APPARITION: A spectral image that is sometimes referred to as a ghost, but is more like an imprint with distint features that enables the witness to recognize it as a person or specific shape. They are usually connected to residual hauntings rather than spirit related ones.
APPORT: A physical object that can materialize and appear at will and can include coins, watches, jewelry and even food. They are often connected to spirits who interact with the living as the spirits cause items to appear and disappear in an effort to make themselves known.
AUTOMATIC WRITING: A method used by spirit mediums to obtain information from the next world. It is believed that spirits take control of the medium and cause them to write unconscious information on paper.
COLLECTIVE APPARITION: A type of ghost sighting that occurs when one or more people see the same apparition.
DEMATERIALIZATION: The sudden disappearance of a person or spirit in full view of witness.
EARTHBOUND: Refers to a ghost or spirit that is unable to cross over at the time of death. Many spirits make the decision to remain behind by choice while others are too confused or frightened because of a sudden death or suicide to make the crossing.
ECTOPLASM: An organic material that was supposedly exuded by phisical mediums during seances as a way of proving contact with the spirit world. It would often take certain shapes. The substance was supposed to appear from just about any orifice of the medium's body. In more recent times, many researchers believe the substance had a natural form, created by fraudulent mediums during the Spiritualist era.
ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA (EVP'S): Voices and sounds that are alleged to be from the dead and that are captured by electronic tape and/or digital recorders.
EXORCISM: A ritual used primarly by the Catholic Church as a way of driving out demons or evil spirits from a living person. Some also use this term to describe the expelling of spirits from a home or location.
GHOST LIGHTS: Strange balls of light that appear in specific locations, often for an extended period of time but which have no explanation.
HAUNTING: A repeated manifestation of supernatural phenomena in a specific location. The activity may appear as physical apparitions, sights, sounds, smells or cold areas. Hauntings may continue for years or may only last for a brief period of time.
INTELLIGENT HAUNTING: Activity that takes place around people or locations that is caused by an intelligent or conscious spirit. Best defined as the personality of someone who has died and whose spirit has not crossed over to the othe other side. This spirit will interact with witnessed at a location and attempt to make its presence known through repeated phenomena of sights, sounds, feelings and the movement of physical objects.
MATERIALIZATION: The sudden appearnce of a person or object in front of a witness or witnesses.
ORBS: Round, opaque lights that are captured on film and believed to be spirits or some sort of paranormal activity. Best described as a ball of energy.
PARANORMAL: A word meaning "unknown" or "beyond the normal" that has come to refer to events that are unexplained.
PHENOMENON: An event that is an outward sign of the working of the laws of nature or an extraordinary happening.
POLTERGEIST: Although it actually refers to Traditional ghosts and hauntings and in other cases, it can be used to describe the work of a human agent. In this situation, the knockings and the movement of objects is caused by an outward explosion of kinetic energy from the human mind. Most poltergeist outbreaks are short-lived.
PSYCHIC: A person who is allegedly sensitive beyond the normal means. Such a person may be able to see and hear things that are not available to most people.
SEANCE: A sitting that is held for the purpse of communication with the dead. At least one person in the circle is preferred to ba medium (or pSychic), with the power of contacting the spirits.
SPIRIT: A discarnate being, or ghost, that exists in an invisible realm.
SPIRIT PHOTOGRAPHY: A term used for both legitimate attempts to capture ghosts and paranormal energy on film.