Ambient noise: also known as background noise. It is the pervasive noise in a given environment.
Apophenia: is the experience of perceiving patterns or meaning in meaningless data.
Autokinesis: a visual illusion in which a small point of light in a dark environment appears to move
Bigfoot: see Sasquatch.
Clairvoyance: the ability to obtain information about objects, people, events or locations via means beyond the known senses.
Cognitive bias: the tendency to make errors in judgment due to preconceived notions or expectations, even when factual evidence should lead to a different conclusion.
Cold Reading: a series of techniques used to determine and express details about another person, in a manner that suggests the reader “knows” personal information about the subject.
Crytptomnesia: a forgotten memory, that when later recalled seems like a new or original thought.
Cryptozoology: the search for and study of animals whose existence is in dispute or unsubstantiated
Demon: a malevolent spirit. In some religious teachings, can be a fallen angel or an evil human spirit. Derived from the Greek word daemon, originally denoted a spirit or spiritual being, with no negative connotations.
EIFs: Experience Inducing Fields. Electromagnetic fields that can affect the brain, causing sensations and even hallucinations that seem like genuine paranormal experiences.
EMFs: Electromagnetic fields. A force generated by electric charge with both electric and magnetic components.
EMF meter: A meter that detects and measures electromagnetic fields as well as fluctuations within those fields.
ESP: Extrasensory Perception. Communication or perception by means other than the physical senses
EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena. A voice of unknown origin that is not audible at the time, but is recorded onto to an electronic device and then heard during playback.
False Positives: In paranormal research, video or audio artifacts that are misinterpreted as something paranormal. Also applies to seemingly anomalous EMF spikes that, in reality, have known causes.
Ghost: In most cultures, a spirit, soul or consciousness of a deceased person
Hypnagogia: the transitional state between sleep and wakefulness
Hynagogic Hallucinations: vivid visual, audio, tactile or olfactory hallucinations experienced while in the hypnagogic state
Ideomoter Effect: when a subject makes a movement unconsciously. Such movements can be influenced by suggestion and expectation.
Inattentional blindness: also called perceptional blindness, an inability to perceive something that is within one's direct perceptual field because one is focused on something else or attending to a task.
Incubus: Male form of a succubus. Good to know the difference, especially if one is a paranormal TV personality trying to summon one on national television.
Infrared: electromagnetic radiation wavelengths just greater than the red end of the visible light spectrum. Emitted partially by heated objects.
Infrasound: a frequency below the audile range of human hearing, under 20 Hz.
IR illuminator: Infrared illuminator. Emits light in the infrared frequency range, enhancing images in very low light, used for night vision settings in cameras.
ITC: Instrumental Transcommunication. Communication with spirits through electronic devices
Lens flare: light reflecting through the camera which appears on the image as a haze, starbursts, rings, circles (orbs), typically caused by pointing the camera toward a bright light source.
Long Exposure: in photography, an effect caused when the shutter speed is set at a longer duration, and moving elements will appear blurred or as streaks. In low light conditions, a point-and-shoot camera will have a slower shutter speed, causing this effect.
Matrixing: see Pareidolia
Medium: not small or large. Just kidding, see psychic.
Misperception: occurs when the brain misinterprets sensory information
Night Hag: see sleep paralysis, succubus
Optical Illusion: shapes, shadows, colors, line distortions that can lead the brain to misinterpret visual information or cues
Orbs: camera or video artifacts that appear as balls of light, but in reality are a product of reflection off of airborne particles such as dust, moisture, and bugs.
Orb zone: the area in front of a camera where the flash (or illuminator, in case of video) illuminates airborne particles that are closer than the point of focus.
Ovilus: also known as a Puck, is an electronic speech-synthesis devise which generates words based on electromagnetic waves.
Paranormal: general term for experiences that are outside the range of normal experience or scientific explanation.
Parapsychologist: a person with degrees in sciences such as psychology, anthropology, or physics who applies science to formal parapsychological studies. Recently, it is more broadly used to describe anyone who studies the paranormal.
Parapsychology: study of claims and experiences of paranormal phenomena; the general scope of research involving ESP (extrasensory perception) telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis, near-death experiences and apparitional experiences
Pareidolia: misperception in which vague or random images or sounds are misinterpreted as a meaningful pattern. Common examples are seeing shapes in clouds or hearing words in ambient noise.
Poltergeist: German term meaning “noisy ghost”. Spirit activity involving knocks, scratching, pushing, vocalization, throwing objects, starting fires, etc.. Now generally considered by parapsychologists to be a product of psychic phenomena.
Possession: the state of being under the power or control of a supernatural entity
Precognition: knowledge of an event via extrasensory perception before it occurs.
Psi: term relating to psychic phenomena or ability
Psychic: 1. Adjective; relating to phenomena or abilities that are unexplained, usually in reference to telepathy or clairvoyance. 2. Noun; a person considered or claiming to have psychic powers, also called a medium.
Psychokinesis: (PK) the ability to move or influence an object through psychic means, believed by parapsychologists to be the cause of poltergeist activity.
Psychosomatic: relating to physical symptoms caused by mental or emotional disturbances
Sasquatch: A legendary creature found in tribal lore across North America, believed to be an undiscovered primate.
Sleep Paralysis: a sleep disorder in which the subject experiences an inability to move either during sleep onset or upon awakening. Sometimes accompanied by hypnagogic hallucinations, including sensing, seeing or hearing a presence, the feeling someone or something is sitting on them, feeling suffocated, or even assaulted. Also called the Night Hag syndrome, since before advance in modern medicine, people attributed the phenomena to such supernatural creatures.
Spirit Box: (also called Franks box, ghost box): a device or altered radio (Shack Hack) that sweeps radio frequencies in which ghosts supposedly can somehow anticipate and pick out words to communicate.
Succubus: originating in medieval folklore, a female demon who drains men’s souls by having sexual intercourse with them.
Telepathy: communication of thoughts or ideas through extrasensory means.
Vortex: supposed doorways or portals to other dimensions that are made up of energy and/or light. Often mistaken in pictures of hair, spider webs, thread or lint that fall into the orb zone.
White noise: a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range. Also, a constant background noise that may drown out other sounds.
Zombie: 1. Me, before my first cup of coffee. 2. A reanimated corpse, under the control of a living agent or by possession of a malevolent entity. More recently in popular culture, the reanimated corpses are a result of an apocalyptical virus.