|PARANORMAL TERMS GLOSSARY
Abduction- Alien Abduction
Kidnapping by non-human beings. The first reported claim of alien abduction was in Brazil in
1957 and since then there have been reports from all over the Western world - in Europe
including the UK, Australia, South Africa, Russia, and North America. Although people's
experiences vary quite widely, the following features recur
*Light, especially a beam which draws the person up, and sometimes vibration.
*A spacecraft of some kind.
*Humanoid beings, especially small gray ones with large black eyes,
who communicate by telepathy.
*Medical tests being performed and eggs or sperm removed so that human/alien offspring
can be produced.
*Lost periods of time and inexplicable small wounds.
*Very few accounts are complete but sometimes the full story is recovered through hypnosis.
The yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, is a supposed large primate-like creature
reported to live in the Himalayas. The Western name is derived from the Tibetan yeh-teh
(transliterated: gYa' dred), "little man-like animal"; it is a false cognate with Old English geottan
(or yettin in Modern English), an antiquated word for an orc or troll (see also jotun).
Most mainstream scientists and experts consider current evidence of the yeti's existence to be
unpersuasive, and the result of hoaxes.
Healing that takes place when the healer is not in direct contact with the person to be healed.
Similar or alternative term is "proxy sitting."
A person, not present during a sitting, on whose behalf readings are given.
Almost every society known has some belief in survival after death and what happens to people
when they die. These beliefs vary enormously. The basic possibilities include a continuation of
life with little change in the nature or quality of existence;
A series of lives and deaths before ultimate extinction.
Moral improvement through a series of stages, levels, or “planes”.
Bodily resurrection at some future date.
Alongside the idea of a future life one often finds beliefs in reincarnation- a return to earth
life in successive bodies.
Christian ideas about the afterlife include a judgment upon death and an assignment to either
Heaven or Hell, depending on one’s merit leading to an indefinite period of existence in
discarnate state that is followed by a resurrection in the body at the time of the second coming
of Christ, which is also to be the end of the world. The conception of an afterlife is not always
In communicating with the dead, one says and does the opposite of what one means. Typically, in
tribal societies, knowledge of the afterlife is said to have been gained from the experience of
shamans, whose primary function is to act as an intermediary between the living and the dead.
In the paranormal investigation field, it is widely believed that the consciousness, emotions and
personalities of humans survive death of the physical realm and continues into the next. This
theory has been established and validated many times through recorded EVP in which emotions
and personalities have been verbally conveyed.
a) Person who attempts to communicate information to another in an ESP experiment.
(b) The subject in a psychokinesis experiment.
(c) Person who is the focus of poltergeist activity.
"Memories" of all experiences since the beginning of time, believed by some mystical doctrines to
be stored permanently in a spiritual substance (Akasha).
The Science of turning the baser metals into gold or silver by chemical means. The byproduct,
"Quicksilver," was thought to have magical powers. This was a very perfected science in Egyptian
times and lasted all the way up into the 14th-16th Century A.D. when some of the alchemy
methods were lost due to wars and fires that were amid in those times.
Alien Abduction Experience
Reported experiences of being abducted by alien creatures, often into spacecraft. Abductees
often experience lost time and suffer loss of memory. When memories are recovered, often
using hypnotic regression, abductees may report that surgical operations
were performed on them.
All Hallows Eve (Halloween)
Originally, a pagan festival of the dead, which has survived to the present in popular culture as
“Halloween”, a night of trick-or-treating by children and others dressed in costumes of fantasy
and the supernatural. All Hallows Eve is observed the night of October 31, followed on
November 1 by All Hallows Day, also called All Hallowmas, All Saints,
All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.
The ancient Celts called the festival Samhain (pronounced sow’ an) and observed it to celebrate
the onset of winter and the beginning of the Celtic New Year. In Ireland the festival was known
as Samhein. In Scotland, the celebration was known as Hallowe’en. Samhain was a solar festival
marked by sacred fire and fire rituals. During the height of the Druids, the priestly caste of the
Celts, all fires except those of the Druids were extinguished on Samhain. In ancient Ireland, the
Druids sacrificed to the deities by burning victims in wickerwork cages.
All other fires were to be extinguished and were re-lit from the sacrificial fire. Samhain marked
the third and final harvest, and the storage of provisions for the winter.
The veil between the worlds of the living and the dead was believed to be at its thickest point in
the year, making communications between the living and the dead much easier.
On the eve of the holiday, the souls of the dead freely roamed the land of the living.
Numerous fold customs connected with the pagan observances for the dead have survived to
the present. In addition to the souls of the dead roaming about, the Devil, witches and
numerous spirits are believed to be out and at the peak of their supernatural powers.
In some parts of modern Scotland, young people still celebrate by building bonfires on hilltops
and high ground, and then dance around the flames. The fire is known as Halloween Bleeze, and
custom once included digging a circular trench around the fire to symbolize the sun.
