn or trumpet, but not from the mouth of the medium.

Direct Writing-A spectral phenomenon, most often seen in a séance, in which spirit handwriting appears directly on a previously unmarked surface.

Discarnate-A spirit that exists without a physical body.

Discernment-The ability to feel or perceive something with the use the mind and the senses.

Disembodied-A spirit that is functioning without a body.

Disembodied Voice-A voice that is heard that comes from no physical body, also known as EVP.

Divination-The obtaining of future events and/or the unknown by the use of outside forces, these are usually spiritual in nature.

Doppelganger-A German word that mean double walker. It is the shadow every human has; however, there is some intelligence given to it. It may only be seen by its owner, although it is reported that pets can often see one's doppelganger. The doppelganger is there for one's support and sympathy but will sometimes give advice, thoughts and ideas by whispering them in their owner's ear. While rare, doppelgangers will occasionally decide to make themselves seen by others and they do so by manifesting as a double of their owner. They then go about playing tricks that can sometimes be quite mean, causing great distress for the owner's family and friends. If the owner sees their doppelganger in this complete form, it is a sign of bad luck and great misfortune, and some believe it means the owner will soon die. Other beliefs are that the doppelganger is one's astral body, one's soul or an apparition of a living person.

Drop-in Communicator-A spirit or entity that makes its presence known at a séance. Its identity is usually unknown to the medium and the sitters.

Dybbuk-The restless soul of a deceased human being that enters the body and takes possession of a still-living person. Dybbuk is found in Jewish legends.

Ectoplasm-A solid or vaporous substance, lifelike and moldable, that supposedly exudes from the body of a medium (usually from one of the facial orifices) to form seemingly corporeal limbs, faces, or entire bodies. Ectoplasm is a usually dense but liquidy, milky-white substance with the scent of ozone. It can also be the residue left behind by ghosts or other paranormal phenomena. Many experts believe that spirits use ectoplasm to materialize.

Ectoplasmic Mist-A term used to describe the appearance ectoplasm gives when photographed. Ectoplasmic mist is rarely captured and may be easily confused in photos with cigarette smoke, fog and vapor.

Electromagnetic Field (EMF)-A field progated by a combination of electric and magnetic energy that radiates from radio and light waves to gamma and cosmic rays.  It is believed that a spirit can manipulate these fields or create their own.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)- The use of audio equipment to capture voices and sounds of the dead where there are no physical presences in the area where the recordings are being taken.

Elemental-Many societies believe in the existence of elemental spirits, those spirits that have never inhabited human form but consist of the base human emotions, such as love, anger, fear, etc. Elemental spirits are usually entrusted with the care and guarding of sacred areas and lands.

Elements-Elements are benign, almost angelic spirits who watch over the four elements, air is sylphs, earth is gnomes, fire is salamanders, and water is nymphs. These spirits are referred to as the spirits of the earth and are often malicious or angry.  The lesser spirits of nature are referred to as undines.

EMF Detector-A device that measures and detects changes in the electromagnetic field. A common device used by ghost hunters. A reading between 3-7 milligauss is a good sign of paranormal activity, but higher readings have been recorded by spirits have been present.  A complete scan of the area should be done first to detect natural sources.  The EMF detector is also known as a Gauss Meter or a magnetometer.

Evocation-The summoning of demons or spirits by usage of ritual, gesture or verse of incantation.

Exorcism-The explusion of ghosts, demons, spirits or other entities that are believed to be disturbing or possessing a person or a place that people frequent.  The ritual, conducted by an exorcist, is usually religious in nature, and calls upon some Higher Power to cast out the evil force(s). Exorcism can range from a friendly conversation to rituals demanding the entity to leave.

Extra-A face, shape, or object that appears in a photograph supernaturally and can not be explained by a natural source, faulty film, developing errors or fraud.

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)-The ability to receive information about past, present or future events that can not be obtained through the normal senses. These include telepathy, clairvoyance and precognition.  It is believed that everyone has some level of ESP ability, but some individuals possess a heightened ability.

Fetch-In English and Irish folklore, a term that is used to refer to a person's double, an apparition of a living person.

Gauss Meter-A device that is used to measure the electromagnetic field, also referred to as EMF detectors or magnetometers.

Ghost-A ghost is believed to be the soul or the life force of a person. When someone dies, this energy is released from physical body and is believed to do one of two things; either it  goes onto a higher spiritual place or plane (heaven), or it stays behind and lingers on for an unspecified time. Why it stays behind, no one knows for sure. Many of the famous "psychics" differ on their explanations. Some of the more popular theories are as follows; unfinished business, a strong emotional ties to someone or something, saying goodbye, wrongful death or perhaps to pass on a warning. Animals and even inanimate objects, such as builds, cars, ships trains, etc. have been reported as ghosts.

