Paranormal Definitions
  • Anomaly
    Something that is out of place and unexplained. In paranormal studies, it refers to any phenomena that we cannot explain. Example: A lens flare in a photo is not an anomaly, but an orb that we cannot explain is an anomaly.
  • Apparition
    Since the early 17th century, this refers to any ghost that seems to have material substance. If it appears in any physical form, including a vapor-like image, it may be called an apparition.
  • Doppelganger
    A concept made popular in the early 19th century, especially by Shelley and Byron. A doppelganger is the apparition, or double, of a living person. This may be paranormal phenomenon, but it's not a ghost. It does not forecast anything tragic.
  • Ectoplasm
    Often referred to as "ecto," this is the physical residue of psychic energy. It's the basis for "slime" used in the Ghostbusters movies. Ectoplasm can be seen by the naked eye, and is best viewed in dark settings since it is translucent and tends to glow. It is very unusual Researchers often describe it as a vivid, X-Files kind of lime green. It usually fades from sight gradually.
  • EMF
    Electro Magnetic Field, or Electro Magnetic Frequency. As the name suggests, it's a combination of electrical and magnetic fields. You'll find high EMF levels around power sources, fuse boxes, electrical outlets, computer monitors, microwave ovens, etc. Unexplained EMF fields often indicate something paranormal. EMF fields can be measured with various tools, including an EMF meter or a hiking compass.
  • EVP
    Electronic Voice Phenomena, or the recording of unexplained voices, usually in haunted settings.
  • ORB
    A round, whitish or pastel-colored translucent area in photos. Rarely seen in real life. Generally, these are perfectly circular, not oval. Many researchers believe that they represent spirits or ghosts.
  • Ouija
    From the French and German words for "yes," this is a spelling board used with a planchette. The device is intended to communicate with and through the spirit world, obtaining answers to questions. Many ghost hunters don't include them in scientific investigations, and some people object to them on principle.
  • Paranormal
    The prefix, "para" indicates something that is irregular, faulty, or operating outside the usual boundaries. So, "paranormal" refers to anything outside the realm and experiences that we consider normal.
  • Parapsychology
    The study of mental abilities and effects outside the usual realm of psychology. Parapsychology includes the study of ESP, ghosts, luck, psycho kinesis, and other paranormal phenomenon.
  • Poltergeist
    From the German meaning "noisy ghost," this term has been in use since the early 19th century to mean a spirit that makes noise, or otherwise plays pranks… often annoying. Unlike other ghosts, poltergeists can move from one location to another, following the person they've chosen to torment. Many psychologists believe that poltergeists are not ghosts at all, but some form of psycho kinesis or remote activity.
  • Portal
    Literally, a doorway or gate, this term suggests a specific location through which spirits enter and leave our world. When there are multiple phenomena in a confined area, such as an abundance of unexplained orbs, some people call this a "ghost portal”.
  • Psychic
    From the Greek word meaning of the soul, or of life (Paul uses it in the Bible, I Cor ii, 14), this word usually refers to the world outside the domain of physical law. "Psychic" can relate to the spirit or the mind, depending upon the context. When someone is described as a psychic, it usually means that he or she is able to perceive things that are outside traditional physical laws and perceptions.
  • Psycho Kinesis
    To move something with the powers of one's mind, alone. It may be a factor in some hauntings, and particularly in poltergeist phenomena. It's usually called "PK." (Also see telekinesis.)
  • Residual Energy
    Many ghost hunters believe that emotionally charged events leave an imprint or energy residue on the physical objects nearby. What distinguishes residual energy from an active haunting is that the energy/impressions repeat consistently, as if on a loop. The energy levels may increase or decrease, but the content remains the same with each manifestation. By contrast, in what we term an active haunting, the ghost may respond to environmental stimuli and direct contact.
  • Telekinesis
    From a Greek word meaning any motion that is activated from a distance. Technically, this could describe a remote-controlled toy boat, so we use the word psychokinesis for our research.
  • Vortex
    Since the time of Descartes, this has indicated the rotation of cosmic energy around a central point or axis. Beginning in the mid-19th century, the word "vortex" has meant any whirling movement of energy or particles.
Paranormal Colors
  • Blue
    Usually associated with the American Union Army or the spirit of someone who died in a tragic love affair or while depressed.
  • Gray
    Usually associated with the American Confederate Army or the spirit in a library in America. In other countries, the color characterizes people who died tragically for the sake of love or died with a broken heart.
  • Green
    Someone of Irish heritage
  • Orange
    Someone who wishes to be noticed.
  • Pink
    The spirit of a person who committed suicide because they could not be with their lover.
  • Purple
    A Friendly Spirit.
  • Red
    The spirit of a very passionate or flirtatious person.
  • White
  • Yellow
    The spirit of a very opinionated person.
  • Black
    Religious devotee such as a priest, monk or nun.
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