Ghost Hunting Terminology
Listed here are many different terminologies and their definitions used in the field of Ghost Hunting. Hopefully some of these terms will help you understand what you are feeling or seeing.
Afreet - In Arabic lore, the vengeful spirit of a murdered person which arises from the victim's shed blood.
Agent - An agent is the human being that sees the ghost or apparition.
Akashic Records - Originally a Hindu concept of a vast, and ever increasing, psychic repository of every thought and emotion--human or otherwise--which has ever been, and into which some individuals seem able to tap.
Alchemy - The exploration and application of the sciences, particularly chemistry and the pseudo science of astrology, such as they were understood during the middle ages and early Renaissance period. Alchemists were chiefly dedicated to the worthy pursuit of producing gold from baser metals and various materials.
Allee, John Dewey - (b. March 8, 1951) Occult author and founder of a "Satanic Church" in Salem, MA, and New England's version of Aleister Crowley. Note: On May 1st, 2003, Dewey's organization reported he'd expired; it turns out he's merely retired.
Alma - Russian wildman encountered in Siberia and northern China, generally described as being covered in hair and powerfully built, though shorter in stature and more human appearing than the Yeti. Some researchers have suggested that Almas may be descended from Neanderthals (Homo Neandertalensis). (See also Bigfoot, Yeti.)
Altered State of Conciousness - An altered state of conciousness is any state of conciousness which differs from the normal states of being awake or asleep.
Amulet - A symbol with magical significance, which is worn as a pendant or ring. (See also Icon, Pentacle, Rune, Talisman.)
Angel - "Messenger of God," a celestial being, benevolent in nature and, if visible, appearing in human form but possessing miraculous abilities such as teleportation, healing powers and knowledge of future events. There have been accounts of angels aiding people in times of crisis throughout the ages, albeit with no real consistency to their modus operandi.
Anomaly - An occurrence or condition removed from ordinarily understood experience. (See also Paranormal.)
Anthropomorphize - The humanocentric tendency of imposing human perceptions and priorities upon spirits and other worldly creatures or forces, assuming that all consciousnesses must be akin to ours on some basic levels. (This is a logical assumption when applied to the survival instinct and perhaps to physical procreation; anything more is merely a guess.)
Apparition - An apparition is a mysterious image of a disembodied spirit that can be recognized as a human, animal or object. They are the most rare type of ghost to capture on film. Ghostly human forms are the easiest to fake, especially with the advanced technology of computers. This makes it even more difficult to prove apparitions when using photos. Ghostly apparitions of ships trains, cars and other inanimate objects have been seen.
Apport - An apport happens when a solid object appears from out of nowhere, with the assistance of the spirit in the company of a medium.
Astral Plane - An astral plane is a level of awareness in the celestial world having its own standards, occupants, and reason for being.
Astral Body - An astral body is the energy that seperates itself from the human form but still maintains the personality and feelings of the individual. Sometimes others will see them during their Out-of-Body Experience (OBE) or Near-Death Experience (NDE).
Astral Travel - Belief or theory that a person's spiritual awareness can temporarily detach itself from the physical body, remaining connected by what is called the "silver cord," and experience things in other locations, time frames or dimensional planes. Some refer to this as "Astral Projection" or "Mind Projection."
Atavism - Reversion to an earlier, ancestral type.
Atmospheric Apparition - An atmospheric apparition is a visual imprint the person who has died left on the atmosphere, that continues to replay.
Aura-world- A reflection of our own sphere of existence, composed of the electromagnetic emanations of physical matter, and probably influenced by thought and emotion. It is another dimensional plane proceeding from one in which we exist.
Automatic Writing - Automatic writing happens when a ghost or spirit takes control of the writer's hand and writes out a message.
Avatar - Hindu belief in divine incarnation.
Banshee - An banshee is a spirit that appears prior to a person's death to howl a mourning song and to welcome them into the afterlife.
Baphomet - Demon character supposedly worshipped by the Knights Templar in 14th century France. Some present day practitioners of the black arts regard Baphomet as a "god" of lust and regeneration, or as symbolic of the Devil. (See also Sigil of Baphomet.)
Banishing - Formal, ceremonial, procedure effected to cast an invisible presence or influence out from an area. This term can refer either to a spiritual cleansing, or the closing of a magical rite, when the invoked powers are dismissed.
Bigfoot - A bulky, hair covered, bipedal humanoid which appears to possess both human and ape-like characteristics. Also known as Sasquatch and Yeti, depending upon locale. Sightings of these creatures have for centuries been widely reported.
Bi-location - A bi-location is the phenomena where someone can be in two places at the same time.
Bogey(-Man) - A grim spectral figure who delights in menacing mortals with rather gruesome pranks and abductions. Although the lore of this character has degenerated into a familiar device used to threaten rambunctious children, the 'Bogey' was formerly soundly dreaded in Celtic regions, and was said to prowl the stretches of fields, marshes, and moors, looking for hikers and travelers who had strayed from their paths.
Cabot, , Laurie - (b. 1933) Wicca spokesperson, author, and for the past thirty years, recognized as the official High Priestess of the Witches of Salem, MA.
Carcosa - A mysterious nether region or outer-world containing the mythical lake called "Hali," which appears in the fiction of authors Ambrose G. Bierce ("An Inhabitant of Carcosa") and Robert W. Chambers ("The King in Yellow" : "Cassilda's Song"). There are students of arcane, mystical lore who believe that Carcosa may truly exist, which is why it is included with this roster of terms.
