Paranormal & Other Phenomena A-Z

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The Paranormal & Other Phenomena A to Z

Abominable Snowman ~ A creature usually described as a shaggy man-beast that is only ever briefly seen moving across snow swept landscapes, leaving behind very large footprints. The abominable snowman is also known as the yeti.

Absent Healing ~ A form of healing that takes place when the the person giving the healing is not in direct contact with the person to be healed.
Some common names for healing, include: absent healing, faith healing, spiritual healing, laying on of hands and reiki. These are to name only a few. Healing is a practice and a belief that individuals can affect others by channeling energy from a higher source. The idea has existed in many cultures since the earliest records of man. Healing can be practiced in a variety of locations including: home, clinics, churches and seminars. It should be noted too, that not all healing is based upon religious faith.

Absent Sitter ~ Someone who has readings done about themselves while they are not present.

Afterlife ~ A life or existence believed to follow death. It can also be life at a later time but usually after death.

Agent ~ This can have one of three meanings when pertaining to parapsychology.

1) The agent is the person who tries to communicate or impart information to another via telepathy or some similar means. Similarly the word describes the person communicating information in an ESP experiment.

2) The agent is the subject of investigation in a psychokinesis experiment.

3) The agent is the person who is the focus or at the center of poltergeist activity.

Akasha ~ Believed by some mystical doctrines to be a mystical, spiritual substance where "memories" are stored since the beginning of time. It is one of the five elements in Hindu philosophy and is often described as a form of atmosphere or ether. The Akasha is thought by some to contain a record of everything that has ever happened, but also everything that will ever come to pass in the future. Theosophists believe that persons with special psychic powers can tap into the Akasha or "Astral Light". They achieve this by using their astral bodies or "astral senses" to search for spiritual insights which have been stored for all eternity. According to ancient Indian tradition the universe consists of two fundamental properties. These are motion and the space through which motion takes place. This space is called the Akasha (nam-mkhah). It is also believed to be the substance that enables things to step through into reality and gain visible appearance, extension and corporeality. The Akasha relates to the three dimensional space of our sense perception and this is called the "mahakasha". The nature of the Akasha is limited not only to this three dimensionality, indeed it is made up of infinite dimensions comprising all possibilities of movement not only physical but spiritual as well. "Akasha" is derived from the root kash, meaning "to radiate, to shine" It also has the meaning of "ether" believed to be the medium of movement. The Akasha is thought to be indivisible, eternal and all pervading.

Aliens ~ Creatures, or beings that allegedly come from outer space possibly from other planets, galaxies, universes or even different dimensions. They are sometimes referred to as extra-terrestrials. Some persons claim to have had encounters with aliens or beings from other planets, some individuals also claim that they have been abducted by them.

Alien Abduction ~ A form of abduction or kidnapping by aliens (beings from another world), or extraterrestrial beings. In reported cases of alien abduction, the abductee is often carried up into a spacecraft where time loss and memory loss are frequently reported. Some abductees also report memories of surgical investigations or operations. In those who cannot remember the experience a method of hypnotic regression is sometimes used to unlock the experience.

Angel ~ A nonhuman entity who's believed to be aligned with God.

Apparition ~ A spirit that a witness can see; a supernatural appearance of a deceased person or animal. It is often too distant to be in the normal range of a person's view and is uncommon to see an appearance. A full bodied apparition shows the entire body of an animal or person. A partial bodied apparition is shown more often but only show part of a body such as; torso or arms. They often appear as white (or various shades of white/gray) or solid black. Usually apparitions can appear to hover in the air. It is rare that apparitions show their legs or feet.

Automatic Writing ~ A method of spirit communication where a spirit uses the hand of the living to write words or draw pictures. These intelligible messages are created without conscious control of the host, often used in conjunction with trying to channel a spirit or entity into yourself. This can be a very dangerous method! As with all channeling methods (Ouija boards, crystals, etc.) you are opening a door way and have no control over who or what may come through, and no way to be sure to make it leave and "close the door".

Black Eyed Kids ~ It started in 1998 when journalist Brian Bethel gave an account of being approached by two boys as he entered his car. The boys allegedly asked him for a lift. He described experiencing a sudden feeling of fear and panic, while at the same time having an overwhelming urge to open the door for the boys. He then noticed their eyes – they were entirely coal black, with no whites visible. Bethel drove away in fear even as the teens became more insistent. Since his story, several reports of encounters with black-eyed children have been recorded. In one case a woman claimed they asked to be let into her home, becoming agitated when she refused. Their main characteristics are their completely coal black eyes, their tendency to inspire sudden fear and panic, and their need to be invited into a person’s space.

Black Stick Men ~ The black stick man is another entity encountered in modern times. Not to be confused with the shadow man, incredibly he is even stranger. Stick men are supposed to look like totally black, thin, stick figure drawings, such as teachers would make in kindergarten. They have been reported as between average height to impossibly tall. Their heads are just a black circle with no facial features being discernible. They are totally two dimensional, without any depth. Usually they’ve been sighted walking along roads at night, or at transitional times such as twilight or just before dawn. Bizarrely, some have reported them wearing what appears to be a top hat. Their walk is described as a weird “lolloping” gait. They are surprised when actually seen, and have followed unfortunate witnesses on occasion. Their pace remains leisurely as they approach. Obviously to be pursued by such an otherworldly creature would be anything but pleasant, and those who have encountered them have been understandably terrified. So far however, apart from being bizarrely frightening, they have done no physical harm, and ultimately just disappear.

