PARANORMAL TERMINOLOGYReturn to Home Page
- Healing that results from the sending of
healing thoughts, visualization,
prayers, or energy towards some distant
person or persons.
ABSENT HEALING - Healing that results from the sending of healing thoughts, visualization, prayers, or energy towards some distant person or persons.?>
- One of the
oldest forms of
by the priests of Babylonia, aeromancy is
a method of divination by
observing atmospheric - air or sky - phenomena,
such as wind currents, cloud
shapes and formations, comets and falling
ALCHEMY - The
term alchemy, commonly believed to
refer to attempts to change base metals
into gold, covers a wide range of
topics - from the discovery of a single
cure for all diseases to the quest
for immortality. Broadly, one
could describe alchemy as the art
of converting that which is base, both
in the material and the spiritual
world, into something more
- A physical object
materialize and appear at
will and can include coins, watches, jewelry,
and even food. They are often
connected to spirits who interact
with the living as the spirits cause
items to appear and disappear in
an effort to make themselves
ASTRAL PROJECTION - The intentional act of having the spirit leave the body, whereas an out-of-body experience will happen involuntarily. (See out of body experience).
AURA - An invisible emanation of light that seems to surround a person or thing which is often thought to reflect a person’s personality.
AUTOMATIC WRITING - This method of obtaining information from disembodied spirits is used by mediums in which the spirit takes control over the medium causing them to translate unconscious information on paper without being aware of the contents.
BALL LIGHTNING - A rare form of lightning in the shape of a glowing red ball that can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Typically associated with Thunderstorms, these spheres are thought to consist of ionized gas.
BANISHING - Formal, ceremonial procedure effected to cast an invisible presence or influence out of an area.
CHANNEL - A channel is someone who allows his or her body to be controlled by another entity so the entity can communicate with other people. The entity might be a dead person, but could be an alien or other intelligence.
CLAIRAUDIENT - The ability to receive paranormal information through auditory impressions, voices and whispers.
CLAIRISENTIENT - The
ability to psychically feel
emotions of subjects or
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.
COLLECTIVE APPARITION - A rare type of sighting in which more than one person sees the same apparition or phenomena.
CONTINUANCE - Commonly referred to as life-after-death, survival of the psyche post-cessation of the biological organism that had generated it.
CONTROL – A spirit who acts as a medium’s connection with the next world. Also referred to as a “spirit guide”.
CRISIS APPARITION - An apparition that is seen when a person is seriously ill, seriously injured or at the point of death.
DEJA VU - An impression or dull familiarity of having seen or experienced something before.
DEMATERIALIZATION – The sudden disappearance of a person or spirit in full view of witnesses.
DEMON - An inferior deity often spoken of in religious text as pure evil.
DEMONOLOGIST - A person, usually a member of the clergy, who studies and catalogs demons.
DIGITAL AUDIO - This specifically refers to the small digital sound-recorders we set up, or to the media on which we record.
DOPPELGANGER - An exact spirit double or mirror image of a person which is considered to be very negative.
DOWSING ROD - A Y-shaped rod or two L-shaped rods; used in searches for underground water, discovering the location of unmarked graves, determining the sex of unborn children, and for locating ghosts.
EARTHBOUND - A term referring to a ghost or spirit that was unable to cross over to the other side at the time of death and is therefore stuck on earth.
ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD (EMF) – A force given off by electric charges, found in anything that uses electricity. The higher the spikes in the electromagnetic field are, the more potential there is for paranormal activity.
ENTITY - A disembodied consciousness commonly referred to as a ghost, spirit or (if of an apparently malicious or resentful nature) demon.
ECTOPLASM – (1) An immaterial or ethereal substance associated with spirit manifestations. (2) A filmy, quasi-solid substance which supposedly issues from the bodies of mediums (from the mouth, nostrils, eyes, ears, navel or nipples) during trance states. In photographs, this phenomenon seems to resemble soaked muslin fabric.
ELEMENTALS - Spiritualists commonly refer to this term to describe mean or angry spirits sometimes also called “Earth Spirits”.
EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION (ESP) - Also known as psi powers, runs the gamut of paranormal abilities from mind reading to teleportation.
