- A -
Afreet: In Arabic lore, the vengeful spirit of a murdered person which
arises from the victim’s shed blood.
Akashic Records: Originally a Hindu concept of a vast, and ever increasing, psychic
repository of every thought and emotion – human or otherwise – which has ever
been, and into which some individuals seem able to tap.
Alchemy: The exploration and application of the sciences, particularly chemistry
and the pseudo-science of astrology, such as they were understood during the
middle ages and early Renaissance period. Alchemists were chiefly dedicated to
the worthy pursuit of producing gold from baser metals and various materials.
Alma: Russian wild-man encountered in Siberia and northern China,
generally described as being covered in hair and powerfully built, though
shorter in stature and more human appearing than the Yeti. Some researchers
have suggested that Almas may be descended from Neanderthals (Homo-Neanderthalensis).
Amulet: A symbol with magical significance, which is worn as a pendant or ring.
Angel: “Messenger of God,” a celestial being, benevolent in nature and if
viable, appearing in human form, and possessing miraculous abilities such as
teleportation, healing powers and knowledge of future events. There have been accounts
of angels aiding people in times of crisis throughout the ages, albeit with no
real consistency to their ‘modus operandi.’
Anomaly: An occurrence or condition removed from ordinarily understood
Anthropomorphize: The human-eccentric tendency of imposing human perceptions and
priorities upon spirits and other-worldly creatures or forces, assuming that
all forms of consciousness must be akin to ours on some basic levels. (This is
a logical assumption when applied to the survival instinct and perhaps to
physical procreation; anything more is merely a guess.)
Apparition: The projection or manifestation of a quasi-physical entity.
Astral Travel: Belief or theory that a person’s spiritual awareness can temporarily
detach itself from the physical body, remaining connected by what is called the
“silver cord,” and experience things in other locations, time frames or
dimensional planes. Some refer to this as “Astral Projection” or “Mind
Atavism: Reversion to an earlier, ancestral type.
Aura-world: A reflection of our own sphere of existence, composed of the
electromagnetic emanations of physical matter, and probably influenced by
thought and emotion. It is another dimensional plane proceeding from one in
which we exist.
- B -
Baphomet: Demon character supposedly worshiped by the Knights Templar in 14th
century France. Some present day practitioners of the black arts regard
Baphomet as a “god” of lust and regeneration, or as symbolic of the Devil. See
also: Sigil of Baphomet
Banishing: Formal, ceremonial, procedure effected to cast an invisible presence or
influence out from an area. This term can refer either to a spiritual
cleansing, or the closing of a magical rite, when the invoked powers are
Bigfoot: A bulky, hair covered, bipedal humanoid which appears to possess both
human and ape-like characteristics. Also known as Sasquatch and Yeti, depending
upon locale. Sightings of these creatures have for centuries been widely
Bogey(-Man): A grim spectral figure who delights in menacing mortals with rather
gruesome pranks and abductions. Although the lore of this character has
degenerated into a familiar device used to threaten rambunctious children, the
‘Bogey’ was formerly soundly dreaded in Celtic regions, and was said to prowl
the stretches of fields, marshes, and moors, looking for hikers and travelers
who had strayed from their paths.
- C -
Cabot, Laurie: (b. 1933) Wicca spokesperson, author, and for the past thirty
years, recognized as the official High Priestess of the Witches of Salem, MA.
Carcosa: A mysterious nether region or outer-world containing the mythical lake
called “Hali,” which appears in the fiction of authors Ambroce G. Bierce (“An
Inhabitant of Carcosa”) and Robert W. Chambers (“The King in Yellow” :
“Cassilda’s Song”). There are students of arcane, mystical lore who believe
that Carcosa may truly exist, which is why it is included with this roster of terms.
Chupacabra: Spanish for Goat sucker. In Puerto Rico, for twenty some years, numerous
livestock and stray pets have been found with throats torn out, drained of
blood and bearing mysterious puncture wounds. On the scene sightings of the
creature supposed responsible are exceedingly rare, and descriptions always
include “glowing red eyes.” Locale and the absence of distinct tracks rule out
either wolverines or monitor lizards, both of which always drag off their prey.
The most feasible suggestion is a coyote or feral dog, but again, the behavior
doesn’t match. Whatever is the true culprit, Chupacabra has become a popular
sensation on the island.
