Paranormal Glossary

Glossary and Explainations Of Paranormal Terms

After Life

The afterlife or life after death is a generic term for a continuation of existence after death, typically in a spiritual or ghostlike afterworld.


A living person who is the focus of poltergeist activity

Astral Plane

The astral plane, also called the astral world or desire world, is a plane of existence according to esoteric philosophies, some religious teachings and New Age thought.
The term "astral plane" has also more recently come to mean a plane of existence where some believe their souls reside.

Astral Projection

Astral projection (or astral travel) is a paranormal interpretation of an out-of-body experience achieved either awake or via lucid dreaming or deep meditation. The concept of astral projection assumes the existence of another body, separate from the physical body and capable of traveling to non-physical planes of existence. Commonly such planes are called astral, etheric, or spiritual. Astral projection is often experienced as the spirit or astral body leaving the physical body to travel in the spirit world or astral plane.


In parapsychology, spirituality and New Age belief, an aura is a subtle field of luminous multicolored radiation surrounding a person or object as a cocoon or halo.An aura may be held to represent or be composed of soul vibrations or chakras, and may reflect the moods or thoughts of the person it surrounds

Automatic Writing

Automatic writing is the process, or product, of writing material that does not come from the conscious thoughts of the writer. The writer's hand forms the message, and the person is unaware of what will be written. It is sometimes done in a trance state. Other times the writer is aware (not in a trance) of their surroundings but not of the actions of their writing hand.


The process by which a medium can communicate information from non-physical beings, such as spirits, deities, demons or aliens through entering a state of trance or some other form of altered consciousness


Clairvoyance (from 17th century French clair meaning \"clear\" and voyant meaning "seeing") is the purported ability to gain information about an object, location or physical event through means other than the known human senses, a form of extra-sensory perception. A person said to have the ability of clairvoyance is referred to as a clairvoyant.

Cold Reading

Cold reading is a technique often used by mentalists, fortune tellers, and others posing as psychics and mediums to determine details about a subject through analysis of their body language, appearance and responses to questioning. Even without prior knowledge of a person, a practiced cold reader could obtain a great deal of information about the subject by carefully analyzing that person\'s body language, clothing, hairstyle, gender, sexual orientation, religion, race or ethnicity, level of education, manner of speech, place of origin, etc. Cold readers often start by making broad guesses and will refine their statements based on clues supplied by the subject, abandoning any incorrect guesses while reinforcing any chance connections the subject acknowledges

Direct Voice Phenomenon (DVP)

An audible voice that is heard by sitters during an investigation.

Electromagnetic Field (EMF)

An electromagnetic field occurs any time electricity passes through a wire or an appliance that is operating. An appliance that is plugged in, but not turned on emits an electrostatic field, not an electromagnetic field. For the purpose of studying parapsychology we will only need to learn about electromagnetic fields. Electromagnetic fields weaken with distance from the source. Electromagnetic fields are measured in units called mill Gauss. A high mill Gauss reading indicates a strong electromagnetic field. The EMF meter will measure these fields but you must determine what is an unusual field.

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP)

Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) refers to the purported manifestation of voices and sounds of paranormal origin on electronic media such as radios and tape recorders. Proponents of EVP commonly attribute the phenomenon to communication from ghosts or spirits, although others have suggested alien communications or psychokinesis from the living as possible explanations


Exorcism (from Late Latin exorcismus, from Greek exorkizein - to adjure) is the practice of evicting demons or other evil spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed (taken control of). The practice is quite ancient and part of the belief system of many religions.

The person performing the exorcism, known as an exorcist, is often a member of the clergy, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills. The exorcist may use prayers, and religious material, such as set formulas, gestures, symbols, icons, amulets, etc.. The exorcist invokes God, Jesus and/or several different angels and archangels to intervene with the exorcism

Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)

Extrasensory perception (ESP) is the purported ability to acquire information by paranormal means independent of any known physical senses or deduction from previous experience. The term was coined by Duke University researcher J. B. Rhine to denote psychic abilities such as telepathy, the sensing of thoughts or feelings without help from the 5 known senses, precognition, the knowledge of future events, and clairvoyance, the awareness of people, objects or events without the help of the 5 known senses. ESP is also sometimes casually referred to as a sixth sense, gut instinct, a hunch, a weird vibe or an intuition. The term implies sources of information currently unexplained by science.

Ley Lines

Ley lines are hypothetical alignments of a number of places of geographical interest, such as ancient monuments and megaliths. Their existence was suggested in 1921 by the amateur archaeologist Alfred Watkins, whose book The Old Straight Track brought the alignments to the attention of the wider public. Some believe these are earth's natural energy lines that can be used by spirits to travel from one place to another.


A materialization is the creation or appearance of matter from unknown sources. Some miracles reportedly involve materializations.In the paranormal field this is commonly used to describe the appearance of a spirit or body often during an investigation.

Mediumship (Medium)

The term "mediumship" denotes the supposed ability of a person (the medium) to experience and/or to tell others about their experiences of contact with spirits of the dead, spirits of non-corporeal entities, angels, and/or nature spirits. By experiencing these visions, the medium generally claims to allow communication between non-mediumistic people and spirits who may have messages to share.