EVP / ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENONEMA - Disembodied "voices" and sounds, alleged to be from the dead and imprinted on audio recording devices.
EXORCISM - Ceremonial expulsion of invading spiritual/demonic entities from a person or dwelling.
EXTRA - A shape or a face that is said to have been supernaturally appeared on film and that cannot be explained away as fraud, faulty film, or developing flaws.
FALSE AWAKENING - The event in which a person believes they are awake but are actually dreaming.
GHOST - Image of a person witnessed after his/her death, reflecting the appearance of the living, physical body yet less substantial. These forms often seem to exist in a dreamlike state of semi-awareness, and are sometimes cognizant of their human observers.
GHOST LIGHTS - Strange balls of light that appear in specific locations, often for an extended period of time but which have no explanation. They are thought to be of natural origin, possibly pertaining to earthquakes, fault lines, railroad tracks or water sources, but remain a mystery.
GHOUL - Demonic or parasitic entity that feeds upon human remains.
HAUNTING - Manifestation of a ghostly presence, attached to a specific locale.
IGNIS FATUUS - A phosphorescent or spectral light that that is alleged to be an indication of death. This phenomenon is thought to be caused by spontaneous combustion of gases emitted by rotting organic matter.
ILLUSION - A delusional perception between what is perceived and what is reality.
INTELLIGENT HAUNTING - A haunting that knows you are there and interacts with you. It tries to get you to help it, or it gets a kick out of scaring you.
INTUITION - Non-paranormal knowledge that is gained through a perceptive insight.
LEVITATION - To lift or raise a physical object in apparent defiance of gravity.
MATERIALIZATION – The sudden appearance of a person, object, or spirit in front of witnesses.
MATRIXING - Natural tendency for the human mind to interpret sensory input (that which is perceived visually, audibly or tactilely) as something familiar or more easily understood and accepted, and in effect mentally "filling in the blanks."
MEDIUM - A person who can sense the emotions of persons either alive or dead and is sensitive to the electrical fields around personalities. A medium is someone who communicates with the dead and communicates the information received to the living.
MIST - A Photographed anomaly that appears as a blanket of light. There is no substantial proof that these are related to paranormal phenomenon.
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE (NDE) - An experience that is reported by people who clinically die, or come close to actual death and are revived. These events often include encounters with spirit guides, seeing dead relatives or friends, life review, out-of-body Experiences (OBE), or a moment of decision where they are able to decide or are told to turn back.
OLD HAG SYNDROME - A nocturnal phenomena that involves a feeling of immobilization, suffocation, odd smells and feelings and is sometimes accompanied my immense fear (See Sleep Paralysis).
ORB - A photographed anomaly that theoretically represents the “spirit” of a deceased person. It will appear as a ball of light on film though is some cases; they are not seen at the time of the photo. Since there are many reasonable circumstances (dust, snow, rain, insects, reflection, lens flare, etc.) orbs still remain a highly controversial subject.
PARANORMAL - Referring to something that is beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.
PARANORMAL INVESTIGATOR - A paranormal investigator is someone who looks into reported events of paranormal activity, such as ghosts and haunting. Investigators may use scientific techniques such as measuring the intensity of electromagnetic fields, and/or the employment of psychics. Traditionally, investigators do field work while researchers work with existing information, such as newspapers.
PARAPSYCHOLOGY - The study of extraordinary abilities of the mind. These can be divided into three areas: (1) Non-physical perception, such as ESP. (2) The ability to mentally influence objects, such as through telekinesis. (3) The survival of the personality after the death of the physical body. Parapsychologists may conduct experiments using the scientific method. Such experiments have been performed at universities, and may be officially sanctioned. Some parapsychologists may also engage in field research, such as visiting the site of alleged poltergeist activity or testing mediums on location. Science fiction and fantasy works have often incorporated parapsychological elements, and have sometimes been based on the methods of parapsychology.
PERCIPIENT - A person who sees (i.e., perceives) an apparition.
PHANTOM - Another name for “ghost” or “spirit”, although interestingly, many use the word “phantom” to ghosts that have been seen wearing cloaks or robes.