Construct, Psychic: It has been theorized, and experimentation has been conducted to support
this premise, that through directed psychic energies a responsive spirit-like
entity can be created, continuing for a time to exist independently.
Continuance: Commonly referred to as life-after-death, survival of the psyche post
cessation of the biological organism which had generated it.
Cleansing (Psychic): A less ritualized form of exorcism, where-in a dwelling or site is
purified and malevolent influences are banished through prayers, spoken as the
petitioner moves through the area.
Crop Circles: During the past three centuries, throughout the British Isles but with a
particular concentration in the southern region of England, circular
impressions spanning sometimes several hundred feet in diameter and often quite
intricate in design, have frequently and inexplicably been appearing overnight
in wheat and grain fields. Sometimes the source can be traced to hoaxters;
sometimes the details do not allow for any satisfactory, mundane explanation. Much
documentation, as well as speculation, regarding this topic is available.
Crowley, Aleister (Edward
Alexander): (b. 1875, d.1947)
Scottish-born occultist, metaphysician, sorcerer, adventurer, poet and author
of many occult treatises and manuals, including ‘Magick In Theory And
Practice.’ Crowley once dubbed himself “The Great Beast 666,” one of the few of
his many monikers which stayed with him, and the press referred to him as “The
Wickedest Man in the World.” Although in some respects brilliant, Crowley gave
himself over to excess, amorality and eventual dissipation. His writings are
still studied and analyzed by many present day, serious students of the
Crypto-zoology: The branch of paranormal research which deals with the exploration of
legendary creatures such as Bigfoot, lake and sea monsters, thunderbirds, etc.
It should be noted that the Giant Squid (the “Kraken”), orangutans (the “Red
Men of the Forest”), Komodo Dragons and gigantic Nepalese elephants all were
formerly included in the roster of fabled creatures!
Crystal Skulls: Five human skull models, exquisitely crafted in antiquity from
solid quartz crystal, have been found in various locations throughout Latin
America, the best known of these being the ‘Mitchell-Hedges Skull,’ discovered
in 1924 in the Belize Jungle of Boonton by Anna Mitchell-Hedges while on an expedition
with her father, and still in her possession in Canada. The others are kept in
collections in Guatemala, Texas, the Smithsonian and the British Museum. Mayan
legend tells that eight more crystal skulls remain, and that by the time all
thirteen are united, mankind will have learned how to extract and decipher the
vital information, history and revelations, which they contain.
Cthulhu: A creation of author H.P. Lovecraft and a favorite of horror/science
fiction enthusiasts, Cthulhu’ (pronunciation is interpretive) is described as a
kind of demon-god from another world, a monstrosity resembling a gigantic squid
or octopus who “sleeps and dreams” in his lair at the bottom of the Arctic
ocean, biding his time until some foolhardy “disciples” find means to call him
to rise and reclaim dominion of the earth. Doubtlessly, some are actually
Dee, Doctor John: (b. 1527, d. 1608) Alchemist, astrologer, seer and advisor to Queen
Elizabeth I of England who, along with his somewhat unscrupulous associate
Edward Kelly, supposedly devised a method of deciphering an angelic language,
known as the “Enochian Calls.”
Demon: Hostile and resentful entity, supposedly of non-human origin, which some
believe to be “fallen (from grace) angels.
Doppelganger: German for “Double-goer.” A person’s duplicate or identical counterpart,
seen as a result of bi-locational or astral travel. This phenomenon has been
overshadowed by the more modern (and viable) concept of cloning, with its
Druid: A Celtic priest of the Bronze or Iron Age, trained in healing,
divination and astronomy, whose tradition was passed on to successors by oral
- E -
Ectoplasm: A filmy, quasi-solid substance which supposedly issues from the bodies
of mediums (from the mouth, nostrils, eyes, ears, navel or nipples) during
trance states. In photographs, this phenomenon seems to resemble soaked muslin
fabric. Whether or not it has ever been genuine, curiously, virtually no
ectoplasm has been reported in the past fifty years.
Elementals: In magical tradition and ceremony, spirits which govern the four corners
of the earth and are associated with, or reside within, the four basic
elements. They are called Sylphs (the east, air), Salamanders (the south,
fire), Undines (the west, water), and Gnomes (the north, earth).
Empath: An individual who is particularly sensitive to the psychic emanations of
his or her surroundings, even to a degree of telepathically receiving and
experiencing the emotions of others in their proximity. Obviously, psychic
empathy can be regarded as a mixed blessing, and the empath must learn to gain
a measure of control over this ability.
