Ghost Hunting Definitions
Apparition- an image with distinct features that enables one to recognize it as a person or specific object. Typically associated with residual hauntings.
Banshee- Death omen spirit of Ireland that manifests to herald an approaching death. Heard wailing or singing mournfully. Contrary to popular belief, banshees do not shriek.
Battlefield Ghosts- places with violence, trauma and intense emotion are typically subject to hauntings. There are no places more violent than battlefields, and it is rare to hear of a battlefield that isn't haunted. Most battlefield hauntings are residual hauntings where fragments of the battle are replayed over and over again. Other hauntings are from spirits who have not crossed over, most likely because they feel they can't due to the nature of their death. Some believe retrocognition is also an element in battlefield hauntings.
Calling Ghosts- Ghosts that call out the names of the living to get their attention and lure them to their death. An example would be sirens of mythology.
Clairvoyance- paranormal vision of objects, events, places, and people not visible through normal sight.
Crossroads- The meeting and parting of ways has always been considered magical. In addition, crossroads are said to be haunted by various entities who lead confused travelers astray. It is also said that on All Hollow's Eve (Halloween), spirits of the dead appear at a crossroad.
Ectoplasm- Vaporous substance, often white in appearance, sometimes forms into faces, limbs, or entire bodies of ghosts.
Electronic Voice Phenomenon- (EVP) recording on audiotape, videotape, film, or digital recorder for which there is no physical source. Most often, these voices are difficult to understand.
Elemental- an angry or malicious spirit, also referred to as "earth spirits". Elementals are considered to be ancient.
Exorcism- Expulsion of ghosts, spirits, demons or other entities believed to be disturbing or possessing a human being or place that humans frequent. Exorcism can range from friendly conversations to rituals commanding the entity to leave.
Extra- A shape or face that appears in a photograph supernaturally and cannot be explained away as fraud, developing flaws, or faulty film.
Extra Sensory Perception (ESP)- Paranormal sensing of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch separated into three categories: telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
Ghost- generic term used to describe many different types of supernatural entities.
Ghost Hunting- methods of investigating reports of ghosts and hauntings to determine their authenticity.
Grey Ladies- ghosts of women who supposedly died violently for the sake of love or pined away from loss of love. The name comes from their frequent appearance as ladies dressed in grey. Variations include ladies in white such as the one that frequents Spangler's Spring in Gettysburg, PA.
Haunting- repeated manifestation of strange and unexplained sensory events such as smells, sounds, tactile sensations, and hallucinations, said to be caused by ghosts or spirits attached to the locale.
Intelligent Haunting- Paranormal activity that takes place around a person or location that is caused by an intelligent or conscious spirit. Best described as the spirit of an individual who has passed away but not crossed over. The spirit interacts with people trying to make its presence known through repeated sights, sounds, smells, and the manipulation of objects.
Orb- Energy anomalies that are recorded on film, digital cameras, infrared monitors, and videotape. They have also been seen using night vision goggles. Considered the most basic form of a spirit. Orbs provide the best evidence of a haunting. Do be careful of photographing reflective surfaces as these can create orbs in a photo.
Paranormal- meaning beyond the normal, term is used to refer to unexplainable events.
Poltergeist- from the German word poltern "to knock" and geist "spirit" this term is used to define a mischievous or malevolent ghost characterized by noises, moving objects, and physical disturbances.
Reciprocal Apparition- A rare type of sighting where the spirit and the witness see each other and react to one another.
Reincarnation- concept that the soul returns after death to a new body. Explanation of past lives.
Retrocognition- Displacement in time in which one apparently sees into the past
Séance- Sitting organized for the purpose of communicating with the dead or to witness paranormal manifestations via the services of a medium.
Spirit- Discarnate being, essence or supernatural force of nature.
Spirit Photography- Photos alleged to reveal ghosts, spirits, or spirits of the dead. The first spirit photo was taken in 1861.
Supernatural- Events that take place beyond, or in violation of, the laws of nature.
Urban Legend- A story too good to be true. Contains strange but supposedly real event.