Near Death Experience (NDE)

A near-death experience (NDE) refers to a broad range of personal experiences associated with impending death, encompassing multiple possible sensations ranging from detachment from the body, feelings of levitation, extreme fear, security, or warmth, the experience of absolute dissolution, and the presence of a light, which some people interpret as a deity or spiritual presence.Many cultures and individuals revere NDEs as a paranormal and spiritual glimpse into the afterlife.


The term orb is the popular name given to typically circular anomalies appearing in photographs. In photography and video, orbs appear to be balls, diamonds, or smears of light with an apparent size in the image ranging from a golfball to a basketball depending on the distance of the dust particle to the lens. Orbs sometimes appear to be in motion, leaving a trail behind them.

There are two main trains of thought regarding the cause of orbs in photographs. The first school sees it as a fairly clear-cut case of flash or ambient light reflection off of dust, particles, insects, or moisture droplets in the air in front of the camera distorted by the digital cameras CCD senor being unable to focus, i.e. they are naturalistic. The opposing school maintains that orbs are paranormal in nature and spirits, i.e. non-naturalistic and ghost like


A ouija (often pronounced "wee-gee" or called weegee box in English) is any flat surface printed with letters, numbers, and other symbols, to which a planchette or movable indicator points, supposedly in answer to questions from people at a séance. The fingers of the participants are placed on the planchette that then moves about the board to spell out messages.

Out Of Body Experience (OOBE or OBE)

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE), is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy). About one in ten people has reported having an out-of-body experience at some time in their lives. Scientists know little about the phenomenon. OBEs are often part of the near-death experience, and reportedly may also lead to astral projection. It is claimed that those experiencing an OBE sometimes observe details which were unknown to them beforehand


Paranormal is an umbrella term for a variety of anomalous phenomena. In parapsychology, it is used to describe the ostensibly psychic phenomena of telepathy, extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, ghosts, and hauntings. Beyond the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.


Parapsychology is the study of ostensibly paranormal psychological phenomena. Phenomena studied include extra-sensory perception, psychokinesis, and survival of consciousness after death.

Parapsychologists study a number of ostensible paranormal phenomena, including but not limited to:

  • Telepathy: Transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses.
    Precognition: Perception of information about future places or events before they occur.

  • Clairvoyance: Obtaining information about places or events at remote locations, by means unknown to current science.

  • Psychokinesis: The ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means unknown to current science.

  • Reincarnation: The rebirth of a soul or other non-physical aspect of human consciousness in a new physical body after death.

  • Hauntings: Phenomena often attributed to ghosts and encountered in places a deceased individual is thought to have frequented, or in association with the person's former belongings.


Poltergeist, from German poltern, meaning to rumble or make noise, and Geist, meaning "ghost", "spirit", or "embodiment", denotes a spirit or ghost that manifests itself by moving and influencing objects
Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus. Foci are often, but not limited to, pubescent children. Almost seventy years of research by the Rhine Research Center in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, has led to the hypothesis among parapsychologists that the "poltergeist effect" is a form of psychokinesis generated by a living human mind (that of the agent). According to researchers at the Rhine Center, the "poltergeist effect" is the outward manifestation of psychological trauma


Precognition denotes a form of extra-sensory perception where in a person is said to perceive information about places or events through paranormal means before they happen. A related term, presentiment, refers to information about future events which is said to be perceived as emotions. These terms are considered by some to be special cases of the more general term clairvoyance.


Psi is a term for parapsychological phenomena derived from the Greek, psi, twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet; from the Greek psyche, "mind, soul". Traditionally be divided into two sub categories:

Psi-Gamma - Pertaining to paranormal cognition (ESP, remote viewing, etc), and Psi-Kappa - Pertaining to paranormal action (psychokinesis, etc).


The term psychokinesis also known as telekinesis, sometimes abbreviated PK and TK respectively, denotes the purported ability of the mind to influence matter, time, space, or energy by means outside the currently known laws of physics.Examples of psychokinesis could include distorting or moving an object, or influencing the output of a random number generator. The existence of such powers has never been documented in a rigorous scientific setting. The study of phenomena said to be psychokinetic is an aspect of parapsychology. Some paranormal researchers believe that psychokinesis exists and deserves further study, pointing to experimental results such as those done using random number generators


Psychometry is a form of extra-sensory perception in which a psychic is said to be able to obtain information about an individual through paranormal means by making physical contact with an object that belongs to them.


A séance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "seat," "session" or "sitting," from the Old French "seoir," "to sit." In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma" ("a movie session"). In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from ghosts or spirits or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits; in modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.

Table Turning or Table Tipping

Table Turning is a type of séance in which participants sit around a table, place their hands on it, and wait for rotations. The table was purportedly made to serve as a means of communicating with the spirits; the alphabet would be slowly called over and the table would tilt at the appropriate letter, thus spelling out words and sentences


Telepathy describes the purported transfer of information on thoughts or feelings between individuals by means other than the five classical senses (PSI) The term was coined in 1882 by the classical scholar Fredric W. H. Myers, a founder of the Society for Psychical Research, specifically to replace the earlier expression thought-transference. A person who is able to make use of telepathy is said to be able to read the minds of others. Telepathy, along with psychokinesis forms the main branches of parapsychological research, and many studies seeking to detect and understand telepathy have been done within the field

Veridical Dream

A dream that contains factual information that the dreamer would be unaware of.

Zener Cards

Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extra-sensory perception (ESP), most often clairvoyance. Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist J. B. Rhine.

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