Modern celebrants still believe that the unseen worlds of the Devil and witches have a free
hand to exercise their powers on this night.
Electrical activity in the brain (about 10 cycles per second) associated with a state of mental
See also EEG.
Altered State of Consciousness (ASC)
A term used to refer to any state of consciousness that is different from "normal" states of
waking or sleeping. ASCs include hypnosis, trance, ecstasy, psychedelic and meditative
experience. ASCs do not necessarily have paranormal features.
Religious practices involving the veneration of dead ancestors.
In Judeo-Christian and Islamic mythologies- A class of beings, both good and evil, who are
intermediaries between God and Man. The term angel& is derived from the Greek angelos and
the Latin angelus, translations of the Hebrew mal'akh, which originally meant the shadow side
of God and then came to mean messenger. Angelology, which is the study of angels, was
developed in ancient Persia and absorbed into Judaism and Christianity. Angels also exist in
Islamic mythology. The Bible provides uneven and sometimes contradictory information on
angels, initially portraying them as beings created by God who carry God's messages to earth,
and then as interveners, acting on God's instructions. They were said to pass as human beings
while on earth. Some angels supposedly aided and protected humankind, while others wrought
God's punishments and brought illness and destruction. The New Testament tells of the angel
Lucifer (Satan), who defied God and was cast out of heaven, along with one-third of the angelic
realm. These fallen angels became the demons of hell under the leadership of Satan.
In Catholicism, it is believed that every person is born with at least one personal guardian
angel, a protective being that stays with a person for his or her entire life.Although Martin
Luther, the founder of Protestantism, rejected the doctrine of angels, many modern
Protestants believe in angels and in guardian angels.Until about the 18th century, angels were
believed by many to play roles in everyday life. However, during the Age of Enlightenment, with
its emphasis on science and intellectual thought, angels retreated to the realm of poetry and
romantic fancy. Encounters with angels continued to be experienced in the modern world.
Angels are most often sensed or heard by clairaudience; occasionally they manifest as
apparitions in brilliant white robes or as balls of brilliant white light. Interpretation of what
angels are is a very widely and highly subjective subject. Some experts in parapsychology
believe that angels are created in part or in whole by projection from the depths of the human
unconscious in response to the need. Other theories have linked angels to extraterrestrials.
Religious practices based on the belief that all living things and natural objects have their
individual spiritual essence or soul.
An irregular or unusual event which does not fit a standard rule or law. An anomaly is
something which cannot be explained by currently accepted scientific theories. Anything weird,
abnormal, strange, odd, or difficult to classify is considered an anomaly.
A general term referring to unusual experiences that cannot be explained in terms of current
Anomalous phenomena are phenomena which are observed and for which there are no suitable
explanations in the context of a specific body of scientific knowledge, e.g. astronomy or biology.
Common examples though are out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences,
extrasensory perception, ghosts, UFO's and alien abductions.
These concepts are not widely accepted as real by mainstream scientists, some of whom go as far
as calling the study of them pseudoscience. As the body of knowledge available expands, some
anomalies are incorporated into an explanatory framework and lose their standing as anomalies.
For instance, while the idea of stones falling from the sky was long ridiculed, meteorites are
now acknowledged and well understood. Often used as a synonym, but actually a subclass are
the paranormal phenomena, studied by parapsychology.
A dream believed to announce an individual's rebirth. See also reincarnation.
Any material or object believed to have supernatural or magical powers of protection against
ghosts, evil spirits, witchcraft, the evil eye, illness, misfortune, calamities and any kind of
disaster. Amulets have been used universally since ancient times. The term “amulet” comes from
the old Latin term amoletum, which means “means of defense”. Most amulets are worn or carried
on the person. Other amulets are placed in a house, building or ship, or among ones
possessions. Still other amulets are painted on houses, buildings and ships. Virtually any
object can be an amulet. Personal items commonly include pieces of jewelry, semiprecious and
precious stones, and common stones that have odd but natural shapes such as those with holes
in them. Religious objects are amulets. The supernatural power of an amulet is believed to
occur naturally, bestowed by nature or the gods. In occult lore, amulets also can be fashioned
and imbued with supernatural power through magic.
Not always recognized as what they truly are, an apparition is considered a lifelike form of a
living being. Witnesses who claim to have seen apparitions have varying accounts. Several
incidents have occurred where persons saw the same apparition, either at the same time, or over
a period of time. Accounts range from seeing an apparition as solid looking as any human, down
to just a body part being visible, or a full body that is translucent in form. Apparitions are
thought to be how a spirit perceives itself and then projects itself to you, the viewer. This
could account for the large majority of apparitions that appear in period dress (the deceased
persons time period). Several well known apparitions can be found documented, as well as
groups of apparitions and even entire apparition army’s (complete with horses and gear). Why
apparitions are seen is not always easy to theorize on, while some seem to be fairly easy to
understand. Strong emotion, as with most hauntings, is often thought to be the reason why
residual apparitions appear. Interactive apparitions are generally thought to be of the highest
energy form available for spirit activity.
