Terminology



DEMON / EVIL SPIRIT

–  is a supernatural being, generally malevolent in character. In general, the more civilized pagan societies came to consider demons as powerful, supernatural beings who lacked the dignity of gods and who, depending on the circumstance, might be either benevolent or malevolent in their dealings with men. Some demons, like the Greek Pan, were nature spirits; others were guardians of the home or fields or watchers over travelers; still others were spirits of disease and insanity or dream spirits. Some demons were considered to be intermediaries between men and the gods. It was not until the development of late Hebraic and Christian thinking that demons came to represent the unqualified malevolence so common in European demonology of the 16th and 17th cent. This period was ahigh pointin the study of demons, in the speculation on their nature, number, and specific fiendishness. The list compiled in 1589 by a demonologist named Binsfield was considered to be highly authoritative. The widespread and ancient belief in demons is still a strong force in many regions of the world today.

ENTITY

– an entity is something that has a distinct, separate existence, though it need not be a material existence. In particular, abstractions and legal fictions are usually regarded as entities. In general, there is also no presumption that an entity is animate. Entities are used in system developmental models that display communications and internal processing of, say, documents compared to order processing. An entity could be viewed as a set containing subsets. In philosophy, such sets are said to be abstract objects. Sometimes, the word entity is used in a general sense of a being, whether or not the referent has material existence; e.g., is often referred to as an entity with no corporeal form, such as a language. It is also often used to refer to ghosts and other spirits.

EXORCISM

– in Christianity, a ceremony used to drive demons out of a person, place or thing they have possessed. Jesus healed people tormented by evil spirits, casting them out with a word, and his followers later drove out demons “in his name.” By the 3rd century this task was assigned to a specially trained class of lower clergy. Rituals for exorcism of people and places also exist in many other traditions.

EXORCIST

– the act, practice, or ceremony of exorcising usually preformed by a priest to rid an unwilling victim, place or thing of possession.

EXTRASENSORY PERCEPTION

– perception that involves awareness of information about something (such as a person or event) not gained through the senses and not deducible from previous experience. Classic forms of ESP include telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition. No conclusive demonstrations of the existence of ESP in any individual have been given, but popular belief in the phenomenon remains widespread, and people who claim to possess ESP are sometimes employed by investigative teams searching for missing persons or things.

GHOST

– soul or specter of a deceased person.  Belief in ghosts has been common since ancient times and is reflected in folklore around the world.  It is based on the notion that the spirit is separable from the body and can continue its existence after the death of the body. Ghosts are believed to inhabit the netherworld and to be capable of returning to the world of the living, appearing as living beings or in a nebulous likeness of the deceased.  They are thought to be especially likely to haunt places or people connected with some strong emotion of their past life, such as fear, remorse, or the terror of a violent death.  The traditional visual manifestations of haunting include ghostly apparitions, the movement of objects, or the appearance of strange lights; auditory signs include disembodied laughter and screams, knocking, or footsteps.

HAUNTING(s)

there are five types of hauntings (listed from harmless to dangerous)

1. Residual – are repeated playbacks of auditory, visual, smells, and other sensory phenomenon that are attributed to a traumatic event, life altering event, or a routine event of a person or place, like an echo or a replay of past events but poses no harm to the residents. Example: every night at 4:00am the closet light will turn on and the bedroom smells of roses. These events have a spirit, ghost or entity that is not aware of the living world and most likely cannot be interacted with.

2. Intelligent – (known as the classic haunting) is the opposite of a Residual Haunting; all is the same except the spirits, ghost or entities are aware of the living and very well can be interacted with. Example: capturing an answer to a question asked by an investigator during an EVP session. Can sometimes pose a nuisance to residents and could become harmful.

3. Poltergeist – comes from the German word noisy spirit.  In spiritism, certain phenomena, such as rapping, movement of furniture, and breaking of crockery, for which there is no apparent scientific explanation. Believers in spiritism interpret these phenomena, particularly common during séances, as evidence of the presence of supernatural spirits. This type of phenomena can become very dangerous, sometimes attaching itself to families following them where ever they go. Some believe that this phenomena is the work of devils, demons and even us. For more information please read “Poltergeist”

4. Attachment – when ghost hunting, investigating or visiting someone who lives in an alleged haunted house/ business sometimes spirits, ghost, entities can and will attach themselves to you. Attachment is said to be rare; however, there have been more cases of attachment reported over the past few years than ever before. Be aware this is a form of possession. Example: you return home after an investigation and a few hours/ days later you start to experience paranormal activity in your home or business which you never experienced in the past.