Cemetery Lights - Cemetary lights are bluish balls of lights that have been sighted after dark hovering over graves.
Channeling - Channeling is a form of spirit possession with a medium while communicating for wisdom or future events with the unseen entity.
Chupacabra - Spanish for Goat sucker. In Puerto Rico, for twenty some years, numerous livestock and stray pets have been found with throats torn out, drained of blood and bearing mysterious puncture wounds. On the scene sightings of the creature supposed responsible are exceedingly rare, and descriptions always include "glowing red eyes." Locale and the absence of distinct tracks rule out either wolverines or monitor lizards, both of which always drag off their prey. The most feasible suggestion is a coyote or feral dog, but again, the behavior doesn't match. Whatever is the true culprit, Chupacabra has become a popular sensation on the island. (See also Lurking Enigma.)
Clairaudience - Clairaudience is when someone has the ability to hear the voices of ghosts and other sounds that are inaudible to the human ear.
Clairvoyance - Clairvoyance is being capable of seeing events in the future or past through the mind's eye.
Cleansing (Psychic) - A less ritualized form of exorcism, where-in a dwelling or site is purified and malevolent influences are banished through prayers, spoken as the petitioner moves through the area.
Cold Reading - A cold reading is done when a psychic has no prior knowledge of the sitter.
Cold Spot - A cold spot is an area in the haunted premises where the temperature drops by several degrees. The temperature can also rise in heat by several degrees indicating a possible fire in the past.
Collective Apparition - A collective apparition happens when more than one living person sights a ghost or spirit at the same time.
Collective Unconscious - Collective unconscious was a term to describe a form of analytical psychology developed by Carl Jung. It represents the collective memory of all humanity's past and is held somewhere inside the unconscious mind.
Conjure - Conjure is an act to summon a spirit to manifest itself for a desired task or to answer questions.
Construct, Psychic - It has been theorized, and experimentation has been conducted to support this premise, that through directed psychic energies a responsive spirit-like entity can be created, continuing for a time to exist independently.
Continuance - Commonly referred to as life-after-death, survival of the psyche post cessation of the biological organism which had generated it.
Corpse Candle - a corpse candle is a term referring to the balls of fire lights that dance above the ground.
Crisis Apparition - A crisis apparition is the vision of someone that will appear during waking hours or in a dream at the moment of a crisis.
Crop Circles - During the past three centuries, throughout the British Isles but with a particular concentration in the southern region of England, circular impressions spanning sometimes several hundred feet in diameter and often quite intricate in design, have frequently and inexplicably been appearing overnight in wheat and grain fields. Sometimes the source can be traced to hoaxers; sometimes the details do not allow for any satisfactory, mundane explanation. Much documentation, as well as speculation, regarding this topic is available.
Crowley, Aleister (Edward Alexander) - (b. 1875, d.1947) Scottish-born occultist, metaphysician, sorcerer, adventurer, poet and author of many occult treatises and manuals, including 'Magick In Theory And Practice.' Crowley once dubbed himself "The Great Beast 666," one of the few of his many monikers which stayed with him, and the press referred to him as "The Wickedest Man in the World." Although in some respects brilliant, Crowley gave himself over to excess, amorality and eventual dissipation. His writings are still studied and analyzed by many present day, serious students of the magic(k)al arts.
Crypto-zoology - The branch of paranormal research which deals with the exploration of legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, lake and sea monsters, thunderbirds, etc. It should be noted that the Giant Squid (the "Kraken"), orangutans (the "Red Men of the Forest"), Komodo Dragons and gigantic Nepalese elephants all were formerly included in the roster of fabled creatures!
Crystal Skulls - Five human skull models, exquisitely crafted in antiquity from solid quartz crystal, have been found in various locations throughout Latin America, the best known of these being the 'Mitchell-Hedges Skull,' discovered in 1924 in the Balese Jungle of Labuton by Anna Mitchell-Hedges while on an expedition with her father, and still in her possession in Canada. The others are kept in collections in Guatemala, Texas, the Smithsonian and the British Museum. Mayan legend tells that eight more crystal skulls remain, and that by the time all thirteen are united, mankind will have learned how to extract and decipher the vital information, history and revelations, which they contain.
C'thulu - A creation of author H.P. Lovecraft and a favorite of horror/science fiction enthusiasts, C'thulu' (pronunciation is interpretive) is described as a kind of demon-god from another world, a monstrosity resembling a gigantic squid or octopus who "sleeps and dreams" in his lair at the bottom of the Arctic ocean, biding his time until some foolhardy "disciples" find means to call him to rise and reclaim dominion of the earth. Doubtlessly, some are actually trying! (See also H.P. Lovecraft and Necromonicon.)
Dee, Doctor John - (b. 1527, d. 1608) Alchemist, astrologer, seer and advisor to Queen Elizabeth I of England who, along with his somewhat unscrupulous associate Edward Kelly, supposedly devised a method of deciphering an angelic language, known as the "Enochian Calls."
Demon - Hostile and resentful entity, supposedly of non-human origin, which some believe to be "fallen (from grace) angels."
Doppelganger - German for "Double-goer." A person's duplicate or identical counterpart, seen as a result of bi-locational or astral travel. This phenomenon has been overshadowed by the more modern (and viable) concept of cloning, with its speculative ramifications.
Dowsing - Dowsing is the ability to seek answers and interpret them by using rods or a pendulum. Dowsing is widely used as a simple, but effective, way of searching for anything from lost coins, water, and geophysical surveys to ghosts.
