Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Terms
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Ghost Hunting And Paranormal Terms, terminology,
Glossary And Definitions

This is only a brief dictionary of popular ghost and paranormal related words and phrases.
Please feel free to contact me if you don't find a definition or if you want to add to this list.
Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Terms

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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.

An ABSM could be any of a variety of reported hairy bipeds from around the world. Although the term is derived from Abominable Snowman, it is considered a less sensational alternative. (Ivan T. Sanderson).

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

A living person who is the focus of poltergeist activity.

An agriglyph is a large design created in a field of vegetation by pressing down parts of the growth. The term is an alternative to Crop Circles. It was introduced to reflect the higher complexity of many such anomalies.

Visitors from other planets. We differentiate aliens from visitors that might live in parallel worlds, the Otherworld, or what's generally characterized as the afterlife.


Something that is out of place and unexplained. In paranormal studies, it refers to any phenomena that we cannot explain. Example: A lens flare in a photo is not an anomaly, but an orb that we cannot explain is an anomaly.

Anniversary Imprint:
An imprint that usually manifests around the same time each year. See Residual Haunting.

An object that is thought to bring good luck or have the power to protect from ghosts or spirits and ward off evil.

The appearance of a ghost or spirit, usually taking the form of a visual image of a deceased individual in either real life or on film. However there are apparitions based on each of the five senses. Usually visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory apparitions appear in conjunction with each other, but occasionally only one of the senses are involved. Very rarely is the sense of taste involved.

Examples include:

* Visual: The appearance of a person who was commonly associated with the area in life.
* Auditory: Sounds of walking, voices, doors opening, or battle are the most common types of auditory apparitions.
* Olfactory: Smells or odors, such as perfume or cigar smoke, commonly associated with the area or an individual or event.
* Tactile: Feeling a slight wind in a closed-off room, or a slight tug on a person's clothing with nobody in the immediate vicinity.

A physical object that can materialize and appear at will in the presence of a medium.

Ararat Anomaly:
The Ararat Anomaly is a large object (over 100 meters in length) photographed on Mount Ararat in Turkey. Some people believe it is Noah's Ark.

Arkeology is the search for the physical remains of Noah's Ark.

A physical object that a spirit teleports to another location or makes disappear.

Astral Body:
The body that a person occupies during an out-of-body experience.

Astral Plane:
A world that is believed to exist above our physical world.

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).

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.

Energy or life force surrounding all living individuals. The color of an aura can determine the mood or physical condition of an individual. Spirits can sometimes use a physical aura for energy, thereby depleting the person whose energy was taken.

Automatic Writing:
Expressing subconscious thoughts or influences by doodling.
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.

An unconscious or involuntary muscular movement caused by spirits.  (See automatic writing)

The visual hallucination or image of one's body looking back at themselves from a position outside the body.  (See out of body experience).


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.

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


A call is the response that is made by a subject during a card-guessing test or during any other type of ESP test.

Card Guessing:
Card guessing is used as an experimental test for ESP in which a subject tries to guess the identity of a set of cards.

Case Study:
An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.

In this modern day method of spirit communication, a spirit will pass information directly to a medium or channeler who will then relay the information on to the listener(s).

Asian term for a "life force" or biological energy that is inhaled and can be manipulated for specific purposes (also called ki).

or space clearing -- Ridding an area of lingering unpleasant energy. It does not "kill" a ghost. Space clearing may encourage ghosts to cross over, or at least leave the haunted location.

An auditory form of ESP paranormal information is received outside the range of normal perception through voices, whispers and auditory impressions.

A general term for clairvoyance and clairaudience.  Clairsentience typically occurs in the form of ESP through physical sensations or smells.

An acute insight or perceptiveness that enables you to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses in the form of mental imagery and intuition.  (See ESP)

Ridding a location of ghostly activity.

Closed Deck:
A set of cards used in a card guessing deck in which each card will appear a fixed number of times.  The statistical analysis obtained from a closed card deck differs from that of an open card deck.  (See Card Guessing).

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 Spots:
Self-contained patches of cool air strewn about haunted locations. They may be ghosts that cannot fully materialize.

