A - M
To N - Z}
A means by which something is done or caused. A force or substance
that causes a change.
agent in paranormal research is usually a person who unknowingly causes
poltergeist activity (poltergeist activity seems to be between the
categories of ghost and psi (the term applied to unusual abilities
of human origin such as ESP/psychokinesis/etc.. and investigating
"exceptional human experiences" such as out of body and
apparitional experiences). See our "Types of Spirit" page
for more on poltergeist activity.
Electrical activity in the brain (about 10 cycles per second) associated
with a state of mental relaxation.
Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)
This is a term referring to any state of consciousness that is different
from "normal" states of waking/sleeping. This include hypnosis,
trance, ecstasy, psychedelic and meditative experience.
Paranormal abilities exhibited by animals. Also known as "Anpsi".
[See "Psi" for more info.]
The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural
objects and phenomena.
practices based on the belief that all living things and natural objects
have their individual spiritual essence or soul.
A typically benevolent celestial being that acts as an intermediary
between heaven and earth, especially in Christianity, Judaism, Islam,
Angel is a spiritual or celestial being sent to earth to relay a message
to a person, serve as a protector or help them in their transition
into the afterlife.
A dream believed to announce an individual's rebirth. [Also see "reincarnation"
for more info.]
A term referring to unusual experiences that cannot be explained in
terms of current scientific knowledge.
Natural phenomena that cannot be explained in terms of current scientific
knowledge. [Also see "Anomaly" and "Fortean Phenomena"
for more info.]
One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.
irregular image that appears on photos, video, or digital media. [See
"Orb", "Ectoplasm", Vortex", and "Apparition"
for more info.]
An unusual appearing ghostly figure. A ghostly figure; a specter.
energy that is usually seen in the form of the entity that has passed.
Some psychics and mediums see them on a regular basis. Catching an
apparition on film is what every ghost hunter aspires to do. They
show up in a transparent human form and usually wear the clothing
of their period. Also note that people have been known to see animal
apparitions also. [See "Donna's Apprition" story of when
she saw kitty Yarrow, which had passed away not long before, while
she was at the home of Jeff Reynolds.]
Apport is when a physical object has been transported into a closed
space or container, suggesting the passage of "matter through
matter'. Asport is any object the spirits or medium makes disappear
or teleports to another location. [See "Teleportation" for
See "Animal Psi".
In parapsychology, this is false evidence of paranormal phenomena,
due to some extraneous normal influence.
See "Altered State of Consciousness".
The "body" a person seems to occupy during an out-of-body
Believed by some to be a world that exists above the physical world.
An out-of-body experience.
An invisible breath, emanation, or radiation.
A distinctive but intangible quality that seems to surround a person
or thing; atmosphere.
believed that everything and everyone has an auric field around them.
These can often be seen by those who are clairvoyant.
Kirlian photography when the film is developed, an aura like a halo
of colors can be seen around the object or person. The colors in the
photographs believe to show several factors such as stress, ill health
in living organisms, and the state of your soul. It is analogous to
Spiritual Healing which can also be felt but not seen. Example: See
Ghost Tracker Matt Ferrell's Auric photo here. [Also see "Kirlian
Photography" for more info.]
To establish the authenticity of; prove genuine.
verification of facts and details surrounding an occurrence of paranormal
phenomenon. This can be independent statements from witnesses, written
documentation, or other corroborative evidence supporting the report
made by the subject concerning their experience and the events to
which was apparently related.
This is when you write something without being aware of the contents.
Some people use this method to receive messages from Spirit.
The theory that the body is a machine whose functions are accompanied
but not controlled by consciousness.
activates (e.g., arm movements, writing, drawing, musical performance)
that occur without the automatist's conscious control or knowledge.
Also known as motor automatism. [Also see "Automatic Writing"
and "Dissociation" for more info.]
This is when someone sees their 'double', or when they're looking
back at their self from a position outside their body (Out-of-body
Ancient Egyptian concept of a person's essence, believed to be be
immortal. [Also see "Soul" for more info.]
A female spirit in Gaelic folklore believed to presage, by wailing,
a death in a family.
