Paranormal Definitions

The following lists of terms are not meant to educate fellow paranormal investigators. It is a simple list of terms meant to assist those individuals that may be experiencing paranormal activity and are not educated in the field therein. Our hope is that it give any lay person the basic understanding of what the paranormal field entails.

  • Anomaly: Something that cannot be explained or is difficult to classify.
  • Apparition: A supernatural manifestation of a spiritual body of a deceased person or animal. They may appear in photographs or may be seen with the naked eye. An apparition may be solid in appearance or just faint images, streaks, or balls of light.
  • Clairvoyance: The ability to have mental perceptions and insight about people or their situations. A clairvoyant may see clear mental images or pictures to see into the past, present , or future. This ability is also sometimes called second sight.
  • Cold Spot: An area in which an apparition’s energy is said to have manifested itself. This usually results in a temperature change.
  • Collective Apparition: The witnessing of an apparition by two or more people.
  • Deja’vu: The experience of having the feeling that you have experienced a situation or event before.
  • Dematerialization: The disappearance of or fading of a physical object.
  • Discarnate: Having no physical form or body.
  • Divining Rods: A metal or copper wand used to detect water, apparitions, or energy areas.
  • Ectoplasm: A product of a psychic energy that usually forms like a fog, mist or solid mass. The ectoplasm also can take a vortex shape.
  • Electromagnetic Field Meter (EMF): This tool is widely used by paranormal investigators to detect changes in the electromagnetic field. These units will read everything from TV and cell phones, to power lines. It has been suggested that a normal reading for paranormal activity is between 2.0 and 8.0 milligauss, anything above that is usually man made.
  • ESP: Extrasensory perception is the knowledge of external events with the aid of senses. Some people have experienced dreams, visions, or unexplained feelings where the could predict future events, sense a spiritual energy, or feel the presence of something unseen.
  • EVP: Electronic Voice Phenomena is the recoding of a spirit voice or sound on tape or a digital recorder. It is common to report that nothing may be heard at the initial time of the recording but is later discovered upon review of the playback. Listen to EVP’s
  • Ghost: Usually this is the visual appearance of a spirit energy or soul of a deceased person or animal. A ghost may make their presence known through strange smells, noises, cool breezes or even the movement of objects.
  • Ghost Light: An unexplainable light that is visible to the naked eye.
  • Ghost Mist / Fog: Not usually physically seen with the naked eye, but more often captured in photographs.
  • Haunting: Paranormal experience occurring over a period of time in a specific location.
  • Intelligent Haunting: A spirit that seems to live in a specific area and acts with it s own free will while showing some type of intelligence. This type of spirit is aware of your presence and on occasion will interact with you in some fashion. The spirit my respond to direct questions either through EVPs, knocking on a surface when asked, or possibly a disembodied voice heard with the naked ear.
  • Intuition: The act of knowing something or having information without knowing where it came from.
  • Manifestation: If a spirit or entity actually takes form and makes its presence known. This can result in a constant outbreak of paranormal activity.
  • Materialization: The deliberate, though usually temporary, visible formation of a spirit or energy.
  • Orb: An orb is a round sphere shaped object that is most often captured on photographs, although they can show movement in video. Orbs are suggested to be a soul or the spirit of a deceased person or animal. This type of paranormal evidence is very controversial and is often dismissed as dust particles.
  • Ouija Board: A board with the alphabet and other symbols on it which is used to communicate with the deceased. The operator uses a planchette, which in turn moves across the board spelling out messages to the operator. ****This method of communicating with the deceased is very dangerous and should not be used in any paranormal investigation. We do not use or condone the use of this device!****
  • Paranormal: Something that is beyond the range of normal human experience or scientific explanation.
  • Paranormal Researcher: Any person that investigates unexplained phenomena of the supernatural kind. This individual or group of individuals makes a valiant attempt to prove or disprove paranormal occurrences through various research methods.
  • Paranormal Investigation: The act of visiting an alleged “haunted” location to gater data such as pictures, video, audio, recordings, and electromagnetic field and temperature readings and summarizes the data.
  • Parapsychology: The scientific study of paranormal phenomena.
  • Poltergeist: Poltergeist is a German word that means “noisy ghost”. Poltergeists have been blamed for violent actions such as throwing things, attacking people, and even setting fires. Such events are said to be sporadic, unpredictable, and happen often. This poltergeist activity sometimes can target a particular family or family member. It is often said when a stranger is present the activity may temporarily cease. This type of haunting is one of the most dangerous, but also one of the most rare types.
  • Possession: When a person’s mind and/or body is believed to be taken over by ghosts, spirits or other supernatural entities.
  • Precognition: Knowing something in advance of the situation. To know the future.
  • Precognitive Dreams: Having a dream about an event or situation that is about to happen.
  • Physic: A person that uses or appears to be gifted with a sixth sense. The ability to be able to tap into the past, present or future.
  • Radio Voice Phenomenon: To receive the voices of the deceased over a regular radio frequency.
  • Residual Haunting: This type of haunting can occur at the same time every time or during the same conditions every time. It is often thought of as if you were watching the same movie clip over and over. It could be considered an imprint on the walls of time. With this type of haunting, the spirit has no idea that you or anyone else is there. This imprint can be caused be a past traumatic event and can often involve a visual sighting. This type of haunting is not an interactive one and the spirit will not respond to you.
  • Séance: This involves communicating with the dead. A medium is usually the contact person for the spirit world.
  • Shadow People: Theses ghosts usually appear as a shadow and are very quick. They are normally the type of spirits that are seen out of the corner of your eye or maybe in a mirror.
  • Sixth Sense: See ESP
  • Spirit: A force within a living being. The soul or supernatural gentility.
  • Supernatural: This is something that exists or happens through some means other than any known force in nature. As opposed to paranormal, the term, supernatural, oftens denotes divine or demonic intervention.
  • Telekinesis: The ability to move objects with your mind just by the thought process. One may be able to knock an object over or move the object by concentrating on the matter.
  • Telepathy: To know what others are thinking. To read one’s mind.
  • Vortex: In photography, this is the appearance of an unexplained object such as an unexplained line, swirl, twist of light, striped rope, or tube shaped object.
  • White Noise: A hiss like sound formed by combining all audible frequencies. This is often used as back ground for EVP recordings.