Enochian: A magical, “angelic” language first translated by Dr. John Dee, and used
in the rituals of both the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” in the 19th
century and the “First Church of Satan” in the 20th century. See also:
Dee, Doctor John
Entity: A disembodied “consciousness” commonly referred to as ghost, spirit or
(if of an apparently malicious or resentful nature) demon.
E.V.P: ‘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.
Extra-terrestrials: Life forms originating on planets other than our own. This term usually
refers to highly advanced visitors from other worlds, who journey to our sphere
in space crafts with the probable intention of observing and studying our
- F -
Johann: (b. circa 1455, d. 1540)
Scholar, physician and alchemist from Wittenberg, Germany, who was renowned for
his proficiency in treating victims of the plague contagion (to which the
Doctor seemed strangely resistant), and the basis for the stories by Johann
Wolfgang Goethe and Christopher Marlowe about a learned man who sold his soul
to the devil through his infernal agent Mephistopheles in exchange for “four
and twenty years” of knowledge, youth and power.
Fetch: A spectral double of a living person. See also: Doppelganger
Fetish: Aside from the modern sexual connotation, a fetish is a shamanistic tool
in the form of a figurine, animal part or a pouch containing items with magical
Floating Orb: Spherical image, usually translucent white, though sometimes of a
reddish or bluish hue, which inexplicably registers on photographic film and
videotape, also known as “Globule.”
- G -
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.
Globule: An anomaly where-in floating, circular forms appear on photographs or
videotape, which seem indicative of spirit activity. Globes are a natural
containment formation of the meniscus of liquid, as in gas containing bubbles;
perhaps the interaction of energy and a quasi-physical substance produced by spiritual
manifestations results in a similar effect, the globules being an initial
containment of energy. Presently, all we know is that they continue to appear,
and extraneous possible causes such as moisture, light refraction or emulsion
seepage, etc., have been considered and ruled out.
Golden-rod: A rare anomaly seen in videotape recorded at the site of a suspected
haunting, appearing as bright, white or yellowish lines rapidly moving across a
room. See Also: Globule, Vortex.
Grey: The most frequently reported visitor from an alien world, described as
having greyish skin, a bulbous cranium, tapered chin, straight, unmoving, horizontal
line for a mouth, slits substituting for a nose, slanted eyes, and a slight
body. In some accounts, it has three fingers plus an opposable thumb on each
hand. Supposedly, such beings were encountered by Betty and (the late) Barney
Hill during their abduction in New Hampshire in September, 1961. See Also:
- H -
Hallowe’en: ‘The Eve of All Hallows,’ also known by Pagan Celts and Wiccans as
‘Samhain’ (pronounced, ‘Sow’-an’), October 31, the night preceding the Catholic
Church’s ‘All Saints Day.’ For a Millennium, in much of Europe and the British
Isles, this was held to be the night when departed relatives were especially
remembered, and the veil separating the realms of the living and the dead was
rendered thinner than usual. Jack-o’ lanterns were placed on stoops and
window-sills to frighten off malicious spirits. Hallowe’en is presently
celebrated as a night of revels and masquerading, and in Mexico it is part of a
traditional annual festival known as ‘El Dia De Los Muertos’ (‘The Day of the
Haunting: The manifestation of a ghostly presence, or presences, attached to a
specific locale. Hauntings can be categorized into four (usually) distinct
types, these being Intelligent (responsive), Poltergeist (likely initiated by pent-up stress on a
subconscious level), Residual (replay) and Demonic (non-human origin).
Hex: A magical working, or “spell,” cast to influence a person’s will or
fate, most often referring to a curse rather than a blessing or healing.
Hobgoblin: Mischievous sprite (fairy, spirit) who delights in perpetrating pranks
upon hapless humans, once widely believed in and dreaded throughout Europe and
Celtic regions. (Caution: It is theorized that these diminutive denizens of the
netherworld will, upon occasion, interfere in psychic investigations by devices
such as misplacing directions and telephone numbers, draining flashlight and
camera batteries, and even pulling keys right out of investigators’ pockets!) I
assume that anyone who reads the proceeding caution will realize it is
Homunculus: A form of miniature human supposedly produced (for purposes unknown) in
the laboratories of medieval alchemists. See also: Alchemy.
