Terminology


The following are the approved and accepted terms for Searchlight Paranormal Investigations:
 


Anomaly:
An occurrence or condition removed from ordinarily understood experiences.

Attachment: The seeming connection a haunting or entity may have with an item, such as furniture or other personal belonging. Often, this type of haunting is noticed when an item is first brought into a location.  When the item is again removed, the events related to the haunting cease.

Apparition: The projection or manifestation of a quasi-physical entity. (See also materialization)

Demon: Hostile and resentful entity, supposedly of non-human origin, which some believe to be "fallen (from grace) angels."

Entity: A disembodied "consciousness" commonly referred to as ghost, spirit or (if of an apparently malicious or resentful nature) demon.

E.V.P: Stands for Electronic Voice Phenomena.' Disembodied "voices" and sounds imprinted on audio recording devices.

Exorcism: Ceremonial expulsion of invading spiritual/demonic entities from a person or dwelling, present in virtually every worldly culture. The Jewish and Catholic Christian faiths each have a formal 'Rite of Exorcism' to be conducted by the respective Rabbi or Priest.

Ghost: The image of a person witnessed after his/her death, reflecting the appearance of the living, physical body yet less substantial. These forms often seem to exist in a dream-like state of semi-awareness, at times though not always cognizant of their human observers.

Haunting: The manifestation of a ghostly presence, or presences, attached to a specific locale. Hauntings can be categorized into four (usually) distinct types.  These are Intelligent (responsive), Poltergeist (likely initiated by pent-up stress on a subconscious level), Residual (replay) and Demonic (non-human origin). See explanations of all of these below.

Materialization: A ghost appearing visually, suddenly or gradually, sometimes indistinct, sometimes seemingly quite solid. (See also apparition)

Matrixing: The natural tendency for the human mind to interpret sensory input, what is perceived visually, audibly or tactilely, as something familiar or more easily understood and accepted, in effect mentally "filling in the blanks."  This is one common mistake people make when looking at photographs.  Their eyes “fill in” the blanks and begin seeing faces, etc, which are not necessarily present in the picture.  This has been compared to looking at the clouds and seeing figures or shapes.

Oui-ja (Board): A divining implement consisting of a small, round or more often rectangular platform with letters, numbers and various symbols printed upon it, and a "planchette."  The planchette, when the fingers of two participants are lightly placed along its edges, is intended to glide across the smooth surface of the inscribed platform and indicate messages. Conceived of as a parlor game in the wake of popular spiritualism, this is potentially a very dangerous tool for inviting in unpredictable, invasive forces. Experienced researchers vehemently advise against their usage.

Orb: A ball of energy that may or may not be related to a paranormal event.  Many believe this energy is spiritual in nature, while others recognize that it may just be environmental energy of some sort. At present, there is no way to distinguish between the two.  Often, people will see “orbs” in photographs and conclude that there is a spirit present.  Many serious investigators will discount virtually all orb evidence, due to the many other explanations for the anomaly. (Dust, moisture, fibers, non-spiritual energy, etc.)

Paranormal: The realm of occurrences and phenomena removed from those to which people are accustomed and comprehend, and presently uncategorized by standard academia.

Pentacle/Pentagram: The traditional five-pointed star design, with its interior pentagon delineated, generally representing both spirituality and protection when point "up"; when inverted, it is said to signify diabolism.

Possession: Invasion of the human mind by a spiritual or demonic entity, where the invading agent for a span of time, influences or entirely subverts the personality of the human host. It is in these instances that the boundaries of psychology, religion and spiritualism are rendered less distinct.

Spirit: Existence apart from, or transcending, the purely physical; also, the life-force of an organism. A spirit commonly refers to a ghost.

Spirit Rescue: Attempting contact with entities, intended to alleviate the entities' distress and aid them in the resolution of their conflicts, and in "crossing over" to a higher, spiritual plane.

Vortex: pl. Vortexes or Vortices. An anomaly which sometimes shows up in still photographs taken at the site of a suspected haunting, appearing as a translucent white, tube or funnel shaped mass. Some researchers believe this may be a porthole to the spirit realm.

 

Types of Hauntings
(Information credited to Jason Hawes as posted on website of The Atlantic Paranormal Society (TAPS)
   http://www.the-atlantic-paranormal-society.com)

Intelligent Haunt
In this style of haunting the entity or entities is aware of their surroundings. Most of the time you will find that these spirits are not confined to one spot, they can move around freely. Also, they will acknowledge the existence of human beings and even try to communicate in certain ways.

They are limited in what they can do. Most of the time they only move very light objects but they have been known to move objects up to around 10lbs. They are looking for people to notice them but they end up scaring people a great deal instead.

Usually, between the hours of 11pm and 4am are the times that the entities can more efficiently manifest themselves, due to this time period being the darkest hours of the night. Most of the time they are not strong enough to show themselves during the daylight because it takes too much energy to make themselves visible. Think of it like this, if you were to turn on a flashlight during the daytime you would hardly notice the light, but if you were to turn it on in the dead of night, the light would be clearly visible. This is how spirits work as well. If they use too much energy during the day they will be too weak to show themselves at night.

