Although every group in the paranormal field has their own little twist on "paranormal terminology," our list is no different. This comprehensive list should point you in the right direction in the learning process. We always strive to improve and educate. If there's something you would like to see added to our list, contact us with your idea(s). Oh, and don't forget to submit your name along with your idea (s) so that you receive the credit!
AGENT: One that acts or exerts power. 1
ALTERED STATE OF
AMULET: A charm often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to aid the wearer or protect against evil. 1
APPARITION: An unusual or unexpected sight, a ghostly figure, the act of becoming visible.
ANGEL: A spiritual being superior to humans in power and intelligence; especially one in the lowest rank in the celestial hierarchy, an attendant spirit or guardian. 1
ANOMALY: Something different, abnormal, peculiar, or not easily classified that appears on photos or video taken by film or digital media. 1
APPORT: An object (s) that suddenly appear out of nowhere during a haunting.
ASPORT: The ability for an object to be seen, disappear and then reappear at a later time.
ASTRAL TRAVEL: The ability to travel outside of the body through the crown charka by means of meditation.
ATMOSPHERIC APPARITION: A visual imprint of people and events that was left behind in the environment that continues to replay; some may consider this a residual haunting.
AUDIO MATRIXING: Manipulating sounds to believe they are ghostly or spiritual words.
AURA: An energy field that is held to emanate from a living being. 1
AUTOMATIC WRITING: Telepathic or spiritualistic writings produced without conscious intention.
AUTOMATISM: The moving or functioning (as of an organ, tissue, or a body part) without conscious control that occurs either independently of external stimuli- i.e. a spirit controlling automatic writing. 1
BANSHEE: A female spirit in Gaelic folklore whose appearance or wailing warns a family that one of them will soon die. 1
BEFRIENDING PHENOMENA: A living person who is befriended by a ghost or spirit.
BOGEY: A source of fear, perplexity, or harassment. 1
CHAKRA: Any of several points of physical or spiritual energy in the human body according to yoga philosophy. 1
CHANNELING: The ability to receive messages from sprits from the other side through the means of a channeler’s body.
CHARMS: A spell or object possessing magic power.
CHUPACABRA: Half man half vampire/beast, red eyes and a snake like tongue. A.K.A. "the goat sucker.”
CIRCLE: A group of people sharing a common mediumistic interest to connect with spirit entities.
CLAIRAUDIENCE: The power or faculty of hearing something not present to the ear but regarded as having objective reality. 1
CLAIRGUSTANCE: The power or faculty of the sense of taste associated with a spirit.
CLAIROLEOFACTOR: The power or faculty of the sense of smell, to smell flowers before they bloom or trouble before it happens.
CLAIRVOYANCE: The power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses; the ability to perceive matters beyond the range of ordinary perception. 1
CLEANSING: The act of removing spirits without performing an exorcism.
CLOSED CIRCLES: A private group that is in Spiritualist Churches. (
COLD SPOT: An unexplainable drop in temperature in a defined, small area that registers at least 10 degrees in change.
COLLECTIVE APPARITION: The sighting by more than one individual of the same apparition.
COMPASS: To devise or contrive often with craft or skill. 1
CONTAGION: A spirit or entity who follows you from a haunted location.
CONTROL: To check, test, or verify by evidence or experiments, to exercise restraining or directing influence over test. 1
CRISIS APPARITION: An apparition saw either before, during or after a crisis event such as an illness, tragic event, or death.
DEATHBED VISIONS: The greeting of deceased relatives, friends and unknown people before passing on.
DEBUNK: When reported paranormal evidence or paranormal activity is proven not to be paranormal by logical and non-paranormal explanations.
DEJA VU: The illusion of remembering scenes and events when experienced for the first time, a feeling that one has seen or heard something before. 1
DEMATERIALIZATION: To cause to become or appear immaterial, to lose or appear to lose materiality. 1
DEMON: An evil spirit, a source or agent of evil, harm, distress, or ruin, a supernatural being of Greek mythology intermediate between gods and men. 1
DEMONIC HAUNTING: A dramatic and even violent haunting by a nonhuman entity.
