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Paranormal Glossary

Afterlife

Life after our physical bodies die. Every culture in the world has their own ideas and beliefs of what the afterlife consist of.

Anamoly

An irregular or unusual event which does not fit a standard rule or law. An anomaly is something which cannot be explained by currently accepted scientific theories. Anything weird, abnormal, strange, odd, or difficult to classify.

Apparition

The visible form of a ghost or spirit / the appearance of supernatural phenomena

Apophenia

The experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data (also see Matrixing).

Astral Projection

(Out of body experience).  To be able to leave your physical body and project your soul, consciousness or what appears to be your mind to another place. 

Aura

A field of energy surrounding all living things; the body’s electromagnetic field which produces a colourful display or ‘halo’.  The color of an aura is believed to represent the mood or condition of the subject.

Automatic Writing

The ability to write intelligible messages without conscious control of what is being written. Often used in conjunction with trying to channel a spirit or entity into yourself.

Ball Lightning

Little understood, this luminous ball may float in mid air or move rapidly along solid objects. It is a rare electrical phenomenon associated in nature with thunderstorms, but can also be reproduced in the laboratory using Tesla oscillators.

Banshee

A female spirit in Irish folklore that can take many forms (from hag to beauty).  Her mournful wails are believed to foretell of death.

Benign Spirit

A spirit that is not harmful or evil to man.

Channeling

Passing on guidance in the form of messages from spiritual beings.  The channeller is used as the medium or vessel for communication.

Clairvoyance

To have lucid mental perceptions and keen insights about people and life situations and to have clear visual mental images, pictures; To "see" auras and other psychic phenomena.

Cold Spot

An Area of localized coldness or sudden decrease of ambient temperature believed to be associated with an entity drawing energy from the atmosphere.

Crisis Apparition

A person close to death, projects an image of himself to an acquaintance, later found to have occurred very close to the time of passing.

Cryptozoology

The study of ‘out-of-place’ animals and animals not known to or recognized by science ('cryptids'). Famous crypto creatures include the Loch Ness monster, chupacabra, Big Foot, etc.

Crystallomancy

The art of gazing into a crystal globe, a pool of water, a mirror, or any transparent object. The person may put him/her self into a hypnotic state to see visions or to summon forth spirits or demons.

Curse

A formula or charm intended to cause misfortune, evil, or doom to befall upon a person or group.

Déjà-vu


The uncanny feeling that you recognize a place or situation although you know you haven’t actually been there or witnessed it before.

Demon / Devil

A Fallen Angel, a personification of evil.

Disembodied Voice

A voice that can be heard by the human ear but has no known source or explanation.

Divination

The obtained unknown knowledge or future events from omens.

Doppleganger

This rare phenomenon is a ‘ghostly’ double of a living person, seen by the person himself, often in peripheral vision.  It is believed to be bad luck for your friends to see your doppleganger and, worse yet, an omen of death if you see your own.

Dowsing

To search, with the help of simple instruments (dowsing rods, pendulums, etc.), for things that are hidden from view or from knowledge. 

Ectoplasm

The substance allegedly produced by a physical medium during a trance to enable the manifestation of spirit.

Elementals

Mean or angry spirits sometimes also called “Earth Spirits”

EMF

Electromagnetic Field - Areas of energy that surround electrical devices.  High EMF readings without apparent electical cause are believed to be an indicator of a paranormal presence.  Exposure to high EMFs are also believed to cause hallucinations in certain people and hence can be used to debunk some personal experiences.

Entity

Something that has a distinct existence, often used to refer to ghosts or spirits.

ESP

Extrasensory perception (ESP) is the knowledge of external objects or events without the aid of the senses.

EVP

Electronic Voice Phenomenom - Voices that can be heard on digital recordings that were not audible to the human ear at the time of the recording. 

Exorcism

A ritual aimed at expelling a possessing entity from a person or place.

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 with in an area of strong EMF often brings out extremely great feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia and/or uncontrollable fear.

Ganzfeld Experiment

A state of mild sensory deprivation, characterized by the presentation of homogenous sensory fields. Thus, a person in Ganzfeld will have diffusive plastic hemispheres over their eyes while in a dimly red-lit room, be listening to white noise through headphones, and be seated in a comfortable, semi-reclined chair. Its use in parapsychology is based on a noise-reduction model.

Ghost

The soul or spirit of a deceased person, a spirit appearing after death.

Ghoul

A demonic or parasitic entity that feeds upon human remains.

Hallucination

A state in which one hears, sees, smells or feels something that is not there.

Haunting

A ghost or supernatural being that visits, appears or inhabits a location

Residual Haunting - a playback of a past event. The entity is not a spirit, but a "recording" of the event.