5. Possession – this happens when the spirit, ghost or entity takes complete control over an unwilling and unknowing individual, place, or thing being the most dangerous type of haunting.

ORB

what are these balls of light?  Orbs are anomalies captured during low-light instances where the camera’s flash is implemented, such as at night. The anomalies are especially common with compact or ultra-compact cameras, where the short distance between the lens and the built-in flash decreases the angle of light reflection to the lens, directly illuminating the aspect of the particles facing the lens and increasing the camera’s ability to capture the light reflected off normally sub-visible particles. This can be the result in all lighting situations. Orb anomalies can result from a retro reflection of light off solid particles; such as, dust, pollen, liquid particles, water droplets or other foreign material that may be within the camera lens.  This orb craze is said to have been nothing more than propaganda started back in 2002 by the UK show Most Haunted.

PARANORMAL PHENOMENA

  are those supposedly due to powers of the mind that go beyond the normal, such as extra-sensory perception, or perception by means independent of the normal use of the senses, telepathy, psycho kinesis, precognition or powers of prophecy, and survival of bodily death. Paranormal psychology, also known as psychical research, is the attempt to establish these phenomena scientifically, and then to theorize about their nature.

PARAPSYCHOLOGY

– discipline concerned with investigating events that cannot be accounted for by natural law and knowledge that cannot have been obtained through the usual sensory abilities. Parapsychology studies the cognitive phenomena often called extrasensory perception, in which a person acquires knowledge of other people’s thoughts or of future events through channels apparently beyond the five senses. It also examines physical phenomena such as the levitation of objects and the bending of metal through psycho kinesis; though belief in such phenomena may be traced to earliest times, parapsychology as a subject of serious research originated in the late 19th century, partly in reaction to the growth of the spiritualist movement. The Society of Psychical Research was established inLondonin 1882, and similar societies were later founded in theU.S.and in many European countries. In the 20th century research into parapsychology was also conducted at some universities, notably atDukeUniversityunder J. B. Rhine.

POLTERGEIST

–  comes from the German word noisy spirit.  In spiritism, certain phenomena, such as rapping, movement of furniture, and breaking of crockery, for which there is no apparent scientific explanation. Believers in spiritism interpret these phenomena, particularly common during séances, as evidence of the presence of supernatural spirits. This type of phenomena is not to be taken lightly and can become very dangerous, sometimes attaching itself to families following them where ever they go. Some believe that this phenomena is the work of devils and demons.

SEANCE

– a séance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word “séance” comes from the French word for “seat,” “session” or “sitting,” the word’s meaning is quite general. In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from spirits or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits; many people, including skeptics and non-believers, treat it as a form of entertainment.

SHADOW PEOPLE

– catch something out of the corner of your eye, you turn and look but nothing is there?  That is how most encounters occur with these dark cloaked manifestations.  Not much is known about shadow people even though there appearances have been recorded in old folklore.  Shadow beings appear as shadows only darker. They often appear in rooms at night and just stand there staring. The person being stared at would feel a sense of fear and dread. Shadow beings are all similar in appearance some larger some smaller, some appear to have reddish eyes and some are faceless.  Some say they are just travelers; nevertheless, they can be creepy to encounter.

SPIRITISM / SPIRITUALISM

– belief that the human personality continues to exist after death and can communicate with the living through the agency of a medium or psychic. The advocates of spiritism argue that death merely means a change of wavelength for those who die, and the medium is said to be able to receive radiations, frequencies, or vibrations that cannot be sensed by an ordinary person. Communication from the spirit world manifests itself in psychical phenomena (e.g., telepathy, clairvoyance, trance speaking, and apparitions) and in physical phenomena (e.g., levitation, automatic writing, and poltergeist and ectoplasmic activities). Ectoplasm is the mysterious visible substance in which the forces of the “other world” materialize. Closely related to the concept of the ectoplasm is the aura, a colored emanation that supposedly surrounds all individuals and that can be perceived by the medium. By noting variations in the hues of a person’s aura, the medium is able to describe his personality, needs, and illnesses. The shriveling of the aura is considered a sign of an impending death. In what is known as solar plexus voice medium ship, a spirit appears to speak through a medium’s body.