DEMONOLOGIST: Generally a very religious person who pursues demons and other nonhuman entitles both for study and to help people rid them from their lives.
DISCARNATE: Having no physical body. 1
DISEMBODIED VOICE: A voice heard that does not have a known source.
DIVINATION: The art or practice that seeks to foresee or foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge usually by the interpretation of omens or by the aid of supernatural powers. 1
DOGMA: A religious believe or doctrine that is taken as the truth without any proof to back it up.
DOOR PHENOMENA: A door that opens, closes, slams, locks and unlocks with no purpose to it.
DOPPELGANGER: A ghostly counterpart of a living person, a twin entity.
DOWSING RODS: The ability to use a pair of metal rods to locate energy sources that could be paranormal in nature. They can also be used as a communication tool between the living and the dead.
EARTHBOUND: Tied in or to the soil, located on or restricted to land or to the surface of the earth. 1
ECHOLALIA: The often pathological repetition of what is said by other people as if echoing them. 1
ECTOPLASM: The outer relatively rigid granule-free layer of the cytoplasm usually held to be a gel reversibly convertible to a sol, a substance held to produce spirit materialization and telekinesis. 1
EMF – ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD: Any of a system of electrical units based primarily on the magnetic properties of electrical currents. 1
EMPATHY: The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.
ENTITY: A generic term used to describe a paranormal object/being/ghost/spirit.
ESP (EXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION): Perception (as in telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition) that involves awareness of information about events external to the self not gained through the senses and not deducible from previous experience. 1
EVP – ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA: Unexplainable voices during the playback of a recording made on an electronic recoding device.
EXORCISM: to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration b: to get rid of (something troublesome, menacing, or oppressive), to free of an evil spirit. 1
FAIRY: A mythical being of folklore and romance usually having diminutive human form and magic powers. 1
FALSE AWAKENING: The sense of being awake while still sleeping (dreaming).
FEAR CAGE: An uncontrollable fear caused by being in a small enclosed area with a high EMF reading.
GHOST: A disembodied soul; especially the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness. 1
GHOST HUNTING: Investigating a place where a ghost has been reported in the hopes of finding evidence of ghost, spirits or other paranormal activity.
GHOST LIGHTS: What looks to be a flickering light seen at twilight, generally over bogs and swamps. A light left on overnight on the stage of a theatre.
GRAY LADY: The ghost of a lady who has died at the hands of a lover or waits for the return of a loved one.
GUARDIAN ANGEL: An angel believed to have special care of a particular individual. 1
HALLOWEEN: All Hallows Eve, is the night of October 31. It is said that this is the night when the spirit and normal world allegedly become one.
HALLUCINATION: Perception of objects with no reality usually arising from disorder of the nervous system or in response to drugs. 1
HAUNTING: To visit or inhabit as a ghost. 1
HEALER: One that heals, a Christian Science practitioner. 1
HOT SPOT: An area of frequent paranormal activities or ghosts sightings.
HYPNAGOGIC AND HYPNOPOMPIC HALLUCINATIONS: The hallucinogenic state that happens during the moments before falling asleep and before waking up.
HYPNOTISM: An induced trance or sleep state.
IMPRINT (IMPRINTING): A recorded moment in time that replays itself on a regular basis. (See atmospheric apparitions).
INCORPOREAL: Not corporeal: having no material body or form. 1
INCUBUS: An evil spirit that lies on persons in their sleep; especially: one that has sexual intercourse with women while they are sleeping. (Also see succubus). 1
INFRARED (IR): Situated outside the visible spectrum at its red end —used of radiation having a wavelength between about 700 nanometers and 1 millimeter. 1
INTELLIGENT HAUNTING: A type of haunting that interacts intelligently with the living through voice manifestation, manipulation of objects, creating cold spots, etc.
