This dictionary is created to highlight common words used within the paranormal, spiritualism, ghost hunting, and the unknown. Entries focus on the words’ definitions within these fields. If there is a word or phrase that is not in this terminology guide that you think should be, you may contact us.
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Afterlife: [n.] Life after death or “future life.”
Agent: [n.] 1. A person who attempts to communicate information to another in an ESP experiment. 2. The subject in a psychokinesis experiment. 3. The person who is the focus of poltergeist activity.
Alive: [adj.] Having life, not dead or lifeless.
Amorphous: [a.] Lacking a defined form or shape.
Animal Ghost: [n.] The ghost of an animal, usually a pet.
Anomaly: [n.] 1. Beyond the realm of normalcy or a deviation from typical arrangement or form. 2. An odd or strange situation.
Apparition: [n.] The appearance of a ghost or the deceased.
Apport: [n.] The arrival of an object (living, dead, or inanimate) during a spiritualists’ séance or a haunting.
Asport: [n.] The disappearance of objects that may reappear elsewhere or not at all.
Astral Projection: [n.] When the spirit exits the body to either the astral plane or a different location on this plane. Also called “O.B.E.”
Aura: [n.] Energy that surrounds and emanates from all living things.
Automatic Writing: [n.] A phenomenon that involves people writing without conscious thought.
Automatism: [n.] The event of subconscious communication with the conscious through means such as the Ouija Board, automatic writing, or pendulum swinging.
Avenger: [n.] Type of ghost looking to right the wrongs of something that happened during their lifetime.
Banshee: [n.] Female Irish spirit who brings warnings of impending deaths by screaming. Those who cannot hear her screams are to die.
Benign Spirit: [n.] A ghost that does not inflict harm.
Bilocation: [n.] Being in or appearing to be in two different locations at the same time.
Boo: [onomatopoeia] Stereotypical noise of a ghost that does not occur in real cases.
Calling Ghost: [n.] A type of ghost that calls out the name or names of the living in order to attract their attention.
Camcorder: [n.] A type of video-recording tool used to capture video evidence of ghosts and/or paranormal activity.
Camera: [n.] A photo-taking and/or video-recording tool used in ghost hunting to capture evidence.
Channeling: [v.] The process used by mediums in efforts to communicate with the dead.
Clairvoyant: [n.] A psychic with the ability to foresee the future.
Clairaudient: [n.] A psychic with the ability to hear voices and otherwise inaudible sounds to the normal human ear.
Clairsentient: [n.] A psychic with the ability to feel emotions, presences, etc. normally not felt by the average person.
Cleansing: [v.] A form of exorcism utilized to remove spirits, typically not of a religious nature.
Cold Spot: [n.] An area where the temperature is significantly lower than everywhere else that is believed to be caused by the presence of a ghost.
Collective Apparition: [n.] An apparition sighted by multiple witnesses at the same time.
Corpse: [n.] The body of a dead human, usually used in reference to bodies post-decomposition.
Crisis Ghost: [n.] A ghost that bears an important message for the living (see Message-Bringer).
Curse: [n.] A placement of bad luck on a person or item.
Cyber Ghost: [n.] An abandoned website that continues to accept emails but will never respond. Not a “real” ghost.
Cyclic Ghost: [n.] A ghost that appears on the anniversary of a significant event.
Dead: [adj.] Having once lived and since had their life come to an end.
Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead): [n.] Mexican celebration honoring the dead.
No longer alive (see ‘Dead’).
Deep Trance Medium
A psychic that allows a ghost to enter their body so that spirits can communicate through them.
The sensation of feeling that one has experienced current events before.
The fading or disappearance of a physical object.
Evil spirit capable of harming the living, often by means of scratches and/or possession; spirits from Hell.
Black dogs with red eyes that are said to haunt England (see ‘Phantom Dog’).
Recording device used in ghost hunting that was later replaced by the EVP Reader.
Temperature recording tool used to detect drops in temperature, often caused by ghosts.
A spirit that exists while lacking a physical body.
The ability to feel or notice something while using the mind and senses.
Coming from somebody who cannot be seen in a way that may be eerie or frightening.
A voice that emanates from someone with no physical body (see ‘EVP’).
The obtainment of future events and the unknown via outside forces.
Russian ghost that is said to do housework of it is treated well.
German for “double walker”; the identical image of a living person.
Icelandic word for ghost.
A sequence of images that appear involuntarily to the mind of somebody who is sleeping, often a mixture of real and imaginary characters, places, and events.
Coldness produced by a ghost.