This is a procedure in paranormal psychology that ensures that the experiment is conducted in a standard fashion so that the results will no be influenced by any extraneous factors.

Control Group:
A group of outside subjects whose performance or abilities are compared with the experimental subjects.

Collective Apparition:
When more than one person witnesses a ghost or spirit phenomenon, independently or simultaneously, it is classed as a collective apparition. Nearly ten percent of reported cases of apparitions fall into this category, and once fraud has been ruled out, they are more likely to be genuine sightings.

Crisis Apparition:
An apparition that is seen when a person is seriously ill, seriously injured or at the point of death.


This word is used to describe a spirit or specter meaning to deprive of or lose apparent physical substance or in simpler terms, without flesh.

Déjà vu:
An impression or dull familiarity of having seen or experienced something before.

An inferior deity often spoken of in religious text as pure evil. Historically, this term has included deceased individuals. However, since the early 18th century, it usually refers to an evil spirit, sometimes more powerful than man, but less than Deity. Today, we generally do not use this term to indicate a deceased human being. The female demon, very rarely mentioned, is a demoness.

Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP):
An auditory “spirit” voice that is spoken directly to the sitters at a séance. 

Dice Test:
An experimental test in which a subject attempts to influence the fall of dice.  This study is used for the investigation of psycho kinesis.


A ghost of the present that looks identical to a living person but behaves differently.
A ghost of the present that looks and behaves identically to a living person.
Interpreting the motions of rods, sticks, pendulums, and other such instruments to obtain information (also called divining).
Dream Communication:
Experience in which the departed individual (spirit) can manifest in the form of a dream in order to communicate with the living. Usually associated with the very recent death of the individual attempting to make contact in order to inform the dreamer of his or her death.


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.

Commonly understood to be a substance secreted by spirits and exuded from mediums communicating with the spirit world, ectoplasm is now widely associated with a cloudy vaporous mist that may take the form of a human body. It has been captured photographically, and is seen to hover above the ground as a swirl of gray or white matter. It may linger in one place or travel fast and is usually spotted outdoors.

Electro Magnetic Field, or Electro Magnetic Frequency. As the name suggests, it's a combination of electrical and magnetic fields. You'll find high EMF levels around power sources, fuse boxes, electrical outlets, computer monitors, microwave ovens, etc. Unexplained EMF fields often indicate something paranormal. EMF fields can be measured with various tools, including an EMF meter or a hiking compass.

Electromagnetic Energy:
A hybrid of electrical charges and magnetic fields that binds nature.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP):
Voices and sounds from beyond that are captured and recorded on magnetic tape or digital recording devices.

An inhabitant of one of the four elements (fire, earth, air, and water). Elementals exist somewhere between the realm of the human and spirit worlds. They are often associated with forces of nature rather than the souls of the deceased, but they are nevertheless powerful metaphysical entities which sometimes inhabit the bodies of the living and possess them. Another definition of elementals is spirits which can change into solid matter and back again at will.

EMF Detector:
An instrument for measuring the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field typically used by paranormal researchers to detect a ghost’s magnetic energy.

A conscious, interactive ghost, Any being, including people and ghosts.

Person or persons that a poltergeist or haunting tends to focus on. Paranormal phenomena usually increases when the epicenter is present.

Extrasensory perception. Most individuals have this ability, although in can be dormant their entire life, In many cases, a traumatic event may allow a percipient to actually communicate with the spirit of a dead individual.
Enteric Body:
A layer of the physical body, mimicking its design, but composed entirely of energy.

Evil Spirit:
A shape-shifting non-human spirit that usually appears after being summoned, either with a Ouija board or through satanic worship. It can appear as a monster or may disguise itself as a friendly spirit, but it is dangerous and seeks to harm and cause destruction.

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) refers to voices that appear on recording devices (such as tape recorders) with no apparent source. The voices are often not understandable or audible without changing the speed of the playback.

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP):
Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses.

Ridding a person or a location of evil spirits by using religious rites.
The banishment of an entity or entities i.e. spirits, ghosts and demons that is thought to possess or haunt a location or human being or animal. The ritual, which can be religious in nature, is conducted by an exorcist who will call upon a Higher Power to cast away any evil forces that may reside there.


