Use Ctrl+F on your keyboard to find a particular term quickly.

[ A ]


A means by which something is done or caused. A force or substance that causes a change.

An agent in paranormal research is usually a person who unknowingly causes poltergeist activity (poltergeist activity seems to be between the categories of ghost and psi (the term applied to unusual abilities of human origin such as ESP/psychokinesis/etc.. and investigating "exceptional human experiences" such as out of body and apparitional experiences).

Alpha Rhythm:

Electrical activity in the brain (about 10 cycles per second) associated with a state of mental relaxation.

Altered State of Consciousness (ASC):

This is a term referring to any state of consciousness that is different from "normal" states of waking/sleeping. This include hypnosis, trance, ecstasy, psychedelic and meditative experience.

Animal Psi:

Paranormal abilities exhibited by animals. Also known as "Anpsi". [See "Psi" for more info.]


The belief in the existence of individual spirits that inhabit natural objects and phenomena.

Religious practices based on the belief that all living things and natural objects have their individual spiritual essence or soul.


A typically benevolent celestial being that acts as an intermediary between heaven and earth, especially in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Zoroastrianism.

An Angel is a spiritual or celestial being sent to earth to relay a message to a person, serve as a protector or help them in their transition into the afterlife.

Announcing Dream:

A dream believed to announce an individual's rebirth. [Also see "reincarnation" for more info.]

Anomalous Experience:

A term referring to unusual experiences that cannot be explained in terms of current scientific knowledge.

Anomalous Phenomena:

Natural phenomena that cannot be explained in terms of current scientific knowledge. [Also see "Anomaly" and "Fortean Phenomena" for more info.]


One that is peculiar, irregular, abnormal, or difficult to classify.

An irregular image that appears on photos, video, or digital media. [See "Orb", "Ectoplasm", Vortex", and "Apparition" for more info.]


An unusual appearing ghostly figure. A ghostly figure; a specter.

Spirit energy that is usually seen in the form of the entity that has passed. Some psychics and mediums see them on a regular basis. Catching an apparition on film is what every ghost hunter aspires to do. They show up in a transparent human form and usually wear the clothing of their period. Also note that people have been known to see animal apparitions also.


Apport is when a physical object has been transported into a closed space or container, suggesting the passage of "matter through matter'. Asport is any object the spirits or medium makes disappear or teleports to another location. [See "Teleportation" for more info.]


See "Animal Psi".


In parapsychology, this is false evidence of paranormal phenomena, due to some extraneous normal influence.


See "Altered State of Consciousness".

Astral Body:

The "body" a person seems to occupy during an out-of-body experience (OBE).

Astral Plane:

Believed by some to be a world that exists above the physical world.

Astral Projection:

An out-of-body experience.


An invisible breath, emanation, or radiation. A distinctive but intangible quality that seems to surround a person or thing; atmosphere.

It's believed that everything and everyone has an auric field around them. These can often be seen by those who are clairvoyant.

In Kirlian photography when the film is developed, an aura like a halo of colors can be seen around the object or person. The colors in the photographs believe to show several factors such as stress, ill health in living organisms, and the state of your soul. It is analogous to Spiritual Healing which can also be felt but not seen. [Also see "Kirlian Photography" for more info.]


To establish the authenticity of; prove genuine.

The verification of facts and details surrounding an occurrence of paranormal phenomenon. This can be independent statements from witnesses, written documentation, or other corroborative evidence supporting the report made by the subject concerning their experience and the events to which was apparently related.

Automatic Writing:

This is when you write something without being aware of the contents. Some people use this method to receive messages from Spirit.


The theory that the body is a machine whose functions are accompanied but not controlled by consciousness.

Physical activates (e.g., arm movements, writing, drawing, musical performance) that occur without the automatist's conscious control or knowledge. Also known as motor automatism. [Also see "Automatic Writing" and "Dissociation" for more info.]


This is when someone sees their 'double', or when they're looking back at their self from a position outside their body (Out-of-body Experience (OBE)).

Audible Voice Phenomena (AVP):

This is when a spirit voice can be heard audibly by most or all people present. AVP is not to be confused with EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) where a spirit voice is captured on an audio device but not heard initially. AVP can be heard with the unaided ear and can also be captured on an audio device. The term AVP was first coined by Bob Davis of Planet Paranormal.

[ B ]


Ancient Egyptian concept of a person's essence, believed to be be immortal. [Also see "Soul" for more info.]


A female spirit in Gaelic folklore believed to presage, by wailing, a death in a family.

In Gaelic belief, a female entity who heralds a death by groaning and screaming.


In Tibetan Buddhism, an intermediate state of existence, usually referring to the state between life and rebirth.


To exist in actuality; have life or reality.

The state or quality of having existence, a living entity.


Appearing to be in two different places at the same time. [Also see "autoscopy" for more info.]


Psychokinetic effects on biological processes. [Also see "Psychokinesis" for more info.]

Black Shuck:

A large spectral death omen demon dog in British folklore, especially in Norfolk and other parts of East Anglia. Black Shuck, also called Old Shuck, derives its name from the Anglo-Saxon term scucca or sceocca, old Anglo-Saxon terms for "demon" or "satan." The spectral dog descended from Norse mythology , for he is said to be the black hound of Odin (Woden) brought by early Viking invaders.