Druid - A Celtic priest of the Bronze or Iron Age, trained in healing, divination and astronomy, whose tradition was passed on to successors by oral tradition.
Earthlights - Earthlights are balls of lights or variable patches of lights appearing randomly and with no explanation as to what causes them.
Ectoplasm - Ectoplasm is a solid or vaporous substance, which is produced by a medium during a trance to reach the deceased. Most reports of ectoplasm were revealed to be hoaxes. The medium would take cheesecloth and rig it to drop from a part of the body (the nose, mouth or ears). Some mediums even swallowed the cheesecloth and then regurgitated it later on during the seance.
Ectoplasmic Mist - An ectoplasmic mist will usually show up in a photo as a misty white cloud to indicate the presence of a spirit. The mist is not seen when the picture is taken. These mists can vary in color from gray, black, red and green.
Elementals - In magical tradition and ceremony, spirits which govern the four corners of the earth and are associated with, or reside within, the four basic elements. They are called Sylphs (the east, air), Salamanders (the south, fire), Undines (the west, water), and Gnomes (the north, earth). Check out our Nature Spirit Dept.
EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) Meter - An EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) meter is a device that can pick up electronic and magnetic fields. It can detect any distortions in the normal electromagnetic field.
Empath - An individual who is particularly sensitive to the psychic emanations of his or her surroundings, even to a degree of telepathically receiving and experiencing the emotions of others in their proximity. Obviously, psychic empathy can be regarded as a mixed blessing, and the empath must learn to gain a measure of control over this ability.
Enochian - A magical, "angelic" language first translated by Dr. John Dee, and used in the rituals of both the "Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn" in the 19th century and the "First Church of Satan" in the 20th century. (See also Dee, Doctor John.)
Entity - A disembodied "consciousness" commonly referred to as ghost, spirit or (if of an apparently malicious or resentful nature) demon.
Entropy - The observation that everything in the material Universe will eventually, inevitably wind-down, burn-out, fall apart ... well, I'm sure you get the (dismal) picture.
ESP (Extrasensory Perception) - ESP (Extrasensory Perception) is a condition where one has the ability to gather information beyon the five human senses.
EVP (Electrical Voice Phenomenon or Electical Visual Phenomenon) - An EVP (Electrical Voice Phenomenon or Electical Visual Phenomenon) is a method in which you can pick up a spirit's voice by means of audiocassette recorder or any other recording device. it is also possible to pick up visual images of a known dead person coming through computers and televisions when they are not on. What is the AA-EVP? The American Association of Electronic Voice Phenomena (AA-EVP) is a nonprofit educational association that is dedicated to the support of people who are interested in or who are studying Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) and Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC). This web site offers examples, techniques and concepts concerning Phenomena. Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) concerns unexpected voices found in recording media. It is a form of after death communication. ITC is a newer term that includes all of the ways these unexpected voices and images are collected through technology, including EVP. Of the many hypotheses designed to explain these phenomena, the Survival Hypothesis has been found to be most effective in answering the evidence.
Exorcism - Ceremonial expulsion of invading spiritual/demonic entities from a person or dwelling, present in virtually every worldly culture. The Jewish and Catholic Christian faiths each have a formal 'Rite of Exorcism' to be conducted by the respective Rabbi or Priest.
Exorcist - An exorcist is the individual who is skilled in removing the demon from within. This ceremony is usually performed by a religious "holy man."
Extra-terrestrials - Life forms originating on planets other than our own. This term usually refers to highly advanced visitors from other worlds, who journey to our sphere in space crafts with the probable intention of observing and studying our species.
Faustus, Doctor Johann - (b. circa 1455, d. 1540) Scholar, physician and alchemist from Wittenburg, 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.
Fairy - A fairy is a tiny, human-like winged mythical being. The pranks they play are sometimes mistaken for the activities of ghosts or poltergeists. Many types of fairies are believed to exist with each one being connected to an element, as in earth (gnomes), fire (salamanders), air (sylphs), and water (undines).
Family Apparition - A family apparition is a ghost that haunts one particular family. When the ghost appears, it is an omen that someone in the family is going to die.
Fetch - A spectral double of a living person. (See also Doppelganger and Wraith.)
Fetish - 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."
Ghosts - The 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 dream-like state of semi-awareness, at times though not always cognizant of their human observers.
Ghost Catcher - A ghost catcher is a type of wind chime that will clink together as ghosts wisp by.
Ghost Hunt - A ghost hunt consists of a conscious effort to search out a known ghost or visit other places suspected to be haunted.
Ghost Investigation - A ghost investigation involves going into an area looking for ghosts or haunting under controlled conditions. Reports are made to document the events. Listing all the readings of the equipment along with time, weather, and temperature as the project unfolds, becomes valuable information for the research.
Ghost Hunter - A ghost hunter is a person who seeks to find ghosts or haunted places to figure out why, or what type of spirit activity is occuring.
Ghost Buster - A ghost buster is experienced in clearing an area of the ghosts, poltergeists, spirits or other haunted activity.
Ghoul - A ghoul is a grotesque, evil spirit that robs a grave to eat the flesh of the recent dead.