A substance that emanates from a medium during a trance; often appears as a mist-like or vapor substance; can be seen moving, often faces and other forms can been seen in it.
Electro-Magnetic (Electro-Magnetic Radiation)
Energy said to be produced by ghosts, though not in all cases of electro-magnetics.
Electro-Magnetic Field (EMF)
An electric and magnetic energy that radiates from radio and light waves to gamma and cosmic rays
Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)
Voices heard only on EVP recorders or cassette tapes and not to the naked ear; voices of spirits.
Gauge designed to read levels of EMFs (also called ‘EMF Detector’).
Someone who shows a considerable amount of empathy physicallyEpitaphWords or phrases etched onto a tombstone.
Spanish word for ghostEvocationSummoning spirits by means of ritual, gesture, or verse of incantation.
Gauge designed to record noises or voices created by ghosts.
The expulsion of ghosts, spirits, and other entities (primarily demons) that are disturbing or possessing a person or a place.
Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)
The ability to receive or obtain information about past, present, or future events; includes telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Italian word for ghost; Spanish word for ghost.
Light-bringing tool used in ghost hunts to eliminate use of larger lights.
Tool used by ghost hunters to read electro-magnetic radiation.
Soul of the deceased.
Tool used for communicating to ghosts in a more ‘live’ way than EVPs.
An individual who studies and looks for ghosts, often times working to rid a location of harmful/bothersome spirits.
Larger and brighter versions or orbs.
Chinese celebration in which ghosts are said to come to Earth to visit loved ones.
The apparition of a ship that has been known to have disappeared or wrecked in the past; apparition of a ship that warns of pending disaster.
An abandoned town lacking inhabitants that is not necessarily haunted.
Apparitions of trains that are not physically there.
Ghost-like; mystic; having traits of a ghost.
A larger glob version of an orb.
Place in which a body is buried.
Place in which the dead are buried.
Chinese word for ghost.
Americanised holiday that originated from Ireland as ‘All Hallows Eve’; celebrated to protect children from demons.
Location with lingering soul(s); place that has paranormal activity.
Home that is haunted by a ghost/ghosts; a theme park attraction used for scaring purposes.
Ghosts who are attached to a place, often emotionally.
Paranormal phenomena including apparitions, unexplained sounds, smells, and other sensations, and odd occurrences involving a dead person.
Indian ghosts who died violently and didn’t get a proper burial.
An act intended to trick people into believing something is real when it is not.
Incapable of dying; someone who died and came back as the undead to live forever.
A demonic entity capable of sexually arousing or assaulting women; the woman’s version of the succubus.
Multiple experiences from different individuals who did not have any prior knowledge of paranormal occurrences.
Mediumistic phenomenon in which the discarnate entity appears to speak using the vocal apparatus of the medium.
Repeated and persistent paranormal phenomena.
Lack of physical substance.
Haunting and paranormal activity caused by an intelligent or conscious spirit.
The summoning of spirits.
Charged particles that ghosts can reverse the charge of.
South African word for ghost.
Saudi Arabian word for ghost.
Keelung Ghost Day Festival
Taiwanese celebration for ghosts.
Kenyan word for ghost.
The lifting of a person into the air without any visible means.
Psychokinetic effects that can be directly observed rather than only inferred from statistical analysis.
Harmful; a dangerous ghost.
Spirits who destroy or damage things of personal or financial value for the sake of causing harm.
An indication that something is present, real, or exists.
New Zealand ghosts who speak only to magicians in whistles and squeaks.
The formation of a visible and physical form of a spirit.
The minds attempt to create images as something else when they are not.
Recording of temperature or electromagnetic field changes.
Psychic practitioner (see ‘Psychic’).
The study of what is beyond the laws of physics.
Ghosts who bring messages, such as someone’s death, someone needing help, or something that will happen.
Ghosts who are playful in their hauntings (see ‘Poltergeist’).
Foggy white patch in front of or behind objects.
A living being that will be born, live, and die.
Phillipino word for ghost.
Act of killing an individual/multiple people intentionally (excluding kills on a battlefield).
Near-Death Experience (NDE)
An experience in which someone was pronounced dead or very close to death, but was still alive.
The practice of communicating with the dead in order to obtain knowledge of the future, others’ secrets, etc.
African ghost; spirit of someone who died and did not receive a proper burial.
Watching/witnessing paranormal activity; noting things about an occurrence.
Esoteric systems of belief and practice that assume the existence of mysterious forces and entities.
Small, pale globes of light.
Board used to contact spirits that is typically used in seances.