Gaelic belief, a female entity who heralds a death by groaning and
In Tibetan Buddhism, an intermediate state of existence, usually referring
to the state between life and rebirth.
To exist in actuality; have life or reality.
state or quality of having existence, a living entity.
Appearing to be in two different places at the same time. [Also see
"autoscopy" for more info.]
Psychokinetic effects on biological processes. [Also see "Psychokinesis"
for more info.]
A large spectral death omen demon dog in British folklore, especially
in Norfolk and other parts of East Anglia. Black Shuck, also called
Old Shuck, derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term scucca or sceocca,
old Anglo-Saxon terms for "demon" or "satan."
The spectral dog descended from Norse mythology , for he is said to
be the black hound of Odin (Woden) brought by early Viking invaders.
Shuck is all black and is huge, about the size of a calf. He has large
eyes that glow yellow, red, or green as if on fire. Often, he is headless,
yet his eyes -where eyes should be- glow in the dark.
dog is often thought to be an omen of death.
The art of telling fortunes with cards. [Also see "Tarot"
and "Fortune Telling" for more info.]
An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.
When a medium apparently allows a spirit to communicate through them.
To make or form a circle around; enclose.
group of people who hold séances. [Also see "Séance"
The supposed power to hear things outside the range of normal perception.
form of ESP (compare with Clairvoyance).
The supposed power to feel or smell things outside the range normaly
perceived by the senses.
sensations (or smell) form of ESP. (compare with Clairvoyance).
The supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived
by the senses.
Acute intuitive insight or perceptiveness.
subset of ESP. The viewing of distant scenes not apparent to the eye,
may appear externally - either replacing the normal visual scene (visions)
or being incorporated into it (as could be the case with apparitions)
- or internally, in the form of mental imagery and intuition.
The act of eliminating ghostly phenomena from a location.
A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned
occurrence, within a short space of time, of two or more meaningfully
related events and without any apparent causal connection between
them. Coincidences are sometimes bizarre and extraordinarily improbable.
An area or place that for an unknown reason seems to be cooler than
the surrounding areas. Paranormal investigators usually use thermometers
to detect the fluctuations of temperature in a location. [See "Thermometer/Thermoscanner"
for more info.]
This is when more then one person sees a phenomenon at the same time
& location. Collective apparitions are good in proving that what
was seen was really there, and wasn't just the person's mind playing
tricks on them, since more then one person saw it.
Concept put forward by C.G. Jung to refer to a level of unconscious
thought and experience shared collectively by humans.
A technique simulating telepathy, in which the "mind reader"
(who generally holds a hand or arm) responds to slight muscle movements
produced unconsciously by the person whose mind is apparently being
read. Also known as muscle reading, Cumberlandism or Hellstromism.
To verify or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel
experiment or by comparing with another standard.
To verify (an account, for example) by using a duplicate register
experimental parapsychology a procedure undertaken in order to ensure
that the experiment is conducted in a standard fashion and so that
results are not unduly influenced by extraneous factors.
A group of people whose performance is compared with that of experimental
The simultaneous change in value of two numerically valued random
association between two or more events or variables.
A blissful experience in which the person becomes aware of the whole
universe as a living being. [Also see "Altered State of Consciousness"
for more info.]
An apparition that's usually seen by a person when he/she is at the
point of death or is the victim of a serious illness or injury. Also
apparitions that are seen in places of traumatic events (Like battlefields)
are known to be called Crisis Apparitions.
Interrelated bits of information received from the spirit world
by different mediums at different times and locations. The communications
must be joined together to form a complete message from Spirit.
Like when talking about city crossroads, this is where 2 or more things
meet/intersect. But when mentioned in paranormal research, we're usually
not talking about streets (unless we get lost on the way to an investigation).
Crossroads usually mean where two or more lines of earth energy intersect.
There is thought to be a good deal of paranormal activity in these
Knowledge (acquired in normal ways) that may be revealed without the
person remembering its source. Such memories may falsely appear to
be paranormal revelations.
Staring into a reflecting surface (e.g., mirror, glass, crystal, liquid)
in order to obtain paranormal information. Also known as scrying.
[See "Scrying" for more info.]