Chupacabra ~ The Chupacabra has been variously described as a dog-like creature with long canine teeth. It was first spotted in Puerto Rico in the 1990’s, and has since been sighted in the Americas and Mexico. Sometimes witnesses report that the animal has a kangaroo like gait. Its name is derived from the Spanish words for “goat sucker”. This refers to its horrifying ability to creep into livestock farms at night, and literally suck the blood of animals until they die. Obviously the similarity to vampire lore and the possibility of the animal attacking humans, lead to panic in communities. Alleged Chupacabra carcasses have been found and examined, with no real conclusions arrived at. Reports of exsanguinated livestock corpses, however, appear to have increased in recent times. Many farmers have adopted armed night time watches hoping to kill this weird predator, before it eventually becomes bolder.

Clairaudience ~ The ability to hear things not audible within normal hearing ranges. This is an example of Extra Sensory Perception. (ESP) It includes the audible perception of ghosts, spirits, and those who are on the astral realm. Clairaudience is essentially the ability of hearing the paranormal as opposed to seeing it.

Cold Spot ~ A small, defined area of intense cold (5+ degrees colder than the surrounding area) that can not readily be explained by other natural or mechanical causes (e.g. A/C, drafty window, ice or snow). In paranormal research the prevailing theory is that when an entity is trying to manifest itself it draws on many sources of energy. One of those sources is the heat energy in the air. As the entity draws the heat out of the air the area in that specific immediate location becomes unusually cold.

Demon ~ One of many nonhuman spirits. According to the Catholic faith demons are angels that were cast out of Heaven by God during the rebellion against God that was lead by Lucifer. Although the term is commonly used in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term applies to many different spirits and traditions. There are several levels or hierarchies of demons, each with different powers. Other faiths may have different concepts of what demons are.

Demonic Haunting ~ A haunting by a nonhuman entity can be very dramatic, even violent. Demonic hauntings often start out with subtle and relatively simple paranormal activity, and then quickly increase to stronger activity. Most often affects people or families that are already under great personal stress from conditions such as alcohol or drug use, psychological or emotional problems, family or marital problems, etc. It is believed the nonhuman entity takes advantage of people in such weaken psychological and emotional condition. This phase is considered infestation. Persons who believe they and / or their families are the subject of a demonic haunting should immediately seek both professional paranormal assistance and counseling help by those specifically trained.

Dog Headed Men ~ Men with the heads of dogs have been reported since ancient times. Cynocephali were supposed to be a race living in Africa, who cannibalized humans. But seeing such beings in modern times would seem incredible, yet there have been increasing reports of these creatures. Most sightings occur at night, though some have happened during daylight hours. Bizarrely, some have reported the men indifferently walking along main roads, attired normally, except they have the head of a dog. Most witnesses insist the head is too real in appearance and lifelike motion to be a mask. Some reports have been more sinister, where the creature has been caught unawares lurking around at night, near woods or the darkness of a backyard. One night-time jogger reported that a dog headed man kept pace with him as he ran across a field, staying alongside until the petrified man finally made it to his well lit doorway. There was one report of a DHM seen through a window from outside a house, lurking towards the kitchen. Other cases describe DHM’s who stand outside at night and look in through windows.

Doppelgangers ~ An enigmatic German derived word, a Doppelganger is basically a person’s exact double. Apparently they have been seen since early times, and are sometimes known as a “Fetch”. According to Wikipedia, a vardoger is a double in Norse mythology, who actually precedes a living person, performing their actions in advance. In modern times paranormal message boards have several posts from persons claiming to have seen someone in one place, only to meet them later and realize the first sighting was impossible. One woman looking through a large picture window, clearly saw her husband being dropped home by a co-worker. She went to the door to let him in, only to find no sign of either person or the car outside. Her husband arrived home hours later, and confirmed that at the time she thought she saw them, he and his colleague were still four hours away from home. One person was told that he was “heard” arriving home with a friend, five minutes before he actually did so. When he and his partner actually did get home, his waiting friends said their arrival sounded exactly the same, with them making the same noises and even uttering the same words that were heard the first time. Weird, yet apparently not so uncommon. A few people even claimed to have undeniably seen themselves, wearing the same clothing – stating that the double looked equally astonished at the sighting. In folklore, seeing one’s doppelganger is a harbinger of one’s death. Seeing someone else’s “fetch” was also said to portend death. Such notable persons as Percy Shelley and Abraham Lincoln reported having doppelganger experiences.

Dowsing (a.k.a. Divining) ~ The ability to use a pair of rods (typically metal) held in the hands to locate objects, most commonly water. A "Y" shaped tree branch can also be used to find water. This is also known as water witching. In the paranormal investigation field Dowsing Rods are sometimes used to locate energy sources that could be paranormal in nature.

Echolalia ~ A professional clinical word that means to repeat back what you hear. As applied to the paranormal field it means when a ghost or spirit repeats back something you have just said in order to show they are there and are trying to communicate with you. The words repeated back could be EVP questions or just casual conversation. It is not clear why an entity might repeat back your words rather than respond on their own. Perhaps it is easier / simply for an entity to repeat what it has heard rather than form new words.

Ectoplasm ~ The substance left behind when an entity tries to manifest itself. Although still largely theoretical (none has yet been collected for chemical analysis) it has been photographed on many occasions. Ectoplasm often appears in photographs as a thick white mist or smoke in nearly straight lines. Vapor and humidity is often mistaken for ectoplasm. It is rarely seen with the naked eye. It can, however, be felt as a dense area of cobweb-like strands.