False Awakening:
The event in which a person believes they are awake but are actually dreaming.

Usually, this means beings that live in the Otherworld or Underworld, parallel to our world and not far from it. Many people who readily accept the reality of ghosts don't believe in faeries.

Faustus, Doctor Johann:
(b. circa 1455, d. 1540) Scholar, physician and alchemist from Wittenberg, Germany, who was renown for his proficiency in treating victims of the plague contagion (to which the Doctor seemed strangely resistant), and the basis for the stories by Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Christopher Marlowe about a learned man who sold his soul to the devil through his infernal agent Mephistopheles in exchange for "four and twenty years" of knowledge, youth and power.

A spectral double of a living person.
See also: Doppelganger and Wraith

Aside from the modern sexual connotation, a fetish is a shamanistic tool in the form of a figurine, animal part or a pouch containing items with magical associations.

Floating Orb:
Spherical image, usually translucent white, though sometimes of a reddish or bluish hue, which inexplicably registers on photographic film and videotape, also known as "Globule."

Frank's Box:
A device used for contacting spirits through the use of radio frequency. These devices or so called Ghost box also known as Spirit box or Frank's box are used as an electronic medium for the purpose of direct communication with a spirit.


A recording of one or more persons or objects that had either a repetitious routine or a very intense emotional experience. This recording is not sentient, but rather simply something that plays over and over, gradually losing energy over time, This recording can be recharged under certain circumstances, such as the appearance of certain individuals. (see Epicenter)

Ghost Box:
A device used for contacting spirits through the use of radio frequency. These devices or so called Ghost box also known as Spirit box or Frank's box are used as an electronic medium for the purpose of direct communication with a spirit.

Ghost Hunter:
A person who investigates haunting to find explanations for possible paranormal phenomena involved. There are two types of ghost hunters. The first kind is the scientific hunter who uses scientific methods and equipment in order to make accurate calculations and observations about a haunting. The second type is the psychic or intuitive ghost hunter, who uses psychic impressions or intuition to learn about a haunted area.

Ghost Lights:
These have been sighted all over the world and in many cultures. They are mysterious lights, seen at a distance, usually appearing as blue or yellow spheres, which can appear to blink. Some reports liken them to a bobbing candle flame. This phenomenon is also know by its Latin name ignis fatuus, or "foolish flame," because anyone attempting to follow or catch one of these lights is thought to place himself or herself in mortal danger. Skeptics attribute it to swamp gas, magnetism, or electricity. Ghost lights have been reported for centuries and were once known as "will-'o-the-wisp," an omen of death representing the ghost of a sinner condemned to wander the earth forever.

A grotesque, flesh-eating demon that robs graves to satisfy its evil hunger for the recently buried. It has its origins in Arabic folklore and is best known today as the living dead, a reanimated corpse inhabited by evil spirits. Ghouls are rumored to live near graveyards and are nocturnal; some believe they are vampires that have degenerated into inarticulate and ravenous automatons, robbed of freewill, intelligent thought, or the ability to feel pain. They are commonly described as having long arms, sunken gray faces, bulging eyes, and sharp teeth and nails.

An experiment in which the subject does not believe in the ability for which they are being tested.

A Gray (or Grey) is an alien type that first became famous in the 1980s. Typically shorter than humans, hairless, with large black eyes


A ghost of the future that brings warning of impending events.

The perception of sights and sounds that are not actually present.

Hellhound / Black Shuck:
A spectral death omen in the form of a ghostly dog.

A technique that induces a sleep like state in which the subject acts only on external suggestion.

Any repeated appearance of phenomena commonly associated with ghosts, spirits, or poltergeists. Usually a combination of cold spots, apparitions, missing objects, and other forms of paranormal activity that tend to be witnessed by more than one person over an extended period of time.

A restaged or preplanned series of events to give the impression that something paranormal has been occurring in any given place. Usually made by people who wish to draw attention to themselves or to debunk or test ghost hunters and parapsychologists.

Hot Reading:
A devious or fraudulent reading in which the reader has been given prior knowledge of the sitter.