The act of dying; termination of life.
The termination or extinction of something.
understood to be the extinction of an organism's life. Many doctrines
assert some form of mental or spiritual survival of physical death.
A dying person's awareness of the presence of dead friends or relatives.
[Also see "Near-Death Experience" and "Crisis Apparition"
for more info.]
The feeling of having already experienced something actually being
experienced for the first time.
impression of having seen or experienced something before. Also called
a Déjà Experience.
A term used to refer to any kind of anomalous experience. [See "Anomalous
Experience" and "Anomalous Phenomena" for more info.]
To deprive of or lose apparent physical substance; make or become
suddenly disappear. Example: an object or spirit.
An evil supernatural being; a devil.
evil spirit or being which is said to have not ever lived on earth
in human form.
The study of demons.
The paranormal movement of objects out of a secure enclosed space.
[Also see "Apport/Asport" for more info.]
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, or through
a spirit horn or trumpet, but not from the mouth of the medium.
A spirit or non-material entity. Often used to refer to the personality
of a deceased individual.
A voice or sound heard or recorded that comes from no physical body
or known source. [Also see "Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)"
for more on capturing voices of Spirit on recordings.]
The act of removing from association; the state of being separate
performed outside of normal conscious awareness, or mental processes
that suggest the existence of separate centers of consciousness.
A forked rod (or sometimes a pair of L-shaped rods) used in dowsing.
[Also see "Dowsing" for more info.]
"Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems". Psychokinetic
influences on physiological processes. [Also see "Psychokinesis"
and "Bio-PK" for more info.]
A spiritual or ghostly double or counterpart; an apparitional double
of a living person.
mirror image or double of a person.
To use a divining rod to search for underground water or minerals.
act which, generally, a 'dowsing rod' or 'divining rod' is employed
to locate subterranean water, ore, oil, etc.. or other concealed items
by following the direction in which the rod turns in the users hand.
See "Paranormal Dream".
A phenomenon produced by the physical medium D.D. Home, involving
the room shaking as if there was an earthquake.
An altered state of consciousness in which the person experiences
great rapture and loss of self-control. [Also see "Altered State
of Consciousness (ASC)" and "Trance" for more info.]
An immaterial or ethereal substance, especially the transparent corporeal
presence of a spirit or ghost.
semi-fluid substance exuded by a physical medium from which materializations
may form. Ecto is also what we call the smokey mist like substance
we capture on film that we believe to be spirit energy. To avoid false
evidence it's important for you and other people to not be smoking
during an investigation. If you must smoke, make a place away from
the investigation for everyone to smoke at. Also watch out for your
breath on cold days, fog, etc.. If you are sure none of the elements
above are present and you don't see any mist with the naked eye, yet
it shows up on film, you may have something.
Magnetic Field (EMF) Meter/Detector
Also called a gauss or magnetometer, these let you know the Electro
Magnetic Field readings in an area. The presence of spirit has been
known to often produce/disturb electro magnetic energy in the area.
Lots of things throw off EMF's though (Lamps, TV's, etc..) so scout
around the area of the investigation first and get to know where these
things are. If you start getting fluctuations in EMF readings in an
area with no other explanation for them.. Tell someone to start taking
photos/video/EVP/etc.. You may get interesting results.
Voice Phenomenon (EVP)
This is the capturing of spirit voices on recorders. Try setting up
a recorder during investigations (Regular hand held audio tape recorders
or digital recorders work fine. If using a audio tape recorder, an
external mic is best so you don't pick up the sounds of the gears
and such turning of the recorder). When playing the recording back
you may hear sounds or voices that weren't heard at the time of the
investigation. Try asking questions and pausing also.. you may get
A lesser spirit bound to the fundamentals of nature (earth, wind,
water, and fire).
A real being, whether in thought or in fact; being; essence; existence.
disembodied or preternatural spirit.
Heavenly; Not of this world; Spiritual.
See "Extra Sensory Perception".
A look or stare believed to cause injury or misfortune to others.
ability of some people to harm others by looking at them.
See "Electronic Voice Phenomena".
A religious or quasi-religious rite to drive out evil spirits. [Also
see "Possession" for more info.]