Electromagnetic Field (EMF) ~ In its natural form it is the natural electric field (sometimes thought of as an aurora) that is generated by all living things and many inanimate objects such as metals and certain minerals. EMF is also generated by man-made electric sources such as lights, radios and wires. In paranormal investigations the theory is that entities are largely composed of energy which may be electrically based. By trying to detect EMF it may be possible to locate an otherwise unseen entity. The stronger the EMF detected the potential greater the paranormal phenomena.

Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) ~ The hearing of unexplainable disembodied voices during the playback of a recording made on an electronic recording device. The voices cannot be readily identified as persons speaking or events (mechanical sounds, background noise, etc.) that took place while the record was being performed. EVP's can be captured on both tape and digital recorders, as well as on video recorders.

Empaths (empathetic abilities) ~ Some people are sensitive to the typically stronger feelings a paranormal entity gives off. They may also be able to see people and events that have occurred years in the past at a given locations. While feelings are hard to confirm or deny, when recorded along with other paranormal evidence that can be documented, empathic ability can be a helpful investigation tool.

Extrasensory Perception (ESP) ~ An awareness of outside happenings or information not attained through the normal human senses.

Fear Cage ~ A term used to describe a confined area such as a walk in closet, hallway or basement with very high EMF readings. The combination of being close and confined within an area of strong EMF often brings out extremely great feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia and / or uncontrollable fear. When this occurs the best thing is to quickly and calmly leave the area and go to a more open area with lower EMF.

Ghost ~ A spirit or shade of a dead person / animal believed to haunt people or previous habitats / locations. The spirit remains of a living being, strongly attached to the living realm by some form of emotional force. Often ghosts do not realize that they are in fact dead. Others live out the routine of the day they died, and continue this in a cycle. Other ghosts interact with everyday life of the living.

Ghost Light ~ The disembodied essence of someone.

Giant Raptors ~ Raptors are birds of prey that hunt for food or feed on carrion. They are usually larger than average birds and have specialised physiology, such as powerful beaks and talons, that help them seize and tear apart their prey. Eagles, vultures and falcons are all considered types of raptors. In recent times however, sightings of giant raptor-like birds have been reported. Disturbed witnesses often describe a raucous cry emitted by the birds. Wingspan averages have varied between 12 – 18 ft, with the birds’ height being estimated at around 3 to 5 feet. Many reports describe the prehistoric appearance of the bird, as well as scaly, lizard-like skin on its legs. Giant raptors have been spotted in places such as Kansas and Oklahoma, usually in wooded areas or near canyons. Witnesses have reported the creature having a stench of rotted meat – which would be understandable given its diet. Raptors have been seen by single witnesses at a time as well as fairly sizable groups of five or more persons. Like the elusive Big Foot, conclusive evidence of their existence in our modern world is yet to be obtained.

Imprint ~ It is theorized that events and strong feelings / emotions can leave a copy or record of themselves on places (tunnels, rooms, fields, etc.) and objects (furniture, buildings, personal affects, etc.). Most notably this occurs when a sudden and violent death occurs such as a powerful accident, a murder or other crime, a war or battle area, etc. The energy that is left can result in a non-intelligent haunting, usually a residual haunting. In these cases people often report seeing and hearing the same thing over and over like a tape playing, rewinding and playing again. Sometimes the event seems to be recorded on the specific location rather than a building, room or object. There have been cases reported where an imprint haunting has occurred in a building, the building is later totally demolished and a new one built (or the area just left vacant) but the haunting still continues. In the situation of imprinting on an object the haunting can follow the object through several owners. This is often reported with items purchased at a yard sale or flea market.

Infestation ~ A haunting that implies multiple spirits or something demonic. The word is also associated with a rise in the intensity of a haunting.

Inhuman Spirit ~ A spirit that was never a human. The two most common forms of inhuman spirits are elementals and demons. Entities (ghost or spirit) that are not the result of a human person that once lived on Earth. This category also includes angels, demons, devils, etc. It is not known exactly where these kinds of entities come from but it is reasonably well accepted by the paranormal community these spirits are not from people who had lived on Earth and have since died. Encounters with inhuman spirits are rare and usually dramatic. Extra care should always be used if dealing with a potential inhuman spirit.

Ley Lines (a.k.a. Ley) ~ The theoretical lines that can be drawn to connect ancient (and some modern) sites across a country, even around the world. The term "Ley Line" ("Ley" being a Saxon word meaning meadow or cleared strip of ground) was first coined by Alfred Watkins in the early 1920's. He noticed that many ancient and prehistoric structures (e.g.: mounds, stone circles, temples, river crossings, ceremonial hilltops, etc.) could be connected by straight lines. Often these lines exactly fit compass directions, and sometimes at certain times of the year match up with star alignments. He also noticed that many of these lines intersect and where they intersect are significant other structures such as churches, temples, and burial grounds. Some people believe Ley Lines also follow the natural magnetic forces of the Earth and therefore are very powerful for spiritual and mystic activity. Ley lines are also known as corpse ways, church paths, church lines, and coffin lines.

Little Creatures ~ Ever since the discovery that a hobbit like race actually once existed on the earth, science has been re-examining the possibility that other reported little people may not be entirely mythical. Putting science aside, there have always been those who insist that small humanoid creatures exist amongst us. Recent reports of gnome like or elf like creatures sometimes caught unawares in remote locations have been made. They are often described as being no more than nine inches tall, though with the physical features of a humanoid. Some of them are said to be very hairy. In Mexico and the Caribbean, duendes are small gnome like creatures that sometimes invade the space of normal human beings, either to steal food or for more sinister reasons. Either because of their utter strangeness or some power they possess, they have been said to shock witnesses almost into paralysis until they make their escape. Of course the relationship to fairies and fairy lore here cannot be ignored. In Iceland, belief that elves and other little creatures have real abodes beneath the earth is very strong. People who construct malls and large buildings are sometimes physically impeded from disturbing areas where these little creatures are believed to live, so as not to incur their wrath. Many Icelanders will claim their beliefs are based on actual sightings of these beings.

