(a) Person who attempts to communicate information to
another in an ESP experiment. (b) The subject in a psycho
kinesis experiment. (c) Person who is the focus of
Alpha Rhythm -
Electrical activity in the brain (about 10 cycles per
second) associated with a state of mental relaxation.
Altered State of Consciousness (ASC) -
A term used to refer to any state of consciousness that is
different from "normal" states of waking or sleeping. ASCs
include hypnosis, trance, ecstasy, psychedelic and
meditative experience. ASCs do not necessarily have
Benevolent spiritual beings who help people in need. Also
known as a guardian angel.
Announcing Dream -
A dream believed to announce an individual's rebirth
Anomalous Experience -
A general term referring to unusual experiences that cannot
be explained in terms of current scientific knowledge.
Anomalous Phenomena -
Phenomena that science, in its present state of knowledge,
is unable to explain.
The visual manifestation of a deceased person (commonly
referred to as a 'ghost') or of a living person, known to be
beyond the sensory range of the percipient.
A physical object which appears in a way that cannot be
explained (seeming to come from nowhere). Apports are often
associated with the séance room and physical mediums. Also
known as materialization, teleportation.
Astral Body -
A term used by occultists, spiritualists and theosophists to
refer to a supposed "double" of the person's physical body.
The astral body is believed to be separable from the
physical body during astral projection (out of body
experience) and at death.
Astral Projection -
A term used by occultists, spiritualists and theosophists
for the out of body experience. It is believed to result
when the astral body separates from the physical body.
Automatic Writing –
The ability to write intelligible messages without conscious
control or knowledge of what is being written. Also known as
automatism or dissociation.
Physical activities (e.g., arm movements, writing, drawing,
performance) that occur without the automatist's conscious
control or knowledge. Also known as motor automatism.
In Gaelic belief, a banshee is a female entity who heralds a
death by groaning and screaming.
Being (or appearing to be) in two different places at the
Cerebral Anoxia -
Lack of oxygen to the brain, often causing sensory
distortions and hallucinations. Sometimes is used to explain
features of the near-death experience.
The paranormal obtaining of information by hearing sounds or
voices. See also clairvoyance, clairsentience.
An archaic term that refers to the paranormal obtaining of
information using faculties other than vision or hearing.
A general term that refers to the paranormal obtaining of
information about an object or event. In modern usage, this
does not necessarily refer to obtaining information
visually. ( clairaudience, clairsentience, ESP, PSI)
Clairvoyant Medium -
A person who obtains information paranormally (often by
spirit communication) without the need to enter into a
trance state. Cf. trance medium.
Collective Apparition –
an apparition seen by several people at the same time.
Crisis Apparition -
An apparition in which a person is seen within a few hours
of an important crisis such as death, accident or sudden
illness. Also known as a sign.
Crypto zoology -
the study of rumored animals that are presumed (at least by
the researcher) to exist, but for which conclusive proof
does not yet exist, or for animals which are generally
considered extinct, but are occasionally reported. Those who
study or search for such animals are called crypto
zoologists, while the hypothetical creatures involved are
referred to by some as "cryptids", a term coined by John
Wall in 1983.
A person's feeling that current events have been experienced
The paranormal fading or disappearance of a physical object.
The paranormal movement of objects out of a secure enclosed
space. Also known as dematerialization, teleportation.
Direct Voice -
A voice heard in a séance which does not seem to emanate
from any person. The voice may seem to come out of thin air,
or from a trumpet used specifically for this purpose
Discarnate Entity Theory -
A theory in regards to haunting which claims that exists
some physical aspect of the body, such as a soul, that
survives the body after death.
Activity performed outside of normal conscious awareness, or
mental processes that suggest the existence of separate
centre of consciousness.
A mirror image or double of a person.
Someone who shows considerable empathy, especially of the
apparently psychic type.
The ability to understand the experience or emotional state
of another person or animal. Often used to refer to an
apparently psychic ability to experience another person's
sensations, pain or emotions. Also known as clairsentience
The summoning of (often evil) spirits using a magical
incantation or ritual.
A religious or quasi-religious rite to drive out evil
Experimental Parapsychology -
Para psychological research involving experimental methods
rather than survey techniques or the investigation of
Extrasensory Perception (ESP) -
The ability to acquire information without using the
ordinary senses of the body and without depending on logical
inference. The term includes other phenomena such as
telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition.
False Awakening -
An experience in which a person believes he or she has woken
up, but actually is still dreaming.
Flying Saucer -
A term, coined in 1947, to refer to unknown disk-like aerial
objects, often believed to be extraterrestrial spacecraft.
The term has now been largely superseded by "UFO".
Focal Person -
Person who is at the centre of poltergeist activity.
Popular term for an experience believed to indicate the
presence of the spirit of a deceased person. See also
apparition, haunting, poltergeist.
Unintelligible speech generally uttered in a dissociated or
trance state. Also known as "speaking in tongues".
A sensory experience that does not correspond to physical
Paranormal phenomena such as apparitions, unexplained
sounds, smells or other sensations that are associated over
a lengthy period of time with a specific location.
Inexplicable lack of decay in a corpse.
Indirect Voice -
Mediumistic phenomenon in which the discarnate entity
appears to speak using the vocal apparatus of the medium.
