Here are some common terms associated with the paranormal.
Apparition - A disembodied spirit visible to human beings.
Astral Plane - A level of existence separate from, and in some sense higher than, the physical world, according to certain philosophies and religious teachings.
Cold Spot - A place that is cooler than the surrounding area. It is thought by some to be an indication of a supernatural presence drawing energy from its environment in order to manifest.
Digital Infrared Camera - A device used to capture images invisible to the human eye at the “hot” end of the light spectrum. It is capable of feeding information to a computer, where its infrared images may be stored on a hard drive.
Digital Thermometer - A device used to record the presence of cold spots and hot spots, sometimes during an apparent paranormal event. Some digital thermometers record temperatures second-by-second for PC storage and graphical charting.
Debunk - To find a rational and logical explanation for reported experiences rather than assume that they are paranormal in nature.
Ectoplasm -A filmy, quasi-solid substance that supposedly issues from the bodies of mediums while they are in trance states. Ectoplasm may issue from the mouth, the nostrils, the eyes, the ears, the naval, and the nipples. In photographs, ectoplasm resembles muslin fabric soaked in water.
Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Recorder - A device used to record data on electromagnetic fields (EMFs) Its use is controversial among ghost hunters in that EMFs from power lines, t.v. sets, kitchen appliances, etc. surround us constantly, as well as the fact that it has yet to be categorically proven that ghosts emit EM energy. On the other hand, some researchers say ghosts disrupt EMFs.
EVP - "Electronic Voice Phenomena". Audio devices may record disembodied voices and other supernatural sounds that are inaudible to the human ear without mechanical intervention.
Exorcism - Ritual expulsion of invading spiritual or demonic entities from a person or dwelling. The term was brought into common vernacular by the 1973 film The Exorcist.
Floating Orb - A spherical image, usually a translucent white though sometimes a reddish or bluish hue, which inexplicably registers on film or videotape. Its presence is thought by some to be an indicator of supernatural activity.
Ghost - The "Earthbound" spirit of a dead person, reflecting the appearance of his or her living body but less substantial. Ghosts may exist in a state of semi-awareness or be completely cognizant of their loving observers.
Ghost Hunter/Investigator - A person who attempts to gather evidence of ghosts or other paranormal activity. This may be accomplished by means of still photography, video, audio, EMF recordings, EVP recordings, or other media.
Haunting - The manifestation of a ghostly presence attached to a specific person or location.
Imprint - It is theorized that events and strong feelings/emotions can leave a copy or record of themselves in places and on objects such as furniture or personal effects. This is believed to occur when a sudden and violent death happens such as an accident, a murder, other crime, a war or battle area, etc. It is believed that this leftover energy results in a residual haunting.
Inhuman Entity - A demon or other spirit intent on causing harm to living beings. Also known as negative entity.
Intelligent Haunting - A supernatural entity that is aware of its surroundings and/or observers and is capable of interaction with them.
Materialization - The procedure though which a ghost appears. Materialization can be sudden or gradual, resulting in an entity that is indistinct or seemingly quite solid.
Matrixing - The natural tendency of the human mind to assign details to sensory input (perceived) through the visual, auditory, olfactory, or tactile senses) so as to create a familiar or easily understood pattern. In effect, matrixing is mentally “filling in the blanks.”
Occult(ism) - Of, relating to, or dealing with supernatural influences, agencies or phenomena.
Ouija Board - A wooden board pre-printed with letters, numbers, and words used by mediums t0 receive supernatural communications.
Paranormal - The realm of occurrences and phenomena removed from those which people are exposed in everyday experience.
Phantom Smell - Any scent which a supernatural entity is attempting to express itself. Typically, phantom smells are reminiscent of flowers, cigarettes, or perfume, but they don’t come from any identifiable source.
Poltergeist - A ghost that manifests its presence through noises, rappings, the moving of objects, and the creation of disorder. The relocation of furniture is an indication of poltergeist activity.
Residual Haunting - A scene from the past that continues to be played out over and over again, like a recording, with the witness to the phenomenon essentially peering into a former era. The ghostly participants in these time displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.
Sensitive - A medium or clairvoyant. A sensitive can see or feel people, objects, and events in the realm of the paranormal.
Thermal-Imaging Digital Camera - A device that records images of long-wavelength infrared radiation (i.e., heat) that are visible to the human eye. The thermal-imaging camera facilitates the capture of images in darkness, smoke, or fog.
Voice Phenomena - voices that are within the range of audible human perception. These phenomena are believed to represent an even higher level of energy than EVP.
Vortex - An anomaly that 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 vortices may be portals to the spirit realm.