Living Ghost ~ The manifestation of a ghost or entity, usually a living close family member or friend, that appears a long distance (sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away!). This event usually coincides when the other person (the one manifesting) is facing an immediate great stress or life-threatening danger. Examples include an aircraft pilot or crew flying through a storm, a soldier on the battle field, an automobile driver or passenger during a sever accident, etc. Some believe this is related to astral projection and out-of-the-body experiences. This phenomenon is related to the moment of mortality manifestation.

Lost Time ~ With paranormal ghost / spirit activity it is possible that a small concentrated area of high paranormal activity may briefly alter the physical environment (see Warp) such that time slows down or stops altogether. For example, a person in such an effected area may be in the area for 20 minutes as measured by a clock outside the area. But the person's watch only shows them in the area for 15 minutes. What happened to the 5 minutes difference? This phenomenon is similar to what sometimes in reported UFO cases.

Manifest or Manifestation ~ The act of an entity trying to make itself appear in our world. Entities are believed to exist mainly as energy with no physical form. When an entity is trying to make itself appear or make its presence known in our world it is said to be manifesting itself; trying to make itself into some form of physical state.

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.

Moment Of Morality ~ A ghostly manifestation that occurs when someone is at the exact moment of their death. A ghost, spirit or other apparition appears to a close friend or family member and can happen over great distances (hundreds, even thousands, of miles away). This phenomenon is similar to the living ghost and Death Bed Visions phenomena.

Mist ~ An energy field that looks like a cloud or haze but has a paranormal ectoplasm substance. There may or may not be any particular shape, color (typically white or light colored), thickness, or consistency.

Near Death Experience (NDE) ~ The experiencing of temporary death or loss of biological life where the subject goes through an archetypal event.

Necromancy or Necromance ~ The attempt to conjure, summon or raise the dead in order to learn secrets and insights from the spirits. This is usually intended to gain personal advantage or fortune over others. The person who is trying to perform the necromancy process is called a Necromancer. This deals heavily into the unsavory realm of magic, spells, and dark / forbidden witchcraft rituals and can also be attempted with Tarot cards and Ouija boards. Regardless of the process used, necromancy is highly dangerous from the point of view that you are opening a doorway and have no idea what thing may come through and into your life.

Object Reading ~ The use of an object as a focus to gain supernatural or paranormal information or knowledge. For example a medium may use the watch of a deceased person to find out more about that person.

Obsession ~ The process by which a demon gains its initial access to a targeted human. The subject literally becomes obsessed with the demon.

Occult ~ This is something that either deals with or relates to supernatural influences or phenomena. It is can be something that is only available to those persons that have been initiated and it is usually something that is hidden away or concealed. Often it is something that lies beyond the realm of human comprehension and is inscrutable and mysterious. When thinking of the occult it tends to conjure up images of priests hidden away practicing some form of black art or black magic. The occult is definitely synonymous with the supernatural, mysterious and mystical.

Occultism ~ An esoteric system of practice and belief which assumes that there is the existence of supernatural, paranormal and mysterious forces and entities. There is sometimes a link with these practices and the devil.

Odour of Sanctity ~ This is an, as yet, unexplained, beautiful, unearthly scent that is said to exude from a number of holy persons and certain European Saints. Two ladies said to have exhibited this phenomena include: The Blessed Maria degli Angeli, an 18th century Italian nun, who could be traced throughout her convent by her beautiful smell. Non of the other sisters in the convent exuded this smell and Maria was so embarrassed by the whole thing, that she would place foul smelling objects nearby, but to no avail. The second lady, was Sister Giovanna Maria della Croce. At Rovereto in Italy in 1625 she took her symbolic wedding vows to Christ by putting on a wedding ring, however from that moment onwards a beautiful scent exuded from her finger. Allegedly, even items that she touched were left with a lingering smell for several days. Eventually through time her whole body began to exude this beautiful, unearthly, fragrance and her clothes would retain the smell long after she had finished wearing them.

Old Hag Syndrome ~ A nighttime experience where one wakes to a heavy force on the chest and is unable to move. Folklore tells of an old woman who sits on you and steals your breath while you sleep.

Orb ~ Orbs appear to be a form of energy of an unknown origin. An orb can take different shapes. They can also be seen by the naked eye, but most of the time you only get orb sightings in photographs, and on video tape (VHS). They seem to defy gravity and change directions quickly. They seem to also twinkle. The presence of people makes them react. They appear both indoors and outdoors. False orbs tend to be transparent and pale white, or blue. Real genuine orbs tend to appear dense or brighter on film. To increase the probability of you getting a photograph of a genuine orb, it is good to take the photograph at the same time as other unusual phenomenon are experienced, such as sharp changes in temperature, and increases in electromagnetic energy. In a genuine orb there is a nucleus. It has concentric circles or bands within. It can be active in visible realm, but more active in infrared. They appear abundantly in supposed haunted locations. Drops of rain, specks of dust, insects, reflections, as well as many other things can be mistaken for orbs.

Otzi the Ice Mummy ~ Back in 1991, the discovery of an astoundingly well-preserved ice mummy in the Alps sent ripples of excitement around the world. The mummy soon inspired imaginations as advanced analysis told us more and more about his life more than 5000 years ago, but then things became a little more mysterious. Since he was discovered, seven of the people associated with Otzi have died, and most of them unexpectedly, leading to growing rumours of a curse on those connected with him.

