with contributions by the Ghostvillage.com staff
As we study the supernatural, many times terms are used that we may or may not know the meaning of. This glossary will continue to grow as we all contribute to it.
Age Regression: The process of going back to a previous time in your current life through the use of hypnosis.
Akashic Record: A chart of a person’s past lives, future lives, and parallel lives.
Apparition: The visual appearance of any spirit, ghost, or unusual phenomenon that doesn’t necessarily take on the shape of a human form nor does it show signs of intelligence or personality.
Astral Projection: Projecting one’s consciousness into the spirit world.
Automatic Writing: A method of communication with the other side that involves using a normal writing instrument and paper. The automatic writer allows a spirit to control the pen and what is drawn or written on the paper.
Autonographist: Professional automatic writer.
Channeler: A person who allows a spirit to temporarily possess his or her body in order for the spirit to be able to communicate with the living.
Channeling Board: A tool used for communication with the other side. Also known as a Ouija board or talking board.
Clairalience: The ability to use smell to receive a spirit’s message.
Clairambience: The ability to use taste to receive a spirit’s message.
Clairaudience: The ability to hear sounds to receive a spirit’s message.
Clairsentience: The feeling or sensing of a spirit’s message.
Clairvoyance: The ability to see objects or events that others can’t.
Collective Apparition: An apparition that is seen simultaneously by multiple witnesses.
Discarnate: Spirit or ghost – having no material body or form.
Ectoplasm: Residue left behind by ghosts or other paranormal phenomena. Many times ectoplasm is seen as a smoky film.
Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP): A term used to describe the noises and voices that are recorded on traditional audio or videotape, but that aren’t necessarily audible to the human ear — these are often believed to be voices from the other side.
Extrasensory Perception (ESP): An awareness of outside happenings or information not attained through the normal human senses.
Ghost: A visual manifestation of a soul, spirit, life force, or life energy. Most people use this term to describe the visual appearance of a human being or creature that has died and passed on to the other side. A ghost is residual in nature — it does not interact with our physical world.
Ghost Buster: A person who visits a site that is believed to be haunted with the expressed purpose of eliminating the ghost or paranormal activity from that location.
Ghost Hunter: A person who investigates and studies ghosts, hauntings and paranormal phenomena.
Hypnotherapy: The treatment of an ailment through the use of hypnosis.
Medium: A person who has a special gift and believes he or she can act as a bridge between the world of the living and the other side.
Metaphysics: A field of study dedicated to the nature of reality; an underlying philosophical or theoretical principle.
Orbs: A phenomenon in the shape of a floating ball of light, often thought to be souls or spirit energy. Some theories state orbs are the form spirits travel in.
Other Side: A term used to describe the spirit world, or the place spirits go after death beyond our physical plane.
Paranormal: A term used to describe unusual activity that involves ghosts, apparitions, spirits, hauntings, poltergeists, monsters, etc. This term defines anything for which there is no scientific explanation.
Parapsychology: The study of phenomena, real or supposed, that appear inexplicable on presently accepted scientific theories.
Past-Life-Regression: The act of using trance or hypnosis to visit former lives.
Phenomenon: An unusual, profound, or unexplainable fact or occurrence.
Physical Mediumship: A form of mediumship in which the spirit communicates using both the physical energies and consciousness of the medium.
Place Memories: Refers to a location that captures energy and uses it to record an image of an event that once happened there and later replays it.
Planchette: A pointing device used in conjunction with a channeling board.
Poltergeist: German term which literally translates to “noisy ghost.” This phenomenon is more often experienced than seen. A poltergeist will often interact with its environment by moving objects, making noises, or making itself known in a variety of other ways. Some theories state poltergeists are related to the emotional state of a person living in the environment.
Progression Hypnotherapy: The act of visiting future lives through the use of hypnosis.
PSI: A term used to describe psychic ability or power.
Psychic: A person who uses empathic feelings to tap into nonphysical forces.
Psychokinesis: The ability to move objects using only one’s mind.
Psychosomatics: A field of study dedicated to the idea that the medical health of a person’s body is related to that person’s mind and emotions.
Reincarnation: The idea that a soul can be reborn into a new human body.
Residual Haunting: A term used to describe a ghost that is trapped in a continuous loop. Another theory is that an event left a psychic impression on an area and some people witness a replay of that scene.
Sixth Sense: A term used to describe psychic ability.
Soul Loss: The loss of vital energy experienced as a result of any kind of physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual trauma.
Spirit: Electromagnetic entities in the forms of orbs, mist, vortexes, or shadows, which are the signature of a once-living person who has returned to a specific location. Their nature is interactive as opposed to residual.
Spirit Communicator: A spirit or ghost that uses a medium in order to communicate with someone either verbally or visually.
Spirit Operator: A spirit or ghost that uses a medium to physically manipulate something on earth.
Spirit World: The place spirits go after death.
Spiritual Guide: A spirit that watches over a living person and that offers wisdom or guidance.
Superpersonalities: Negative entities.
Telepathy: Communication using the mind as opposed to other senses.
Trance Mediumship: A form of mediumship in which the medium shares his or her energy with a spirit through the use of trance.
Vortex: A tornado-like mass of air, water, or energy that spins around very fast — creating a vacuum to pull objects into its empty center. In supernatural studies, a vortex is an energy mass that is a temporary opening to the other side, this can be the result of spirit energy in motion.
Have questions? Don’t see a term and want the definition? Want to suggest a definition? Email us.