Globule - An anomaly where-in floating, circular forms appear on photographs or videotape, which seem indicative of spirit activity. Globes are a natural containment formation of the meniscus of liquid, as in gas containing bubbles; perhaps the interaction of energy and a quasi-physical substance produced by spiritual manifestations results in a similar effect, the globules being an initial containment of energy. Presently, all we know is that they continue to appear, and extraneous possible causes such as moisture, light refraction or emulsion seepage, etc., have been considered and ruled out.
Golden-rod - A rare anomaly seen in videotape recorded at the site of a suspected haunting, appearing as bright, white or yellowish lines rapidly moving across a room. (See also Globule, Vortex.)
Gray Lady - Gray lady is a reference used to describe the ghost of a woman who has been murdered by her lover or one who waits for the return of a loved one.
Grey - The most frequently reported visitor from an alien world, described as having greyish skin, a bulbous cranium, tapered chin, straight, unmoving, horizontal line for a mouth, slits substituting for a nose, slanted eyes, and a slight body. In some accounts, it has three fingers plus an opposable thumb on each hand. Supposedly, such beings were encountered by Betty and (the late) Barney Hill during their abduction in New Hampshire in September, 1961. (See also Apparition.)
Hallowe'en - 'The Eve of All Hallows,' also known by Pagan Celts and Wiccans as 'Samhain' (pronounced, 'Sow'-an'), October 31, the night preceding the Catholic Church's 'All Saints Day.' For a millennium, in much of Europe and the British Isles, this was held to be the night when departed relatives were especially remembered, and the veil separating the realms of the living and the dead was rendered thinner than usual. Jack-o' lanterns were placed on stoops and window-sills to frightened off malicious spirits. Hallowe'en is presently celebrated as a night of revels and masquerading, and in Mexico it is part of a traditional annual festival known as 'El Dia De Los Muertos' ('The Day of the Dead').
Haunt - A haunt is the place where the ghost or spirit continues to return. Ghosts usually haunt places and not people.
Haunting - The manifestation of a ghostly presence, or presences, attached to a specific locale. Hauntings can be categorized into four (usually) distinct types, these being Intelligent (responsive), Poltergeist (likely initiated by pent-up stress on a subconscious level), Residual (replay) and Demonic (non-human origin). (See also "Infestation.")
Hex - A magical working, or "spell," cast to influence a person's will or fate, most often referring to a curse rather than a blessing or healing.
Hobgoblin - Mischievous sprite (fairy, spirit) who delights in perpetrating pranks upon hapless humans, once widely believed in and dreaded throughout Europe and Celtic regions. (Caution: It is theorized that these diminutive denizens of the netherworld will, upon occasion, interfere in psychic investigations by devices such as misplacing directions and telephone numbers, draining flashlight and camera batteries, and even pulling keys right out of investigators' pockets!) I assume that anyone who reads the preceding caution will realize it is farcical!
Homunculus - A form of miniature human supposedly produced (for purposes unknown) in the laboratories of medieval alchemists. (See also Alchemy.)
Hypnosis - A state of profound mental focus, actually self-induced although an external agent--a "hypnotist"--often acts as the catalyst, or director, for the subject entering this state. Also known as "Mesmerism" after Franz Anton Mesmer who first popularized this practice (utilizing magnets as his props) during the last two decades of the 18th century. As concerns paranormal investigation, hypnosis is sometimes used as a vehicle for "past lives regression" and memory restoration in suspected (alien?) abduction cases.
Icon - A rendering or image of particular (often religious) significance.
Imbolc - In the Wiccan calendar, February 2nd is celebrated as the day when winter's end is in sight, and the return of the sun's warmth is anticipated. Also known as Candlemas and the familiar Ground Hog Day. (See also Wicca.)
Incubus - Stemming from medieval lore, a demonic entity capable of sexually arousing and sometimes assaulting human females. Cases of apparent incubus attacks continue to be documented, suggesting a germ of reality behind the myth.
Infestation - Repeated and persistent paranormal phenomena, generally centered around a particular location or person(s). Also known as a haunting.
Influence - An invisible entity of undetermined nature, effecting the inhabitants of a dwelling. This may initially manifest as an inexplicable feeling of uneasiness, then be followed by more definite signs which reveal a haunting.
Jersey Devil - In the Pine Barrens region of northern New Jersey and New York, for more than two and a half centuries there have been reports of a very strange and singular creature described as having an equine head, glowing, reddish eyes, stork's legs, forelimbs with claw-bearing paws, a pointed tail and membranous, bat-like wings. It emits a shrill, piercing scream, and has been sighted rifling through garbage, standing in paths and roads, and flying just above the tree tops. One rather indistinct photo of this Jersey Devil has produced, but to the best of my knowledge, no one has yet recorded its ear-splitting cry. (See also Lurking Enigma.)
Kirlian Photography - Named after Semyon Kirlian who, in 1939, discovered--reportedly by accident--that when an organic or nonliving object is placed upon a photographic plate and subjected to a high electric current, a glowing "aura" forms around the object and is imprinted on the film. It is more accurate to say that rather than revealing a natural aura, this process produces such. However, fluctuations in the magnetic fields surrounding the subjects can be detected in this way, and Kirlian photography, the technique having been improved upon through the years, has recently come into use as a medical diagnostic device. It also has a popular market at psychic fairs as a sort of high-tech, more expansive version of the mood ring. Kirlian photography does produce some beautiful and interesting effects.
