Terms and Definitions

We feel that it's important to have a standardization of terms. If everyone is using the same vocabulary, there is little chance of misperceptions and mistakes. This page will highlight many of the common terms we use (as do MANY other groups) in our investigations.


Common Terms

Agent - A living person at the site of a haunting. Some human agents act only as witnesses to paranormal events while others are believed to be the method by which the hauntings occur. Some agents may cause phenomena to increase, while others may be the entire source of the activity. How this works is yet unexplained.

Audio Anomaly - Any sound (vocal, percussive, mechanical, etc.) heard with the ears and/or audio recording equipment that is not immediately identifiable within the context of the recording environment.

Cold spot - An area where the temperature is lower than the surrounding environment. Cold spots are believed to be created when a ghost is presence within that area. It is believed that the cold spots are created when ghosts pull energy from their surroundings in order to manifest.

Disembodied Voice - A vocal approximation (e.g. speech, crying, laughing) that can be heard without aid of an electronic device; can be heard by many people at the same time.

EMF -A force given off by electric charges, found in anything that uses electricity. The higher the spikes in the unexplained electromagnetic field levels, the more potential there is for paranormal activity. In addition, the higher the levels of explained electromagnetic field, the more likely that people will make mistaken reports of paranormal activity. (Read the article.)

Entity - A disembodied "consciousness" commonly referred to as a ghost, or spirit.

EVP - "Electronic Voice Phenomena" - A specific class of audio anomaly typically defined as a disembodied vocal approximation (statements, questions, whispers, growling, screams, shouts) imprinted on a digital or analog audio, or audiovisual, recording media (cassette recorder, digital voice recorder, camcorder, etc.).

Active EVP Recording - Actively asking questions to get responses from entities while using audio recording equipment.

Passive EVP Recording - Allowing audio recording equipment to run without actively asking questions to get responses.

Ghost - Generic term used for a number of different supernatural entities.

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 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 other side. This spirit will interact with witnesses at a location and attempt to make its presence known through repeated phenomena of sights, sounds, feelings and the movement of physical objects.

L-Field - The electro-magnetic field around an organism (animal or plant) as purposed by Dr. H. S. Burr. The idea is that ALL organisms have a small amount of electricity flowing through them. The concept is still being used in forms of alternative medicine.

Matrixing - Natural tendency for the human mind to interpret sensory input (that which is perceived visually, audibly or tactilely) as something familiar or more easily understood and accepted, and in effect mentally "filling in the blanks." (See Simulacra)

Parapsychology - The avenue of paranormal studies and research relating chiefly to psychic abilities (e.s.p., telepathy) and spiritual phenomena.

Pareidolia -(from Greek para, amiss, faulty, wrong + eidolon, diminutive of eidos appearance, form) is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (usually an image) being mistakenly perceived as recognizable. Common examples include images of animals or faces in clouds, seeing the man in the moon, and hearing messages on records played in reverse. (See Simulacra)

Phantom - Another name for “ghost” or “spirit” although, interestingly, many use the word “phantom” to refer to ghosts that have been seen wearing cloaks or robes.

Phenomenon (Phenomena) - An event that is an outward sign of the working of the laws of nature or an extraordinary happening.

Poltergeist - Literally means “noisy ghost” in German. It is believed that the knockings and movement of objects is caused by an outward explosion of kinetic energy from a human mind.  Usually, the agent is an adolescent girl or individual under high stress. Most poltergeist outbreaks are short-lived.

Residual Haunting - Psychic imprint of a scene that is repeatedly played out, and in which the witness of the phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly participants of these time-displacements often seem unaware of their living observers.

Simulacra - A word used to describe the faces and shapes that are often reported in photographs and in almost any kind of inanimate object including doors, buildings, clouds, trees and bushes. Usually, it is nothing more than the imagination of the witness making the texture of the object into a face or figure.  (See Matrixing)

Spirit - A discarnate being, or ghost, that exists in an invisible realm; existence apart from, or transcending, the purely physical; also, the life-force of an organism. Spirit commonly refers to a ghost.

Supernatural - Events or happenings that take place in violation of the laws of nature, usually associated with ghosts and hauntings.



Did you know?

When trying to decipher the clues of the paranormal, it's important to take into consideration all natural explanations for events. While we do not discount nor distrust any feelings you might have about possible paranormal activity in your location, we recommend objectivity at all times. By stepping back and thoroughly considering all non-paranormal causes for the activity, we can better address your concerns, and help you feel comfortable in your location.


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