Hot Spot:
A site within a haunted location where the activity is prominent and/or energy fields are focused.


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.

A delusional perception between what is perceived and what is reality.

Ghostly activity that appears non conscious and redundant.

Non-paranormal knowledge that is gained through a perceptive insight.

A electrically charged atom or molecule.


Jason Hawe:
Founder of "The Atlantic Paranormal Society"  TAPS


K2 Meter:
A K2 meter picks up on the energy fields that spirits disturb when they are present in the environment.



To lift or raise a physical object in apparent defiance of gravity.

Life Review:
A flashback of a person’s life that is typically associated with near-death experiences.

Lucid Dreaming:
A dream state in which one is conscious enough to recognize that one is in the dream state and is then able to control dream events.


The magnetic field surrounding the earth.
The tangible signs of a haunting, including tactile, auditory, olfactory, and visual. These can be measured in an investigation and can be used to support the evidence that a place is indeed haunted. (See also Apparition)

The act of forming something solid from the air. One of the most difficult and impressive materializations is when part or all of a ghost or spirit can be seen, especially if the face is recognizable.

A person who channels a spirit, or through whom a spirit or entity communicates.
Someone who professes to be able communicate with spirits on behalf of another living being, acting as a midway point halfway between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Medium - Mesmerism:
A hypnotic induction of a sleep or trance State (See Hypnotism).

A Photographed anomaly that appears as a blanket of light.  There is no substantial proof that these are related to paranormal phenomenon.

Motor Automatism:
Bodily movement or functions that are accompanied but not controlled by consciousness (See automatic writing).


A rare phenomenon that appears ghostly but in fact is created by some scientifically known property of the present nature.

Nanteos Cup:

During the Reformation in the 1520's, when King Henry VIII ordered the closing and destruction of England's Catholic monasteries, the monks of Glastonbury Abbey bequeathed a small, unassuming vessel made of olive wood to the stewardship of a certain family in Wales, saying only that it was their greatest treasure. The remnant of this bowl is now in the keeping of the last living member of this family. Many believe this to be the actual 'Holy Grail,' the cup of which Christ partook at the Last Supper, and whice, the legend tells us, was conveyed to Cornwall in A.D. 37 by Joseph of Arithamathea (who, as a prosperous tin merchant, would have been familiar with this trade route). Healings have been attributed to the Nanteos Cup.

Nazca Lines:
In the Nazca Valley of southern Peru are etched enormous tracings of figures of a club wielding man, a splendid spider, a horse, a duck and other figures. Estimated to have been painstakingly etched into the rocky soul more than a millennia ago, these enigmatic representations can be beheld in their entirety only from an arial viewpoint (by ancient, sub-equatorial balloonists. perhaps?).

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. 

Interacting with the dead, particularly for the purpose of communicating or resurrection.

A grimoire (that is, collection) of ancient sigils and incantations of nebulous origins, discovered in the 8th century by the "Mad Arab," Abdul Alhazred, said to be capable of opening a chasm to the "Dread Dimension" and unleashing the wrathful power of the timeless "Elder Gods." Although some occultists believe this tome to be at least derived from genuine (and nefarious) sources, we are fairly confident that it sprang from the fiction of Providence, Rhode Island-born horror author, Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft (b. 1890, d. 1937).

Necronomicon Spellbook:
A toned-down, elegantly printed companion book to the 'Necronomicon,' also by Avon Books.

The transitional, or joining point connecting physical matter (which, in a sense, is energy condensed) and pure energy, and containing properties of both definites, i.e. the physical brain producing a mind through its network of dendrites and firing axioms', or the body's connection to the spirit. The concept of the Nexus is the basis for much conjecture and postulating.

A materialist, one who embraces no formal religious beliefs; a more descriptive term than atheist or agnostic.

Slavic, old world term for vampire, meaning "undead."


From the Latin, meaning something that is concealed or covered. Since the 16th century, it has meant anything that is mysterious. Today in America, it generally refers to magical, mystical and experimental studies.


Translucent spheres of light which hover above the ground and dart erratically through the air. Many believe that ghosts prefer to take on an orb shape, as it requires less energy than other apparitions. They differ from ghost lights in that photographed ghost scenes show orbs as spherical lights (rather than a flickering flame), some with a nucleus, others transparent. If moving fast, a trail of light may appear to emanate from the sphere.
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.

