This is just some of the basic things you need to know before you go hunting for ghosts. There are several good books that have a more in-depth look at ghost hunting, most of which can be found at larger book stores
GHOST HUNTING GLOSSARY
"While yet a boy I sought for ghosts, and sped
Through many a listening chamber, cave and ruin
And starlight wood, with fearful steps pursuing
Hopes of high talk with the departed dead."
Percy Bysshe Shelly, 'Hymn to Intellectual Beauty'
- Anniversary Imprint:
- An imprint that usually manifests around the same time each year. See Residual Haunting.
The appearance of a ghost or spirit, usually taking the form of a visual image of a deceased individual in either real life or on film. However there are apparitions based on each of the five senses. Usually visual, auditory, tactile, or olfactory apparitions appear in conjunction with each other, but occasionally only one of the senses are involved. Very rarely is the sense of taste involved. Examples include:
- Visual: The appearance of a person who was commonly associated with the area in life.
- Auditory: Sounds of walking, voices, doors opening, or battle are the most common types of auditory apparitions.
- Olfactory: Smells or odors, such as perfume or cigar smoke, commonly associated with the area or an individual or event.
- Tactile: Feeling a slight wind in a closed-off room, or a slight tug on a person's clothing with nobody in the immediate vicinity.
- Astral Projection:
- The conscious initiation of an out-of-body experience.
- Energy or life force surrounding all living individuals. The color of an aura can determine the mood or physical condition of an individual. Spirits can sometimes use a physical aura for energy, thereby depleting the person whose energy was taken.
- Automatic Writing:
- Expressing subconscious thoughts or influcences by doodling.
- Asian term for a "life force" or biological energy that is inhaled and can be manipulated for specific purposes (also called ki).
- The ability to obtain knowledge based on unexplainable intuition, vision, or various psychic senses.
- Ridding a location of ghostly activity.
- Cold Spots:
- Self-contained patches of cool air strewn about haunted locations. They may be ghosts that cannot fully materialize.
- Collective Apparition:
- When more than one person witnesses a ghost or spirit phenomenon, independently or simultaneously, it is classed as a collective apparition. Nearly ten percent of reported cases of apparitions fall into this catagory, and once fraud has been ruled out, they are more likely to be genuine sightings.
- A ghost of the present that looks identical to a living person but behaves differently.
- A ghost of the present that looks and behaves identically to a living person.
- Interpreting the motions of rods, sticks, pendulums, and other such instruments to obtain information (also called divining).
- Dream Communication:
- Experience in which the departed individual (spirit) can manifest in the form of a dream in order to communicate with the living. Usually associated with the very recent death of the individual attempting to make contact in order to inform the dreamer of his or her death.
Commonly understood to be a substance secreted by spirits and exuded from mediums communicating with the spirit world, ectoplasm is now widely associated with a cloudy vaporus mist that may take the form of a human body. It has been captured photographically, and is seen to hover above the ground as a swirl of gray or white matter. It may linger in one place or travel fast and is usually spotted outdoors.
- Electormagnetic Energy:
- A hybrid of electrical charges and magnetic fields that binds nature.
- An inhabitant of one of the four elements (fire, earth, air, and water). Elementals exist somewhere between the realm of the human and spirit worlds. They are often associated with forces of nature rather than the souls of the deceased, but they are nevertheless powerful metaphysical entities which sometimes inhabit the bodies of the living and possess them. Another definition of elementals is spirits which can change into solid matter and back again at will.
- A conscious, interactive ghost.
- Person or persons that a poltergeist or haunting tends to focus on. Paranormal phenomena usually increases when the epicenter is present.
- Extrasensory perception. Most individuals have this ability, although in can be dormant their entire life, In many cases, a traumatic event may allow a percipient to actually commmunicate with the spirit of a dead individual.
- Etheric Body:
- A layer of the physical body, mimicking its design, but composed entirely of energy.
- Evil Spirit:
- A shape-shifting non-human spirit that usually appears after being summoned, either with a Ouija board or through satanic worship. It can appear as a monster or may disguise itself as a friendly spirit, but it is dangerous and seeks to harm and cause destruction.
- Acronym for "electronic voice phenomena"; capturing ghostly sounds and/or words on an audio recording.
- Ridding a person or a location of evil spirits by using religious rites.
- A recording of one or more persons or objects that had either a repetitious routine or a very intense emotional experience. This recording is not sentient, but rather simply something that plays over and over, gradually losing energy over time, This recording can be recharged under certain circumstances, such as the appearance of certain individuals. (see Epicenter)
- Ghost Hunter:
- A person who investigates hauntings to find explanations for possible paranormal phenomena involved. There are two types of ghost hunters. The first kind is the scientific hunter who uses scientific methods and equipment in order to make acurate calculations and observations about a haunting. The second type is the psychic or intuitive ghost hunter, who uses psychic impressions or intuition to learn about a haunted area.
- Ghost Lights:
- These have been sighted all over the world and in many cultures. They are mysterious lights, seen at a distance, usually appearing as blue or yellow spheres, which can appear to blink. Some reports liken them to a bobbing candle flame. This phenomenon is also know bu its Latin name ignis fatuus, or "foolish flame," because anyone attempting to follow or catch one of these lights is thought to place himself or herself in mortal danger. Skeptics attribute it to swamp gas, magnetism, or electricity. Ghost lights have been reported for centuries and were once known as "will-'o-the-wisp," an omen of death representing the ghost of a sinner condemmed to wander the earth forever.
- A grotesque, flesh-eating demon that robs graves to satisfy its evil hunger for the recently buried. It has its origins in Arabic folklore and is best known today as the living dead, a reanimated corpse inhabited by evil spirits. Ghouls are rumored to live near graveyards and are nocturnal; some believe they are vampires that have degenerated into inarticulate and ravenous automatons, robbed of freewill, intelligent thought, or the ability to feel pain. They are commonly described as having long arms, sunken gray faces, bulging eyes, and sharp teeth and nails.
- A ghost of the future that brings warning of impending events.
- Any repeated appearance of phenomena commonly associated with ghosts, spirits, or poltergeists. Usually a combination of cold spots, apparitions, missing objects, and other forms of paranormal activity that tend to be witnessed by more than one person over an extended period of time.
- A prestaged or preplanned series of events to give the impression that something paranormal has been occuring in any given place. Usally made by people who wish to draw attention to themselves or to debunk or test ghost hunters and parapsychologists.
- Hot Spot:
- A site within a haunted location where the activity is prominent and/or energy fields are focused.
- Ghostly activity that appears nonconscious and redundant.
- A electrically charged atom or molecule.