A physical object which appears in a way that cannot be explained (seeming to come from
nowhere). Apports are often associated with the seance room and physical mediumship.
In parapsychology, false evidence of paranormal phenomena,
due to some extraneous normal influence.
The astral body is a spiritual life force that’s sometimes able to separate from and return to
the corporeal, living body. Some paranormal experts use the term synonymously with the soul;
others think of them as two distinct entities. The astral body is believed to be separable from
the physical body during astral projection (out of body experience) and at death.
A term used by occultists, spiritualists and theosophists for the out of body experience. It is
believed to result when the astral body separates from the physical body. To be able to leave
your physical body and project your soul, consciousness or what appears to be your mind to
another place and return via a silver cord.
A theory and practice which attempts to identify the ways in which astronomical events are
correlated with events on earth (e.g., with an individual's personality and biography, or with
social and political trends).
Re-emergence of ancestral characteristics; a genetic throwback.
A field of energy believed by some to surround living creatures. Certain clairvoyants claim to
be able to see the aura (generally as a luminous, coloured halo).
Physical activites (e.g., arm movements, writing, drawing, musical performance) that occur
without the automatist's conscious control or knowledge. Also known as motor automatism.
To freely channel your higher self or another soul's words, music, or art without the
interruptive interference of the mind.
(a) Seeing one's "double".
(b) Looking back at one's own body from a position outside of the body.
Ancient Egyptian concept of a person's essence, believed to be be immortal. Cf. Ka.
See also Soul.
In Gaelic belief, a female entity who heralds a death by groaning and screaming.
In Tibetan Buddhism, an intermediate state of existence, usually referring to the state between
life and rebirth.
Term used in card-guessing tests of clairvoyance, in which the top card of the deck is placed to
one side after each guess.
They are ghosts…found at battlefields. Battlefields are areas of intense emotional energy. So
many people die in these areas that it is believed that the build up of energy in a concentrated
spot can cause these places to become some of the most haunted areas anywhere. Most of the
cases have seemed to go toward residual haunting. The last few moments of a soldier’s life or
the most intense part of the battle are played out over and over again. Although, there are
quite a few cases reported that have interaction between them and us. Such as the case from
Gettysburg where a re-enactor was given a bullet from another man. When the re-enactor
realized that it was a genuine mini-ball, the other man disappeared. To put it bluntly,
battlefields are a great place to investigate.
Procedure in which a question is secretly written on a piece of paper which is folded or sealed
in an envelope, and handed to the psychic who attempts to answer the question. Various trickery
can be employed by fraudulent psychics and mentalists.
An unusual phenomenon in which a person appears to be in two places simultaneously.
Bilocation is thought to occur when a person’s double is projected to another location and is
visible to others, who perceive the double as the actual physical body. In some cases, the
double appears to be an apparition, not a solid physical form. Persons witnessing bilocations
often notice that the double acts oddly or doesn't speak. Doubles of animals also have been
reported in some cases.
A general term for techniques that involve giving a person information about their current
physiological state (e.g., heart rate, EEG). Biofeedback is used to enable people to control
consciously their physiological processes.
Psychokinetic effects on biological processes. See also DMILS.
Conjuring technique of concealing objects using black covers against a black background. Also
used by fraudulent mediums.
Magical spells or rituals practiced with the intention of harming others. Cf. white magic .
An experimental control in which subjects are not informed of certain key features of the
experiment. Also used to refer to a procedure where a judge is asked to compare targets and
responses without knowing which responses were made to which targets.
Blind Matching (BM)
An identical procedure to open matching, except that the key cards are unseen by the subject.
(a) A communication in which the sitter is asked to look at a specific book and page in order to
receive a significant message.
(b) An effect in which the psychic or mentalist divines the words written on a particular page of
A box or curtained enclosure in which a physical medium is secured and from which various
phenomena may manifest (e.g., lights, objects moving, instruments played). Certain stage
magicians can simulate this procedure with great effect.
Response made by a subject in a card-guessing or other ESP test.
A Brazilian spiritist religion. See also Umbanda, Voodoo.
An experimental test for ESP in which subjects guess the identity of a set of cards (e.g., playing
cards or Zener cards).
Fortune telling using cards.
Lack of oxygen to the brain, often causing sensory distortions and hallucinations, sometimes
used to explain features of the near death experience.
Random, unpredictable influences on events.
The activity of receiving messages and inspirations from discarnate entities.
A spell or object possessing magic power.