Hypnosis: A state of profound mental focus, actually self-induced although an
external agent – a “hypnotist” – often acts as the catalyst, or director, for
the subject entering this state. Also known as “Mesmerism” after Franz Anton
Mesmer who first popularized this practice (utilizing magnets as his props)
during the last two decades of the 18th century. As concerns paranormal
investigation, hypnosis is sometimes used as a vehicle for “past lives
regression” and memory restoration in suspected (alien?) abduction cases.
- I -
Icon: A rendering or image of particular (often religious) significance.
Imbolc: In the Wiccan calendar, February 2nd is celebrated as the day when
winter’s end is in sight, and the return of the sunn’s warmth is anticipated.
Also known as Candlemas and the familiar Ground Hog Day.
Incubus: Stemming from medieval lore, a demonic entity capable of sexually
arousing and sometimes assaulting human females. Cases of apparent incubus
attacks continue to be documented, suggesting a germ of reality behind the
Infestation: Repeated and persistent paranormal phenomena, generally centered around
a particular location or person(s). Also known as a haunting.
Influence: An invisible entity of undetermined nature, effecting the inhabitants of
a dwelling. This may initially manifest as an inexplicable feeling of
uneasiness, then be followed by more definite signs which reveal a haunting.
- J -
Jersey Devil: In the Pine Barrens region of northern New Jersey and New York, for more
than two and a half centuries there have been reports of a very strange and
singular creature described as having an equine head, glowing, reddish eyes,
stork’s legs, forelimbs with claw-bearing paws, a pointed tail and membranous,
bat-like wings. It emits a shrill, piercing scream, and has been sighted
rifling through garbage, standing in paths and roads, and flying just above the
tree tops. One rather indistinct photo of this Jersey Devil has produced, but
to the best of my knowledge, no one has yet recorded its ear-splitting cry.
Kabbalah (also Cabbala): A
very ancient and complex system of Jewish mysticism, probably influenced by
Assyrian-Babylonian and Macedonian beliefs and existing as the basis of an
underground cult during much of the middle ages.
Named after Semyon Kirlian who, in 1939, discovered – reportedly by
accident – that when an organic or nonliving object is placed upon a
photographic plate and subjected to a high electric current, a glowing “aura”
forms around the object and is imprinted on the film. It is more accurate to
say that rather than revealing a natural aura, this process produces such.
However, fluctuations in the magnetic fields surrounding the subjects can be
detected in this way, and Kirlian photography, the technique having been
improved upon through the years, has recently come into use as a medical
diagnostic device. It also has a popular market at psychic fairs as a sort of
high-tech, more expansive version of the mood ring. Kirlian photography does
produce some beautiful and interesting effects.
- L -
LaVey, Anton Szandor: (b. April 23, 1930, d. Oct. 29, 1997) Birth name was Howard
Stanton Levey. One of the major figures of the occult revival of the 1960’s and
70’s. Charismatic and self-promoting, LaVey formed the ‘First Church of Satan’
in 1966 and his ‘The Satanic Bible’ was published by Avon Books in 1968.
LaVey’s version of Satan was allegorical, symbolizing “the Spirit of Rebellion”
as well as an unknown, but potentially implementable “force of nature.” The
ceremonies he devised were entertaining psychodrama, and his Satanic philosophy
was based on rational self-interest, albeit with overtly diabolical trappings.
Lepke: A very unique and interesting type of spiritual manifestation, a ghost
which has the appearance of a solid, living person, may even converse with
someone, then suddenly vanishes. “We were talking, I turned to face her again,
and she was just gone!” Such apparitions are most often reported to have been
encountered within, or immediately outside of cemeteries.
Levitation: A phenomenon sometimes encountered in hauntings, particularly with
Poltergeists, rare yet credibly reported, where solid objects (including
persons) are moved and lifted by an unseen force. The first historically documented
occurrence was that of St. Francis of Assisi in the 14th century.
Lilith: Devil of Sumerian origin and later included in Hebrew beliefs, believed
by Kabbalists to have been the first wife of Adam, later excluded from the
Talmud, and held by some occultists to be a vampire goddess and a powerful
succubus. See also: Succubus, Vampire.
Lore: Collective beliefs and legendry relating to a subject, as in
Lovecraft, Howard Phillips
“H.P.”: (b. 1890, d. 1937) Horror
fiction writer from Providence, Rhode Island, whose prose apparently is so
haunting and convincing that some present day cults practice rituals based on
what is termed as Lovecraft’s “C’thulu Mythos.”
