Paranormal Terms

These are common paranormal terms used when investigating or just talking about the paranormal.

A term used to denote phenomenon not behaving or occurring according to conventional scientific knowledge; deviation from that which is normal or common.

The visual appearance of a disembodied spirit. It doesn’t necessarily take on a human shape or show signs of personality or intelligence.

Cold Spot

An area that has a severe temperature drop from the area surrounding it. It is theorized that cold spots are created when ghosts/spirits use the energy in the air in an attempt to manifest itself.


Also known as a negative entity or inhuman spirit. It is a spirit that never walked the earth as a human.

Disembodied Voice

Similar to an EVP, this is a voice that is heard, but does not come from any physical being. These differ from EVPs in that they can be heard with the naked ear, and can also be recorded on      audio-      capturing devices.

Dowsing Rods

A behavioral form of automatism in which one uses an instrument, such as dowsing or diving rods or a pendulum, to locate objects

It is a solid or vaporous substance, lifelike and moldable, that supposedly exudes from the body of a medium (usually from one of the facial orifices) to form seemingly corporeal limbs, faces, or entire bodies. Ectoplasm is a usually dense but liquidy, milky-white substance with the scent of ozone.   It can also be the residue left behind by ghosts or other paranormal phenomena. Many experts believe that spirits use ectoplasm to materialize.

Electromagnetic Field

Sometimes abbreviated as ‘EMF.’ A field that is created by the interaction of electric and magnetic fields. It is theorized that spirits/ghosts can manipulate or produce their own EMF. Special instruments are used to detect any spikes of EMF that might indicate the presence of spiritual activity.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon
Also abbreviated as ‘EVP.’ These are sounds that usually are not heard by the naked ear, but can be captured by audio-recording devices. While EVPs usually pertain to disembodied voices, it can also include virtually any sound that is not heard, yet is captured on recording devices .

Also called a spirit, these are widely believed to be the energy or soul of a deceased person.

Ghost hunter
A person who searches for, finds, and sometimes is able to identify apparitions or the cause of spirit activity.

A haunting is when paranormal activity occurs frequently, with multiple witnesses and no scientific explanation. A haunting can focus on a person, place, or object. There are four different types of hauntings: Residual, Intelligent, Demon, and Poltergeist. Residual is like a looping video, where the same event happens at the same time in the same place. Intelligent is when paranormal activity seems to act with intelligence, like attempting to communicate. Poltergeist is when the activity centers around noises and mischievous things, such as moving or throwing objects. The fourth type is the demonic haunting. Though rare, these are perhaps the most dangerous type of hauntings. With this type of haunting, you typically notice a revolting stench similar to rotted flesh or sulfuric acid. You often will hear sounds similar to animal noises such as growls that can seem to be coming from everywhere. They like to make contact by pushing, shoving, hitting, and even scratching. The whole air in the affected area will feel thick like fog and the temperature will drastically change, typically becoming warmer .

An orb-shaped collection of energy that produces its own light. Bugs, dust, and moisture are often mistaken as orbs.

Something that is beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.

Phantom hitchhiker/phantom traveler

A phantom traveler is the ghost of a human or animal that haunts a specific roadway, route, or vehicle. The phantom hitchhiker, who requests a ride, then suddenly disappears from inside the vehicle, is the best-known type of phantom traveler legend.

Spirit Portal
An area allowing cross traffic between our world and the spirit world. A form of doorway, it sometimes occurs in the form of a vortex.

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