Let's start at the beginning, just a year after working on the body to find out as much as possible about his lifetime forensic pathologist Rainer Henn was killed in a car accident. Not long after, tragedy struck again, and this time it was Kurt Fritz – the mountaineer who led experts to Otzi – who died in an avalanche.

The string of tragedies doesn't stop there, and Rainer Holz the 47 year old documentary filmmaker who told the story of the removal of Otzi from the ice block died from a brain tumour not long after finishing the film. Next, one of the archaeologists involved in Otzi's journey died from complications connected to multiple sclerosis.

In 2004 the amateur climber who first discovered Otzi in the Alps – Helmut Simon – was caught in a sudden blizzard while climbing near the spot where he made his life-changing discovery, and he was discovered dead after being missing for 8 days. Just several hours after the funeral of Simon, one of the men who led the search and rescue mission to find him was taken ill and died from a heart attack at the age of 45, adding fuel to the growing rumours that those who became connected with the mummy seemed to be cursed with sudden, tragic deaths.

In 2005, another expert who worked closely on Otzi – a molecular biologist called Tom Loy – died unexpectedly and in circumstances that remain unclear today. When asked what their thoughts on the increasing concerns of a curse were his family dismissed them, and although his cause of death remains unexplained Loy's brother put the rumours down to superstition. It's undeniable that each of the unfortunates who passed away were linked by one common factor – that they were connected in some way to Otzi – but could it just be plain old coincidence?

One thing often pointed out by those who don't believe is the lengthy period of time over which the deaths happen, as many point out that it's just a sad fact of life that if you take any large group of people the coming decades will see several of them pass on…but it's the untimely nature of the deaths that points to something more sinister, especially as it was revealed that Otzi himself met a sudden death all those centuries ago (it's thought he was shot in the back of the head with an arrow). Whether the tragedies are simply that or the results of some kind of curse, the idea has added even more mystery to the stone age mummy.

Ouija Board ~ An instrument which allegedly can be used to contact or channel spirits of the deceased. A modern day ouija board is usually a wooden or cardboard device, inscribed with the alphabet, the words 'yes', 'no', 'hello', 'goodbye' and the numbers 0 to 9. There is usually a slideable piece of apparatus on rotating castors or wheels with a pointer. The operators of the board lightly place their fingers on the slideable device and wait for it to move. When the pointer comes into contact with, or moves over one of the letters, numbers or words printed on the board, a record of this is kept and later used to see if an intelligible message can be obtained.

A simplified version of the board can easily be produced in the home, by tearing up and arranging the numbers, words and letters of the alphabet in a circle. The letters form the outer circle and the numbers and words are arranged within. The sliding pointer of the ouija board is replaced by an upturned glass or tumbler upon which the operators place their fingers, and it is this that acts as the message indicator.

The theory behind the practice of using the board, and the placing of fingers on a glass or slidable message indicator, is to facilitate communication with the spirits of the dead. Once fingers are lightly placed upon the apparatus of choice, a question is asked out loud and the spirits are said to reply when the tumbler or 'planchette' (slideable apparatus), appears to move of its own free will. It is sometimes thought that the spirits are invoked or channeled and work through the fingers of the operator(s) by moving the planchette towards letters, words or numbers. From these letters and numbers it is hoped that intelligent messages will build up to answer any given questions put to the board. Many ouija board users claim that often information is imparted that no one present could possibly have known. Such claims over the years has helped to add to the whole aura of danger and mystery which still surrounds the ouija board today.

The ouija board has undergone a variety of developmental stages since early reports of its existence which date as far back as 540 BC in the days of Pythagoras. Indeed the board has assumed a number of guises and names, but undoubtedly the birth of the modern day ouija board began as a response to the growing fascianation with spiritualism popularised by the Fox sisters in the 1840's.

The whole idea of contacting spirits of the deceased, by the standards of the 1800's was by no means unusual or an unheard of phenomenon. The old and new testaments have many reports of discarnate entities communicating in a variety of ways. Jesus himself was said to have appeared no less that eleven times after his death. The virgin Mary too has reportedly appeared all over the world throughout the last 2000 years.

Whether or not it is advisable to purchase or fashion a version of the Ouija Board in order to try it is a matter of great debate. The Ouija Board has its history firmly rooted among the popularisation of spirit communications and conversations with the dead. As a result, it could hardly fail to become shrouded in mystery and superstition. Some of the more popular myths and superstitions surrounding the board include:

1). Never play the board alone.

2). Should the planchette move to the four corners of the board then an evil spirit has been invoked.

3). Should the planchette fall from the board a spirit will get loose.

4). A Ouija Board will scream on attempts to burn it, and if it is heard the unfortunate listener will have a mere thirty six hours to live.

5). Never ask about the following: potential death dates (when might I die?), God or buried gold and treasure.

Out of Body Experience (OOBE) ~ Probably one of the most reported and documented forms of astral projection. It is thought to be when a person's consciousness leaves the physical body. Out of body experiences are often associated with accidents or anesthesia. An example of this is the case where a patient on an operating table will report being able to see and hear the entire operation including the surgeons, from a vantage point above the table. Here the consciousness is said to have left the physical body, but will remain close.

Another example of this kind of projection, it is said, can occur when an accident abruptly halts the physical body, with the non-physical body continuing on in the direction it was going. This type of sudden halt projection is also believed to be invoked by falling off a ladder, falling in the street, fainting, etc. In these cases the projection of the non-physical body is voluntary and not a conscious choice, and usually the physical body is believed to be unconscious for the duration of the experience.

