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A glossary of terms commonly used by paranormal
investigators.  
 


Benevolent
Kind or good.

Cold Spots
Commonly associated with haunted sites, a cold spot is said to result
from a ghost absorbing the necessary energy to materialize from its
surroundings. They are usually quite localized and are 10 or more degrees
cooler than the surrounding area.

Ectoplasm
A dense fog-like bio-energy used by spirits to materialize as ghosts.

EMF
The electromagnetic field meter detects changes in the electromagnetic
field.
It has been well documented that when the spirits of the dead are
present, the EMF detects changes in the electromagnetic field.
(Usually a variation of 7 milligaus or greater)

ESP
Extrasensory Perception describes the ability to perceive and receive
information without the use of any of the normal five senses.

EVP
Electronic Voice Phenomena is a process through which the voices of the
dead are captured on audio recordings.

*Listen to actual EVP recordings HERE.

Exorcism
A purging of a person, place or thing that has been possessed by a
demon or other unnatural force. It is normally carried out under the close
supervision of a religious official that is thoroughly trained and capable.  

*Contrary to popular belief, ghosts cannot be exorcised.

Geiger Counter
An instrument that detects and measures radioactivity or the spontaneous
emission of energy from certain elements. This device searches for
fluctuations in Alpha, Beta, Gamma and X-ray radiation, which point to a
disturbance in spirit energy.

Ghost
Derived from the German word for "geist" and Dutch word for "geest," a
ghost is the physical manifestation of an individual's disembodied spirit. It
may appear as a figure, but a ghost can also manifest itself through
smells, sounds and other sensations.

IR Thermometer
Infrared Thermometer is a thermometer that sends out an infrared beam
that will bounce back when it hits a surface. The scanner will display the
temperature of the surface that reflected the infrared beam. When a spirit
is present, there is sometimes a significant variation.

Malevolent
To be bad or of evil intent.

Materialization
The process through which seemingly solid objects or individuals appear
out of thin air.

Motion Sensor
The motion sensor is an effective tool for sensing the movement of the
spirits.  Sensors go off to support evidence, photographic or otherwise,
of paranormal activity.

NDE - Near Death Experience
The recollection of the afterlife which those who have been at death's door
have experienced.

OBE - Out of Body Experience
The phenomenon in which a person leaves his/her body and travels
temporarily outside of it, but is attached by an astral cord in order to
return.

Orbs
Though they may vary in shape and size, orbs are most commonly round
in shape and whitish gray in color. They may be found in photographs
taken during a haunting or at a haunted site.  

*Photos of actual orbs can be viewed HERE.

Ouija Board
An instrument that allegedly can be used to contact or channel spirits of
the deceased.  It is usually a wooden or cardboard device inscribed with
the alphabet, the words "yes" and "no" and the numbers 0 - 9. It also
includes an apparatus known as a pointer.

Paranormal
Any event that cannot be explained or defined through accepted scientific
knowledge is said to be beyond what is normal. It is therefore, paranormal.

Permeation
The action whereby an investigator and/or client experiences the
sensation of a spirit or entity permeate or pass through the physical body.

Poltergeist
A combination of two German words, Polter (to 'knock' or 'noisy') and
Geist (spirit).  A poltergeist is characterized by its bizarre and mischievous
behavior. Activities of a poltergeist include, but are not limited to, the
moving of furniture, the throwing of objects and the rapping and knocking
of walls.

Possession
A condition in which all of an individual's faculties fall under the control of
an external force such as a demon or deity. An individual possessed by a
demon may alter his or her voice, even his or her appearance and be
fearful of religious symbols.

Residual Haunting
A spirit becomes trapped in an emotional whirlpool that is never-ending.
A replay of events the spirit has experienced while living and now, after
death, is trapped within a loop of repetition.

Revenant
From the French, revenir (to return) a revenant is a ghost that appears
shortly after its physical death. Usually it will only appear a few times,
perhaps even just once, before disappearing from the earth forever.

Sleep Paralysis
A natural condition that occurs when people fall asleep. The brain shuts
down signals to the muscles in the body so we don't act out what we are
dreaming. In sleep paralysis, it does not shut down properly and leaves
the sleeper in a half-awake state unable to move. Since they are still
partially awake and dreaming, yet paralyzed, dream hallucinations can
occur because of the fear it creates. The brain will usually fill in the reason
for the happening. This gives way to stories of demons, aliens, dark
entities, ect. that are attacking the "victim" while they are in their beds.

Thermograph
A self- recording thermometer that traces temperature variations over
time.

Vortex
Thought to be a doorway that spirits use from the afterlife into ours.