Black Shuck is all black and is huge, about the size of a calf. He has large eyes that glow yellow, red, or green as if on fire. Often, he is headless, yet his eyes -where eyes should be- glow in the dark.

The dog is often thought to be an omen of death.

[ C ]


The art of telling fortunes with cards. [Also see "Tarot" and "Fortune Telling" for more info.]

Case Study:

An in-depth investigation of an individual subject.


When a medium apparently allows a spirit to communicate through them.


To make or form a circle around; enclose.

A group of people who hold s�ances. [Also see "S�ance" and "Mediumship".]


The supposed power to hear things outside the range of normal perception.

Auditory form of ESP (compare with Clairvoyance).


The supposed power to feel or smell things outside the range normally perceived by the senses.

Physical sensations (or smell) form of ESP. (compare with Clairvoyance).


The supposed power to see objects or events that cannot be perceived by the senses. Acute intuitive insight or perceptiveness.

A subset of ESP. The viewing of distant scenes not apparent to the eye, may appear externally - either replacing the normal visual scene (visions) or being incorporated into it (as could be the case with apparitions) - or internally, in the form of mental imagery and intuition.


The act of eliminating ghostly phenomena from a location.


A sequence of events that although accidental seems to have been planned or arranged.

An occurrence, within a short space of time, of two or more meaningfully related events and without any apparent causal connection between them. Coincidences are sometimes bizarre and extraordinarily improbable.

Cold Spot:

An area or place that for an unknown reason seems to be cooler than the surrounding areas. Paranormal investigators usually use thermometers to detect the fluctuations of temperature in a location. [See "Thermometer/Thermoscanner" for more info.]

Collective Apparition:

This is when more then one person sees a phenomenon at the same time & location. Collective apparitions are good in proving that what was seen was really there, and wasn't just the person's mind playing tricks on them, since more then one person saw it.

Collective Unconscious:

Concept put forward by C.G. Jung to refer to a level of unconscious thought and experience shared collectively by humans.

Contact Mind Reading:

A technique simulating telepathy, in which the "mind reader" (who generally holds a hand or arm) responds to slight muscle movements produced unconsciously by the person whose mind is apparently being read. Also known as muscle reading, Cumberlandism or Hellstromism.


To verify or regulate (a scientific experiment) by conducting a parallel experiment or by comparing with another standard.

To verify (an account, for example) by using a duplicate register for comparison.

In experimental parapsychology a procedure undertaken in order to ensure that the experiment is conducted in a standard fashion and so that results are not unduly influenced by extraneous factors.

Control Group:

A group of people whose performance is compared with that of experimental subjects.


The simultaneous change in value of two numerically valued random variables.

An association between two or more events or variables.

Cosmic Consciousness:

A blissful experience in which the person becomes aware of the whole universe as a living being. [Also see "Altered State of Consciousness" for more info.]

Crisis Apparition:

An apparition that's usually seen by a person when he/she is at the point of death or is the victim of a serious illness or injury. Also apparitions that are seen in places of traumatic events (Like battlefields) are known to be called Crisis Apparitions.


Interrelated bits of information received from �the spirit world� by different mediums at different times and locations. The communications must be joined together to form a complete message from Spirit.


Like when talking about city crossroads, this is where 2 or more things meet/intersect. But when mentioned in paranormal research, we're usually not talking about streets (unless we get lost on the way to an investigation). Crossroads usually mean where two or more lines of earth energy intersect. There is thought to be a good deal of paranormal activity in these locations.


Knowledge (acquired in normal ways) that may be revealed without the person remembering its source. Such memories may falsely appear to be paranormal revelations.

Crystal Gazing:

Staring into a reflecting surface (e.g., mirror, glass, crystal, liquid) in order to obtain paranormal information. Also known as scrying. [See "Scrying" for more info.]

[ D ]


The act of dying; termination of life. The termination or extinction of something.

Generally understood to be the extinction of an organism's life. Many doctrines assert some form of mental or spiritual survival of physical death.

Deathbed Experience:

A dying person's awareness of the presence of dead friends or relatives. [Also see "Near-Death Experience" and "Crisis Apparition" for more info.]

Deja vu:

The feeling of having already experienced something actually being experienced for the first time.

An impression of having seen or experienced something before. Also called a Deja Experience.


A term used to refer to any kind of anomalous experience. [See "Anomalous Experience" and "Anomalous Phenomena" for more info.]


To deprive of or lose apparent physical substance; make or become immaterial.

To suddenly disappear. Example: an object or spirit.


An evil supernatural being; a devil.

An evil spirit or being which is said to have not ever lived on earth in human form.


The study of demons.


The paranormal movement of objects out of a secure enclosed space. [Also see "Apport/Asport" for more info.]

Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP):

A Spirit voice, spoken directly to sitters at a s�ance. The sound usually seems to come from a point near the medium, or through a spirit horn or trumpet, but not from the mouth of the medium.

