Explaining what you thought you saw
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Researchers in the paranormal field use certain terms to describe a variety of different anomalies and situations. Below are some of the most common terms used.

Angel: Messenger of God; a celestial being; benevolent in nature and if visible, appearing in human form; possessing miraculous abilities such as teleportation, healing powers and knowledge of future events.

Anomaly: An occurrence or condition removed from ordinarily understood experience. (See also: "Paranormal")

Anthropomorphize: The humanocentric tendency of imposing human perceptions and priorities upon spirits and other worldly creatures or forces.

Apparition: The projection or manifestation of a quasi-physical entity.

Aura-world: A reflection of our own sphere of existence composed of the electromagnetic emanations of us.


Banishing: Formal, ceremonial, procedure affected to cast an invisible presence or influence out from an area. This term can refer either to a spiritual cleansing, or the closing of a magical rite, when the invoked powers are dismissed.

Bogeyman: A grim spectral figure who delights in menacing mortals with gruesome pranks and abductions.


Construct, Psychic: Experimentation has been conducted to support the premise that through directed psychic energies, a responsive, spirit-like entity can be created, continuing for a time to exist independently.

Continuance: Commonly referred to as life after death.

Cleansing (Psychic): A less ritualized form of exorcism, wherein a dwelling or site is purified and malevolent influences are banished through prayers, spoken as the petitioner moves through the area.

Cryptozoology: The branch of paranormal research which deals with the exploration of legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, lake and sea monsters, etc.


Demon: Hostile and resentful entity, supposedly of non-human origin, which some believe to be fallen angels.

Doppelganger: German for "Double-goer." A person's duplicate or identical counterpart, seen as a result of bi-locational or astral travel.

Druid: A Celtic priest of the Bronze or Iron Age, trained in healing, divination and astronomy, whose tradition was passed on to successors by oral tradition.

Dee, Doctor John (1527-1608): Alchemist, astrologer, seer and adviser to Queen Elizabeth I of England who, along with his somewhat unscrupulous associate Edward Kelly, supposedly devised a method of deciphering an angelic language, known as the "Enochian Calls."


Ectoplasm: A filmy, quasi-solid substance which supposedly issues from the bodies of mediums (from the mouth, nostrils, eyes, ears, navel or nipples) during trance states.

Elemental: In magical tradition and ceremony, spirits which govern the four corners of the earth and are associated with, or reside within, the four basic elements. They are called Sylphs (the east, air), Salamanders (the south, fire), Undines (the west, water), and Gnomes (the north, earth).

Empath: An individual who is particularly sensitive to the psychic emanations of their surroundings, even to a degree of telepathically receiving and experiencing the emotions of others in their proximity.

Entity: Commonly referred to as ghost, spirit or (if of an apparently malicious or resentful nature) demon.

E.V.P: Electronic Voice Phenomena. Disembodied voices and sounds imprinted on audio recording devices.

Exorcism: Ceremonial expulsion of invading spiritual/demonic entities from a person or dwelling, present in virtually every worldly culture.

Extra-terrestrials: Life forms originating on planets other than our own.


Fetch: A spectral double of a living person.

Floating orb: Spherical image, usually translucent white, though sometimes has a red or blue hue, which inexplicably registers on photographic film and videotape.


Ghost: The image of a person witnessed after his/her death, reflecting the appearance of the living, physical body yet less substantial.

Golden rod: A rare anomaly seen in videotape recorded at the site of a suspected haunting, appearing as bright, white or yellowish lines rapidly moving across a room.


Haunting: The manifestation of a ghostly presence, or presences, attached to a specific locale. Hauntings can be categorized into four distinct types: Intelligent, poltergeist, residual and demonic.

Hex: A magical working, or spell, cast to influence a person's will or fate, most often referring to a curse rather than a blessing or healing.

Hypnosis: A state of profound mental focus, actually self-induced, although an external agent - a hypnotist - often acts as the catalyst, or director, for the subject entering this state.


Infestation: Repeated and persistent paranormal phenomena, generally centered around a particular location or person(s).

Influence: An invisible entity of undetermined nature, affecting the inhabitants of a dwelling. This may initially manifest as an inexplicable feeling of uneasiness, then be followed by more definite signs which reveal a haunting.

Intelligent (Haunt): A spirit or entity who has knowledge of its surroundings. This type of haunt is aware of the environment and those in it. It also has the ability to interact and communicate with the living. They are sometimes known as clever or mischievous spirits having the ability to move objects and control environmental things so as to cause notice of their existence.


Levitation: A phenomenon sometimes encountered in hauntings, particularly with poltergeists; rare yet credibly reported, where solid objects (including persons) are moved and lifted by an unseen force.

Lore: Collective beliefs and legend relating to a subject.

Lucifer: In Christian theology, identified as the Devil, a.k.a. Satan.


Materialization: A ghost appearing visually, suddenly or gradually, sometimes indistinct, sometimes seemingly quite solid.

Matrixing: The natural tendency for the human mind to interpret sensory input, what is perceived visually, audibly or physically, as something familiar or more easily understood and accepted.


Ouija (Board): A divining implement consisting of a small, round or rectangular platform with letters, numbers and various symbols printed upon it, and a planchette which, when the fingers of two participants are lightly placed along its edges, is intended to glide across the smooth surface of the inscribed platform and indicate messages. (NOTE: Wolf Paranormal strongly advises against their use.)


Paranormal: The realm of occurrences and phenomena removed from those to which people see as normal.

Pentacle/Pentagram: The traditional five-pointed star design, with its interior pentagon delineated, generally representing both spirituality and protection when pointed up; when inverted, it is said to signify diabolical happenings.

Poltergeist: German for "noisy ghost." This is an extremely rare occurrence wherein random objects are moved and sounds are produced by an unseen force, the sole purpose of which seems to be to draw attention to itself. The phenomenon always involves a specific individual, frequently a child or adolescent.

Possession: Invasion of the human mind by a spiritual or demonic entity, where the invading agent for a span of time, influences or entirely subverts the personality of the human host. It is in these instances that the boundaries of psychology, religion and spiritualism are rendered less distinct.


Radiant child: The apparition of a child which is seen glowing or surrounded by a bright aura.

Reincarnation: The belief that a person's soul will, following bodily death, inhabit a new body in a long cycle of rebirths, purportedly for the soul's evolution through gaining experience.

Residual (Haunting): Psychic imprint of a scene which is repeatedly played out, where the witness of such phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly participants of these time displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.


Satan: Hebraic term for "Adversary," the "Tester" in the Biblical Book of Job; the most familiar name of the Devil; the "Fallen Angel"; the "Evil One."

Seance: A group effort to contact the spirit world. (Note: Wolf Paranormal does not endorse seances)

Spirit: Existence apart from, or transcending, the purely physical.


Voodoo: African magic traditions with a veneer of imposed Catholicism from the new world, taking root in the Caribbean, particularly the dark populous of Haiti.

Vortex (pl. Vortexes or Vortices): An anomaly which sometimes shows up in still photographs taken at the site of a suspected haunting, appearing as a translucent white, tube- or funnel-shaped mass. Some researchers believe this may be a porthole to the spirit realm.


Wicca: Witchcraft as a recognized religion, the practitioners of which refer to their system as "The Old Way" and "The Ancient Religion." Wiccans in their rituals align themselves with elementals and the earth's natural magnetic fields, personified by the names of ancient Greek, Egyptian and Sumerian deities.