Code of Conduct

At Pittsburgh Paranormal Research, we are not your everyday investigation group. We are fully dedicated to bringing scientific investigation techniques into the field of the paranormal and we conduct ourselves in a manner that is both professional and organized. Below you will find several of the committments that we at PPR have agreed to abide by in all aspects of how we run an investiation. If you have questions regarding anything listed here. Please use the Contact Us form with the subject “Codes”.

  1. PPR will conduct themselves in an appropriate and responsible manner at all times.
  2. PPR and guest investigators will be respectful of other investigators, clients, visitors and guests.
  3. Attendees may not be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drugs during any PPR investigation, event or meeting.
  4. Participants in any PPR investigation, meeting or event will be respectful of public and private properties at all times.
  5. Participants in any PPR investigation, meeting or event will obey all local, state, and federal laws, by-laws and regulations.
  6. Any guest attendee of a PPR investigation, meeting or event participates voluntarily and takes full responsibility for his or her own safety and welfare. (PPR accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage to any attendee’s property or for any injury to guest attendees howsoever caused.)
  7. Investigation participants must be 18 years old or over unless the PPR authorizes otherwise in writing.
  8. Absolutely no discussing cases outside of PPR when a Client wishes to remain anonymous!
  9. We do not invite friends or family members to investigations unless otherwise preauthorized by either Scott or Jeff.
  10. No one may ever organize or carry out any investigation under the PPR name unless you are authorized to do so by the Lead Investigator in writing.
  11. PPR will never charge a client a fee for an investigation. If offered some monetary amount for expenses accrued, we will accept with gratitude.
  12. Participants in any PPR investigation, meeting or event will be respectful of all equipment owned by team members, guests or PPR.
  13. No one will ever fake paranormal activity, falsely claim to experience anything, or falsify any images, recordings or data etc. This will permanently ban one from ever participating in any future investigation, meeting, or PPR event. We are researchers, not entertainers.
  14. All cellular phones, non-investigation wireless equipment, and other electronics will be switched OFF, “NOT Airplane Mode”.
  15. There will be absolutely NO SMOKING in investigation areas except in areas designated by the Lead Investigator.
  16. PPR will always give an honest, non-biased, objective opinion to the client following an investigation. We will advise whether we feel paranormal activity has indeed occurred during the investigation. Although we have no wish to disappoint, should we feel that, at the time of the investigation, no paranormal activity has occurred, or we are able to debunk to our satisfaction any event, then the client will be informed accordingly.
  17. Although there will always be consultation with Core Team Members with regard to the running of PPR (cases, membership applications, etc.) the final decisions will always be made by the founders of PPR.
  18. All team members and guests attending an investigation must risk assess the location prior to the investigation taking place. Any health and safety issues must be brought to the attention of the Lead Investigator and any attending guests will be informed therein before the investigation.
  19. All PPR investigation members will keep an account for where they are at all times within the boundaries of the investigation area. In cases where an investigator is to carry out a lone vigil, the area must be risk assessed.