LaVey, Anton Szandor - (b. April 23, 1930, d. Oct. 29, 1997) Birth name was Howard Stanton Levey. One of the major figures of the occult revival of the 1960's and 70's. Charismatic and self-promoting, LaVey formed the 'First Church of Satan' in 1966 and his 'The Satanic Bible' was published by Avon Books in 1968. LaVey's version of Satan was allegorical, symbolizing "the Spirit of Rebellion" as well as an unknown, , but potentially applicable "force of nature." The ceremonies he devised were entertaining psychodrama, and his Satanic philosophy was based on rational self-interest, albeit with overtly diabolical trappings.
Lepke - A very unique and interesting type of spiritual manifestation, a ghost which has the appearance of a solid, living person, may even converse with someone, then suddenly vanishes. "We were talking, I turned to face her again, and she was just gone! " Such apparitions are most often reported to have been encountered within, or immediately outside of cemeteries.
Levitation - A phenomenon sometimes encountered in hauntings, particularly with Poltergeists, rare yet credibly reported, where solid objects (including persons) are moved and lifted by an unseen force. The first historically documented occurrence was that of St. Francis of Assisi in the 14th century.
Ley Lines - The ley lines is an area where invisible lines run between sacred objects or locations.
Lilith - Devil of Sumerian origin and later included in Hebrew beliefs, believed by Quabbalists to have been the first wife of Adam, later excluded from the Talmud, and held by some occultists to be a vampire goddess and a powerful succubus. (See also Succubus, Vampire.)
Lore - Collective beliefs and legendry relating to a subject, as in "vampire lore".
Lovecraft, Howard Phillips "H.P." - (b. 1890, d. 1937) Horror fiction writer from Providence, Rhode Island, whose prose apparently is so haunting and convincing that some present day cults practice rituals based on what is termed as Lovecraft's "C'thulu Mythos." (See also C'thulu and Necronomicon.)
Lucifer - Name taken from the Latin "luci" (light) and "fere" (to bear), originally a Roman lesser deity, "Son of the Morning," formerly the name for the planet Venus when observed at dawn, in Christian theology identified with the Devil: arch regent of fallen angels. Lucifer is sometimes called upon in pagan ceremonies and rituals. (See also Satan)
Luminous Body - Luminous body is a term referring to a faint glow in a dead body to signify a soul's pending departure.
Lurking Enigma - "Lurk" means to furtively move about, and I can think of no more appropriate term to describe this phenomenon--a type of entity which can be visible to human observers, yet appears in distorted, unidentifiable forms. Common traits reported by witnesses include glowing red or silver eyes, dark color (fur or feathers), startling speed and agility, in some cases winged and capable of flight, as with the 'Jersey Devil.' Although such nebulous creatures seem to mean us no harm, encounters with them can be terrifying, and provoke much curiosity. As one would expect, they are extremely elusive.
Lycanthrope - A person who projects a frenzied display of their innate savagery for periodic episodes, believing themselves to be overcome by the spirit of a beast.
Magic - The practice of directing psychic ability, or "supernatural" forces to effect changes and fulfill desires. Many modern practitioners have adopted the archaic spelling of magick, in the tradition of author and occultist, Aleister Crowley (b. 1871, d. 1947).
Malevolent Entities - Malevolent entities are spirits that are very angry or seeking revenge. They sometimes attach themselves to someone causing them discomfort and distress. It is easy for them to harass human being with the same angry or depressed personality.
Manzee - Hypothesized hybrid of Homo sapiens (human) and pan troglodyte (chimpanzee), also referred to as a "sport". A disturbing notion, is it not? (See also Cryptozoology.)
Medium - A medium is someone who can communicate with the dead. During a trance state, the medium allows the spirit to take over his or her body so he can deliver a message to the living. The medium does not remember any of this once he comes out of the trance. Today the new mediums are referred to as channelers. The big difference is that now the medium remains completely conscious of what he says an experiences through the spirit.
Metaphysics - Said to have been instituted by Aristotle, the line of philosophical thought which seeks the "why and wherefore," the intrinsic meaning of existence and human endeavor.
Miracle - A wondrous and beneficial event, apparently brought about by supernatural/divine agent.
Materialization - A ghost appearing visually, suddenly or gradually, sometimes indistinct, sometimes seemingly quite solid.
Matrixing - The natural tendency for the human mind to interpret sensory input, what is perceived visually, audibly or tactilely, as something familiar or more easily understood and accepted, in effect mentally "filling in the blanks."
Moon Madness - As the Lunar cycle waxes to its full point, incidents of psychotic behavior, violence and crime seem to escalate. To a lesser degree, the phase of the New Moon seems correlated to a rash of abnormal behavior. Current understanding of human psychology and physiology refutes the observation that our moon can exert significant influence on the human mind, though statistics support it. (Hence the term "lunatic" for a mentally unbalanced person.) Naturally, it is during the nights of the full Moon when cult activities will be at their zenith. Also, there are those pesky werewolves to contend with!
Mumiai - Native American Indian spirit which behaves in the manner of a Poltergeist. (See also Poltergeist.)
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 which, 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 aerial viewpoint (by ancient, sub-equatorial balloonists. perhaps?).
NDE (Near-Death Experience) - A NDE (Near-Death Experience) is when a person dies and is revived after a short period of time. The person remembers the death experience and visions of the afterlife, which include ghosts and other paranormal events. Survivors of this experience say it changes their whole outlook on death and the feel they can live better lives from this realization.
Necromancer - A necromancer is a person considered to be a sorcerer or wizard, who has the power to raise the dead and force the spirits to obtain information about the future.
Necronomicon - 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.
