Ghost Hunting Definitions

Ghost hunting terms and meanings that may be encountered by the ghost hunter...

  • Amulet - A piece of jewelry believed to have special powers to ward off evil.
  • Anomalies - Something unexplained, usually found in a photograph, video or voice recording.
  • Apparition - A spirit that is in human form and usually visible to the naked eye or may appear in a photo undetected originally by the naked eye. Often this anomaly is dressed in period clothing. Very hard to capture on film but many have reported seeing this type of ghost. This is the "Hollywood Type" ghost featured in many movies.
  • Apport - An object brought forth and made to appear to the living by a ghost or spirit, the item coming from somewhere else such as the natural or supernatural world.¬†
  • Baby Monitors - The use of audio monitors while ghost hunting can help monitor and record areas for ghost voices and strange sounds.
  • Cameras - Paranormal investigators use both digital and 35mm cameras. Digital cameras are great because they give instant results and are cheaper to use than film models. Full spectrum and multi-spectrum models are now preferred.
  • Charms - Jewelry worn by some ghost hunters because of the belief in its special powers to repel evil.
  • Crystal Ball - Used to increase energy in a space or to divine messages from visions.
  • Dowsing Rods - Two rods held out in front of one which cross when paranormal activity is present. For years, dowsing rods have been used to find water for wells, and burial sites. They are an inexpensive tool for those sensitive enough to use them (about 80% are!), to help detect areas of paranormal activity for confirmation with photos and other detection devices.
  • Ectoplasm - The term used for an unexplainable mist that may be visible, at times, but is more commonly seen in photos. The word ectoplasm was originally coined during the age of spiritualism and was a supposed sign of the spirit world produced by deceitful mediums who manifested cheese cloth-type emanations.
  • EMF Meter - A meter for measuring electromagnetic fields. Spirits have been found to interrupt or even create their own electromagnetic fields. Compasses can also be used to detect changes in EMFs. A spike on the EMF meter could represent spirit activity and is an excellent tool of the paranormal investigator to locate areas to study and collaborate evidence of the presence of ghosts.¬†
  • Energy Lights - These show up on photos as colored lights during some manifestations of hauntings. They usually are not visible to the naked eye and can appear in different colors such as red, orange or green. Also see Ghost Light.
  • EVP - "Electronic Voice Phenomenon" is the recording of audio; and although no voices were heard at the time of the recording, unexplained voices may be discovered during playback of the audio recording. Both digital recorder and traditional tape recorders may be used, sometimes, with an external microphone.
  • Intelligent Haunting - When spirits dwell in a specific area and demonstrate an interaction with those here in the physical realm.
  • Kinetic Energy - Description often used for the movement of objects by a ghost. A physical manifestation of an unseen force which may move, throw or even destroy objects. This type of haunting is known as a "Poltergeist" (German for "noisy ghost") and may be associated with telekinesis (psychokinesis).
  • Orbs - Orbs are believed to be energy or the spirit and soul of individuals that show up as circles or balls of light in photos - varying in size, color and opacity. It is theorized that, maybe, departed spirits whose souls are "enlightened," hence, they are seen as "light." In this idead, the whiter or brighter the light, the less fear, or darkness, is present in the soul. As a side note, it is important to know that fine particles, such dust, moisture, pollen, or even insects near the lens of the camera, can also be mistaken as spirit orbs in a photograph.

  • Motion Detectors - A device that uses Infrared to alert of movement of unseen entities.
  • Plasma/Plasmoid - Plasma is the fourth state of matter and thought to possibly be what ghosts are made of. Sometimes, ghost investigators will refer to orbs as "plasmoids" and lab tests have confirmed that some ghost lights are naturally created plasma.
  • Poltergeist - German for "noisy ghost." These ghosts manifest in the physical enough to produce sounds and the movement of objects. See Kinetic Energy.
  • Residual Haunting - When a spirit is seen doing the same thing over and over, many believe this to always be an energy imprint or residual haunting. In other words, a strong, dramatic event that occurred in some other time, repeating itself over and over. Usually these spirits do not interact with those who see them. We feel this could also, sometimes, be a state of mind in "hell;" being trapped by one's own mind in darkness or lack of understanding by reliving an event perhaps through fear, guilt or condemnation until that spirit finds truth and freedom.
  • Shadow People / Dark Shadows - Shadows that move and have intelligence, one form of ghost manifestation. Shadow ghosts have been seen transitioning into apparitions. This could be the result of where ghosts appear within the electromagnetic spectrum. Another theory is that the darkness might also be an indicator of the degree of fear held within the disembodied soul.
  • Simulacrum - Something seen with the eyes that appears to be real, such as the ghost of a person, but believed to be only a trick to deceive.
  • Talisman - Something that produces extraordinary effects, especially in averting or repelling evil.
  • Thermal Scanners/Thermometers - Used to detect cold or hot spots which can indicate paranormal activity. See Ghost Equipment of Old.
  • Vortex or Vortices - Thought to be a doorway or portal between the earth and other planes. Some believe vortices are a gateway between both realms (physical and spirit realms) and have been photographed as energy or whitish, funnel-shaped anomalies. Commonly, camera straps, human hair, a tree branch, etc., too close to the camera lens during exposure have been ¬†mistaken as vortices. To date, the existence of unseen gateways is only conjecture.