Lucifer: Name taken from the Latin “luci” (light) and “fere” (to bear),
originally a Roman lesser deity, “Son of the Morning,” formerly the name for
the planet Venus when observed at dawn, in Christian theology identified with
the Devil: arch regent of fallen angels. Lucifer is sometimes called upon in
pagan ceremonies and rituals. (See also Satan)
Lurking Enigma: “Lurk” means to furtively move about, and I can think of no more
appropriate term to describe this phenomenon – a type of entity which can be
visible to human observers, yet appears in distorted, unidentifiable forms.
Common traits reported by witnesses include glowing red or silver eyes, dark
color (fur or feathers), startling speed and agility, in some cases winged and
capable of flight, as with the ‘Jersey Devil.’ Although such nebulous creatures
seem to mean us no harm, encounters with them can be terrifying, and provoke
much curiosity. As one would expect, they are extremely elusive.
Lycanthrope: A person who projects a frenzied display of their innate savagery for
periodic episodes, believing themselves to be overcome by the spirit of a
- M -
Magic: The practice of directing psychic ability, or “supernatural” forces to
effect changes and fulfill desires. Many modern practitioners have adopted the
archaic spelling of magick, in the tradition of author and occultist, Aleister Crowley
(b. 1871, d. 1947).
Manzee: Hypothesized hybrid of Homo sapiens (human) and pan
troglodyte( chimpanzee), also referred to as a “sport”. A disturbing
notion, is it not? See also: Cryptozoology.
Metaphysics: Said to have been instituted by Aristotle, the line of
philosophical thought which seeks the “why and wherefore,” the intrinsic
meaning of existence and human endeavor.
Miracle: A wondrous and beneficial event, apparently brought about by supernatural/divine
Materialization: A ghost appearing visually, suddenly or gradually, sometimes
indistinct, sometimes seemingly quite solid.
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.”
Moon Madness: As the Lunar cycle waxes to its full point, incidents of psychotic
behavior, violence and crime seem to escalate. To a lesser degree, the phase of
the New Moon seems correlated to a rash of abnormal behavior. Current
understanding of human psychology and physiology refutes the observation that
our moon can exert significant influence on the human mind, ‘though statistics
support it. (Hence the term “lunatic” for crazy person.) Naturally, it is
during the nights of the full Moon when cult activities will be at their
zenith. Also, there are those pesky werewolves to contend with!
Mumiai: Native American Indian spirit which behaves in the manner of a
Poltergeist. See also: Poltergeist.
- N -
Nanteos Cup: During the Reformation in the 1520’s, when King Henry VIII ordered
the closing and destruction of England’s Catholic monasteries, the monks of Glastonbury
Abbey bequeathed a small, unassuming vessel made of olive wood to the
stewardship of a certain family in Wales, saying only that it was their
greatest treasure. The remnant of this bowl is now in the keeping of the last
living member of this family. Many believe this to be the actual ‘Holy Grail,’
the cup of which Christ partook at the Last Supper, and which, the legend tells
us, was conveyed to Cornwall in A.D. 37 by Joseph of Arimathea (who, as a
prosperous tin merchant, would have been familiar with this trade route). Healings have been
attributed to the Nanteos Cup.
Nazca Lines: In the Nazca Valley of southern Peru are etched enormous tracings of
figures of a club wielding man, a splendid spider, a horse, a duck and other
figures. Estimated to have been painstakingly etched into the rocky soul more
than a Millenia ago, these enigmatic representations can be beheld in their
entirety only from an aerial viewpoint (by ancient, sub-equatorial balloonists.
Necromancy: The practice of communicating with the dead to obtain knowledge of the
future, others’ secrets, etc. An archaic term, the necromancer was said to
employ magic spells and conjuration to summon, then banish, the spirits of the
Necronomicon: A grimoire, or collection, of ancient sigils and incantations of
nebulous origins, discovered in the 8th century by the “Mad Arab,” Abdul
Alhazred, said to be capable of opening a chasm to the “Dread Dimension” and unleashing
the wrathful power of the timeless “Elder Gods.” Although some occultists
believe this tome to be at least derived from genuine (and nefarious) sources,
we are fairly confident that it sprang from the fiction of Providence, Rhode
Island-born horror author, Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft (b. 1890, d. 1937).
