Paranormal Terms

Here we’ve an explanation of paranormal terms used in the field

Apocalypse: A Greek word translated approximately to mean “disclosure of things previously hidden,” it is a term most often applied to the end of the world, the dawn of a new world or the revelation before mankind’s final judgment.

Apparition: A supernatural manifestation of a person (dead or living), animals or objects. Ghosts are apparitions of dead people.

Astral: Relating to, or coming from the stars, or consisting of a super-sensible substance held in theosophy to be next above the tangible world in refinement.

Bolide: Informally defined as an exploding meteor that resembles a bright fireball.


1. The power or faculty of discerning objects not present to the senses.
2. Ability to perceive matters beyond the range or ordinary perception.

Cryptozoology: The study and pursuit of cryptids, creatures traditionally considered mythical, folkloric or previously extinct. Example: Bigfoot, chupacabra, Loch Ness Monster.

Disembodied Voice:
A voice or noise that lacks an explainable source.

Elemental: Supernatural nature spirits that include fairies, trolls and banshees.

EMF: Electromagnetic Field. EMFs are emissions of energy, that are associated with the use of electrical power. An EMF detector is used by investigators to differentiate between explainable sources like exposed wiring and unexplainable. Unexplainable sources may be an indicator of currently present paranormal activity as an entity attempts to use any sort of energy in the vicinity to manifest.

EVP: The abbreviation for “electronic voice phenomena,” which refers to noises of a paranormal nature that cannot be heard with the human ear, but are recorded by electronic devices.

Ghost: Typically refers to the soul of a deceased human (or animal) that continues to exist in some form on an earthly plane without “crossing over.”

Inhuman Entity: A supernatural being — such as a demon or jinn — that did not begin its existence in human form.

Intelligent Haunting: Activity resulting from an aware ghost or spirit that interacts with its environment.

ITC: Stands for Instrumental Trans-Communication – ITC is an umbrella term which refers to all forms of spirit communication using any kind of electrical instrument, the best known method of ITC is electronic voice phenomenon or EVP, which is a small sub-set of the wider topic of ITC.

Orb: An often translucent, circular anomaly (or “ball of light”) seen in photography — and sometimes with the naked eye — that may be, depending on your theory, a bug, speck of dust, reflection, moisture or spirit energy.

Paranormal: Literally, “above normal,” it refers to anything outside or beyond current scientific explanation.

Paranormal Pop Culture: Term given to paranormal-themed movies, TV shows, comic books, video games, music and literature; also known as “entertainment of the unexplained.”

Paranormal Tourism: The niche within the travel industry where tourists attend paranormal-themed conventions and festivals, investigate famously haunted locations (or camp out to search for Bigfoot or UFOs), and join ghost tours or haunted pub crawls through cities.

Pareidolia: Pareidolia is the tendency for perception to impose a meaningful interpretation on a nebulous stimulus, usually visual, so that one sees an object, pattern, or meaning where there is none. For example, seeing a door in a rock face but once you examine the actual rocks there is no door. The same applies to seeing faces in trees etc.

Possession: The state where an entity inhabits and exerts a level of control over a living thing or object.

Prepper: An apocalyptically-minded individual preparing themselves for survival during an imminent societal or global change and, likely, disaster.

Preternatural: Instead of being connected to the spiritual realm, like supernatural matters, the preternatural applies to things that are of the natural world but currently unexplained.

Residual Haunting: Repetitive paranormal activity resulting from the energy imprint of a person or event in time.

Shadow Person: A commonly-reported inky black humanoid entity that moves fast, it is often spotted out of the corner of the eye and has been interpreted to be anything from a ghost or demon, to alien, time traveler or inter-dimensional being.

Spirit: As opposed to a ghost (see above), a spirit is normally the soul of the deceased that has crossed over, and exists in a spiritual or metaphysical plane.

Supernatural: Typically referring to spiritual or religious matters, the laws of nature do not apply to this realm.

UFO: Abbreviation for “unidentified flying object” which does not necessarily apply to extraterrestrial or secret governmental crafts, but can be anything unknown spotted in the sky.

The classic version is a mindless, frequently violent, product of supernatural magic or pharmacology while the modern incarnation is a reanimated human corpse infected with an unexplained contagion that is relentless and aggressive.