Discarnate Entity:

A spirit or non-material entity. Often used to refer to the personality of a deceased individual.

Disembodied Voice:

A voice or sound heard or recorded that comes from no physical body or known source. [Also see "Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)" for more on capturing voices of Spirit on recordings.]


The act of removing from association; the state of being separate and unconnected.

Activity performed outside of normal conscious awareness, or mental processes that suggest the existence of separate centers of consciousness.

Divining Rod:

A forked rod (or sometimes a pair of L-shaped rods) used in dowsing. [Also see "Dowsing" for more info.]


"Direct Mental Interaction with Living Systems". Psychokinetic influences on physiological processes. [Also see "Psychokinesis" and "Bio-PK" for more info.]


A spiritual or ghostly double or counterpart; an apparitional double of a living person.

A mirror image or double of a person.


To use a divining rod to search for underground water or minerals.

An act which, generally, a 'dowsing rod' or 'divining rod' is employed to locate subterranean water, ore, oil, etc.. or other concealed items by following the direction in which the rod turns in the users hand.


See "Paranormal Dream".

[ E ]

Earthquake Effect:

A phenomenon produced by the physical medium D.D. Home, involving the room shaking as if there was an earthquake.


An altered state of consciousness in which the person experiences great rapture and loss of self-control. [Also see "Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)" and "Trance" for more info.]


An immaterial or ethereal substance, especially the transparent corporeal presence of a spirit or ghost.

A semi-fluid substance exuded by a physical medium from which materializations may form. Ecto is also what we call the smokey mist like substance we capture on film that we believe to be spirit energy. To avoid false evidence it's important for you and other people to not be smoking during an investigation. If you must smoke, make a place away from the investigation for everyone to smoke at. Also watch out for your breath on cold days, fog, etc.. If you are sure none of the elements above are present and you don't see any mist with the naked eye, yet it shows up on film, you may have something.

Electro Magnetic Field (EMF) Meter/Detector:

Also called a gauss or magnetometer, these let you know the Electro Magnetic Field readings in an area. The presence of spirit has been known to often produce/disturb electro magnetic energy in the area. Lots of things throw off EMF's though (Lamps, TV's, etc..) so scout around the area of the investigation first and get to know where these things are. If you start getting fluctuations in EMF readings in an area with no other explanation for them.. Tell someone to start taking photos/video/EVP/etc.. You may get interesting results.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP):

This is the capturing of spirit voices on recorders. Try setting up a recorder during investigations (Regular hand held audio tape recorders or digital recorders work fine. If using a audio tape recorder, an external mic is best so you don't pick up the sounds of the gears and such turning of the recorder). When playing the recording back you may hear sounds or voices that weren't heard at the time of the investigation. Try asking questions and pausing also.. you may get answers.

Elemental Spirit:

A lesser spirit bound to the fundamentals of nature (earth, wind, water, and fire).


A real being, whether in thought or in fact; being; essence; existence.

A disembodied or preternatural spirit.


Heavenly; Not of this world; Spiritual.


See "Extra Sensory Perception".

Evil Eye:

A look or stare believed to cause injury or misfortune to others.

Alleged ability of some people to harm others by looking at them.


See "Electronic Voice Phenomena".


A religious or quasi-religious rite to drive out evil spirits. [Also see "Possession" for more info.]


A test carried out under controlled conditions.

A test under controlled conditions that is made to demonstrate a known truth, examine the validity of a hypothesis, or determine the efficacy of something previously untried.

Experimental Parapsychology:

Parapsychological research involving experimental methods rather than survey techniques or the investigation of spontaneous cases.

Experimenter Effect:

Influence that the experimenter's personality or behavior may have on the results of an experiment.


Originating outside our normal space-time reality.

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP):

Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses.

The ability to gain knowledge through means other than the five physical senses or logical inference.

[ F ]


An tiny elemental entity [See "Elemental" for more info] considered clever, mischievous, and possessing magical abilities.

Faith Healing:

Healing that is associated with prayer or belief in Divine power.

False Awakening:

When a person believes he or she has woken up, but actually is still dreaming.

Focal Person:

Person who is at the center of poltergeist activity. [Also see "Poltergeist" for more info.]

Fortean Phenomena:

Strange phenomena, especially those which challenge conventional scientific knowledge. Named after the American researcher and writer Charles Fort. Fortean phenomena include those generally considered paranormal, but also bizarre non-paranormal events such as monsters and prodigies, extraordinary coincidences, and unusual rains.

Fortune Telling:

The practice or art of professing to reveal future events in the life of another.

Various practices which aim to divine future events.


A deception deliberately practiced in order to secure unfair or unlawful gain.

The deliberate faking of paranormal phenomenon, generally for the purpose of financial gain, psychological manipulation, or notoriety. Faking for the purpose of entertainment (e.g., by stage magicians and mentalists) is not normally classed as fraud.

[ G ]

Ganzfeld Experiment:

An experiment where input from the outside world is reduced by placing halved ping-pong balls over the eyes and by masking external sounds (covering subject's ears with headphones and playing white noise). A state of mild sensory deprivation.

General Extra Sensory Perception (GESP):

ESP in which it is unclear whether the results are due to clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition or retrocognition.