Necronomicon Spell-book: A toned-down, elegantly printed companion book to the ‘Necronomicon,’
also by Avon Books.
Nexus: The transitional, or joining point connecting physical matter (which, in
a sense, is energy condensed) and pure energy, and containing properties of
both affinities, i.e. the physical brain producing a mind through its network
of dendrites and firing axioms, or the body’s connection to the spirit. The
concept of the Nexus is the basis for much conjecture and postulating.
Non-religionist: A materialist, one who embraces no formal religious beliefs; a more
descriptive term than atheist or agnostic.
Nosferatu: Slavic, old world term for vampire, meaning “undead.”
- O -
Oracle: A prophet, seer and visionary, especially one of renown. Also, a special
device which aids in prognostication, such as a crystal ball. (i.e. “The
Mystifying Oracle” of William Fuld’s Ouija Board.)
Ouija (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” which, 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.
- P -
Pact: The belief, prevalent in the late middle ages through the Renaissance,
that someone could trade his or her soul in return for worldly gain. See also:
Faustus, Doctor Johann.
Paranormal: The realm of occurrences and phenomena removed from those to which
people are accustomed and comprehend, and presently uncategorized by standard
Parapsychology: The avenue of paranormal studies and research relating chiefly to
psychic abilities (e.s.p., telepathy) and spiritual phenomena.
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.
Phantom Lights: Sometimes they can be attributed to blue methane flame produced by swamp
gas, or electrical discharges in the form of what is termed ball lightning or
perhaps even misplaced fireflies. Yet, in other instances, the phenomenon of
floating lights observed over water, the edge of woods, , lonely backroads and
in the windows of darkened houses just can’t be dismissed by ordinary
explanations. These might be globules which coalesce and intensify in
luminosity to the point where they become visible in dark surroundings.
Philosopher’s Stone: A wondrous beacon of sublime wisdom and awesome revelation, a
powerful conjurer’s device, perhaps even an extraterrestrial gem encoded with
unimagined, otherworldly knowledge. For centuries, alchemists, mystics, learned
men and seekers of truth quested for the fabled Philosopher’s Stone, not really
knowing where or even precisely what it was. Once obtained, it would impart the
wisdom of the world and of the angels. Should this actually exist and is in
someone’s possession, it may well be regarded as one more enigmatic artifact,
since it is unlikely to include instructions!
Poltergeist: German for “noisy ghost.” This is an extremely rare occurrence wherein
random objects are moved and sounds produced by an unseen force, the sole
purpose of which seems to be to draw attention to itself. The phenomenon always
involves a specific individual, frequently a child or adolescent.
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.
Precognition: The psychic perception of future events or conditions.
Psychic: Relating to the psyche, of the mind or soul, rather
than the mundane. Psychic is the most familiar and bandied-about term encountered
in paranormal research (“a psychic,” “psychic investigation,” etc.).
Psychic Vampire: This is a term for individuals who seem to instinctively draw and absorb
the psychic energies from others, usually while conversing with (or at) them.
Psychokinesis: A psychic phenomenon where-in objects are remotely imprinted or
displaced and moved around, solely by the powers of the mind (psychic force).
- Q -
Quareia: Ceremonial magic or ritual magic,
also referred to as high magic and as learned magic in some cases, is a broad
term used in the context of Hermeticism or Western esotericism to encompass a
wide variety of long, elaborate, and complex rituals of magic. It is named as
such because the works included are characterized by ceremony and a myriad of
necessary accessories to aid the practitioner. It can be seen as an extension
of ritual magic, and in most cases synonymous with it. Popularized by the
Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, it draws on such schools of philosophical
and occult thought as Hermetic Qabalah, Enochian magic, Thelema, and the magic
of various grimoires.
- R -
Radiant Child: The apparition of a child which is seen glowing or surrounded by a
Regents: In medieval European lore, chief spirits who preside over the four
regions of the earth: ‘Oriens’ is Regent of the east, ‘Amemon’ is Regent of the
south, ‘Boul’ is Regent of the west, ‘Eltzen’ is Regent of the north.
Reincarnation: The belief that a person’s soul will, following bodily death, inhabit a
new body in a long cycle of rebirths, purportedly for the soul’s evolution
through gaining experience.
Residual (Haunting): Psychic imprint of a scene which is repeatedly played out, where the
witness of such phenomenon essentially is peering into the past. The ghostly
participants of these time-displacements often seem unaware of their living
Retrocognition: The psychic perception of past events or conditions.