Nexus - 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 axons, or the body's connection to the spirit. The concept of the Nexus is the basis for much conjecture and postulating.
Non-religionist - A materialist, one who embraces no formal religious beliefs; a more descriptive term than atheist or agnostic.
Nosferatu - Slavic, old-world term for vampire, meaning "undead."
Orbs - Orbs are globe-shaped lights of energy caught on film, usually during a haunting or other paranormal experience. Orbs are believed to represent the spirit of an individual who has died. They are made up of the life force that powered their body in life. They may vary in size, color, and density.
Omen - An omen is a foretelling of a future event.
Oracle - An oracle is a prophet who can communicate with spirits, ghosts, and gods to obtain information.
Ouija Board - An ouija board is a board with numbers, alphabet, and the words "yes," "no," and "good-bye," printed on the surface. It comes with a planchette (a pointer) and once you lightly place your hand on it the pointer will spell out the answers to the questions asked by the players. This game of the Ouija Board can be dangerous if you are unaware of what you are doing and not educated in psychic science. Experienced researchers vehemently advise against their usage.
Pact - The belief, prevalent in the late middle ages through the Renaissance, that someone could trade his or her soul in return for worldly gain. (See also Faustus, Doctor Johann.)
Paranormal - Paranormal is any experience that happens beyond the range of scientific explanation or normal human capabilities. These experiences may include hauntings, telekinesis, telepathy, clairvoyance, or any other rarity that cannot be justified by the five senses.
Parapsychology - The avenue of paranormal studies and research relating chiefly to psychic abilities (E.S.P., telepathy) and spiritual phenomena.
Pentacle/Pentagram - The traditional five-pointed star design, with its interior pentagon delineated, generally representing both spirituality and protection when point "up"; when inverted, it is said to signify diabolism.
Phantom Lights - Sometimes they can be attributed to blue methane flame produced by swamp gas, or electrical discharges in the form of what is termed ball lightning or perhaps even misplaced fireflies. Yet, in other instances, the phenomenon of floating lights observed over water, the edge of woods, lonely back roads and in the windows of darkened houses just can't be dismissed by ordinary explanations. These might be globules which coalesce and intensify in luminosity to the point where they become visible in dark surroundings.
Philosopher's Stone - A wondrous beacon of sublime wisdom and awesome revelation, a powerful conjurer's device, perhaps even an extraterrestrial gem encoded with unimagined, otherworldly knowledge. For centuries alchemists, mystics, learned men and seekers of truth quested for the fabled Philosopher's Stone, ,not really knowing where or even precisely what it was. Once obtained, it would impart the wisdom of the world and of the angels. Should this actually exist and is in someone's possession, ,it may well be regarded as one more enigmatic artifact, since it is unlikely to include instructions!
Planchette - A planchette is a pointer used with a Ouija Board to communicate with spirits, ghosts, or entities of a higher plane.
Poltergeist - A poltergeist is a noisy and sometimes violent spirit. The name "Poltergeist" has Greek roots meaning "noisy ghost." This is an extremely rare occurrence wherein random objects are moved and sounds produced by an unseen force, the sole purpose of which seems to be to draw attention to itself. The phenomenon always involves a specific individual, frequently a child or adolescent.
Possession - A possession is when an evil entity takes over a human body and forces the soul out. This allows the spirit to use the host by alternating his own will. This may totally adjust the host's current personality. The people most commonly attacked by this force are women under twenty who show signs of emotional distress. The disincarnate spirit seeks out humans with their own emotions of anger, revenge, and resentment.
Precognition - Precognition is the foreknowing of future events.
Psychic - A psychic is a person who tunes into phenomena beyond their five senses. The talents of psychic include, but are not limited to, hearing voices, seeing spirits and knowing what might be happening in the future. Unfortunately, these gifts have been misinterpreted as a mental illness for some. Phychics have also been referred to as seers or sensitives.
Psychic Vampire - This is a term for individuals who seem to instinctively draw and absorb the psychic energies from others, usually while conversing with (or at) them.
Psychokinesis - Psychokinesis is the ability to move objects with the power of the mind only.
Purgatory - Purgatory is the place where the souls of the dead must go to be cleansed of all their sins before being allowed into heaven, according to Catholicism.
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.
Radiant Child - The apparition of a child which is seen glowing or surrounded by a bright aura.
Reciprocal Apparition - A reciprocal apparition is an experience where both the individual and ghost see and react to each other.
Regents - In medieval European lore, chief spirits who preside over the four regions of the earth: 'Oriens' is Regent of the east, 'Amemon' is Regent of the south, 'Boul' is Regent of the west, 'Eltzen' is Regent of the north.
Reincarnation - Reincarnation is the belief that once a person dies, his soul returns to a new body where it will continue its lessons about life and how to reach enlightenment. Many reincarnations may be necessary for the soul to learn and become closer to the goal of perfection.
Residual (Haunting) - Psychic imprint of a scene which is repeatedly played out, where the witness of such phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly participants of these time-displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.
Retrocognition - Retrocognition is the foreknowing of past events.
Revenant - An entity which projects an appearance of being distressed or misplaced.
Rune - An archaic character inscribed upon a stone or clay tablet, signifying some virtue or property, as with the Norse Runes, and used for divination and as a talisman.
Sanguinor - A person exhibiting vampiric tendencies (the desire to ingest blood) and attributes. These may be either contrived or pathological.