WITCHCRAFT

Depending on one’s definition, various histories of witchcraft are defensible. It was once common, for example, to understand the crime of witchcraft as consisting essentially of having a pact with the devil, an agreement in which one exchanged one’s eternal soul for monstrous powers. Such a crime of diabolism had not existed in the ancient world and only slowly emerged from the medieval campaign against magic and heresy, especially against medieval heretics such as the Cathars and Waldensians, groups who challenged both Catholic doctrines and papal jurisdiction. By the late fourteenth century, however, canon lawyers, prominent inquisitors, learned academics, and several popes came to agree that by means of a contract with the devil, whether explicit or only implicit, a magician might work genuine harm in this world. These theorists also gradually worked out a composite view of all the different sorts of crimes and activities their heresy involved. It was increasingly believed that witch-heretics flew off to a “Sabbath” where they renounced their Christian faith and baptism, worshipped the devil, danced together, and enjoyed a cannibalistic feast, devouring children whom they had killed while using their fat or other body parts to make loathsome potions. They were also thought to receive instruction in working harmful magic by which they might destroy their neighbors’ crops, interfere with the fertility of their cattle, and with the sex lives of those around them. Most luridly, witches were thought to have sexual relations with the devil or with lesser demons. During the fifteenth century large numbers of heretical “witches” or sorcerers began to be discovered, and increasingly they were women.

Another definition of witchcraft emphasizes the continuity of magical practices that witches had used in the West ever since classical times and the similarities between such practices and those found all around the world. On such an understanding, witchcraft is the belief in and use of unusual, secret, or even supernatural forces in order to force or promote specific desired ends. The ancient Greeks had believed in such magic but had not seen it as much of a daily threat. They originally thought that “magic” (mageia) was the strange, foreign religious practice of Persian priests (the magi) and of beggars or other dishonorable Greeks. Magic seemed both alien and disreputable. In Greek literature, the figure of the witch included characters such as Circe and Medea, women who used destructive magic to express their anger, lust, and frustration, but magic does not seem to have been a prominent fear among the Greeks. With the ancient Romans, however, harmful magic (maleficium) was forbidden in the earliest set of laws (the Twelve Tables, 451 B. C.E.) and was punished with increasing severity. The Roman historian Livy (History 39.41.5 and 40.43.2f) recounts episodes when apparently thousands of persons were executed by jittery judicial officials, and, in the late first century C.E., the Romans began to crack down on fraudulent magicae vanitates (‘worthless magic’), practices that included healing, divination, and astrology. Thus, this understanding of witchcraft did not require a devil or a pact but insisted on the dangers lurking in the hidden practices of lustful and vengeful witches.

A third notion of witchcraft may be found in the injunctions of the Old Testament, in which the authors of Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and Kings, for example, forbade necromancy and divination, practices that competed with the rituals of the Levites and sacrificial priests while also challenging God’s sovereignty over the dead and the future. From this point of view, witchcraft represented not diabolism or a physical danger but an abomination, not a conspiracy in league with the devil but impiety, a denial of God’s omnipotent control over blessings, punishments, and history (and hence the future as well); such witchcraft constituted an attempt to gain knowledge or advantages that were for God alone. Over time the Israelites intensified their prohibitions against magic, sorcery, divination, and consulting the dead (necromancy), which all hinted at popular polytheism during the exilic and post-exilic period.

All of these notions of witchcraft blended together in various proportions during the late Middle Ages and early modern periods. Some jurists and demonologists were more concerned about a supposed satanic conspiracy, whose goal seemed to be the destruction of humankind and Christianity. Others remained convinced that witches were primarily a physical danger to their neighbors. Still others were inspired by the image of idolatrous or irreligious magicians who did not constitute a physical danger to anyone and were not members of some hideous conspiracy, but were committed to “heathenish practices” and to foretelling the future by means of astrology, numerology, or other illicit means. In the seventeenth century some writers began to think that the basic crime of witchcraft consisted in being antisocial, regardless of any actual harm done or religious error.