INTUITION: The power or faculty of attaining to direct knowledge or cognition without evident rational thought and inference. 1
INVOCATION: The act or process of petitioning for help or support, a prayer of entreaty. 1
KARMA: The force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence.
KINETIC ENERGY: Energy associated with motion. 1
LEVITATION: The act or process of levitating especially: the rising or lifting of a person or thing by means held to be supernatural. 1
LEY LINES: The natural magnetic forces of the Earth and therefore are very powerful for spiritual and mystic activity.
LIGHT EMITTING DIODE (LED): A semiconductor diode that emits light when a voltage is applied to it and that is used especially in electronic devices (as for an indicator light). 1
"LIGHTS OUT" INVESTIGATION: A term at the start of an investigation where you attempt to turn off all electrical sources, including the lights.
LIVING GHOST: The phenomena of seeing a loved one in a ghostly fashion before a horrific incident.
LOST TIME: A phenomena or time warp in which time is lost while associated with a paranormal ghost/spirit activity.
LUCID DREAMS: A dream where the dreamer does not know that they are dreaming.
LUMINOUS PHENOMENA: The occurrence of strange lights or glows, often around objects or people. A.K.A. Ghost Lights.
MANIFESTATION: A perceptible, outward, or visible expression: one of the forms in which an individual is manifested, an occult phenomenon. 1
MATRIXING: When the mind attempts to manifest images as something they are not, such as a cloud looking like an animal.
MEDIUM: An individual held to be a channel of communication between the earthly world and a world of spirits. 1
METAPHYSICS: A division of philosophy that is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality and being and that includes ontology, cosmology, and often epistemology. 1
MIST: An energy field or manifestation of a spirit. It takes the shape of a cloud or haze but has a paranormal ectoplasm substance.
MOMENT OF MORTALITY: A spirit that occurs when someone is at the exact moment of their death. (See Death Bed Visions).
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCES (NDE): The clinical hallucinations that are experienced when one is clinically dead, but then survive. Bright lights and tunnels are the most common experience.
NECROMANCY (NECROMANCE): Conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events. 1
NECRONOMICON: The book of the dead.
NIGHT SHOT: An option on Sony Handicams that allow the user to shoot video in the dark.
NONHUMAN or INHUMAN SPIRIT: An entity, ghost or spirit including angels and demons.
OMEN: An occurrence or phenomenon believed to portend a future event. 1
ORACLE: A person (as a priestess of ancient
ORB: A spherical body which is believed by some to be an entity or energy attempting to manifest itself. Most Orbs are nothing more than dust or moisture droplets. They can be different shapes, sizes and/or colors.
OUIJA BOARD: A board made up of letters & numbers, and usually the words "Yes" and "No,” used in trying to communicate with spirits.
OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE (OBE): The ability to leave ones body through the crown chakra. (See Astra Travel).
PARANORMAL: Not scientifically explainable. 1
PARAPSYCHOLOGY: A field of study concerned with the investigation of evidence for paranormal psychological phenomena (as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis). 1
PENDULUM: A body suspended from a fixed point so as to swing freely to and fro under the action of gravity and commonly used to regulate movements. 1
PERCIPIENT: A person on whose mind a telepathic impulse or message is held to fall. 1
PHANTOM: Something (as a specter) apparent to sense but with no substantial existence, something elusive or visionary, a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal. 1
PHENOMENON: An observable fact or event, an object or aspect known through the senses rather than by thought or intuition, a fact or event of scientific interest susceptible to scientific description and explanation. 1
PLANCHETTE: A small triangular or heart-shaped board supported on casters at two points and a vertical pencil at a third and believed to produce automatic writing when lightly touched by the fingers. 1
POLTERGEIST: a noisy usually mischievous ghost held to be responsible for unexplained noises (as rappings). 1
PRECOGNITION: Knowledge clairvoyance relating to an event or state not yet experienced. 1
PREMONITION: Previous notice or warning, anticipation of an event without conscious reason. 1
PRESENCE: Something (as a spirit) felt or believed to be present. 1
PSYCHIC: A person apparently sensitive to nonphysical forces, psychic phenomena sensitive to nonphysical or supernatural forces and influences: marked by extraordinary or mysterious sensitivity, perception, or understanding. 1
PSYCHOKINESIS (PK): Movement of physical objects by the mind without use of physical means. 1
PSYCHOMETRY: Divination of facts concerning an object or its owner through contact with or proximity to the object. 1
RAPPING: To strike with a sharp blow. 1
REIKI: A system of touching with the hands based on the belief that such touching by an experienced practitioner produces beneficial effects by strengthening and normalizing certain vital energy fields held to exist within the body. 1
REINCARNATION: Rebirth in new bodies or forms of life, a rebirth of a soul in a new human body. 1
RESIDUAL HAUNTING: Non conscious and unintelligent haunting thought to be due to an imprint.