See "General Extra Sensory Perception".


People tend to put Ghost and Spirit in the same category and definition, even at Ghost Tracker we have found ourselves switching back and forth from Ghost to Spirit when talking about them because they both basically get the same idea across.. But most paranormal researchers distinguish the two by these definitions:

A Ghost usually refers to a residual energy of a person, animal, or even an inanimate object that has been imprinted in the location, only to be played over and over again like a recording in time. Unlike Spirits, Ghosts don't seem to interact. [See "Spirit" for more info on them.] When a person has preformed events over and over again in a location they tend to leave a psychic impression on the area, which sometimes stays in the location long after that person has passed on. Traumatic events in a location may also leave a strong psychic impression on the area (Like people seeing soldiers fighting battles on battlefields, etc..)

Ghost Hunter/Investigator:

A person or group who tries to record evidence of spirit or ghosts. This may be done by means of photography, video, EMF (Electro Magnetic Field)/Thermo readings, trying to capture EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) on recordings, and other means.

Ghost Hunt/Investigation:

A ghost hunt is an attempt to capture spirit activity in a location not known to be haunted. A ghost investigation is an attempt to capture spirit activity usually at a location already known, or presumed to be haunted.


Fabricated and nonmeaningful speech, especially such speech associated with a trance state or certain schizophrenic syndromes. Also known as "speaking in tongues". [Also see "Xenoglossy" for more info.]

Guardian Angel:

An angel believed to have special affection and protection for a particular individual. [Also see "Spirit Guide" for more info.]


See "Spirit Guide".

[ H ]


To inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.

This can be sounds of activity, objects being moved, sightings of apparitions, etc.. in a location when no one is there physically.

Hot Spot:

An area or place where frequent paranormal activity occurs, such as hauntings.


A Hawaiian religious practice involving clairvoyance, precognition, healing, miracles and magic.


An abnormal or pathological increase in sensitivity to sensory stimuli, as of the skin to touch or the ear to sound.

Exceptionally acute sensory awareness. [Also see "Extra Sensory Perception" for more info.]


An artificially induced altered state of consciousness, characterized by heightened suggestibility and receptivity to direction.

An Altered State of Consciousness involving a heightened degree of suggestibility. [Also see "Mesmerism" and "Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)" for more info.]


The act of inducing hypnosis. [Also see "Hypnosis" for more info.]

[ I ]


The condition of being deceived by a false perception or belief.

An appearance that leads the person to draw mistaken conclusions.


The use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas.

The ability to perceive images in the mind. These may be visual, auditory, tactile, etc.


Endless life or existence.

The belief that some aspect of personal existence survives death.


Not subject to corruption or decay.

Inexplicable lack of decay in a corpse.


A spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with women as they sleep. Indirect Voice Phenomena (IVP):

Phenomenon in which an entity appears to speak using the vocal apparatus of a living person. Often the voice will sound very different from the persons normal voice. [Also see "Direct Voice Phenomena (DVP)" for more info.]


A sense of something not evident or deducible; an impression.

The act or faculty of knowing or sensing something without the use of normal senses.


The act or an instance of invoking, especially an appeal to a higher power for assistance.

The act of summoning spiritual beings.

[ J ]

[ K ]


Ancient Egyptian term for the astral body. [Also see "Ba" for more info.]


A distinctive aura, atmosphere, or feeling.

The total effect of a person's actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person's existence, regarded as determining the person's destiny.

Kirlian Photography:

A photographic method involving high frequency electric current, discovered by S.D. & V. Kirlian in the Soviet Union. Kirlian photographs often show colored halos or "auras" surrounding objects.

The colors in the photographs believe to show several factors such as stress, ill health in living organisms, and the state of your soul. It is analogous to Spiritual Healing which can also be felt but not seen. [Also see "Aura" for more info.]


In Yogic belief, a source of tremendous vital energy that may be stimulated by various practices. Kundalini, or the "Serpent Power", is believed to provide energy for paranormal phenomena.

[ L ]


To rise or cause to rise into the air and float in apparent defiance of gravity.

This is a form of telekinetic activity, sometimes associated with poltergeist type hauntings. It is when a person or object is raised off of the ground and sometimes thrown by an unseen force.

Lucid Dreaming:

Dreaming in which the person is aware that the experience is a dream.


Lucid dreaming; An early term for clairvoyance. [Also see "Clairvoyance" and "Lucid Dreaming" for more info.]

Luminous Phenomena:

The experience of strange lights or glows, often around objects or people. [Also see "Aura" for more info.]

[ M ]


Psychokinetic effects that can be directly observed rather than only inferred from statistical analysis. [Also see "Psychokinesis" and "Micro-PK" for more info.]


A sacred sound or sacred syllables used in meditation. [Also see "Meditation" and "Transcendental Meditation" for more info.]


To cause to become real or actual; To cause to become materialistic.

The appearance of spirits in material form.

Medicine Man/Medicine Woman:

A witchdoctor or shaman. [Also see "Shaman" for more info.]


A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation.