A test carried out under controlled conditions.
test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known
truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy
of something previously untried.
Parapsychological research involving experimental methods rather than
survey techniques or the investigation of spontaneous cases.
Influence that the experimenter's personality or behavior may have
on the results of an experiment.
Originating outside our normal space-time reality.
Sensory Perception (ESP)
Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses.
ability to gain knowledge through means other than the five physical
senses or logical inference.
An tiny elemental entity [See "Elemental" for more info]
considered clever, mischievous, and possessing magical abilities.
Healing that is associated with prayer or belief in Divine power.
When a person believes he or she has woken up, but actually is still
Person who is at the center of poltergeist activity. [Also see "Poltergeist"
for more info.]
Strange phenomena, especially those which challenge conventional scientific
knowledge. Named after the American researcher and writer Charles
Fort. Fortean phenomena include those generally considered paranormal,
but also bizarre non-paranormal events such as monsters and prodigies,
extraordinary coincidences, and unusual rains.
The practice or art of professing to reveal future events in the life
practices which aim to divine future events.
A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful
deliberate faking of paranormal phenomenon, generally for the purpose
of financial gain, psychological manipulation, or notoriety. Faking
for the purpose of entertainment (e.g., by stage magicians and mentalists)
is not normally classed as fraud.
An experiment where input from the outside world is reduced by placing
halved ping-pong balls over the eyes and by masking external sounds
(covering subject's ears with headphones and playing white noise).
A state of mild sensory deprivation.
Extra Sensory Perception (GESP)
ESP in which it is unclear whether the results are due to clairvoyance,
telepathy, precognition or retrocognition.
See "General Extra Sensory Perception".
People tend to put Ghost and Spirit in the same category and definition,
even at Ghost Tracker we have found ourselves switching back and forth
from Ghost to Spirit when talking about them because they both basically
get the same idea across.. But most paranormal researchers distinguish
the two by these definitions:
Ghost usually refers to a residual energy [See our "Types of
Spirit" page for more info on Residual hauntings] of a person,
animal, or even an inanimate object that has been imprinted in the
location, only to be played over and over again like a recording in
time. Unlike Spirits, Ghosts don't seem to interact. [See "Spirit"
for more info on them.] When a person has preformed events over and
over again in a location they tend to leave a psychic impression on
the area, which sometimes stays in the location long after that person
has passed on. Traumatic events in a location may also leave a strong
psychic impression on the area (Like people seeing soldiers fighting
battles on battlefields, etc..)
A person or group who tries to record evidence of spirit or ghosts.
This may be done by means of photography, video, EMF (Electro Magnetic
Field)/Thermo readings, trying to capture EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena)
on recordings, and other means.
A ghost hunt is an attempt to capture spirit activity in a location
not known to be haunted. A ghost investigation is an attempt to capture
spirit activity usually at a location already known, or presumed to
Fabricated and nonmeaningful speech, especially such speech associated
with a trance state or certain schizophrenic syndromes. Also known
as "speaking in tongues". [Also see "Xenoglossy"
for more info.]
An angel believed to have special affection and protection for a particular
individual. [Also see "Spirit Guide" for more info.]
See "Spirit Guide".
To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural
can be sounds of activity, objects being moved, sightings of apparitions,
etc.. in a location when no one is there physically.
An area or place where frequent paranormal activity occurs, such as
A Hawaiian religious practice involving clairvoyance, precognition,
healing, miracles and magic.
An abnormal or pathological increase in sensitivity to sensory stimuli,
as of the skin to touch or the ear to sound.
acute sensory awareness. [Also see "Extra Sensory Perception"
for more info.]
An artificially induced altered state of consciousness, characterized
by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction.
Altered State of Consciousness involving a heightened degree of suggestibility.
[Also see "Mesmerism" and "Altered State of Consciousness
(ASC)" for more info.]
The act of inducing hypnosis. [Also see "Hypnosis" for more
The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.
appearance that leads the person to draw mistaken conclusions.
The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions,
ability to perceive images in the mind. These may be visual, auditory,
Endless life or existence.
belief that some aspect of personal existence survives death.