POLTERGEIST - (German for "noisy ghost") Activity typically involves objects flying across a room, lights flickering on and off, and so on. An entity is generally not seen. (See also RSPK).
PRECOGNITION - The paranormal ability to know something will happen before it does. A person with this ability may be referred to as a "precog." Someone who tells other people what they believe will happen in the future may be referred to as a "prophet."
PSYCHIC - An all-encompassing word that is used to describe a person who is allegedly sensitive beyond the normal means. Such a person may be able to see and hear things that are not available to most people.
PSYCHIC CLEANSING - A less ritualized form of exorcism, wherein a site is purified and malevolent influences banished through prayers, which are spoken as the petitioner moves through the area.
PSYCHOKINESIS - (PK) is the ability to move physical objects through an act of will.
PSYCHOMETRY - The ability to receive psychic impressions from an object by touching it.
RADIO VOICE PHENOMENA (RVP) - Receiving the voice of a deceased human being through a regular radio.
RECIPROCAL ARRARITION - An extremely rare type of spirit phenomenon in which both the agent and percipient are able to see and respond to each other.
REINCARNATION - The process of a person being reborn as another entity.
RESIDUAL HAUNTING - Psychic imprint of a scene that is repeatedly played out, and in which the witness of the phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly participants of these time-displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.
RETROCOGNITION – The paranormally derived knowledge of past events.
REVENANT - A person who returns as a spirit after death; a ghost.
RSPK / RECURRENT SPONTANEOUS PSYCHOKINESIS - A theory that explains poltergeist activity as the unintentional movement of objects by the subconscious of a person, usually someone under stress and typically an adolescent.
SÉANCE - A sitting that is held for the purpose of communication with the dead. At least one person in the circle is preferred to be a “medium” or psychic, with the power of contacting the spirits.
SILKY - A female ghost attired in a rustling silk garment (sometimes seen, other times just heard), who performs domestic chores for a household after the occupants have retired for the night.
SIMULCRA - This is a word used to describe the seeing of faces, figures and images in ordinary, everyday object such as rocks, foliage, etc.
SKEPTICAL - Inclined to disbelief; having doubt.
SMUDGE STICKS - Traditional Native American tools used for purification, healing, clearing, cleansing and spiritual ceremonies. Their smoke is believed to balance and clear "negative energies" from spaces, objects and organic beings, as well as their auras.
SPECTER or SPECTRE - Another term for ghost.
SPIRIT - A discarnate being, or ghost, that exists in an invisible realm.
SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY - A term used for both legitimate attempts to capture ghosts and paranormal energy on film and also for the work of fraudulent photographers during the Spiritualist era.
SPIRITUALISM - The belief system that the dead are able to communicate with the living, through an intermediary or medium.
SUBJECTIVE APPARITIONS - Hallucinations of apparitions or other phenomena that are created by our own minds.
SUPERNATURAL - Of or relating to existence outside the natural world. As opposed to paranormal, the term “supernatural” often connotes divine or demonic intervention.
TALKING BOARDS - A piece of wood bearing the letters of the alphabet that is used as a tool to make contact with the spirit world. Sitters place their fingers lightly on the planchette (or pointer) by which the spirits can spell out messages on the board.
TELEMPATHY - The ability to directly feel what another entity is feeling, such as emotions or pain. A person who can do this is called an empath.
TELEPATHY - The mental communication of thoughts from one entity to another. A person who can use telepathy is a telepath.
THOUGHT FORM - An apparition produced solely by the power of the human mind.
VORTEX - (1) A gateway that opens from the spirit world, like a rip in our dimension, and lets entities from the other side enter our world. (2) An anomaly that appears as a funnel or rope-like image in photographs. These images are sometimes thought to represent ghosts, collections of orbs or gateways which travel to a wormhole in time-space. There has been no substantial scientific evidence to support any of these theories
WINDOW - A region with an unusually high number of paranormal/UFO reports over a significant period of time.
WRAITH - An apparition that is generally supposed to be an omen of death.
ZENER CARDS - A special set of five symbols (star, cross, square, circle, wavy lines) used in parapsychology experiments.