Meditation is the process of relaxing, emptying your mind of all thought or reaching a different state of consciousness. Meditation can aid in spiritual development and/or inner peace. There are many types of meditation.


A person who professes to be able to communicate with spirits.

A person thought to have the power to communicate with spirits of the dead or with agents of another world or dimension.


Activity of a medium.


A branch of conjuring involving the simulation of psi. [Also see "Psi" for more info.]

Mental Mediumship:

The paranormal obtaining of information by a medium. [Also see "Physical Mediumship" for more info.]


The act of inducing hypnosis.

The induction of a sleep or trance state, discovered during the work of Friedrich Anton Mesmer, from whose name the word is derived. Also known as hypnotism.

Metal Bending:

Psychokinetic ability to bend metal objects. [Also see "Psychokinesis" for more info.]


A transformation.

See "Shape-shifting".


Another term for reincarnation. [Also see "Reincarnation" for more info.]


Psychokinetic effects that cannot be directly observed, but only inferred from the statistical analysis of data. [Also see "Psychokinesis" and "Macro-PK" for more info.]

Mind Reading:

See "Telepathy".


An anomaly (not usually seen at the time with the naked eye) that appears on photos/videos as a "cloud of smoke" thought to be Spirit energy, also called Ecto [See Ecto/Ectoplasm for more info.]


A person who has learned techniques that enable extraordinary feats of memory.

Morphic Resonance:

A term coined by Rupert Sheldrake to refer to the way in which the "morphogenetic field" (underlying form) of an object or organism may influence distant fields.

Motor Automatism:

See "Automatism".

Multiple Personality:

A psychiatric condition in which the person manifests two or more distinct and separate personalities at different times. [Also see "Possession" for more info.]

Muscle Reading:

See "Contact Mind Reading".


A person who has mystical experiences. Used loosely to refer to psychics, mediums or romantics.

Mystical Experience:

Altered State of Consciousness involving experiences of ecstasy, unity, timelessness, loss of self, divine revelation, etc. [Also see "Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)" for more info.]


Religious or spiritual doctrines which argue that the human mind or soul can directly experience the divine. [Also see "Mystical Experience" for more info.]

[ N ]


See "Near-Death Experience".

Near-Death Experience (NDE):

The out-of-body and other experiences people report having when they are close to death. Events within NDE include: an Out-of-body Experence (OBE), life review, a tunnel experience, encounters with spirit guides, seeing dead relatives or friends, a moment of decision (or being told) to turn back.


The practice of supposedly communicating with the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future.

A form of prophecy, in which the seer or sorcerer/sorceress raises the spirit of the dead in order to have the wraith foretell future events. It was thought that upon entering eternity, the spirit would have full knowledge of the past, present, and future.

Noise-Reduction Model:

The idea that psi information may be more accessible if normal sensory information (sight, smell, etc..) is reduced to a minimum.

[ O ]


See "Out-of-Body Experience".

Objective Apparitions:

Apparitions or phenomena that appear independent of our minds, thoughts, or feelings.

Object Reading:

See "Psychometry".


Of, relating to, or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies, or phenomena.


A belief in occult powers and the possibility of bringing them under human control. [Also see "Occult" for more info.]


A sign that foretells events.


An answer to a question, believed to come from the gods; a shrine at which these answers are given.


A sphere or spherical object. Something of circular form; a circle or an orbit.

A sphere of energy looking like "balls of light" on film, thought to be Spirit energy. Some people have been known to see them with their naked eye, but most are captured on film (photos and video). Be careful though.. Dust, Moisture (like rain), etc.. will come out to look like spirit orbs on film, so follow Standards and Protocols to help avoid these forms of false evidence. So you say, "If there's evidence of these natural causes producing orbs, why do you associate them with spirit?". Well.. We tend to get alot of orbs in places known to be haunted.. we also tend to get them in locations of EMF/Thermo meter fluctuations, we have captured video of them going around people/objects and even through objects (doors/walls/etc..), have captured them setting off motion detectors, and have even captured video of them hitting a ceiling fan (turned off) and making a "ping" sound each time. Dust can't cause these things that we have captured.

Out-of-Body Experience (OBE or OOBE):

The experience that the self is in a different location than the physical body.

[ P ]


Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.

Above or outside the natural order of things as presently understood.

Paranormal Dream:

Dreams in which the dream imagery provides paranormal knowledge (e.g., ESP or precognition). [Also see "Announcing dream" and "Lucid Dreaming" for more info.]


The branch of science that studies psychic phenomena.

The study of the evidence for psychological phenomena, such as telepathy, clairvoyance, and psychokinesis, that are inexplicable by science. (term coined by J.B. Rhine)

Past-Life Memories:

Mental images that are believed to be memories of previous lives. [Also see "Reincarnation" and Past-life Regression" for more info.]

Past-Life Regression:

A technique of hypnosis involving regressing people to supposed previous lives. [Also see "Reincarnation" and "Past-life Memories" for more info.]


Having the power of perceiving, especially perceiving keenly and readily.

A person who sees (i.e., perceives) an apparition or ghost.


A phantom or an apparition. Also called phantasma. [Also see "Apparition" for more info.]


