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Paranormal Glossary of Terms


The following is a list of terms relevant to the paranormal. 

Anomaly:       Something that cannot be explained.

Apparition:    Any ghost that seems to have a physical substance, whether visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory.

Clearing:        Getting rid of ghostly activity in a specific location.

Cold Spots:    Areas of cool/cold air found in haunted locations.

Ectoplasm:     A substance thought to be emitted by spirits and from mediums communicating with the spirit world.

EMF:             (Electromagnetic Field or Electromagnetic Frequency):  A combination of electrical and magnetic fields. EMF fields are commonly measured as part of the ghost hunting process.

Entity:            Any being, including people and ghosts.

EVP:              (Electronic Voice Phenomena): The act of capturing and recording disembodied voices and sounds.

Ghost:            A sentient entity or spirit that visits or lingers in our world after death.

Ghost Hunters: People who investigate hauntings to find explanations for possible paranormal phenomena involved.

Ghost Lights: Mysterious lights, seen at a distance, usually appearing as blue or yellow spheres, which can appear to blink.

Haunting/Haunted: Describes a location where there appears to be significant paranormal activity. Often includes a combination of cold spots, apparitions, missing objects, noises, disembodied voices & other repeated phenomena& witnessed by several people which leads to the location getting a reputation for this activity.

Intelligent Haunting: Intelligent haunting has consciousness. It can communicate.

K2 Meter:      Easy-to-use tool to detect spikes in electromagnetic energy that may signify activity or communication from spirits from the other side.

Night vision full spectrum cameras: Night vision allows you to view unseen infrared light, full-spectrum is specifically designed for ghost hunting to see far beyond our normal sight into areas of the spectrum where theories think ghosts reside.

Orbs:              Spheres of translucent light (often whitish or pastel color), usually appearing in photographs. Many investigators believe they represent spirits or ghosts.

Paranormal: Anything outside the realm & experiences we call normal. Often used to describe ghosts, UFO’s, Cryptids & other phenomena that defy traditional scientific explanations.

Physical Manipulation: When an object of some sort is thought to be moved or physically altered by a ghost or spirit (such as lights going on and off and objects moving without any human interaction).

Poltergeist:  A spirit who makes noise or plays pranks. Often thought to center around specific individuals (such as teenagers) and perhaps not ghosts at all but rather a form of latent telekinetic ability.

Portal:            A doorway through which spirits enter and exit a location.

Possession:     When a person, or even inanimate object, is taken over by a spirit or ghost.

Primary or Base Readings: The initial measurements of energy taken at a haunted location, used for establishing an investigation’s direction.

Recorders:     Voice recorders left alone in rooms during an investigation to capture sounds when the team is not in the area

Residual Energy: When emotionally charged events leave an imprint or energy residue on nearby objects and locations. Residual energy or hauntings will often repeat a specific event from the past over and over again, as if on a loop, such as the sounds of the same footsteps walking down a hallway.

Spirit:              From Latin meaning “that which breathes,” it describes the consciousness or soul of an individual. In the ghost hunting context, this refers to the soul of an individual who has passed on and continues to be observed on this plain.

Spirit Box:      It uses radio frequency sweeps to generate white noise which theories suggest give some entities the energy they need to be heard. When this occurs, you will sometimes hear voices coming through the static in an attempt to communicate.

Vortex:           A center of focused or concentrated spiritual energy.

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