Haunted Yorkshire

They're Closer Than You Think!


Here you will find some of the terms relating to ghosts and the supernatural along with their meaning.





A spectre, ghostly figure or even a sudden or unusual sight. The term apparition is usually  another name for ghost. The visible form of a ghost.


Automatic Art


A form of both automatism and dissociation, whereby a person can often produce works of art without them being consciously aware that they had done it.  In certain cases clairvoyants sometimes claim to be able to produce pictures of people's deceased loved ones in a similar manner.


Automatic Writing


Very similar to and is, like the latter, a form of both automatism and dissociation.  Often a subject can produce writing that is not in their own writing style, which sometimes conveys messages that appear to have originated from deceased persons.  Alternatively they can gain insights from their writings to things that they may not have consciously known beforehand.  Clairvoyants are usually associated with this type of activity.




A name given to a female spirit, which can be found in Irish and Scottish folklore.  The wail of a banshee is associated with the foretelling of an imminent death in the house, outside of which the banshee has previously visited.  An omen of impending death in a house, a banshee is a female entity said to herald death by groaning and screaming. 




The ability to obtain knowledge based on unexplainable intuition, vision, or various psychic senses.


Cold Spot


At the time or just before the occurrence of Paranormal Activity, a drop of temperature is often recorded and is referred to as a 'cold spot'.


Crisis Apparition


These are visions of persons, who at the time of their appearance are undergoing some form of crisis.  For example a severe illness, an injury or even death. The theory behind this phenomenon is that the afflicted person (the sender or agent), who is either ill or dying, sends out telepathically an image of themselves to someone who has a close relationship with them.  It is thought that in general the sender or agent is unconscious or unaware of sending any message. However in the case of a death crisis, where the sender/agent actually dies, this is clearly difficult to verify.




A guardian spirit or guardian angel often associated with the communication of advice and inspiration.




Normally understood to be the cessation of all vital phenomena without capability of resuscitation, either in animals or plants. It is the extinction of an organism's life.  However there are many doctrines and religions that do believe there is some form of spiritual or mental survival of physical death.


Death Clicks


A strange phenomenon that has its origins in Samoa.  Like the wailing  of Ireland, believed to predict the imminent death of someone in the household; death clicks are the sudden onset of persistent and loud clicking that sounds throughout the house of someone who is going to die soon. 




The practice of discovering future events or gaining unknown information, using items such as Crystal Balls, Pendulums and Tarot Cards.




A strange, visible, semi-fluid substance, that is believed to emanate from the body of a physical medium/spiritualistic medium.  The ectoplasm may or may not go on to form materialisations.  The phenomenon usually occurs while mediums are either in communication with the dead or in a trance. In relation to the transparent corporeal presence of a spirit or ghost, ectoplasm is the immaterial or ethereal substance defining its shape.


Electromagnetic Field


The field of force associated with electric charge in motion. It has both electric and magnetic components and contains a definite amount of electromagnetic energy.




A conscious, interactive ghost.




Electronic Voice Phenomena , or EVP, refers to the occurrence of alleged "spirit voices" that are said to manifest themselves on audio recordings. Such "voices" are said to be known for being rapid, faint, and often spoken in grammatically unusual and simplified language. (See E.V.P.s Section) 


False Arrival Apparition


A phenomenon whereby the percipient hears and sometimes less frequently sees another person arrive.  This usually occurs half an hour or an hour or so before the person actually arrives.  




Fortean, 'relating to paranormal phenomena'. Charles Forte was the man who first documented events of paranormal phenomena using a methodical and scientific approach.




Ghosts are the supposed apparitions of the dead. A ghost is often thought to be the spirit or soul of a person who has remained on earth after death. Every culture in the world carries stories about ghosts, but its beliefs vary substantially across time and place, with disagreements both as to what ghosts are and whether such things exist in reality.


Ghost Busting


A term that is associated with getting rid of unwanted ghosts or entities from places where they are not desirable.  The term has possibly been popularised by a Film called 'Ghost Busters'.  Although this film had quite a humorous slant to it, in real life, it would appear, that ghost busting services are sometimes required to get rid of unwanted 'visitors'.  The Internet has a number of organisations that claim to offer help with these unwanted 'visitors' and other things that go 'bump in the night'. Some people actually make a hobby out of ghost hunting, which, unlike ghost busting, is less about trying to rid oneself of ghosts; but is more about trying to observe and capture the phenomenon on film.  Traditionally, if someone felt that they or their property were under threat by a ghostly presence; they would typically call for a priest or someone from the church to bless them or their property.  In the event that this did not succeed they would possibly then ask a clergyman to perform, what is commonly referred to as an exorcism.  This is an act or process of invoking supernatural aid by the use of a magical form of words.  The dictionary defines the term exorcism as: 'The act of exorcising; the driving out of evil spirits from persons or places by conjuration; also, the form of conjuration used.' The act or process of invoking supernatural aid by the use of a magical form of words.