The Fear of Ghosts.


An approach to research that aims to describe and clarify a person's own experience and understanding of an event or phenomenon.

A philosophy or method of inquiry based on the premise that reality consists of objects and events as they are perceived or understood in human consciousness and not of anything independent of human consciousness.


See "Psychokinesis".


An inactive treatment often given to a control group. [Also see "Control Group" for more info.]

Place Memory:

Information about past events that apparently is stored in the physical environment.

Plant Psi:

Extra Sensory Perception exhibited by plants. [Also see "Extra Sensory Perception" and "Psi" for more info.]


A ghost/spirit that manifests itself by noises, rappings, and the creation of disorder.

Poltergeist, German for "noisy spirit", seems to be between the categories of ghost and psi (the term applied to unusual abilities of human origin such as ESP and psychokinesis and investigating "exceptional human experiences" such as out of body and apparitional experiences). As the name suggests, they are noisy, often throwing objects around, pinching and prodding residents and generally disrupting the residence. They may not be "mean" or "evil", Just active, wanting to let people know they're there.


The state of being possessed.

The complete control by an entity of the body of a living person.


The ability to predict things beyond present knowledge.

Knowledge of something in advance of its occurrence, especially by extrasensory perception; clairvoyance.


A statement that foretells future events. [Also see "Premonition", "Precognition" and "Prophecy" for more info.]


Belief that the personality or soul exists prior to birth. [Also see "Reincarnation" for more info.]


A presentiment of the future; a foreboding. A warning in advance; a forewarning.

A forewarning of a future event.


The state or fact of being present; current existence or occurrence.

A supernatural/paranormal influence felt to be nearby.

The feeling that an unseen person, spirit or being is nearby.

Process Research:

Research that aims to investigate factors affecting psi. [Also see "Proof Research" for more info.]

Proof Research:

Research that aims to demonstrate the existence of psi. [Also see "Process Research" for more info.]


A prediction, usually resulting from a sense of spiritual revelation.

The ability to receive prophetic revelations.


Parapsychological phenomena or abilities considered as a group.

A letter in the Greek alphabet that denotes psychic phenomena.

Psi-Mediated Instrumental Response (PMIR):

Theory put forward by Rex Stanford that psi activity is used to serve an organism's needs.


The Greek word for "self", "mind", or "soul".

Greek Mythology - Psyche was a young woman who loved and was loved by Eros and was united with him after Aphrodite's jealousy was overcome. She subsequently became the personification of the soul.


Literally "revealing mind". A class of plants and drugs (Example: peyote, psilocybin, LSD) that can produce florid Altered States of Consciousness. [Also see "Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)" for more info.]


A person with above average ESP abilities.

Capable of extraordinary mental processes, such as extrasensory perception and mental telepathy.

Psychic Impression:

Energy left in an area that can later be "played back" like a recording in time. Psychic Impressions left in an area are not interactive and are often associated with a haunting, called "Residual Hauntings". (Example of a Residual Haunting: When people see ghostly soldiers fighting battles on battlefields, etc..) When a person has preformed events over and over again in a location they tend to leave a psychic impression on the area, which sometimes stays in the location long after that person has passed on. Traumatic events in a location may also leave a strong psychic impression on the area. [Also see "Ghost" for more info.]

Psychical Research:

A term coined in the late 19th century to refer to the scientific study of the paranormal. Now largely known as 'parapsychology'.

Psychic Photography:

General term used to refer to paranormal photographic images. [Also see "Kirlian Photography", "Spirit Photography", and "Thoughtography" for more info.]

Psychokinesis (PK):

The power of the mind to affect matter without physical contact.

The production or control of motion, especially in inanimate and remote objects, purportedly by the exercise of psychic ability.


ESP of events associated with inanimate objects.

The ability or art of divining information about people or events associated with an object solely by touching or being near to it.

Pyramid Power:

Belief that pyramid shapes can produce paranormal effects.

[ Q ]

Qualitative Method:

A research method involving the collection of non-quantitative data (Example: observations, interviews, subjective reports, case studies). [Also see "Quantitative Method" for more info.]

Quantitative Method:

A research method involving the collection and statistical analysis of numerical data. [Also see "Qualitative Method" for more info.]

[ R ]


Theories based on the assumption that living organisms emit some kind of radiation or emanation that is capable of being detected using instruments. [Also see "Aura" for more info.]

Radio Voice Phenomenon (RVP):

Receiving the voice of a deceased human over a regular radio. [For more info on hearing spirit voices see "Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)".]


The name given to unexplained knocking sounds associated with physical mediumship and poltergeist activity. [Also see "Haunting" for more info.]

Raudive Voices:

Intelligible voices recorded on magnetic tape under conditions of silence or white noise which are heard only when the tape is played. A phenomenon discovered by Konstantin Raudive. [Also see "Electronic Voice Phenomena" for more info.]


To receive or comprehend. To attribute a certain interpretation or meaning to. To have the ability to examine and grasp the meaning of.

Information given to a person by a psychic or medium.


In Buddhism, the belief that there is some continuty of mind from one life to the next. Buddhism, however, does not accept the existence of the individual soul and therefore does not view rebirth as the soul's literal re-incarnation. [Also see "Reincarnation" for more info.]