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).

The state before possession (see possession)

Original Momentum:
The initial force or energy necessary to create motion telekinetically.
Ouija Board:
It's name comes the French and German words for "yes," this is a pre-printed spelling board with letters and numbers on which a planchette (or marker) is placed in order to communicate with spirits of the dead. The device is intended to communicate with and through the spirit world, obtaining answers to questions. Many ghost hunters don't include them in scientific investigations, and some people object to them on principle...

A word of caution...
it can actually be used to summon spirits other than those initially sought after. It is very difficult to rid an area of a spirit that has been conjured through a Ouija board. Best advised not to go there. "period"
Out-Of-Body Experience:
When one's consciousness exits the restrictions of the physical body (also called OBE).
 sensation or experience in which ones self or spirit travels to a different location than their physical body (See Astral Projection)


Anything out of the normal range of explanation. Term is usually used in conjunction with ghosts, UFO's, and other phenomena that cannot be explained by traditional scientific theories and hypothesis.
Paranormal Group:
A group of individuals dedicated to discussing, investigating, or exploring possible explanations to haunting and other paranormal or supernatural events.

Paranormal Research:
The study of phenomena currently considered unexplainable by the mainstream sciences.

The study of mental abilities and effects outside the usual realm of psychology. Parapsychology includes the study of ESP, ghosts, luck, psychokinesis, and other paranormal phenomena.

A small weight at the end of a cord or chain that is usually about six to ten inches long. The movement of the weight, when uninfluenced by other factors, can be used to detect areas of paranormal energy.

An individual involved with or observing a paranormal event.

Phantom Animals:
Many corporeal ghosts take the form of animals rather than humans. It may be the benign spirit of a loved pet or faithful companion which appears to its master and is often seen performing a habitual act, such as lying in front of the fire or waiting by the front door. However, there are many sightings of strange and malevolent beasts such as ghostly black dogs, phantom birds, or horses.

Acronym for "psychogeneses" see Telekinesis).

German for "noisy ghost." A paranormal manifestation that is generally centered around an individual (usually an adolescent going through puberty) in which objects disappear or are thrown about. The individual the phenomenon is centered around is called the epicenter. There is very little communication between the spirit and the epicenter, and many researchers believe that the cause of the poltergeist is actually a latent telekinetic ability rather than an actual spirit.

A theoretical doorway of energy, through which spirits may be able to enter or exit a location.

Possessed Objects:
Inanimate objects that move, change appearance, or make noise. Sometimes an episode occurs while a person is watching, or they return to find that a disturbance has taken place while they were away. They include vehicles such as ghost ships or phantom trains heard bumping along tracks that were removed many years earlier. This phenomenon is often associated with the influence of a ghost that is emotionally attached to a place or object and may be showing anger or disapproval of how the present-day occupants or owners have changed it. Ghost vehicles are often linked to a fatal accident.

Possession (of a person by a spirit):
The entry of a spirit into the body of a willing or unwilling host, in which the spirit takes control of the individual's motor and cognitive functions.

Seeing or knowing activity received from the future using ESP.
A psychic awareness of future events, often with a negative outcome.

Primary Readings:
The initial measurements of energy taken at a haunted location, used for establishing an investigation's direction.

Objects, rituals, routines, tactics, or processes through which you guard yourself against psychic, demonic or paranormal intrusions and effects.
A general, all-encompassing term for "psychic phenomena."

The use of physical tools to assist in accessing or interpreting one's ESP.

From the Greek word meaning of the soul, or of life (Paul uses it in the Bible, I Cor ii, 14), this word usually refers to the world outside the domain of physical law. "Psychic" can relate to the spirit or the mind, depending upon the context.

When someone is described as a psychic, it usually means that he or she is able to perceive things that are outside traditional physical laws and perceptions.

Psychic Impression:
A form of idea or message that a percipient may encounter about an area, a person, or an event. Usually associated with precognition, retro cognition, or psychometry.
Recording: See Ghost.