Not subject to corruption or decay. Inexplicable lack of decay in
A spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with
women as they sleep.
Indirect Voice Phenomena (IVP):
Phenomenon in which an entity appears to speak using the vocal apparatus
of a living person. Often the voice will sound very different from
the persons normal voice. [Also see "Direct Voice Phenomena (DVP)"
for more info.]
A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.
act or faculty of knowing or sensing something without the use of
The act or an instance of invoking, especially an appeal to a higher
power for assistance.
act of summoning spiritual beings.
Ancient Egyptian term for the astral body. [Also see "Ba"
for more info.]
A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling.
total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive
phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's
A photographic method involving high frequency electric current, discovered
by S.D. & V. Kirlian in the Soviet Union. Kirlian photographs
often show colored halos or "auras" surrounding objects.
colors in the photographs believe to show several factors such as
stress, ill health in living organisms, and the state of your soul.
It is analogous to Spiritual Healing which can also be felt but not
seen. Example: See Ghost Tracker Matt Ferrell's Auric photo here.
[Also see "Aura" for more info.]
In Yogic belief, a source of tremendous vital energy that may be stimulated
by various practices. Kundalini, or the "Serpent Power",
is believed to provide energy for paranormal phenomena.
To rise or cause to rise into the air and float in apparent defiance
is a form of telekinetic activity, sometimes associated with poltergeist
type hauntings. It is when a person or object is raised off of the
ground and sometimes thrown by an unseen force.
Dreaming in which the person is aware that the experience is a dream.
Lucid dreaming; An early term for clairvoyance. [Also see "Clairvoyance"
and "Lucid Dreaming" for more info.]
The experience of strange lights or glows, often around objects or
people. [Also see "Aura" for more info.]
Psychokinetic effects that can be directly observed rather than only
inferred from statistical analysis. [Also see "Psychokinesis"
and "Micro-PK" for more info.]
A sacred sound or sacred syllables used in meditation. [Also see "Meditation"
and "Transcendental Meditation" for more info.]
To cause to become real or actual; To cause to become materialistic.
appearance of spirits in material form.
A witchdoctor or shaman. [Also see "Shaman" for more info.]
A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation.
is the process of relaxing, emptying your mind of all thought or reaching
a different state of consciousness. Meditation can aid in spiritual
development and/or inner peace. There are many types of meditation.
A person who professes to be able to communicate with spirits.
person thought to have the power to communicate with spirits of the
dead or with agents of another world or dimension.
Activity of a medium.
A branch of conjuring involving the simulation of psi. [Also see "Psi"
for more info.]
The paranormal obtaining of information by a medium. [Also see "Physical
Mediumship" for more info.]
The act of inducing hypnosis.
induction of a sleep or trance state, discovered during the work of
Friedrich Anton Mesmer, from whose name the word is derived. Also
known as hypnotism.
Psychokinetic ability to bend metal objects. [Also see "Psychokinesis"
for more info.]
A transformation. See "Shape-shifting".
Another term for reincarnation. [Also see "Reincarnation"
for more info.]
Psychokinetic effects that cannot be directly observed, but only inferred
from the statistical analysis of data. [Also see "Psychokinesis"
and "Macro-PK" for more info.]
An anomaly (not usually seen at the time with the naked eye) that
appears on photos/videos as a "cloud of smoke" thought to
be Spirit energy, also called Ecto [See Ecto/Ectoplasm for more info.]
A person who has learned techniques that enable extraordinary feats
A term coined by Rupert Sheldrake to refer to the way in which the
"morphogenetic field" (underlying form) of an object or
organism may influence distant fields.
A psychiatric condition in which the person manifests two or more
distinct and separate personalities at different times. [Also see
"Possession" for more info.]
See "Contact Mind Reading".
A person who has mystical experiences. Used loosely to refer to psychics,
mediums or romantics.
Altered State of Consciousness involving experiences of ecstasy, unity,
timelessness, loss of self, divine revelation, etc. [Also see "Altered
State of Consciousness (ASC)" for more info.]
Religious or spiritual doctrines which argue that the human mind or
soul can directly experience the divine. [Also see "Mystical
Experience" for more info.]