The physical manifestation of paranormal activity.
Unable to be explained or understood in terms of scientific knowledge.
The study of supposed mental phenomena that cannot be explained by known psychological or scientific principles, e.g. extrasensory perception and telepathy.
Individuals who study parapsychology; ghost hunters (see ‘Parapsychology’).
An apparition or specter that exists only as energy.
The paralysis that occurs when one is under attack by supernatural or preternatural forces (also called ‘Psychic Paralysis’).
Ghost dogs of superstition (see ‘Devil Hound’).
Phi Ta Khan Festival
Thailand’s ghost festival.
A triangular instrument that is used as a pointer to answer questions on the Ouija Board.
German word for “noisy spirit”; activity is often times playful and like that of a prankster.
When a person’s body is taken over by a spirit, often times a demonic one.
Religious means of ridding of ghosts
Knowledge of pending future events.
Vision; feeling or warning about future events (see ‘Vision’).
Claiming, or believed to have, extraordinary sensitivity to nonphysical or supernatural forces.
An attack that can either be mental or physical by a spirit.
The belief in which a part of a person’s soul survives death and can be reborn in a new body in the future.
Same occurrences produced by a ghost or haunting over and over again.
Ghosts who replay a point in their lives, and often do not interact in the living.
A psychic imprint of a scene that repeats itself; there is no interaction between the dead and the living.
Retroactive Psycho Kinesis
Paranormal influence that an agent can have on an experiment after it has been completed.
Paranormal knowledge of past events.
Sage: [n.] An herb that is burned to rid of ghosts.
Salt: [n.] A mineral believed to block out ghosts when it is scattered.
Seance: [n.] A meeting where a spiritualist attempts to receive communications from the spirits of the dead.
Shojo: [n.] A type of Japanese ghost said to haunt the ocean and are friendly to the living.
Silk: [n.] A material said to protect the wearer from spirits.
Sleep Paralysis: [n.] A sensation of being awake but unable to move. Also referred to as “Old Hag Syndrome.”
Soul: [n.] The complex of human attributes that manifests as consciousness, thought, feeling, and will, regarded as distinct from the physical body.
Spectre: [n.] A ghostly apparition. Also spelled “Specter.”
Spettro: [n.] The Italian word for ghost.
Spirit: [n.] Ghost.
Spirit Message: [n.] A spoken, written, or coded message from ghosts.
Spirit Photography: [n.] Photographs of ghosts.
Spiritualism: [n.] Religion based strongly upon the paranormal, death, and subsequent afterlife.
Spogelse: [n.] The Danish word for ghost.
Stigmata: [n.] Mysterious wounds and/or markings found on a person’s body that correspond with the wounds of Jesus Christ.
Strasidlo: [n.] The Czech Republican word for ghost.
Subliminal Perception: [n.] Perceiving while lacking conscious awareness.
Succubus: [n.] A demonic entity that inspire lust in men, then assaults them.
Supernatural: [n.] Relating to or attributed to phenomena that cannot be explained by natural laws.
Superstition: [n.] Legend. An embellished tale, often passed down through the generations.
Taibhse: [n.] The Irish word for ghost.
Telekinesis: [n.] The ability to move objects around solely by the power of the mind.
Telepathy: [n.] The ability to communicate mind-to-mind opposed to verbally.
Teleportation: [n.] Paranormal transportation of objects or people to a different place.
Tombstone: [n.] A grave marker (see “Grave”).
Translucent: [adj.] Clear, possible to see through.
Undead: [n.] In fiction, people or other beings who are technically dead but still exist, move, and interact with the living in a physical form, such as vampires or zombies.
Verification: Other witnesses or evidence to prove that an experience occurred.
Vision: [n.] A dream that foretells a future event, such as good fortune, an accident, impending doom, or death.
Voodoo: [n.] The practice of black magic, originating from Haiti and spread into the New Orleans area.
Vortex: [n.] A white, cloud-shaped wisp that looks like a small tornado.
White Noise: [n.] A combination of all audible frequencies.
Will-O’-The-Wisps: [n.] Ghost lights, scientists believe them to be burning gasses. Also called Jack-O’-Lanterns.
Wraith: [n.] The ghost of a sorcerer who was unable to save himself with his spells.
Yuurei: [n.] Japanese word for ghost, meaning “dim soul.” Also spelled “Yurei.”
Zombie: [n.] 1. A corpse reanimated by a voodoo practitioner. 2. In popular culture, often created by disease, nuclear energy or exposure to radiation, or other means.
Zweem: [n.] Dutch word for ghost.