Ghostbuster-A person who claims to be able to remove a ghost, poltergeist, spirit, entity, or spectral activity from a location that is said to be haunted.
Ghost Hunt-A ghost hunt is an informal attempt to record data (video, photos, audio , temperatures), notes, interviews and other evidence to prove/disprove the paranormal phenomenon in a location that is known to have had paranormal activity or is suspected to haveparanormall activity. Time commitments and number of people present vary. While more loosely structured than an investigation, the same investigative protocol are followed.
Ghost Hunter-A person who searched for and attempts to gather evidence of ghosts, spirits, poltergeists, entities, and paranormal phenomenon.
Ghost Investigation-An investigation is a carefully controlled research project, set up to gather data (video, photos, audio , temperatures), notes, interviews and other evidence to prove/disprove the paranormal phenomenon in a location that is known to have had paranormal activity or is suspected to have paranormal activity.  This requires a professional approach and dedication to detail. It will require a minimum of three to five hours to complete, mostly taking place at night and sometimes taking until the early morning hours. Occasionally, investigations require an overnight commitment. Team numbers are strictly limited and full investigative protocol are followed.
Ghost Lights (Ignis Fatuus)-Meaning "Foolish Fire," ghost lights are a variety of ghost or spectral lights. Closely resembling orbs, but are much larger and brighter in appearance.  These are mostly seen in remote places and have been seen changing colors, directions and sometimes heard making a buzzing sound. When these lights are confronted by approaching people, lights or noises they will quickly disappear. These lights will "haunt" a particular location for anywhere from days to years.  According to some folkloric traditions, the lights are souls of the dead; in other legends, they are imp-like spirits.
Ghost Seers-The clairvoyant power to see ghosts and things that other people cannot see.
Ghost Ship-The appearance of a ship that has been know to have wrecked or disappeared years or centuries before to fore warn of a pending disaster.  This term has also been used to to refer to ships that have been found to be empty where the crew and passages had mysterious disappeared,but the ship shows no signs of distress.

Ghost Sickness-An illness or death that is believed to be caused by a ghost or spirit.

Globule (0rb)-Spirits and ghosts are often photographed as globule, also known as an orb.  These are tiny spheres of electromagnetic energy. These are not always perfect circles, and they come in a large variety of colors.

Gremlin-A small, pesky spirit, generally friendly in nature, given to mischief and pranks involving electrical and mechanical equipment. Gremlins appear to be particularly fond of aircraft, and they were first acknowledged by the British Royal Air Force in World War I after pilots on dangerous missions reported seeing misty, goblin like spirits in their aircraft.

Grey Ladies-The ghosts of women who died a violently for the sake of love or pined away from loss of love. The name grey lady comes from the frequent appearance of these ladies who are dressed in grey.

Guardian Spirit-A individual's protective spirit, often thought as an angel.

Hallucination-A distorted or false perception of an object or event with a firm belief in it's reality.
Haunt-A ghost or spirit that continually returns to the same location is said to haunt it. Ghosts and spirits generally haunt places, not people. However it is not uncommon for a spirit to attach itself to a particular individual or family due to a familiar connection.
Haunted-A person, place or an object to which a spirit is attached.  The spirits can be human or inhuman in nature.

Haunting-A phenomena where the spirit or the ghost of a deceased person or animal that attaches itself to a certain location, object, or person and continues to remain or revisit them causing paranormal activities such as apparitions, strange sounds, inducing smells, electrical disturbances, etc.  A haunting is often repeated and experience by those who enter the area or come in contact with the person or object that is the object of the haunting for days or years.

Ignis Fatuus (Ghost Lights) -Meaning "Foolish Fire," ignis fatuus are a variety of ghost or spectral lights. Closely resembling orbs, but are much larger and brighter in appearance.  These are mostly seen in remote places and have been seen changing colors, directions and sometimes heard making a buzzing sound. When these lights are confronted by approaching people, lights or noises they will quickly disappear. These lights will "haunt" a particular location for anywhere from days to years.  According to some folkloric traditions, the lights are souls of the dead; in other legends, they are imp-like spirits.

Intelligent Haunting-Paranormal activity that takes place around a person or location that is caused by an intelligent or conscious spirit.  Best described as the spirit of an individual who has passed away but not crossed over.  The spirit interacts with people trying to make its presence known through repeated sights, sounds, smells, and the manipulation of objects.

Levitation-The raising of a person or object into the air without any visible means. Levitation is a popular event during hauntings, meditative trances, seances and possessions.  Levitation is a major part of Poltergeist activity with object being moved and thrown around.

Light Rod-A light rod appears as a bar or stick like shape. When a light rod sometimes takes a bend, it is then called a swirling light rod.

Light Trance Medium-A person whom spirits can communicate through.  In contrast to deep trance mediums, the spirits wishing to communicate through the medium does not possess them.