Ghost hunting


Means literally what is says i.e. hunting for ghosts.  Various research groups have been set up to investigate the phenomenon of ghosts; some do it as a hobby and some take the subject much more seriously.  Ghosts are known to frequent certain places more often than others, graveyards seem to be an obvious common starting point. 




If something is haunted it is usually said to be a place, object or an area that is much visited by ghosts or spirits etc. 


Haunting Ghosts


Are considered by psychical researchers to be different in kind to apparitions. Generally apparitions only tend to appear once, sometimes in a place unknown to the agent and usually to someone with whom the apparition has some relationship.  Often the apparition will seem to communicate with the percipient in some way, by means of a look, touch or even speech.  A haunting ghost however almost always appears to be unaware of the people around it and also it appears to be more connected with a place as opposed to a human. Although there are exceptions to the rule the majority of haunting ghosts haunt alone.  Occasionally groups of phantoms are seen, for example processions of chanting monks or spectral armies, but these do tend to be the exception. There have been many theories put forward to explain haunting ghosts.  Some evidence suggests that ‘one’s ability to see a phantom or sense a presence depends partly on some lingering aspect of the person seen or sensed’.




The phenomenon or ability of a person or thing to rise into the air and float in apparent defiance of gravity by apparently supernatural means.


Life After Death


The question of life after death has puzzled mankind since the dawn of time.  However the Lancet, one of Britain’s leading medical journals has published a study which shows that a large number of people believe they have already experienced their souls leaving their bodies while they were supposed to have been clinically dead after a heart attack in intensive care.




The process by which a spirit creates a physical representation of itself in the physical world.


Near Death Experiences


This phenomenon is usually experienced when someone is really close to death.  Often persons who have experienced a near death experience report a feeling of having left their physical body, moving through a darkness or tunnel, encountering the presences of deceased loved ones, and sometimes other entities which have been likened to both God and the Devil.  Often an all embracing and describable light or menacing darkness is reported.  After regaining consciousness and the ability to communicate, most persons who have encountered a near death experience often say that the event was totally life changing.  They often report that they have glimpsed the whole meaning of life or have been imparted with information far beyond ordinary human capabilities.




German for "noisy ghost". An entity or energy that displays sensational interaction with the physical environment. (See Poltergeist Section)



They are globe-shaped light anomalies usually caught on digital cameras. Once believed to represent the spirit of an individual that has passed over. Now dust, insects and other debris that may be floating in the air at the time when the photograph is taken is now the more likely cause. (See Orbs Section)




Paranormal describes an experience that happens which cannot be rationally explained with the use of our senses. They may include ghosts, hauntings, cold spots, smells etc.




Widely believed to be an invisible ghost that interacts with others by moving and influencing inanimate objects. Stories featuring poltergeists typically focus heavily on raps, thumps, knocks, footsteps, and bed shaking, all without a discernible point of origin. Many stories detail objects being thrown about the room, furniture being moved and even people being levitated!




This is a person who tunes into phenomena beyond their five senses. The talents of a psychic include but are not limited to hearing voices, seeing spirits and knowing what might be happening in the future.




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




A séance is on its most basic level an attempt to communicate with the dead. The participants form a circle and hands are linked together. If a medium is involved often the responses are channeled through them. (See Séance Section)




Refers to a person who can detect paranormal events beyond the range of their five senses.




It is a common belief that all living things have a Spirit or 'Soul', a sentient entity that although does not exist physically, is still self-aware and capable of perceiving it's surroundings. Many religions regard the Spirit as the very essence of a living being, and that it persists after death. Some also belief that the human body is simply a physical vessel that the Spirit interfaces with during the lifetime of the individual, and departs once the body has died.




The Supernatural refers to conscious magical, religious or unknown forces that cannot ordinarily be understood except through their effects. These forces are above and beyond natural occurrences.





These are the movements which tend to come from the table which is used during a séance.  It normally occurs when there are a group of people with their hands on the surface of the table used in the séance.  Some believe that these movements constitute spirit communications and others believe that it is simply the participants moving the table themselves.  The phenomenon is also known as table-tipping or table-turning.