fterlife- The belief that the human soul or spirit survives after it leaves the body from cause of death. How the spirit survives will depend on which culture you are referring to.
All Hollows Eve(Halloween) – This day of dressing up in costumes and passing out candy on October 31st started out as a pagan festival of the dead. This night is still believed by many to be the night when spirits, demons, and other supernatural beings are at their strongest.
Angels – In Christian belief, angels are Gods messengers, and protectors of mankind. Angels are creatures between God and man that work as intervenor’s.
Apparition – A paranormal related, visual appearance of a dead person, living person, or beast. For more information, visit the Apparitions page.
Automatic writing- A form of writing that is done when a persons conscience is in a spiritual state and their writings origin is of the messages of spirits from another dimension. The person writing obtains the information through the help of ESP.
Banshee – An omen spirit of Ireland an Scotland that are always female. She appears to warn of a future death in a family. Mostly in family’s thats surnames start with “O” or “Mac”. It is said that the Banshee appears flying and of course singing as banshees are also well known for.
Channeling – Communication of automatic writing or speech with all kinds of spiritual beings or even with a Higher self. It is achieved by being in a trance of some kind.
Clairvoyance – The paranormal sight of things, people, or events which is a form of ESP (extrasensory perception) . for more go to the ESP page.
Demons- Both evil and good spirits that can and do intervene with mankind. Demons are also defined as the workers of Satan’s will, tempting humans to sin against God.
Doppelganer(Double) – A mystical double or copy of the person who sees it. This phenomena is usually to scale of the person it’s copying but a lot of the time just the face, head, and body are viewed.
Ectoplasm – A strange, paranormal material that flows out of any orifice and opening of a mediums body during a seance, or contact with the dead.
EVP(Electronic Voice Phenomena) – The recording of spirit voices on audio tape.
Exorcism – The removal of a demon, ghost, or other spiritual being from the body of a human being.
Esp(Extrasensory Perception)- Any of the five senses working on a paranormal level. To learn more go to the ESP page.
Ghost – A spirit of a deceased human or animal that remains on earth.
Ghost Hunting – The investigation or search of ghosts, poltergeists, apparitions, or any other paranormal activity for fun, science, or ghost removal.
Ghost lights – Strange, paranormal lights that have no scientific explanation, usually appearing n remote areas. To learn more read the Ghost lights page.
Gray ladies- These are ghosts that are gray in color and are of deceased, usually noble women that had died or have been killed violently in relations to love or are searching for their lost love.
Haunting- A location repeatedly experiencing the presence of a ghost or spirit.
Ideoplasty-The theory that sitters in a seance can effect the occurring phenomena by unknowingly sending their thoughts and expectations of what will happen to the medium. The medium will then create what was expected by the group.
Imprint – Apparitions of people and things of the past that are made up of energy that exists in the area of activity. Imprints are not actually conscience of themselves and their surrounding’s, unlike an actual spirit or ghost.
Materialization – The formation of either an entire spirits body or only parts of a spirits body. Materialization can happen during a seance or in some other situation.
Medium – One who communicates with human and non human spirits.
Necromancy- To conjure or summon up the spirits of the dead for purposes such as prophecy, divination, or other things associated with magic. Necromancy is done by magicians, sorcerers, witchs, and priests.
OBE(Out of Body Experience) – When a persons soul, or spirit leaves their body from just a few feet away, to as far as other worlds or dimensions.
Poltergeist- A Poltergeist is a spirit or sometimes disembodied energy. They are much like ghosts except they are more destructive and are most known for throwing rocks and dirt. They are usually found in homes and buildings.
Possession – A persons body, spirit, and conscience being taken over by a ghost, demon, or other entities.
Pseudopod- An ectoplasmic hand and/or arm from the early seance days.
Psychokinesis(PK) – Objects being manipulated from afar either happening suddenly or on purpose by someone with this paranormal ability.
Reincarnation- The spirit of a deceased person being reborn into another body to live a new life.
Revenant – Another name for a ghost, used long ago and is rarely used today.
Shadow People – These entities are a deep black color and are can be in the form of a thick or misty cloud, but usually in the shape of a human. These are one of the rarest paranormal phenomena to be captured on photographs. Most of these ghosts are found in peoples homes and are evasive and sneaky in nature. Sometimes they even play pranks on people.
Soul – The non physical core of a living being that exists even after their body has died.
Spirit – Another name for soul or it can also be a paranormal force of some kind.
Spunkie- A Scottish ghost or goblin that is usually evil and likes to play tricks on travelers that are lost.
Vortex – A vortex is a form of paranormal energy in the shape of a whirlwind or cylinder. A popular belief is that they are some kind of portal or doorway between this world and the spirit world. Sometimes an orb that is moving very fast can look like a vortex when photographed. The most common color for a vortex to be is white.
Witching Hour- The time in which all paranormal activity is at it’s strongest according to superstition which takes place at midnight during a full moon.
Zombie- The bodies of the deceased being reanimated by a sorcerer or other power that moves with mechanical like motions.
What is paranormal?
