Agent – A living person who is the focus of a haunting or poltergeist activity.
Anomaly - Something visually detected which is not easily explained or classified. An anomaly is possibly seen with the naked eye, but most often captured on video or pictures. Paranormal researchers typically use the term to reference an unexplained source of light.
Apparition - The vision of a deceased person or animal. Ghosts can appear to be solid or as filmy white mists. Common characteristics are their ability to walk through walls, cast shadows and be seen in mirrors. It should be noted that not all apparitions are of the dead. There are numerous recorded accounts of the living appearing to others as themselves when they were, in fact, in another physical location.
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).
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.
Automatism – An unconscious or involuntary muscular movement caused by spirits. (See automatic writing)
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.
Case Study – An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.
Channeling – 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).
Clairaudience – An auditory form of ESP paranormal information is received outside the range of normal perception through voices, whispers and auditory impressions.
Clairsentience – A general term for clairvoyance and clairaudience. Clairsentience typically occurs in the form of ESP through physical sensations or smells.
Clairvoyance – 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)
Cold Spots - Cold spots are small self-contained air pockets that feel colder than the ambient temperature, they have been recorded between 10-40 degrees lower than the ambient air. They are usually found in the location at the approximate time of a manifestation. Witnesses frequently describe cold spots, or relate that they felt a chill upon entering the area (of a manifestation). It is theorized that these cold spots are the result of the manifestation using the heat energy of the surrounding air as fuel.
Control – 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.
Crisis Apparition – An apparition that is seen when a person is seriously ill, seriously injured or at the point of death.
Demon - An inferior deity often spoken of in religious text as pure evil.
Doppelganger – An exact spirit double or mirror image of a person which is considered to be very negative.
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.
Ectoplasm – An immaterial substance associated with spirit manifestations, often not visible to the naked eye but appears in photographs. It may be due to a number of physical factors having to do with reflection, refraction, film processing, and other natural phenomena.
Elementals – Spiritualists commonly refer to this term to describe mean or angry spirits sometimes also called “Earth Spirits”.
EMF Detector – (See Magnetometer)
EVP – is an acronym for electronic voice phenomenon. EVPs are unexplainable voices or sound from beyond, often inaudible to the human ear, caught on a digital recorder or audio tape.
ESP – is an acronym for extrasensory perception. ESP refers to awareness or communication by means other than the physical senses or previous experience, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Exorcism – a ritual act, which can be religious in nature, of banishing or freeing an entity thought to possess a human being or haunt a location. The ritual usually calls upon a higher power to cast away or release evil forces.
False Awakening – The event in which a person believes they are awake but are actually dreaming.
Ghost – A ghost - (aka spirit or apparition) - is the energy, or soul of a person who has died and understood to be between this plane of existence and the next. Most researchers believe these ghosts do not realize they are dead due to a sudden passing such as a traumatic event, unusual or highly emotional circumstances. A ghosts may be perceived in the follwoing forms: through sight (apparitions), sound (voices), smell (frangrances and odors), and touch.
Ghost Hunting – A carefully controlled research project in which various methods and equipment are used to investigate reports of ghosts and hauntings.
Haunting – Reoccurring, persistent ghostly phenomena inhabiting a location as opposed to an attachment to an individual.
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.
Intelligent Haunting - Activity that takes place around people or locations that is caused by an intelleigent or conscious spirit
Intuition – Non-paranormal knowledge that is gained through a perceptive insight.
Levitation – To lift or raise a physical object in apparent defiance of gravity.
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.
Magnetometer (EMF, gaussmeter) - An instrument for measuring the magnitude and direction of a magnetic field typically used by paranormal researchers to detect a ghost’s magnetic energy.
Materialization – 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.
Medium - Someone who communicates with spirits on behalf of another living being, acting as a midway point halfway between the worlds of the living and the dead.
Mist – 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).
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 in 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.
Ouija Board - A pre-printed board with letters, numerals, and words used to receive spirit communications. Typically a planchette is employed to spell out words and point out numbers or letters.
Out-of-body experience (OBE) – A sensation or experience in which ones self or spirit travels to a different location than their physical body (See Astral Projection).
Paranormal – Referring to something that is beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.
Parapsychology - The study of the evidence for psychological phenomena that are inexplicable by science.
Poltergeist – is the German word for “noisy ghost.” Poltergeists may manifest themselves by moving and influencing inanimate objects, including raps, bumps, thumps, knocks, footsteps, furniture being moved, and people being levitated. Although rare, a few poltergeists reportedly have the ability to speak.
Precognition – The ability to predict or have knowledge of something in advance of its occurrence, especially by extrasensory perception (See Clairvoyance).
Psi – 23 rd letter of the Greek alphabet used to signify unexplained phenomenon that falls outside conventional scientific boundaries, such as extrasensory perception.
Psychic - A person who is responsive to psychic forces with above average ESP abilities.
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.
Retrocognition – 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.
Shadow People - Usually appear as a shadow of sorts, often seen out of the corner of the eye. The are reported to be between two and ten feet in height. They move between walls and are considered evasive. They are not reported as having human features or attempting to communicate.
Supernatural – as opposed to paranormal, the term relates to an invisible agent that transcends what is natural or earthly, including the divine and demonic.
Vortex – 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.
White Noise – An Acoustical or electrical noise of which the intensity is the same at all frequencies within a given band.