Palmistry ~ The art of assessing a person's character and foretelling their future by reading the various features and lines on the palm of their hand.

PANic in the Woods ~ The woods are a mysterious place, full of unseen life and fraught with danger for the unwary. Forests are places of menace in folk and fairy tales. But in our enlightened modern times, could nature inspire sheer unreasoning panic? There are those whose experiences make them certain that nature has an intelligence – and it doesn’t always welcome humans. PANic in the woods has been associated with the mythological Greek God Pan – protector of wild places – whose unseen presence inspires causeless terror. Victims experience a feeling that there is a powerful, sinister force nearby, and sense imminent danger. This usually leads the person to flee the area, desperately seeking out civilization. One curiously common characteristic of PANic, is that people often describe the woods becoming quiet and strange just before the fear starts, except for an unusual, escalating, buzzing sound. At least one article on the phenomenon has been written for Fortean Times Magazine by Patrick Harpur, called “Landscapes of Panic”. Many other alleged actual experiences of panic have been posted on paranormal forums.

Paranormal ~ A term used to describe unusual activity that involves ghosts, apparitions, spirits, hauntings, poltergeists, etc. These events are considered above the normal or everyday experiences and that cannot be readily explained by known conventional reasons and / or commonly accepted science. Not to be confused with Supernatural that implies a deity explanation.

Phenomenon ~ A term used to collectively categorize an event or occurrence that cannot be explained by science or the natural world.

Physical Mediumship ~ A form of mediumship in which the spirit communicates using both the physical energies and consciousness of the medium.

Poltergeist ~ Term is German for "noisy ghost". It can be dependent on a certain individual or group of individuals. They usual make the biggest impact on physical objects. They tend to be temporary. In some instances a poltergeist can appear as the psychic extension of a person, usually most common in adolescent females. Tend to be mischievous and like to play pranks. More recently developed theories move away from ghost activity to the realm of spontaneous and unconscious (unintended) telekinesis.

Possession ~ The result of a demonic attack where a demon may take complete control of its victim for an unknown purpose.

Prayer Power ~ Using prayers to produce a desired result. For example, in an experiment reported in autumn 2001 in a Korean hospital, groups in Australia, Canada and the US prayed for some patients undergoing IVF treatment in Seoul without their knowledge. The treatment was much more successful than it was for the control group of mothers who weren't prayed for.

Progression Hypnotherapy ~ The act of visiting past lives through the use of hypnosis.

Psychic ~ A person who uses feelings or abilities to engage nonphysical forces.

Psychokinesis ~ The ability to move objects using only one's mind.

Psychometry ~ The practice of gaining paranormal insights or knowledge from a physical object which is used as a focus.

Reincarnation ~ A doctrine that rests on the belief that after the death of the physical body, there is some element left of each person that then goes on to survive bodily death. This element is independent of a person's physical being, and after death goes on to be reborn into another physical body.

The idea of reincarnation has been well established in Eastern religion, although it has appeared all over the globe. Indeed there is some evidence to suggest that reincarnation could be as old as religion itself as it has appeared in the beliefs of many primitive cultures as well as in some of the more highly developed religions.

Currently, reincarnation is experiencing an increase in popularity in the West, as some Christians find the reincarnation of the soul a more attractive proposition. Reincarnation is becoming the alternative to the orthodox Christian view that the soul passes into heaven, purgatory or hell after physical death. Should the Christian view be correct then the soul has but once chance to reach the goal of heaven and determine it's fate. Reincarnation however offers the chance of the soul to be reborn and work it's way forwards or perhaps backwards. A good comparison is like moving up or down on the rungs of a ladder. A well lived previous life would enable the soul to advance upwards on the ladder, whereas a life badly lived would cause the reverse and the soul to move downwards. One of the particular attractions of reincarnation is that it helps to account for many of life's misfortunes and help to answer the question as to why some people are ultimately much more fortunate than others.

Reincarnation plays a major role in Hinduism, a religion from the East. Within the Hindu religion are some sacred writings known as the Upanishads. The Upanishads state that even if the soul does enter a hell or heaven after death, this will be a temporary arrangement only, because the soul will then return to earth. in association with this idea is the doctrine of Karma. In its basic form this is an idea that asserts that at the birth of an individual there are a series of balance sheets full of liabilities and assets accumulated from the previous life.

Remote Viewing ~ Remote viewers use psychic powers to locate targets, and the interesting thing about this phenomenon is that it's played a role with governments, militaries and even scientific research.

Whereas many areas of the paranormal are pretty contained to the curious and those who believe, remote viewing has had more than the odd stint in the spotlight and still bemuses the majority of scientists.

In a nutshell, those capable of remote viewing are able to describe or see an object that is concealed, invisible or removed from them.

Remote viewers have been known to clearly describe locations they've never visited, events they were never at and items they have no way of knowing the whereabouts of.

Remote viewing may sound very similar to clairvoyance, but it's far more structured than readings, and the viewer usually displays their signal as a sketch or writes it down. Also, whereas psychics and clairvoyants tend to use their gift for personal readings, remote viewers are used to assist scientific research, police investigations and even government intelligence activities.

Despite its name, Remote Viewing isn't limited to just seeing a scene or object, it's common for viewers to experience targets with every sense. Viewers can taste, hear, smell and envisage targets, even feeling textures. At other times, they describe far more vague viewing experiences, such as a general feeling and simply 'knowing' something with no idea how.

That said, when Remote Viewers use their skill for serious purposes such as criminal investigations they are kept to a strict procedure. Not only that, but it's proven possible to train them to get the most from the impulses they experience. When performed under formal conditions, Remote Viewing is carried out so that the viewer has no idea of the case or details, and they'll only be given the basic clues to lead them to the target. Sessions like this usually include a monitor to guide the viewer, who is also kept ignorant of the nature of the subject.