Rune: An archaic character inscribed upon a stone or clay tablet, signifying
some virtue or property, as with the Norse Runes, and used for divination and
as a talisman.
- S -
Sanguinor: A person exhibiting vampire-like tendencies (the desire to ingest blood)
and attributes. These may be either contrived or pathological.
Satan: Hebraic term for “Adversary,” the “Tester” in the Biblical Book of Job,
the most familiar name of the Devil, the “Fallen- Angel” and the “Evil One.”
Investigators sometimes come across evidence of the activities of Satanic
cults, who perform animal sacrifices and apparently believe that desecrations
and obscenities are devotions to their dark lord.
Séance: A group effort to contact the spirit world. In standardized format, the
lighting of the chamber in which the séance is conducted is subdued, and the
participants sit around the table, either holding hands or with hands palm
down, flat against the table’s surface and with fingertips touching those of
the adjacent partners. A candle generally is set on the center of the table. The
appointed director or “medium” addresses the spirit(s) with whom contact is
sought, and then it’s “We await a sign…” TAPS Note: We do not endorse the use
Shade: An entity resembling a once-living being (human or animal).
Shaman: A tribal priest who, following much preparation and rite of initiation,
uses the forces of magic to effect healings and divinations.
Shuck: (‘Black Shuck,’ ‘Old Shuck’) A phantom black dog with glowing
yellow eyes. Hikers in the British Isles who encounter this spectral creature
by lonely roadsides and paths are said to be doomed to die within a year of the
sighting. It is from this legend that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle drew his
inspiration for his Sherlock Holmes adventure, ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ (1902).
Sidhe: (pronounced Shee) Irish term for Fairy folk, the “little people” who
sequester themselves in woodlands and caverns.
Sigil of Baphomet: Leitmotif of Satanism, this emblem is composed of an inverted pentagram
containing a goat head, encompassed by two, concentric circles, in between
which are placed five Hebraic characters.
Signet: A ring bearing a personal or family emblem.
Silky: A female ghost which is attired in a rustling silk garment
(sometimes seen, other times just heard) and performs domestic chores for a
household after the occupants have retired for the night.
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.
Spook: Benevolent spirit exclusively of America which comes from the
legends of the Red Indians.
Spunkies: The sad spirits of unnamed, un-christened or unbaptized children,
believed by old Gaelic and English tradition to wander country roads in search
of someone who will name them.
Stigmata: Persons have been observed periodically bleeding from points on their
bodies corresponding to the wounds of the Crucifixion. Although the
physiological mechanisms which produce this effect are not understood, it is
apparently and externalization of religious fervor. Stigmata has been thought
to be an indication of sanctity. St. Francis of Assisi was said to have
displayed the stigmatic bleeding, and the best documented case is that of Padre
Pio (b. 1887, d. 1968).
Succubus: “Female” counterpart of the incubus, a demonic entity said to inspire
lust in men (and most inconveniently!), sometimes capable of physically
attacking and inflicting injuries (bruises & slashes). Following a
nocturnal visitation from a succubus, the human victim will always feel ill and
depleted of vitality, and inexplicably “un-clean.”
Synchronicity: Unexplained system of causal interaction which binds together events,
actions and thought, manifesting as uncanny coincidences. Term for and
existence of this phenomenon was first proposed by pioneering psycho-analyst,
Carl Gustav Jung (a contemporary of Sigmund Freud). Synchronicity indicates
there is more to the Universe than our understanding of simple cause and
effect, and that the subtleties of the mind and matter are somehow
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Table-tipping: An experiment in psychokinesis which can fairly easily be replicated.
Three or four participants lightly place their fingers along the edges of a
small table top, then in unison chant “table move, table move…” With sufficient
cooperation and concentration, and after several minutes of chanting, the table
should start to wobble, pivot on its legs and possibly even lead the
participants on a scurry about the room.
Talisman: A design or inscription that is worn, carried or displayed, for
the purpose of invoking strength, power, protection or the aid of spirits.
Tash: Irish name for a ghost which can appear in either human or animal
form. Also called Thevshi.
Telekinesis: A psychic phenomenon where-in objects are remotely displaced and moved
around, solely by the powers of the mind.
Thought Transference: Telepathic transmitting of images and messages from the mind of one
person to that of another.