The popular British term used as an adjective or adverb, for what Americans call "psychic."


or psycho kinesis - To move something with the powers of one's mind, alone. It may be a factor in some hauntings, and particularly in poltergeist phenomena. It's usually called "PK." (Also see telekinesis.)


Quabbala (also Cabbala, Kabbala):
A very ancient and complex system of Jewish mysticism, probably influenced by Assyrian-Babylonian and Macedonian beliefs and existing as the basis of an underground cult during much of the middle ages.


Radio Voice Phenomenon (RVP):
Receiving the voice of a deceased human being through a regular radio.

Reciprocal Apparition:
An extremely rare type of spirit phenomenon in which both the agent and percipient are able to see and respond to each other.

Remote Viewing:
Used by some psychics, this is a procedure in which the percipient or psychic attempts to become physically aware of the experience of an agent who is at a distant, unknown location through ESP. 

Residual energy:
Many ghost hunters believe that emotionally charged events leave an imprint or energy residue on the physical objects nearby.

What distinguishes residual energy from an active haunting is that the energy/impressions repeat consistently, as if on a loop. The energy levels may increase or decrease, but the content remains the same with each manifestation.

By contrast, in what we term an active haunting, the ghost may respond to environmental stimuli and direct contact.

Residual Haunting:
This is the playback of a past event, trapped in a continuous loop. It is often associated with past events involving great trauma and tragedy. A person is seen or heard performing a repetitive action—walking down a flight of stairs, crossing a garden, screaming in agony—at the same time or place and by many different independent witnesses. Researchers believe that it is possible for certain building materials to retain the energy of an event, and "record" it electromagnetically in a similar way to modern video or audio tape, and then replay the eerie fragment when the atmospheric conditions are right, or when a person who is especially sensitive to its bizarre energy passes by.
Retro cognition:
Seeing or knowing activity from the past using ESP.
An experience in which a person finds themselves in the past and is able to see and experience events in which they had no prior knowledge.

An entity that comes back only a few times after death.


A meeting of individuals in order to contact the spirit of a deceased loved one or other person (usually consisting of a medium, assistants, loved ones of the departed, or other interested individuals). Many séances were exposed as hoaxes in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
Shadow Ghosts:
Easily confused with normal shadows, these dark ghostly apparitions are often spotted at a distance or in peripheral vision, and are between two and ten feet long. They are often experienced as a small darting essence in the corner of the eye, or as a larger and more menacing humanoid presence.

This is a word used to describe the seeing of faces, figures and images in ordinary, everyday object such as rocks, foliage, etc.


A visual effect described as the sparkle of embers falling immediately after a fireworks display. These small, sparkling lights usually occur no closer to the camera than ten feet. They are often 20 to 50 feet away, or more. Sparkles are seen during and especially immediately after the flash on a camera is used.

Even the most vivid sparkles will not show up on film. (If they do, check for dust or insects.) Sparkles are paranormal phenomena.

"Sparkles" is a proprietary term developed in the 1990s by Fiona Broome during research for Hollow Hill. Other researchers have adopted the term to describe this unique phenomenon.


A ghostly apparition; a phantom (See Ghost).

A sudden and unexplainable jump on an Electro Magnetic Field Detector (EMF) causing it to quickly rise and fall or "peg" the meter.

The actual consciousness or soul of an individual that has passed on and continues to be observed in an area. There are four main reasons that spirits exist: (1) The person does not realize that he or she is dead; (2) there is unfinished business or an un kept promise after death; (3) the spirit is simply saying goodbye to a loved one; and (4) the spirit has returned to offer advice.

Spirit Box:
A device used for contacting spirits through the use of radio frequency. These devices or so called Spirit box also known as Ghost Box or Frank's box are used as an electronic medium for the purpose of direct communication with a spirit.

The belief system that the dead are able to communicate with the living, through an intermediary or medium. Belief in a spiritual world and/or the ability to communicate with spirits of the dead.

Spiritualists believe in communicating with the spirits of discarnate humans. They believe that spirit mediums are humans gifted to do this, often through séances. Anyone may become a medium through study and practice

Unexplained bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain corresponding in location to the crucifixion wounds of Christ.