These spirits can be benevolent or mischievous, depending on the reason that they are haunting a location, and there are several reasons. They may be haunting it because it was once their home and they want you to leave. They may be there because they've found that a child is able to see them so they feel noticed and are willing to stay around for this fact. There may be some kind of artifact that they are staying with and following due to some emotional bond with it. They also may be looking for something or someone. They may even not be willing to except that they have died. Whatever the reason may be, they are there and they do not want to leave.

Poltergeists 
Poltergeist
is from a German word meaning noisy spirits. Reports of poltergeists date back to Ancient Roman times.

The activity that takes place will start of with knocks and bangs, furniture starting to move around by itself. Then, the activity will become more intense, manifesting itself through voices and even the appearance of full apparitions. Furniture may slide across the room and beds may shake. Many shows are based on this is a style of haunting because it tends to be the most terrifying and rarest type of haunting that occurs.

Most of the time, in the case of a poltergeist, the haunting circles around a female in her teen years. Some of these cases seem to be caused by the female unknowingly controlling the energy around herself. Some cases happen around people that are stable and in the right mind space.

This haunting is hard to classify due to certain situations. No two are ever really the same. Most of the time you will find that one person in the household seems to be more affected by the haunting than anyone else. It may seem that most of the activity doesn't happen unless that certain person is present. Usually, the activity appears to stop when that person leaves the home. The majority of the time poltergeists are experienced by several people, but again they seem to center around one certain person. This person may be highly stressed as of late or maybe this person has gone through some type of extreme emotional situation. If this is the case, see that the individual involved gets some medical care, and soon afterwards the poltergeist will subside.

When it is not the teenager that is manifesting activity there are usually several spirits in the area. The spirits appear to pool their energy together in order to become strong enough to move larger objects and make more noises. In order to remedy the situation, you need to find the root of their anger so that they can pass over and leave you in peace. On most poltergeist cases they will disappear with out any warning, just as they appeared. Certain times it may stop within a few days, other times it may take years. You may never know the reason that it happened. Most people are just happy to see it go and that's enough for them.

Demonic Haunt
Demons are one of the known inhuman entities out there. Fortunately, they are a rare occurrence.  

They are usually very easy to identify as long as they are not hiding. When it is a demonic haunting you typically notice a revolting stench similar to rotted flesh or sulfuric acid. They often let loose a growl that sounds like it is coming from everywhere at once. They like to make contact by pushing, shoving, hitting, and even scratching. The whole air in the affected area will feel thick like fog and the temperature will drastically change, typically becoming warmer. 

These creatures are very strong, unlike human spirits, and they don't mind showing it. There have been cases where people have been thrown through the air and even attacked. Apparently, their main goal is to break down a person's free will in order to make way for possession. This can take days, months or years, but time is of no concern to them.  

They have a hatred for mankind that dates back to the days of God and Lucifer. They have lived for millennia and will be here long after we are gone. So, you must understand that though you may be able to get these creatures to leave a dwelling with religious provocation you will never destroy them. They could go to the next place down the road if they choose; most likely they won't because distance is not a problem for these creatures. They could go from Maine to California on a thought.  

They can take on any form they wish, but mostly commonly it is a half man, half animal form. They will have the head of an animal, the torso of a man, and the hairy legs of an animal. When they are approached by an investigating paranormal team they may feel threatened and appear in a human form to keep the home from being blessed and stop the use of religious provocation.  

During an investigation you need assess the situation more by what happened before you arrived than what is actually going on during the time you are there. Demons are capable of changing form right in front of you from a human form to an inhuman form. They neither male nor female, but then can change that to meet their needs. People mostly see demons as black masses standing in doorways or near rooms. Sometimes they are called shadow devils.

Residual Haunt
The most common style of a human haunting is a residual haunting. A residual haunting is like having an impression made in time. The entity may seem to be lost in a time warp. The spirit really isn't even there, only the energy is.

In most cases people may hear screaming or crying due to the violence factor that may have caused this traumatic event to happen. People may also hear the sounds of footsteps walking on the stairs or through hallways.

Typically, the repeated event is whatever the person who left the energy behind did often or an significant event that they remember happening to them. It is almost like it the energy has become part of the dwelling that they once occupied on an every day basis. These haunting styles always seem to happen in the same place every time.

There is usually very little you can do on this style of a haunting except make the family who is having these problems understand what is going on and explain to them that they are in no danger due to the energy not being controlled by the person who left it behind.

There is no actual entity present in this style of haunting, and the energy that was left behind is just like a video playing the same scene over and over again. Even though it is not aware that people are there, it can still be a scary and emotional situation to the people who have to deal with it happening in their home.

It may happen every night or every week or even every year. It is the most frequent haunting investigators will come across in their cases. An investigator will tell you there is nothing they can do about this style haunting and they are correct. People need to either accept what happens and learn to deal with it, or move on.

Return to the Home Page