Thunderbird: Prevalent among the American-Indian peoples, particularly the Algonquin
and Cheyenne, are legends telling of immense birds, and raging storms that
would come in their wake. Interestingly, reported sightings of birds of truly
monstrous proportions persist, most frequently through the vicinity of the
Sierra Madre mountain range in Mexico. In the Miocene era, approximately eight
to ten million years ago, a species of bird, discovered in only 1979 and dubbed
“Argentaevis Magnificens,” (which means ‘Magnificent Bird of Argentina’) soared
through South American skies, with a wing-span of 25 feet and weighing perhaps
200 lbs.! Just maybe…?
Time-displacement: The experience of a time span separate from the native time span of the
observer. The phenomenon is sometimes merely viewed and not participated in;
sometimes a person seems to actually time-travel to another era.
- U -
Ultra-terrestrials: Beings who appear human and visit our plane of existence with some form
of message or mission, then inexplicably vanish. Speculation abounds!
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Vampire: A demonic (?) entity in the form of a deceased person, which perpetuates
itself by draining the blood or psychic energy of the living.
Voodoo: African magic traditions with a veneer of imposed Catholicism from the
new world, taking root in the Caribbean, particularly the dark populous of
Haiti. Similarities in origin and practices exist in the beliefs of ‘Obia’
(Jamaica) and ‘Santeria’ (Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic).
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. See Also: Golden-rod, Globule
Vorthr: Norse guardian spirit. This name is the source of the word Wraith.
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Warlock: Term originally meant “deceiver” or “one who misleads”; in more modern
parlance has become associated with a male witch.
Werewolf: (Old/Middle English word for man =were) A human being capable of transforming
into the form of a wolf (or any variety of animals), then back to human;
sometimes referred to as a “Shape-Shifter.” See also “Lycanthrope”
Wicca: Witchcraft as a recognized religion, the practitioners of which refer to
their system as, “The Old Way” and “The Ancient Religion.” Wiccans in their
rituals align themselves with elementals and the earth’s natural magnetic
fields, personified by the names of ancient Greek, Egyptian and Sumerian
Witch: Broadly, a practitioner of the magic arts, spec. a woman who employs
charms, herbs and incantations to effect the workings of her will. Also, a
practitioner of the Wicca craft.
Wizard: A male sorcerer and conjurer who is especially adept and experienced in
Wraith/Wrayth: The image of a person appearing shortly before or after his or her
death; term can also be applied to a ghost. See also: Apparition, Ghost.
Xenobiology: From the Greek word “Xeno” = strange, the observation/speculation
of the biology of very uncommon or unverified creatures. This term has usage in
the research categories of cryptozoology and otherworldly aliens.
Xenophobia: A pronounced aversion to people, or beings, of foreign origins.
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Yaweh: (pronounced “Yah-whey”) According to ancient Hebrew and Kabbalistic
teaching, the name of God abbreviated to “YHWH,” (in Hebrew, pronounced “Yud-hey
vav hey“), which is the Tetragrammaton, whence is derived
“Jehova.” It was deemed forbidden to pronounce, or even seek to learn, the
full, true name of the Absolute. (The more archeological evidence uncovered
which tends to support Biblical accounts, the more arises suggestion and
speculation that, approx. 3,000 years ago, a powerful extra-terrestrial
presence took a particular interest in a nomadic, mercantile, tribal group of
desert dwellers who would come to be known as the Israelites, the “People of
Yeti: A legendary creature of Tibet’s Himalayan Mountains region, an
anthropoid with both human and ape characteristics, the “Abominable Snow Man.”
As with its western counterpart, the Sasquatch or Bigfoot, credible witnesses
have reported sightings and numerous tracks have been found, but photographs
and purported bodily remnants of the creature remain inconclusive.
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Zarcanor: A malevolent spirit which attacks people while they’re asleep, inspiring
nightmares, and sometimes even inflicting minor injuries such as scratches,
bruises and what appear to be finger marks. The name is possibly of
Zephyr: Spirit born upon, governing, or manifesting as the western wind.
Zombie: Prevalent in Haitian lore, a cadaver disinterred shortly after burial
(ere it spoils) and reanimated through the use of Voodoo, its sole purpose
thereafter being servitude as a mindless slave. Combine secret pharmaceuticals
inducing simulated death with oxygen deprivation in a tomb, then a hasty
exhumation in the dark of night, and there emerges the horrid premise behind
Zoomorphism: Representation of a deity or devil with animal attributes.