We are often asked, “What exactly does paranormal mean?” The term paranormal is used to describe a wide variety of activity and phenomena. According to the Journal of Parapsychology (a quarterly publication devoted primarily to the original publication of experimental results and other research findings as published by the Parapsychological Association), the term paranormal describes “any phenomenon that in one or more respects exceeds the limits of what is deemed physically possible according to current scientific assumptions.” The actual word is derived from the Latin use of the prefix para meaning “outside or beyond” what is considered normal.
Many people associate the term paranormal as only dealing with hauntings and ghosts. However, the paranormal also includes subjects considered to be outside the scope of parapsychology including UFOs, cryptozoology, telepathy, ESP, faith healing, clairvoyance, and many other subjects.
An anomalous phenomena is an observed incident or experience for which there seems to be no agreeable scientific explanation. Because such observations do not easily fit into how many view our reality, these instances can be (and usually are) the subject of controversy.
Since paranormal phenomena is not generally accepted as real by traditional scientists, most of these ideas and theories about hard-to-reproduce anomalies are considered pseudoscientific (not a real science), partly because science needs evidence to be reproducible in a controlled environment.
Some anomalies eventually get a scientific explanation, losing their status as unexplained phenomena. For example, while the idea of stones falling from the sky was once considered anomalous, meteorites are now acknowledged and generally well understood.
So what exactly is a ghost? Ghosts are a phenomena which have several possible definitions:
*The spirit or soul of a person who has died, which haunts a place which was of emotional significance to that person when living.
*The personality of a person after his or her own death which is not directly tied to the soul or spirit. A type of psychic memory imprint.
*The character or memory of some being or thing which has died or, if it was never alive, has been somehow destroyed or dissembled, which nevertheless remains existent (and sometimes detectable) in a semi-corporeal form.
*An overlapping of parallel worlds into our own in which we can see, hear, feel, or occasionally interact with a person or thing that lives or exists in that parallel.
While some individuals accept ghosts as a reality, many others are skeptical of the existence of such. Much of the scientific community believes that ghosts, as well as other supernatural and paranormal entities, do not exist. Skeptics often explain ghost sightings with the principle of Occam’s razor which basically states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible. In short, when given two equally valid explanations for a phenomenon, one should embrace the less complicated formulation. Some examples of such would be:
*Ghosts are often associated with a chilling sensation, but a natural response to fear is hair raising, which can be mistaken for a chill.
*Peripheral vision is very sensitive to motion, but does not contain much color or the ability to sharply distinguish shapes. Any random motion outside the focused view can create a strong illusion of an eerie figure.
*Sound waves with frequencies lower than 20 hertz are called infrasound and are normally inaudible, but British scientists Richard Lord and Richard Wiseman have concluded that infrasound can cause humans to feel a “presence” in the room, or unexplained feelings of anxiety or dread.
Psychological factors may also relate to ghost sightings. Many people exaggerate their own perceptions, either when visiting a place they believe to be haunted, or when visiting a site which they know unpleasant historical events have occurred. Certain images such as paintings and movies might “program” a person to automatically associate a certain structure or area with ghosts. Also, the psychological phenomenon of pareidolia (seeing recognizable shapes and patterns in every day objects ie: face of Mars, Rorschach inkblots) may cause people to perceive human-like faces or figures in the otherwise mundane surroundings of their environments, particularly in conditions where vision is partly obscured, as in a dark corridor or at night. Skeptics also apply this theory to EVP’s (when anomalous voices, often purported to be of supernatural origin, are reportedly heard on audio recordings.)
Cryptozoology is the study of animals that are rumored to exist, but for which conclusive proof is still missing. Scientists have demonstrated that some creatures of mythology, legend or local folklore were rooted in real animals or phenomena. Thus, cryptozoologists hold that people should be open to the possibility that many more such animals exist. In the early days of western exploration of the world, many native tales of unknown animals were initially dismissed as superstition by western scientists, but were later proven to have a real basis in biological fact. Cryptozoological supporters have noted that many unfamiliar animals, when first reported, were considered hoaxes, delusions, or misidentifications. The Platypus, Giant Squid, Mountain Gorilla, Grizzly-polar bear hybrid, and Komodo Dragon are a few such creatures.
Perinormal phenomena is a term that has been used to describe previously unknown forces which at first appeared to be paranormal and were later verified scientifically. The name is derived from the Greek peri, meaning “in the vicinity of”. While paranormal phenomena remains scientifically questionable (“beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation”), perinormal phenomena can eventually be shown to be “skeptic-approved”.
One significant modern example of a perinormal phenomenon is electromagnetic fields (EMFs). At one time EMFs were debatable from a scientific perspective but later were proven to be real and is currently accepted by scientific and medical communities.
Some hauntings have an eerie resemblance to life, where apparitions are observed performing activities that are common to living people such as walking around a home or grocery store, or even working. Some people describe these hauntings in several ways. The first is that the entity is simply doing something that he/she did frequently in life. The second assumes that the concept of time-space continuum is real and that sometimes two time frames overlap. The third explanation is referred to as a “place memory”, which is like a recording of a past event that has imprinted itself on the environment. These are also called residual hauntings and recordings. Images and sounds are impressed upon a place and later replayed in a phenomenon that is similar to watching a loop of a movie film. And despite what you may think, these experiences are not acted out by just the departed. It is very possible to experience witnessing yourself in one of these “memories.” This is known as the doppleganger effect.