Satan - Hebraic term for "Adversary," the "Tester" in the Biblical Book of Job, the most familiar name of the Devil, the "Fallen Angel" and the "Evil One." Investigators sometimes come across evidence of the activities of Satanic cults, who perform animal sacrifices and apparently believe that desecrations and obscenities are devotions to their dark lord.
Scrying - Scrying is a form of divination in which an individual stares deeply into an object in order to see an image that might appear. This object could be a mirror, crystal ball, or a flame. The images that appear can be symbolic and give answers to a question. A spirit usually generates these images.
Séance - A group effort to contact the spirit world. In standardized format, the lighting of the chamber in which the séance is conducted is subdued, and the participants sit around the table, either holding hands or with hands palm down, flat against the table's surface and with fingertips touching those of the adjacent partners. A candle generally is set on the center of the table. The appointed director or "medium" addresses the spirit(s) with whom contact is sought, and then it's "We await a sign..." (We do not endorse the use of séances.)
Selkie - a creature which is a seal in the ocean, but on
land, sheds its seal pelt and becomes an attractive brown-eyed person. If it's separated from its sealskin for too long, or if the skin is damaged, it could die. Legend on the west coast of Ireland says that male selkies appear and seduce women, so they'll bear their children; the children remain human
until they're 12 or so, then the selkie father comes back to take them away.
Sensitive - A sensitive refers to a person who can detect paranormal events beyond the range of his five senses.
Shaman - A shaman is a medicine man or witch doctor who can communicate with the spirits during a trance and who also possesses the power of healing.
Shaman - A tribal priest who, following much preparation and rite of initiation, uses the forces of magic to effect healings and divinations.
Shuck - ('Black Shuck,' 'Old Shuck') A phantom black dog with glowing yellow eyes. Hikers in the British Isles who encounter this spectral creature by lonely roadsides and paths are said to be doomed to die within a year of the sighting. It is from this legend that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle drew his inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes adventure, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' (1902).
Sidhe - (pronounced Shee) They're not the "little fairy folk" but human size and both attractive and terrifying; in Ireland, they are said to have "wild hunts" at certain times of the year, and humans should stay inside and lock their doors, lest they be swept up and taken to the Seelie (or worse, the Unseelie) court of the Fairy (Faerie -- either spelling works).
Sigil of Baphomet - Leit-motif if Satanism, this emblem is composed of an inverted pentagram containing a goat head, encompassed by two, concentric circles, in between which are placed five Hebraic characters.
Signet - A ring bearing a personal or family emblem.
Silky - A female ghost which is attired in a rustling silk garment (sometimes seen, other times just heard) and performs domestic chores for a household after the occupants have retired for the night.
Sixth Sense - A sixth sense is to have the power of perception in addition to the five senses. It is also a popular term for extrasensory perception (ESP).
Smudging - Smudging is a form of cleansing or the clearing of a spirit from an area by using incense to purify the area.
Spirit - Existence apart from, or transcending, the purely physical; also, the life-force of an organism. A spirit commonly refers to a ghost.
Spirit Guide - A spirit guide is a heavenly spirit or guardian angel that is present and offers help to the person to whom it is attached. This help may be a simple hunch or a certain feeling that comes over the person who needs guidance for a problem or situation. Some people claim that they can communicate with their guides at all times.
Spirit Photography - Spirit photography is usually a photo that contains a face or form believed to be that of a deceased person.
Spirit Rescue - Attempting contact with entities, intended to alleviate the entities' distress and aid them in the resolution of their conflicts, and in "crossing over" to a higher, spiritual plane.
Spiritualism - Spiritualism is a belief structure that spirits and ghosts can communicate with the living.
Spook - Benevolent spirit exclusively of America which comes from the legends of the Red Indians.
Spunkies - The sad spirits of unnamed, unchristened or unbaptized children, believed by old Gaelic and English tradition to wander country roads in search of someone who will name them.
Stigmata - Persons have been observed periodically bleeding from points on their bodies corresponding to the wounds of the Crucifixion. Although the physiological mechanisms which produce this effect are not understood, it is apparently and externalization of religious fervor. Stigmata has been thought to be an indication of sanctity. St. Francis of Assisi was said to have displayed the stigmatic bleeding, and the best documented case is that of Padre Pio (b. 1887, d. 1968).
Succubus - "Female" counterpart of the incubus, a demonic entity said to inspire lust in men (and most inconveniently!), sometimes capable of physically attacking and inflicting injuries (bruises & slashes). Following a nocturnal visitation from a succubus, the human victim will always feel ill and depleted of vitality, and inexplicably "un-clean."
Supernatural - Supernatural is when an unexplained occurrence take place out of the realm of the known forces of nature. The experience usually involves spirits.
Synchronicity - Unexplained system of causal interaction which binds together events, actions and thought, manifesting as uncanny coincidences. Term for and existence of this phenomenon was first proposed by pioneering psycho-analyst, Carl Gustav Jung (a contemporary of Sigmund Freud). Synchronicity indicates there is more to the Universe than our understanding of simple cause and effect, and that the subtleties of the mind and matter are somehow interconnected.
Table-tipping (Typology) - Table-tipping (Typology) is a type of communication with the spirit world through the use of a table. You start out with any size table and surround it with a number of people. Everyone places all five fingers lightly on the table. All together the group chants, "Table up, Table up." Usually will start to quiver of lift to one side. If someone in the group has strong energy, the table might rock back and forth or lift off the floor. At this point, a question may be asked with a response from the table tapping once for "yes" and two for "no." If there is a nonbeliever present, the table will probably not move. This type of entertainment can be dangerous and is not recommended to those unskilled in psychic science.
