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Commonly Used Terms In Paranormal Investigating

Updated on August 3, 2017
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MacAllister is a Paranormal Investigator and co-owner of Fifth Element Paranormal.

There are many terms, abbreviations, and words used in the ghost hunting world that are not regularly heard in everyday conversation. So for the person who is just starting out in the world of ghost hunting and paranormal investigation, or someone who has called upon the help of paranormal investigators for dealing with a potential haunting, these terms can be new and confusing. Here are just a handful of commonly used terms you are likely to hear during a typical paranormal investigation explained as simply as possible.

APPARITIONS- Visible Ghosts, entities, or spirits.

AUTOMATIC WRITING-Channeling a spirit and writing intelligible direct responses to questions.

COLD SPOT- A spot in a room or area that is at least five to ten degrees colder than the surrounding air.

DEBUNKING - Finding a reasonable and plausible explanation for suspected paranormal activity.

DEMON- An evil and inhuman entity.

DEMONIC HAUNTING-A violent haunting by an evil and inhuman entity.

DEMONOLOGIST- A person who specializes in inhuman entities, demons and demonic hauntings. Usually a person of the clergy.

DOWSING- The act of using dowsing rods to find things like water or energy. Also thought to be able to be used to locate and communicate with a spirit.

ECHOLALIA- In the paranormal world this is when a spirit is heard; usually on a recording repeating words said or questions asked by humans.

EMF- Electromagnetic Fields. Can be caused by spirits, but is also caused by power lines, cell phones, and many other electronic devices.

EMPATH-A person able to feel the strong emotions of a spirit.

ENTITYS- Ghosts, spirits, demons, angels, etc.

ESP- Extra Sensory Perception.

EVP- Electronic Voice Phenomena.

INTELLIGENT HAUNTING- An haunting that has intelligence and awareness. They may try to make contact with the living.

IMPRINT-When a traumatic event or strong emotion leaves a "copy" of itself on a building, place, or object.

LIGHTS OUT-Turning off all light sources to investigate in the dark to reduce the chance of lights causing misleading evidence like flares and halos.

LIVING GHOST- An "entity" of a person who is still alive.

LOST TIME- Any amount of time that has passed that cannot be accounted for.

MANIFEST- When a ghost tries to make itself visible to the living.

MEDIUMA person with the ability to communicate with spirits and entities through a spirit guide.

INHUMAN SPIRIT- A spirit that never lived on this earth as a human. Examples are angels and demons.

ORBS-Objects seen on video,pictures, or with the naked eye that appear solid, and vary in colors. Often thought to be spirits but things like dust and insects are often mistaken for orbs. Because of this most Orbs are easily debunked.

PARANORMAL- Events that are above the normal experience of everyday life.

POLTERGEIST- German for noisy ghost a poltergeist was once thought to be the a ghost, but is now is thought to be spontaneous, unconscious, and unintended telekinesis. Usually cause by an adolescent girl.

REINCARNATION- An idea that spans many belief systems that a soul can be born again and again and live many lives on the earth.

RESIDUAL HAUNTING-An unintelligent haunting that replays the same event over and over like a broken record. They make no attempt to make contact with the living.

SHADOWS BEINGS- Dark human shaped figures

SUPERNATURAL- An event that is cause by a deity such as a god, devil, demon or angel.

WHITE NOISE- A combination of all sounds. Usually found on a radio or television set to an absent station or channel, the hum of a fan, rain, on a roof, etc.


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