Residual Haunting ~ Non conscious and unintelligent (no thought or purposely actions), usually appear as person but can sometimes be a group of people, and animal or any non living thing. An example is the famous "Flying Dutchman" legend. There are no interactions with observers. They stay in same location replaying the same event over and over usually on some rhythmic cycle or pattern (though what the pattern is can be hard to determine) sometimes causing electrical environment interference to occur. They are often compared to a video recording that automatically plays itself over and over.

Sacred Relics ~ These are relics which have religious links. Often they are objects that behave in strange or mysterious ways, in a manner that cannot apparently be explained.

Shadow People ~ What are shadow people? No one seems to know for sure, even as sightings of these entities continue to be reported. Generally they appear as dark, silhouette figures, usually male, who suddenly walk across hallways, through walls, appear in rooms only to disappear again, and sometimes stand looking at a sleeping person only to eventually vanish once the sleeper has awakened. They have no purpose; don’t seem to be harbingers of any sort. Are they from another dimension? The afterlife? Whatever they are, they have scared enough people to have drawn some increased attention to their shadowy selves.

Shroud of Turin ~ This is the sindon or burial shroud, that is thought to have been used to wrap the body of Jesus after his death. It has a human image preserved on it which is thought to be the image of Christ himself. The shroud is described as being a pale sheet of linen measuring 4.34 metres (14 feet 3 inches) in length, by 1.09 metres (3 feet 7 inches) in width. It's earliest confirmed history was when it was displayed in 1353 at Lirey in France by it's then owner Geoffrey de Charny I, who was a knight.

Speaking in Tongues ~ The ability or phenomenon to utter words or sounds of a language unknown to the speaker, especially as an expression of religious ecstasy. Also called glossolalia.

Spirit ~ Any entity who is not part of the known natural world.

Spiritual Guide ~ A spirit that watches over a living person and offers wisdom or guidance. Some may refer to one as a guardian angel.

Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC) ~ A strange phenomena, whereby someone has apparently burst into flames, without an obvious source of ignition or fire accelerant. A unique trait of this phenomenon, is that when a victim is discovered there will normally be little of their body left. Most of the body will have been reduced to a pile of ash with either a seemingly untouched limb or limbs protruding from the rest of the victim's charred remains. Over the years there have been many quite shocking images released showing maybe a leg or two lying in situ among a pile of smouldering ash. Spontaneous Human Combustion, although a highly irregular phenomenon, is by far not new or unheard of. There are many references to it throughout history by both eighteenth and nineteenth century writers, such as: "de Quincey, Dickens, Melville and Zola" Explanations for this strange but intriguing phenomena are varied and wide ranging.

Stonehenge ~ An arrangement of mysterious stones standing at Salisbury plain. Stonehenge consists of two circles, the outer one being sarsen stone (sandstone) pillars, formerly supporting lintels (only six remain), the inner one of blue stones. Inside the latter circle are two series of standing stones each in the shape of a horseshoe. Again the outer series is of sarsen stones, the inner of blue stones. None of the horseshoes is complete, some of the stones have fallen and others are missing altogether. You can take a photographic tour of Stonehenge here.

Inside the innermost horseshoe is a single stone, broken in half, called the Altar Stone and surrounding the outermost circle is a ring of 56 holes called the Aubrey Holes. Intersecting these, some 80 yards from the Altar Stone is the Heel Stone.

The sarsen stones are of local origin but the blue stones are generally believed to have been transported somehow from the Prescelly Mountains in the far south-west of Wales. Radical ideas intermingled with legend has it that the magician Merlin brought them from Ireland to Wiltshire and from Africa by giants.

Druids first constructed Stonehenge about 4000 years ago during the Neolithic "New Stone Age". Stonehenge has been modified a few times since then, most recently around 1400 BC during the early "Bronze Age", thus producing the version that exists today.

The precise function of this awesome monument still remains an enigma. Some theories include the following:

- a solar temple

- a lunar observatory

- a source of healing energy

- an extraterrestrial monument

There is a body of literature suggests that the stones align with celestial events fuelling the theory that the monument is some form of complex astronomical observatory.

For example the line between the Altar Stone extends to the precise point of midsummer sunrise.

Janet and Colin Bord in their book Ancient Mysteries of Britain: 100 years of Strange Events, Grafton, London 1987; have exposed some flaws in some of these alignments thus shedding some doubt on the theory of an astronomical observatory.

Like many megaliths the stones have been attributed healing properties due to a high magnetic field. Indeed modern hospital therapy has found that electromagnetism accelerates the healing process of some bone fractures. This tends to lend some weight to the theory that Stonehenge could have been used as a source of healing energy.

Supernatural ~ Anything beyond the accepted definitions of the natural world. Events or happenings generally attributed to the will of a deity. Usually includes the concept of angels, demons / devils, and other God-like creatures.

Table Tipping ~ One of the original forms of Spiritualist ghost communication where the responses of the spirit are related through the movements of a table or similar device.

Teggie ~ The Welsh equivalent of Nessie aka the Loch Ness Monster found in Scotland. It is believed to inhabit two lakes in Wales. Typically it is likened to a crocodile or small plesiosaur. Reports of this creature have been around since the 1920’s.

Telekinesis ~ (telekinetic power) The ability to manipulate physical objects using the body’s static electrical charges. Chi is the Asian term for telekinesis. Psychic extension of the person transported through the electrical field surrounding the individual, more commonly known as a persons' ability to move object with just their mind and thoughts.