See "Percipient".

Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK):

A technical term for poltergeist activity. [See "Repressed psychokinetic energy" and "Poltergeist" for more info.]


A statistical technique that enables predictions to be made from a set of data. A technique used in hypnosis, involving suggesting to hypnotized persons that they are returning to an earlier time. Sometimes the regression occurs spontaneously, without suggestion. [Also see "Past-life Regression" for more info.].


A reappearance or revitalization in another form; a new embodiment.

The rebirth of a soul into a new body.

Remote Viewing:

An ESP procedure in which a percipient attempts to become aware psychically of the experience of a person, event, of other info located at a distant, unknown target location.

Repressed Psychokinetic Energy:

A psychic force produced, usually unconsciously, by an individual undergoing physical or mental trauma. When released, the power causes paranormal occurrences, which often are thought to be poltergeist activity. [See "Poltergeist" for more info.]


When a person finds themselves in a �time warp� of the past, seeing or experiencing events of which they had no prior knowledge.


See "Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis".

[ S ]


A Cuban spiritualist religion. [Also see "Voodoo" for more info.]


A term used to cover a wide range of divination techniques which parapsychology would tend to classify as types of ESP. Most scrying techniques involve some degree of fixation on a surface with a clear optical depth (crystal ball, a pool of ink or deep water) or on an area which shows random patterns (flames in a fire, smoke), the idea being that subconscious information available to the scrying will be manifested in their interpretation of the imagery or random patterns they see.


A meeting of people to receive spiritualistic messages.

A group of people who gather in an effort to communicate with the dead.

Second Sight:

Another name for clairvoyance. [Also see "Clairvoyance" for more info.]


Another name for agent. [Also see "Agent" for more info.]


Capable of perceiving with a sense or senses; Susceptible to the attitudes, feelings, or circumstances of others.

A person who frequently experiences ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). [See "Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)" for more info.]

Sensory Deprivation:

Conditions of greatly restricted sensory input. [Also see "Ganzfeld Experiments" for more info.]

Serpent Power:

See "Kundalini".

Shadow People:

Spirits or ghosts which are usually black in appearance and have no discernible features. People usually see them out of the corner of their eye, and have also been known to be captured on film.


A "wizard" in tribal societies who is an intermediary between the living, the dead, and the gods.

A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.


Paranormal ability to assume the form of another person, an animal or other entity.


Name given to paranormal powers associated with the practice of Yoga. [Also see "Yoga" for more info.]


Results of an experiment are said to be statistically significant when they are very unlikely to be due to chance (and hence, in a psi test, are more likely to be due to psi).

Simultaneous Dream:

A dream whose elements correspond closely with those in the dream of another person.

Sixth Sense:

Grasping the inner nature of things intuitively.

An ability of perception seemingly independent of the five senses (touch, smell, sight, feeling, taste); keen intuition. [Also see "Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)" for more info.]


One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, or disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.

A person inclined to discount the reality of the paranormal and to be critical of parapsychological research. Generally seeks rational or scientific explanations for the phenomenon. Paranormal Researchers are also skeptics to an extent, but with an open mind. Before we can say it's paranormal in nature, we must first prove that it's not something that can be explained by other means.

Sleep Paralysis:

A condition in which a person seems to be awake/conscious but is unable to move.


The spiritual element of a person, generally believed to be immortal. [Also see "Ba" and "Spirit" for more info.]


See "Subjective Paranormal Experience".

Speaking in Tongues:

See "Glossolalia".


An unusual appearing ghostly figure or image.

A ghostly apparition; a phantom.

A haunting or disturbing image or prospect.


People tend to put Ghost and Spirit in the same category and definition, even at Ghost Tracker we have found ourselves switching back and forth from Ghost to Spirit when talking about them because they both basically get the same idea across.. But most paranormal researchers distinguish the two by these definitions:

A Spirit refers to an actual living essence, or soul, of a person that has remained after their physical body has died which usually still retains the entities traits and personality and can communicate with the living, unlike Ghosts which tend to just be psychic impressions left in an area, or "recordings" of time in a location that don't seem to interact and are played over and over. [See "Ghost" for more info.]

Spirit Guide:

A spiritual being who is assigned to a particular person to assist them in their spiritual or life journey. It is said that each person can have more than one spirit guide. These guides can be highly evolved spirits of people who have lived before.


See "Spiritualism".

Spirit Photography:

Capturing evidence of spirit on film. Spirit photographs, when developed, show anomalies that were not seen at the time the photo was taken. Examples include orbs, vortexes, ecto/mists and, on a more rare scale, apparitions.

Spiritualism (Spiritism):

The belief that the dead communicate with the living, as through a medium.

A belief system that spirits of the dead can (and do) communicate with living humans in the material world.

Spontaneous Cases:

Paranormal phenomena that occur in everyday life, unsought and unexpected.

Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC):

Refers to cases in which a badly burned human body has been discovered in circumstances suggesting that the fire originated spontaneously in or on the body of the victim.