A religious healing movement founded by Mary Baker Eddy. Rejects orthodox medical practice.
A coded message left by a person who intends to communicate the cipher after death.
A group of people who hold seances.
Hearing voices, astral music or discarnate beings.
To have an extraordinary sense of smell, as if you could smell flowers before they bloom or
smell trouble before it occurs or death before it happens.
The ability to clearly feel yours and/or another's emotions and sensations.
Paranormal vision of objects, events, places and people that are not visible through normal
sight. Clairvoyance is an extrasensory perception (ESP) that overlaps with telepathy and
precognition (knowledge of the future). It is a factor in mediumship and retro cognition,
and may come into play in some cases of apparitions.
However, everyone possesses the capacity for clairvoyance and probably experiences at least
one clairvoyant episode during life. Clairvoyance can happen spontaneously, such as when a
person has vision of apparitions of the past, or can perceive nonphysical forms in a place
alleged to be haunted. Clairvoyance-and sensitivity to ESP in general-may account for the great
disparity of experiences that occur in an alleged haunting. For example, one person may be able
to clairvoyantly perceive a ghost while another may not (and the other thus may not believe in
the haunting). Virtually all stories of hauntings include testimony from individuals who claim
they experience nothing. In a case where collective apparitions are seen, some psychical
researchers speculate that one person my perceive
the apparitions and communicate it to others through telepathy.
Or clairvoyant. A person who obtains information paranormally (often by spirit communication)
without the need to enter into a trance state. Cf. trance medium.
A set of cards used in a card-guessing test where each card appears a fixed number of times.
Statistical analysis of research data using a closed deck differs from statistical analysis of
data using an open deck.
The occurrence, within a short space of time, of two or more meaningfully related events and
without any apparent causal connection between them. Coincidences are sometimes bizarre and
extraordinarily improbable. See also synchronicity.
A reading given with no prior knowledge of the sitter. Often a mixture of very general
statements which could apply to anyone, together with inferences made from cues presented by
the sitter (e.g., physical appearance, clothes, tone of voice, statements made).
This is a fairly self-explanatory term due to its name. A cold spot is an area that has a notable
temperature drop for no known reason. All reasonable explanations should be ruled out prior
to marking down a cold spot in an evidence report. Window leaks, air vents, doors with cracks
around the edges, fans and air conditioners are some of the false reports related to reported
cold spots. An ambient air thermometer should be used to measure the temperature drop. A
drop of five degrees or more is considered substantial. Cold spots are generally thought to be
the result of a spirit “pulling” energy from the immediate environment to use for their own
purpose, leaving the area cold and empty of energy.
An apparition seen simultaneously by more than one person.
Concept put forward by C.G. Jung to refer to a level of unconscious thought and experience
shared collectively by humans.
In mediumship, a message purported to be from a discarnate entity.
A discarnate entity from whom the medium receives messages. See also drop-in communicator.
A person who secretly provides information to a fraudulent psychic or mentalist.
Using trickery to simulate paranormal effects, generally for the purpose of entertainment.
Contact Mind Reading
A technique simulating telepathy, in which the "mind reader" (who generally holds a hand or arm)
responds to slight muscle movements produced unconsciously by the person whose mind is
apparently being read. Also known as muscle reading, Cumberlandism or Hellstromism.
(a) In experimental parapsychology a procedure undertaken in order to ensure that the
experiment is conducted in a standard fashion and so that results are not unduly influenced by
extraneous factors. See also control group, artifact.
(b) In spiritualism, a discarnate entity who communicates with a trance medium and
who generally controls the trance state.
A group of people whose performance is compared with that of experimental subjects.
An association between two or more events or variables.
A mathematical index of the degree of association between two or more measures.
A blissful experience in which the person becomes aware of the whole universe as a living being.
A group of witches
An apparition of a person who is seen within a few hours of an important crisis such as death,
accident or sudden illness.
(a) Separate items of information, received independently by two or more mediums, which make
sense only when pieced together.
(b) THE cross-correspondences is a classic case of highly complex cross-correspondences which
continued from 1901 to 1932 among a group of automatists associated with the Society for
To have a special rapport and understanding with animals, plants or alien beings.
Knowledge (acquired in normal ways) that may be revealed without the person remembering its
source. Such memories may falsely appear to be paranormal revelations. Sometimes
cryptomnesia is used as an explanation for apparently paranormal experiences such as
xenoglossy or past-life memories.
Staring into a reflecting surface (e.g., mirror, glass, crystal, liquid) in order to obtain
paranormal information. Also known as scrying.
The art of gazing into a crystal globe, a pool of water, a mirror, or any transparent object. The
person may put him/her self into a hypnotic state to see visions or to summon forth spirits or
See contact mind reading.
Words spoken or written in order to influence others paranormally, causing them harm.
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