Malevolent-A malevolent spirit is one that wishes to do harm.

Malicious-A spirit that is spiteful and/or evil. These spirits will destroy or damage things of a personal or financial value for the sake of hurting others.

Manifestation-The appearance or taking of form of an entity.  This can also mean the outbreak of paranormal activity.

Materialization-The formation of a visible and/or the physical form of a spirit.  These are usually brief in appearance and often is just a face, hand and are not a full formation of a spirit.

Medium- A person that acts as a bridge between the living and the dead..  They receive and relay information through a "sixth sense" for the spirit whom is communicating through them.. The common name used today for mediums is psychic. There are two types of mediums: light and deep trance.

Metaphysics-The term metaphysics is derived from the Latin word "meta" which means "beyond", and the word physics which means the study of psychical research.  Essentially the word metaphysics literally means the study of that which is beyond the laws of physics.

Necromancer-A person who holds abilities or knowledge to draw power and skills from the dead along with summoning and controlling ghosts, spirits, demons, zombies, etc.  It is believed that through this ancient practice, the one who practices necromancy can use the summoned spirit to find hidden treasures, cast spells on others, learn about the future and even hurt other living beings.

Orb-A spherical shaped, translucent mass of energy resembling a ball or globe of light. This is the most photographed and most basic form of a spirit. These are balls of energy have been recorded on film, digital cameras, infrared monitors, and videotape. Orbs usually appear in most haunted places. Orbs can also be caused by moisture (rain, snow, fog), bugs, insects, and dust.

Ouija Board-A game board that is used to communicate with spirits. The players ask questions and the pointer will answer yes, no or will spell the answers out. 

Outward Manifestation-Any type of paranormal activity.  These many include, but not limited to disembodied voices, odors, movement of objects, manipulation of temperatures, electrical disturbances, etc.

Paranormal-Anything that does not take place in the natural order or in a normal way of things that take place in the realm of the world. This term is used to refer to unexplainable events. These would included but are not limited to ghosts, ESP, telepathy, UFO's, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster.

Parapyschologist-Someone who studies parapsychology.

Parapsychology-Parapsychology is the scientific and scholarly study of certain unusual events associated with human experience, such as ghosts, UFOS, ESP, Bigfoot, etc. It is generally defined as the scientific study of paranormal phenomena. Parapsychology is not a recognized science  by many within the scientific communityThe word parapsychology is derived from the Latin word "para", which means "beyond", parapsychology literally means beyond psychology.

Phantom-An apparition or a specter.  Existing only as an energy form.

Phantomania-Paralysis that occurs when someone is under attack from supernatural or preternatural forces, also known as psychic paralysis.

Planchette-The triangular instrument used as a pointer to answer questions on a Ouija board.

Poltergeist-A German words that means "noisy or mischievous ghost."  A destructive spirit that has the ability to move objects by solidifying the ambient air which results in the movement and/or teleportation of objects. This phenomena is also associated with noises, rapping, levitating and throwing of objects, as well as other physical manifestations. These events usually come on suddenly and end just as fast. They can last for days, months or a few years. The longer lasting ones seem to occur for a few days each year. Many of these cases have been attributed to a specific person in the household. In most cases, this specific person, known as an agent, is a young child entering the puberty stage of life. It is believed that the agent causes an involuntary type of involuntary type of psychokinesis, causing the disturbances.

Possession-There are several different types of possession. Mediums will allow the a spirit to enter their body for the purpose of communication.  During partial possession, the host (person)remains in the body. In full or perfect possession, the spirit of the host is displaced from the physical body. In cases of demonic possession, the entity enters the body without permission and will not leave on it's own will. An exorcism is necessary to expel the possessing entity.

Precognition-Knowledge of pending future events.

Premonition-Feeling or warning about future events. This can be vague or it can be very specific.

Preternatural-Diverging from or exceeding the common order of nature, but are not outside the natural order as distinguished from the supernatural.

Psychic-A person with the ability to see, hear and feel by the use of senses other than the natural senses, also referred to as a "sixth sense."  Also a classification of unusual happenings.

Psychic Attack-An attack that can either be physical or mental by a spirit. The spirit may be visible or invisible during the attack. There is evidence that people are also capable of psychically attacking others.

Spirit-Spirits are believed to exist in an invisible realm that can only be seen under certain circumstances or by people with special abilities. Unlike ghosts, the term "spirit" is used for demons, angels, fairies, elves and even places. Mountains, woods, lakes, trees and sacred sites are all said to possess a spirit...and in many ancient and indian cultures, this is a living spirit

Vortex-A vortex as a funnel shaped image similar to the Swirling Light Rod. The vast majority of vortexes that are photographed, are nothing more than a camera strap in front of the lens.