Subjective Paranormal Experience (SPE):

Or Subjective Psi Experience. An experience that the person who has it believes to be paranormal.

Subjective Psi Experience (SPE):

See "Subjective Paranormal Experience".

Subliminal Perception:

Perceiving without conscious awareness.


A female spirit supposed to descend upon and have sexual intercourse with a man while he sleeps.

Supercharged Orb:

These are orbs that tend to leave long streaks behind them, probably from them moving so fast. Watch for light sources in the area though.. Moving the camera around quickly will usually produce streaks of light on the photo of whatever light sources are present. Keep your camera steady and try not to move it around too much. If the rest of the photo is clear (as in the camera was being shaken around alot) and there weren't any light sources in the area of the streaks of light, Yet you get them in your photo, You may have caught some super charged orbs.

Super-ESP Hypothesis:

The suggestion that people are capable of unlimited ESP. The super-ESP hypothesis is often presented as an alternative to the survival hypothesis in explaining mediumistic phenomena (the medium is believed to obtain information using super-ESP powers and not directly from the spirit of a deceased person).


Of or relating to existence outside the natural world.

Something that exists or occurs through some means other than any known force in nature. As opposed to paranormal, the term "supernatural" often connotes divine or demonic intervention.


The belief that some aspect of the person (e.g., consciousness, mind, personality, soul) lives on after death of the body.

[ T ]


Mysterious movements of a table, usually occurring in a s�ance when a group of people place their hands on the surface of the table. Often the movements are interpreted as spirit communications. Also known as table-turning or table-tipping.


See "Table-Tilting".


A special deck of cards (usually 78) used in fortune telling. [Also see "Fortune Telling" for more info.]


Paranormal movement of objects.

The ability to move something by thinking about it without the application of physical force.


The direct passing of information from one mind to another.

The sympathetic affection of one mind by the thoughts, feelings, or emotions of another at a distance, without communication through the ordinary channels of sensation.


A hypothetical method of transportation in which matter or information is dematerialized, usually instantaneously, at one point and recreated at another.

A kind of paranormal transportation in which an object is moved from one distinct location to another, often through a solid object such as a wall.


The supposed ability to change from human to animal form and back. [Also see "Shape-Shifting" for more info.]


An instrument that takes instant temperature changes. Used in ghost research to detect cold or warm spots and temperature fluctuations in an area.

Thought Form:

An apparition produced by the power of the human mind.


Paranormal ability to produce images on photographic film (Example: by concentrating on a mental image). [Also see "Psychic Photography" and "Spirit Photography" for more info.]

Thought Transference:

See "Telepathy".


A dissociated state of consciousness, generally involving reduced awareness of surroundings and external events.

Trance Medium:

A person who enters a state of trance in order to produce mediumistic phenomena.

Transcendental Meditation:

A technique of meditation taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, involving the repetition of a sound (mantra).

Transpersonal Psychology:

The study of experiences, beliefs and practices that suggest that the sense of self can extend beyond our personal or individual reality. The subject matter of transpersonal psychology overlaps to some extent with parapsychology, but the two disciplines tend to have different approaches and emphases. Parapsychology is primarily concerned to investigate evidence for and against the reality of paranormal phenomena. Transpersonal psychology, on the other hand, is more interested in investigating the transpersonal significance of such phenomena.

Traveling Clairvoyance:

An early term for the out of body experience.


A conical tube (often luminous) used in s�ances to produce direct voice communication. [Also see "Direct Voice Phenomena" for more info.]

[ U ]

[ V ]


Truthful; veracious.

Information or experience that is confirmed by facts and events.

Veridical Dream:

A dream that corresponds to real events (past, present or future) that are unknown to the dreamer.


A spiritualist and ancestor religion, originating in Africa, and now found predominantly in Haiti, Jamaica and Cuba. Magical rites, trance states and possession all play a major role in Voodoo.

Vortex (Vortices):

A place or situation regarded as drawing into its center all that surrounds it.

A photographed anomaly that appears as a funnel or rope-like image (sometimes creating a shadow) that is not seen at the time of the photograph that is thought to represent spirit. Other theories include; a collection of orbs, a 'gateway' to where orbs originate or travel to or a wormhole in time-space. Sometimes camera straps in the way of the lens can produce what looks like a vortex, so to not have false evidence it's best to remove you camera strap.

[ W ]

Warm Spot:

An area or place that for an unknown reason seems to be warmer than the surrounding areas. Paranormal investigators usually use thermometers to detect the fluctuations of temperature in a location. [See "Thermometer/Thermoscanner" for more info.]

White Noise:

Acoustical or electrical noise of which the intensity is the same at all frequencies within a given band.

A hiss-like sound, formed by compiling all audible frequencies (used in Ganzfield experiments) [See "Ganzfield experiment" for more info.]


An apparition of a living person that appears as a portent just before that person's death.

[ X ]


The ability to speak or write in a language that has not been learned. [Also see "Glossolalia" for more info.]

[ Y ]


Religious philosophy originating in India. It advocates the use of physical and psycho-spiritual techniques to lead the person to higher consciousness. [Also see "Meditation" and "Siddhis" for more info.]

[ Z ]