Subjective Apparitions:
Hallucinations of apparitions or other phenomena that are created by our own minds.

Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.  As opposed to paranormal, the term "supernatural" often connotes divine or demonic intervention.

The product of numerous, seemingly unrelated variables joining to create a common event or remarkable "coincidence."


Tarot Cards:
A set of (usually 72) cards that include 22 cards representing virtues and vices, death and fortune etc. used by fortunetellers to help predict future events.

The ability to control one's physical environment without using physical manipulation or force (also known as psycho kinesis, TK, or PK.

The process by which a mind can communicate directly with another without using normal, physical interaction or ordinary sensory perception.

A method of transportation in which matter or information is dematerialized, usually instantaneously, at one point and recreated at another.

Thought Form:
An apparition produced solely by the power of the human mind.

A hypnotic, cataleptic, or ecstatic state in which one becomes detached from their physical surroundings.


UFO is an acronym for Unidentified Flying Object, designating any airborne object that does not fit known descriptions of existing aircraft.

A ufonaut (or UFOnaut) is the entity that operates or travels in a UFO.

Unidentified Submarine Object or Unidentified Swimming Object (USO) is used to designate an apparently te


The center of spiritual energy, where it is focused or concentrated. Usually accompanied by cold spots, electromagnetic disturbances, and increased paranormal activity.

Since the time of Descartes, this has indicated the rotation of cosmic energy around a central point or axis. Beginning in the mid-19th century, the word "vortex" has meant any whirling movement of energy or particles.

Some people use this term to explain lines or narrow cylinders that appear highlighted in ghost photos.


A location where the known laws of physics do not always apply and space/time may be distorted.

White Crow:
This refers to the principle that to prove
White Crows exist, you only have to have one. Therefore, it justifies spending considerable resources on a single case, if the investigator believes that case can be definitive.

White Noise:
An Acoustical or electrical noise of which the intensity is the same at all frequencies within a given band.

A window area is a region with an unusually high number of paranormal/UFO reports over a significant period of time.

Sometimes a person sees a loved one appear briefly to them, or hears their voice offering a warning or advice. The loved one needn't be a ghost; they are often alive and many miles away. In some cases these appearances coincide with the death of the loved one, or occur during a time of crisis for the witness.




(ronounced "Yah-vay") According to ancient Hebrew and Quaballistic teaching, the name of God abbbreviated to "YHWH," (in Hebrew, pronounced "Yud-hey vav hey"), which is the Tetragammaton, whence is derived "Jehova." It was deemed forbidden to pronounce, or even seek to learn, the full, true name of the Absolute. (The more archeological evidence uncovered which tends to support Biblical accounts, the more arises suggestion and speculation that, approx. 3,000 years ago, a powerful extra-terrestrial presence took a particular interest in a nomadic, mercantile, tribal group of desert dwellers who would come to be known as the Israelites, the "People of God.")

A legendary creature of Tibet's Himalayan Mountains region, an anthropoid with both human and ape characteristics, the "Abominable Snow Man." As with its western counterpart, the Sasquatch or Bigfoot, credible witnesses have reported sightings and numerous tracks have been found, but photographs and purported bodily remnants of the creature remain inconclusive.


A malevolent spirit which attacks people while they're asleep, inspiring nightmares, and sometimes even inflicting minor injuries such as scratches, bruises and what appear to be finger marks. The name is possibly of Slavic origin.

Zener Cards:
A set of 25 cards for use in card-guessing tests of ESP.  Each set contains 5 of each of the following cards:
Circle, Square, Greek Cross, Three Wavy Lines, Five-pointed Star.

Spirit bourne upon, governing, or manifesting as the western wind.

Prevelent in Haitian lore, a cadaver disintered shortly after burial (ere it spoils) and reanimated through the use of Voodoo, its sole purpose thereafter being servitude as a mindless slave. Combine secret pharmaceuticals inducing simulated death with oxygen deprivation in a tomb, then a hasty exhumation in the dark of night, and there emerges the horrid premise behind the myth.


Representation of a deity or devil with animal attributes.


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ghost-related words and phrases !!!

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Ghost Hunting and Paranormal Terms

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