Talisman - A design or inscription that is worn, carried or displayed, for the purpose of invoking strength, power, protection or the aid of spirits.
Tash - Irish name for a ghost which can appear in either human or animal form. Also called Thevshi.
Telekinesis - Telekinesis is where a person can move an object through the power of thought without physical means to move the object.
Telepathy - Telepathy is a method of communication from mind to mind. Dr. Rhine of Duke University proved that the mind could communicate with other minds and successfully transmit information.
Teleportation - Teleportation happens when an object can be transported from one location to another by disappearing and then reappearing in a different place, even going through solid objects.
Thought Transference - Telepathic transmitting of images and messages from the mind of one person to that of another.
Thunderbird - Prevalent among the Amer-Indian peoples, particularly the Algonquin and Cheyenne, are legends telling of immense birds, and raging storms that would come in their wake. Interestingly, reported sightings of birds of truly monstrous proportions persist, most frequently through the vicinity of the Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico. In the Miocene era, approximately eight to ten million years ago, a species of bird, discovered in only 1979 and dubbed "Argentaevis Magnificens," (which means 'Magnificent Bird of Argentina') soared through South American skies, with a wing-span of 25 feet and weighing perhaps 200 lbs! Just maybe...?
Time-displacement - The experience of a time span separate from the native time span of the observer. The phenomenon is sometimes merely viewed and not participated in; sometimes a person seems to actually time-travel to another era.
Time Slips - Time Slips occur when the past and present collide at a location.
Transmigration - Transmigration is a belief that a soul can move from body to body through the process of reincarnation.
Ultra-terrestrials - Beings who appear human and visit our plane of existence with some form of message or mission, then inexplicably vanish. Speculation abounds!
Vampire - A demonic (?) entity in the form of a deceased person, which perpetuates itself by draining the blood or psychic energy of the living.
Vassage - A vassage is a spirit that inhabits a scrying crystal. During the session, the spirit communicates by forming literal or symbolic images.
Voodoo - African magic traditions with a veneer of imposed Catholicism from the new world, taking root in the Caribbean, particularly the dark populous of Haiti. Similarities in origin and practices exist in the beliefs of 'Obia' (Jamaica) and 'Santeria' (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic).
Vortex - pl. Vortexes or Vortices. An anomaly which sometimes shows up in still photographs taken at the site of a suspected haunting, appearing as a translucent white, tube or funnel shaped mass. Some researchers believe this may be a porthole to the spirit realm. (See also Golden-rod, Globule.)
Vorthr - Norse guardian spirit. This name is the source of the word Wraith.
Vampire: - A demonic (?) entity in the form of a deceased person, which perpetuates itself by draining the blood or psychic energy of the living.
Warlock - Term originally meant "deceiver" or " one who misleads," in more modern parlance has become associated with a male witch.
Werewolf - (Old/Middle English word for man = were) A human being capable of transforming into the form of a wolf (or any variety of animals), then back to human; sometimes referred to as a "Shape-Shifter." See also "Lycanthrope"
Wicca - Witchcraft as a recognized religion, the practitioners of which refer to their system as, "The Old Way" and "The Ancient Religion." Wiccans in their rituals align themselves with elementals and the earth's natural magnetic fields, personified by the names of ancient Greek, Egyptian and Sumerian deities.
Will-o'-the-Wisp - Will-o'-the-Wisp is a ball of flame that floats in mid air. They have also been observed bobbing or dancing just above the ground in yellow and blue flames. These wondrous episodes have been recorded since Roman times. The Native Americans believed them to be fire spirits warning everyone of danger. The Germans thought the balls of flames were lost or trapped souls that couldn't move on. In Africa, some believed that the Will-o'-the-Wisp was witches trying to scare sinners into behaving properly. In Russia, these lights represent the souls of stillborn infants. Throughout Europe, when these lights appeared it was thought to be evil spirits that couldn't enter heaven, but were not evil enough to be condemned to hell.
Windigo - a giant cannibal monster that eats people in the dead of winter. It can also infect people, usually hunters, by piercing them with a splinter of ice from its heart of ice; this human-windigo may appear human at times, but is gradually overcome by its desire for human flesh. Anthropologists theorize that the concept of the Windigo arose to explain starvation-cannibalism in the long freezing winters of the region.
Witch - Broadly, a practitioner of the magic arts, spec. a woman who employs charms, herbs and incantations to effect the workings of her will. Also, a practitioner of the Wicca craft.
Wizard - A male sorcerer and conjurer who is especially adept and experienced in his craft.
Wraith/Wrayth - The image of a person appearing shortly before or after his or her death; term can also be applied to a ghost. (See also Apparition, Ghost.)
Xenobiology - From the Greek word "Xeno" = strange, the observation/speculation of the biology of very uncommon or unverified creatures. This term has usage in the research categories of cryptozoology and otherworldly aliens.
Xenophobia - A pronounced aversion to people, or beings, of foreign origins.
Yaweh - (pronounced "Yah-vay") According to ancient Hebrew and Quaballistic teaching, the name of God abbreviated 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.")
Yeti - 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.
Zarcanor - 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.
Zephyr - Spirit borne upon, governing, or manifesting as the western wind.
Zombie - Prevalent in Haitian lore, a cadaver disinterred 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.
Zoomorphism - Representation of a deity or devil with animal attributes.
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