Intelligent Haunting - the entity is aware of its surroundings and interacts with the present

Hex

A magical spell, charm, or curse cast to influence one's fate or free will.

Hypnosis

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

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.

Incubus

A demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have intercourse with them.

Jacob's Ladder

a high voltage traveling arc; a device for producing a continuous train of large sparks which rise upwards. The spark gap is formed by two wires, approximately vertical but gradually diverging away from each other towards the top in a narrow "V" shape.

Manifestation

The indication, reality, or presence of something paranormal in nature.

Matrixing

(Pareidolla)

The human mind's natural tendency to find familiar shapes in complex shapes or colors.  A nondescript object seems to appear as something specific (i.e. a face in the clouds).

Medium

One who can channel a spirit or through whom a spirit communicates. 

Misperception

An experience where an object is misinterpreted by your senses. It is thought to be one of the commonest natural explanations for apparent paranormal phenomena.

Near Death Experience

An experience that is reported by people who clinically die, or come close to actual death and are revived.

Night Terrors

These are reckoned to be caused by incomplete arousal from slow-wave sleep. Images that flit through the brain can be interpreted as terrifying events and objects.

Old Hag Syndrome

A nocturnal phenomena that involves a feeling of immobilization, suffocation, odd smells and feelings and is sometimes accompanied my immense fear (Sleep Paralysis).

Orb

A circle of light often seen on photographs usually caused by dust, water vapors, light reflections or insects.  Some believe that unexplainable orbs which can be seen by the naked eye to be the manifestation of paranormal energy. 

OUIJA board

A pre-printed messaging board with letters, numerals, and words used in spirit communication. Typically a planchette is employed to spell out words and point out numbers or letters. It is also believed by some that it is used to conjure evil spirits and elements into our plain of existence.

Out of body experience

An involuntary sensation or experience in which ones self or spirit travels to a different location than their physical body. This is not to be confused with Astral Projection which occurs intentionally.

Paranormal

Anything that falls outside of the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

Pentacle

A five-pointed star encompassed by a circle, often held to have magical or mystical significance. The five points represent the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit) and the circle signifies unity. The Pentacle is used for protection by Wiccans or people who perform Witch Craft. This is not an evil or satanic symbol. This is different than a pentagram and should not be confused.

Pentagram

A five-pointed star, with the single point facing down and no circle. The two top most points represent the horns of the goat. The lower single point represents the beard and the two points to the side represent the ears of the goat. It is commonly used as a satanic occult symbol.

Poltergeist

German for "noisy ghost"; a troublesome spirit or ghost that mischievously moves domestic items and generally terrorizes people, often in their own home.

Possession

Psychokinetic control of the behavior of a living thing or natural object by a spiritual being, demon or evil entity. 

Psychic

A psychic is a person demonstrating or claiming psychic abilities. It most often refers to some form of mediumship, whether mental or physical, developed or spontaneous.

Psychokinesis

The ability to move an object without physically touching it.

Reincarnation

Reincarnation is the belief that a human soul is reborn in another body an indeterminate time after its death.

Remote Viewing

RV is the ability, generally after considerable training and practice, to see a remote object that has been selected as a target by a third party.

Seance

A meeting or gathering of people, usually lead by a medium to receive spiritualistic messages, manifestations or communication with the dead.

Sensitive

A sensitive is sensitive to things the average person does not pick up with the normal range of senses.

Sleep Paralysis

A state of seeming to be awake but being unable to move.

Spirit

A supernatural being or essence.

Spirit Guide

In Spiritualism, an advanced soul who has passed to the Other Side (aka the Beyond) and helps a person still in this world.

Stigmata

Unexplained bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain corresponding in location to the crucifixion wounds of Christ, said to be supernaturally impressed on the bodies of certain persons.

Succubus

A demon in female form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially men, in order to have intercourse with them.

Supernatural

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

Tagging

The practice of announcing voices or natural sounds during a recording session (EVP or video) to avoid mistaking them for paranormal upon review.

Telepathy

The ability to read another's mind. 

Teleportation

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

Time Travel

The ability to project the soul's consciousness out of the body and into a past or future time or event.

Trance

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

Transfiguration

In a seance, ectoplasm changes the appearance of the medium’s face.

Voodoo

A religion practiced chiefly in Caribbean countries, syncretized from Roman Catholic ritual elements and the animism and magic of slaves from West Africa, in which a supreme God rules a large pantheon of local and tutelary deities, deified ancestors, and saints, who communicate with believers in dreams, trances, and ritual possessions.

Vortex

An anomalous opening into the spirit world 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.

Witchcraft

Witchcraft is also known as Wicca, an ancient tradition of religious belief and magic in the western world. 

Xenonormal

Something that appears paranormal but which has natural causes. 

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