Ghost Hunting Terminology

July 30, 2011 on 2:40 pm | In Article | No Comments

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The following are terminology and definitions which are listed in the book

“Ghost Hunters Journal” by Fiona Broome and the Hollow Hill Staff.  This is a partial list only.

My hope for sharing this information is that you will find a better understanding and clarity of what ghost hunters or anyone like myself are trying to explain. 

Anomaly- Something that is out of place and unexplained.  I paranormal studies, it refers to any phenomena that we cannot explain.  Example: A lens flare in a photo is not an anomaly, but an orb that we cannot explain is an anomaly.

Apparition– since the early 17th century, this refers to any ghost that seems to have material substance.  If it appears in any physical form, including a vapor-like image, it may be called an apparition.

Clearing or space clearing– Ridding an area of lingering unpleasant energy.  It does not “kill” a ghost.  Space clearing may encourage ghosts to cross over, or at least leave the haunted location.

Demons– Historically, this term has included deceased individuals.  However, since the early 18th century, it usually refers to an evil spirit, sometimes more powerful than man, but less than Deity.  Today, we generally do not use this term to indicate a deceased human being.  The female demon, very rarely mentioned, is a demoness.

Doppelganger– A concept made popular in the early 19th century, especially by Shelley and Byron. A doppelganger is the apparition, or double, of a living person.

Ectoplasm– Often referred to as “ecto”, this is the physical residue of psychic energy.  It’s the basis for “slime” used in the Ghostbusters movies.  Ectoplasm can be seen by the naked eye, and is best viewed in dark settings since it is translucent and tends to glow.  It is very unusual. 

EMF– Electro Magnetic Field, or Electro Magnetic Frequency.  As the name suggests, it’s a combination of electrical and magnetic fields.  You’ll find high EMF levels around power sources, fuse boxes, electrical outlets, computer monitors, and microwave ovens. Etc.

Unexplained EMF fields often indicate something paranormal.  EMF fields can be measured with various tools, including an EMF meter or a hiking compass.

Entity– Any being, including people and ghosts.

EVP– Electronic Voice Phenomena, or the recording of unexplained voices, usually in haunted settings. 

Ghost– A sentient entity, spirit that visits or lingers in our world, after he or she lived among us as a human being.  We’ve also seen evidence of ghostly animals and pets.

Haunted– Describes a setting where ghosts, poltergeists, and/or residual energy seem to produce significant paranormal activity.  The work “haunt” originally meant to frequent.

Medium– Someone who can communicate between our world and the other side.

Orb– A round, whitish or pastel-colored translucent area in photos.  Rarely seen in real life.  Generally, these are perfectly circular, not oval.  Many researchers believe that they represent spirits or ghosts. 

Poltergeist– from the German meaning “noisy ghost”, this term has been in use since the early 19th century to mean a spirit that makes noise, or otherwise plays pranks…often annoying.  Unlike other ghosts, poltergeists can move from one location to another, following the person they’ve chosen to torment.  Many psychologists believe that poltergeists are not ghosts at all, but some form of psychokineses or remote activity.

Portal– Literally, a doorway or gate, this term suggests a specific location through which spirits enter and leave our world.  When there are multiple phenomena in a confined area, such as an abundance of unexplained orbs, some people call this a “ghost portal”

Protections– Objects, rituals, routines, tactics, or processes through which you guard yourself against psychic, demonic or paranormal intrusions and effects. 

PSI– Popular term used to mean any psychic phenomena, psychic abilities, and sometimes inclusive of paranormal disturbances as well.

Psychokineses or psycho kinesis– To move something with the powers of one’s mind, alone.  It may be a factor in some haunting, and particularly in poltergeist phenomena.  It’s usually called “PK”.

Residual energy– Many ghost hunters believe that emotionally charged events leave an imprint or energy residue on the physical objects nearby.

Sparkles– A visual effect described as the sparkle of embers falling immediately after a fireworks display.  These small, sparkling lights usually occur no closer to the camera than ten feet.  They are often 20 to 50 feet away, or more.  Sparkles are seen during and especially immediately after the flash on a camera is used.  Even the most vivid sparkles will not show up on film.  (If they do, check for dust on insects.)  Sparkles are paranormal phenomena.

Telekinesis– from a Greek word meaning any motion that is activated from a distance.  Technically, this could describe a remote-controlled toy boat, so we use the work psychokineses for our research. 

Vortex– Since the time of Descartes, this has indicated the rotation of cosmic energy around a central point or axis.  Beginning in the mid-19th century, the word “vortex” has meant any whirling movement of energy or particles.  Some people use this term to explain lines or narrow cylinders that appear highlighted in ghost photos. 

I hope these terms will help you when trying to understand more about the paranormal.  If you have further questions please contact me and I will do my best to find the answer for you. 

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