Telepathy ~ Communication using the mind as opposed to other senses.

Teleportation ~ The strange, unusual or paranormal movement of an object to another place.

Time Slips ~ Time slips and Lost Time are unnerving experiences. They have been surmised to be extraterrestrial encounters, dimensional shifts or even brain strokes. The most disturbing reports are those correlated by more than one person experiencing the same impossible time jump. Characteristically, time slips occur when someone sets out on a journey, long or short, along a familiar path which is clearly defined and should take a specific time to complete. The journey appears normal, except at the end the person realizes they have covered a number of miles in an impossibly short space of time. They are unsettled to find themselves at their destination sometimes hours earlier than possible. There have even been cases of “time loss”, where a person set out on a journey, traveled normally, yet arrived at their destination hours later than explainable. Where did the missing time go? Usually it is only upon arrival that the discrepancy in time is noticed.

Touched ~ The act of experiencing physical contact from a ghost, spirit or other paranormal entity. Can be as simple as a tug in your shirt or pressure on a part of your body to scratches, burns or being pushed / shoved. However, serious physical injury is very rare.

Trance Mediumship ~ A form of mediumship in which the medium shares their energy with a spirit through the use of trance.

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO's) ~ Over many centuries there have been reports of strange objects in the sky that seem to move very quickly or defy all rational explanation. The subject of UFO's is quite a contentious one. Some people believe that we are being visited by aliens in spaceships. Indeed there have been a number of conspiracy theories and ideas relating to the nature of these objects. Some of these ideas range from, alleged Government cover-ups right through to one theory about a strange species of as yet unidentified birds.

Veridical Dream ~ A type of dream that corresponds to actual events that can be either past, present, or future, but of which the dreamer is not aware.

Virgin Visons ~ Virgin visions usually take the form of seeing the Blessed Virgin Mary. They are not an uncommon phenomenon. Until a completely objective study of this phenomenon takes place, the topic will remain an enigma.

Vortex (vortices, vortexes) ~ A concentrated yet brief area of high electromagnetic energy often found in photographs taken at paranormally active locations. The often appear as sold (opaque) white or silver tubes, rods, or elongated ovals. They can also appear to be braided like a rope or chain (care has to be taken to ensure it is not a rope, chain, camera strap etc). A vortex is not an entity. However, some paranormal researchers believe a vortex is a momentary doorway or portal to another realm that allows entities and other paranormal phenomena to come into our world. Some researchers also believe vortexes are linked to the Earth's own Electromagnetic Field which at least in part helps determine when these portals open/close. It is also believed that some locations are more prone to having active vortices due to the alignment of the Earth's magnetic field and local geological structure.

Warp ~ There are two possible meanings:

1) Areas where conventional laws of physics can break down, linear time may not always apply. They can be locations infested with entities, imprints, and barrage of other paranormal activities. They may be unpredictable areas that can twist perceptions beyond the understanding of logic.

and / or

2) Areas of paranormal activity so intense that time itself changes. Time may speed up, slow down (Lost Time) or briefly stop altogether. The area effected is very small and of short duration.

Weeping Statues ~ Statues that have the ability to display certain aspects of human behaviour, such as weeping or bleeding. There have also been reports of paintings that can exhibit this unusual phenomenon. Although this phenomenon is not exclusive to the Catholic Church, most of its reports in the past have tended to originate from Catholic countries in Europe.

Whistling Ghosts ~ A phenomenon that is native to a tiny coral isle in the Southern Gilbert Group. The whistling ghosts are also known as the taani-kanimomoi or whistlers. They are believed to be the ghosts of newly deceased relatives, who live in the air and fly up and down the islands learning everything that is going on. They are said to pass on their knowledge to anyone capable of understanding their whistling speech.

Xenoglossy ~ The ability to write or speak in a language not known.

Yeren ~ A creature often described as a shaggy, red haired ape-man standing 1.5m-1.8m tall or 5 to 6 feet high, with extremely big feet. The Yeren is a mystery man beast frequently reported from Asia and the Shennongjia Mountains in central China. Cryptozoologists believe that it could be a certain species of orang-utans called Gigantopithecus.

Yeti ~ A creature usually described as a shaggy man-beast that is only ever briefly seen moving across snow swept landscapes, leaving behind very large footprints. The yeti is also known as the abominable snowman.

Yowie ~ A longhaired, gorilla-like creature that walks on its hind legs. It is described as very muscular, with a black shiny face, two big yellow eyes, a short thick neck, a hole for a mouth with human-like fingers. The yowie is to Australia and Australians what the yeren is to the Chinese.
Some cryptozoologists believe that it could be some form of marsupial like an ape-man or ape, or that it is a modern-day descendant of Homo Erectus.

Zombies ~ A very real phenomenon typically associated with the voodoo practicing, West Indian country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Zombies are persons who have 'died' but are not really dead, they are alive in a state of being, referred to as the undead. Evil sorcerers called bokors bring their victims back to a zombie state of life. This life is not a full life but a weird half-life where the zombie is incapable of thinking for itself, and it has no prior knowledge as to who it was. The bokors take their victims to remote areas where they are put to work as slaves. The whole idea of zombies is so ingrained in the psyche of the locals, that even the poorest of peasants are willing to pay quite large amounts of money to have heavy slabs placed on the coffins of their loved ones. This is thought to deter the bokors.

Zooform Phenomena ~ A term coined by Jonathan Downes, an Exeter-based investigator of mystery animals. The term describes entities that outwardly resemble animals, but appear supernatural rather than corporeal.

More will be added so come back often, Love Lonnie

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