RETROCOGNITION: Familiarity of a past event acquired psychically.
SCRYING: Someone, like fortune teller, who can see things by looking into a mirror or crystal ball.
SÉANCE: A spiritualist meeting to receive spirit communications.
SENSITIVE: A person who has psychic abilities, but not as toned as a medium.
SHADOWS: Partial darkness or obscurity within a part of space from which rays from a source of light are cut off by an interposed opaque body. 1
SHAMAN: A priest or priestess who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, divining the hidden and controlling events. (A Witch Doctor). 1
SIMULACRA: An insubstantial form or semblance of something. 1
SIXTH SENSE: A power of perception like but not one of the five senses, a keen intuitive power. 1
SKEPTIC: A person disposed to skepticism especially regarding religion or religious principles, a non believer. 1
SLEEP PARALYSIS: Upon awakening complete or partial loss of function especially when involving the motion or sensation in a part of the body as though there is someone sitting on you.
SPECTER: A visible disembodied spirit. 1
SPIRIT: An often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible. 1
SPIRITUALISM: A belief that spirits of the dead communicate with the living through a medium. 1
STIGMATA: Bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy. 1
SUCCUBUS: A demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep. (Also see incubus). 1
SUPERNATURAL: Departing from what is usual or normal especially so as to appear to transcend the laws of nature, attributed to an invisible agent (as a ghost or spirit). 1
TAROT CARDS: A deck of cards used primarily by readers or mediums to predict the future of the person being read.
TELEKINESIS: The production of motion in objects (as by a spiritualistic medium) without contact or other physical means. 1
TELEPATHY: Communication from one mind to another by extrasensory means. 1
TELEPORTATION: The act or process of moving an object or person by psychokinesis. 1
TOUCHED: Physical contact from a ghost or spirit (tug, push, stroke or shove).
TRANCE: A sleeplike state (as of deep hypnosis) usually characterized by partly suspended animation with diminished or absent sensory and motor activity. 1
TRANSCOMMUNICATION: The ability to pick up voices of the deceased through electronic means. See EVP.
TRANSFIGURATION: A change in form or appearance, metamorphosis an exalting, glorifying, or spiritual change. 1
ULTRAVIOLET (UV): Situated beyond the visible spectrum at its violet end. Used by some to videotape ghosts in the dark.
VORTEX: A paranormal porthole of high electromagnetic energy believed to be a passage way between the real world and spiritual world.
WARP: Where laws of physics no longer exists. Perception can be twisted and time can be lost. Generally happens in only short durations in a small area.
WHITE NOISE: A heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range, a constant background noise, one that drowns out other sounds. 1
WRAITH: The exact likeness of a living person seen usually just before death as an apparition, an insubstantial form or semblance. 1
ZENER CARDS: A deck of 25 cards, with 5 cards each of 5 symbols, used primarily for advanced ESP testing.
1 Definitions from Webster/Meridians Dictionary.