Often the voice will sound very different from the medium's
The non-paranormal ability to grasp the elements of a
situation or to draw conclusions about complex events in
ways that go beyond a purely rational or intellectual
Summoning benevolent spiritual beings.
The paranormal raising or suspension of an object or person.
Life Review -
Flashback memories of the whole of a person's life, often
associated with the near-death experience.
Lucid Dreaming -
Dreaming in which the person is aware that the experience is
a dream. Often associated with feelings of aliveness and
freedom, and with the ability to control dream events.
The supposed magical transformation of a person into the
form of a wolf. Also knows as shape-shifting, therianthropy,
- Psychokinetic effects that can be directly observed rather
than only inferred from statistical analysis.
The formation of a visible and tangible object or human
shape during a séance.
One who proclaims is able to communicate with the deceased.
Psychokinetic effects that cannot be directly observed, but
only inferred from the statistical analysis of data.
A beneficial event attributed to supernatural or divine
NZPI Film and Media Consultants
Near-Death Experience (NDE) -
Experiences of people after they have been pronounced
clinically dead, or been very close to death. Typical
features of the NDE are an OBE, life review, a tunnel
experience, light, coming to a boundary (marking death),
seeing dead friends and relatives, experiencing a loving or
divine presence, and making a choice (or being told) to
return. Occasionally NDE’s can be frightening and
distressing. NDEs often have profound effects on the
person's later life.
Black magic practices involving communicating with the dead.
Esoteric systems of belief and practice that assume the
existence of mysterious forces and entities.
Out of Body Experience (OBE) -
Also called astral projection; a fully conscious experience
in which a person's consciousness seems to be outside of the
physical body; believed to result when the astral body
separates from the physical body.
Phenomena which seem to defy the known laws of science.
Refers to the experimental and quantitative study of
paranormal phenomena; the modern equivalent of psychical
A phenomenon (plural: phenomena) is an observable event,
especially something special (literally something that can
be seen (from the Greek word phainomenon = observable).
German word meaning "noisy or troublesome spirit".
Poltergeist activity may include unexplained noises,
movements of objects, outbreaks of fire, floods, pricks or
scratches to a person's body. Unlike with a haunting, which
are associated with specific locations, poltergeists
typically focus on a person (the focal person or poltergeist
agent) who is often a young child or adolescent. Many
physical mediums experienced poltergeist activity in their
childhood. Precognition - The ability to ascertain
information about future events without the use of the
normal senses and without logical inference.
Refers to cases in which a person's body is apparently taken
over by another personality or entity. Cf. multiple
personality. See also demonic possession, discarnate entity.
A term parapsychologists use to generically refer to all
kinds of psychic phenomena, experiences, or events that seem
to be related to the psyche, or mind, and which cannot be
explained by established physical principles.
One who possess PSI abilities.
Psychical Research -
Term coined in the late 19th century to refer to the
scientific study of the paranormal. Now largely superseded
Psycho kinesis (PK) -
The ability to affect objects, events, or people without
using the usual intervention by the muscular system
The name given to unexplained knocking sounds associated
with physical mediumship and poltergeist activity.
Raudive Voices -
Intelligible voices recorded on magnetic tape under
conditions of silence or white noise that are heard only
when the tape is played. A phenomenon discovered by
The belief that some aspect of a person's being (e.g.,
consciousness, personality, or soul) survives death and can
be reborn in a new body at some future date. Reincarnation
is often seen as a repeating cycle of death and rebirth in
which future lives are influenced by past and present
actions through the law of karma.
Remote Viewing (RV) -
An ESP procedure in which a percipient attempts to become
aware psychically of the experience of an agent who is at a
distant, unknown target location.
Retroactive Psycho kinesis -
Paranormal influence that an agent can have on an experiment
after it has been completed.
Retro cognition -
Paranormal knowledge of past events.
Paranormal ability to assume the form of another person, an
animal or other entity.
A person inclined to discount the reality of the paranormal
and to be critical of Para psychological research. Generally
seeks rational or scientific explanations for the phenomena
studied by parapsychologists.
Sleep Paralysis -
An (often frightening) state of seeming to being awake but
unable to move.
A ghost or apparition.
Spontaneous Human Combustion -
Refers to cases in which a badly burned human body has been
discovered in circumstances suggesting that the fire
originated spontaneously in or on the body of the victim.
Unexplained markings on a person's body that correspond to
the wounds of Christ.
Subliminal Perception -
Perceiving without conscious awareness.
The ability to communicate directly through mind-to-mind
contact and to perceive information directly from another's
mind, without resorting to the use of the five known senses.
Paranormal transportation of objects to a distant place.
Temporal Lobe Activity -
Electrical activity in the temporal lobes of the brain.
Often associated with strange sensations, time distortions
and hallucinations. Sometimes used as an explanation for
seemingly paranormal experiences such as apparitions and
alien abduction experiences.
A UFO or unidentified flying object in the original, literal
sense is any airborne object or optical phenomenon, detected
visually or by radar, whose nature is not readily known.
Interest in these objects stems from arguments that some of
them display anomalous characteristics, especially the
continued speculation that some of them may be the products
of extraterrestrial intelligence.
White Noise -
A hiss-like sound, formed by combining all audible