A-E  PARANORMAL  GLOSSARY PAGE 2 COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS      In Jungian psychology, a part of the unconscious mind, shared by a society, a people, or all humankind, that is the product of ancestral experience and contains such concepts as science, religion, and morality. CONJURING      To summon a devil or spirit by magical or supernatural power. CONTROL      In the context of scientific investigation, a control is something (a procedure, condition, object, set of subjects, and so on) which is introduced with the purpose of providing a check on the influence of unwanted factors. CONTROL GROUP      A group of outside subjects whose performance or abilities are compared with the experimental subjects. COVEN      Coven or Covan was originally a late medieval Scots word (c1500) meaning a gathering of any kind. The first recorded use of it being applied to witches comes much later, from 1662 in the witch-trial of Isobel Gowdie, which describes a coven consisting of 13 members. Although thirteen has falsely been suggested as the optimum number, any number above and including three can be a coven. In Wicca and other similar forms of modern neo-pagan witchcraft, a coven is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance. CRISIS APPARITION      Visions of a person, 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, who is either ill or dying, sends out telepathically an image of themselves to someone who has a close relationship with them.  CROP CIRCLES      A crop circle consists of a single circle, within which all the corn stems are flattened to the ground but not broken, simply bent at their base. Often a series of interconnected circles and lines will form. If viewed from the air they appear to resemble complex patterns and symbols of undetermined origin. They mysteriously appear, usually at night in fields of corn or other crops. Some circles have been the work of hoaxers, but many more remain a mystery. CRYPTOMNESIA      In hypnotic regression, a person being regressed may unconsciously use memories of things they have experienced or read and dress these up as genuine memories of a past life. It may even be that in his waking life he is no longer aware of having read a particular book or known a particular fact. Diligent research is always needed before any past life story can be claimed as authentic, but it will always be difficult to prove that a person has or hasn’t come across a given fact.     CRYPTOZOOLOGY      The study of Unidentified Mysterious Animals also known as UMAs. Cryptozoology involves applying science from other fields of zoology and is often rooted in myth, folklore, and legend.     CULT      What defines cults for outsiders is a sense of secrecy and concerns regarding what lies behind the members’ actions. Some accuse cult leaders of brainwashing followers and stopping them from leaving. Some cults attract the directionless and claim to give them a focus in life, but their critics point out the harm of tearing the young or confused away from the support of their families. There have been cases where members have been forced to pay in vast amounts of money and swear allegiance to the cult and its leader. Some mystical cults have ended in mass suicides and tragedies, such as at Waco, Texas, where the authorities mishandled a flammable situation.     CURSE      An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something. A constant stream on misfortune that leads one or many to believe it is the product of supernatural forces.     DEBUNKING      A technique used to eliminate the possibility of deception or hoaxing by attempting to uncover any efforts to do so. Usually the first step taken by reputable paranormal groups before arriving to any solid conclusions of ghostly or paranormal activity. Only when all other reasonable and logical reasons are exhausted do you claim something to be paranormal.     DECLINE EFFECT      A decrease in a subject's performance in a PSI test, when the same test is repeated.     DEJA VU       Comes from French, which literally translates to 'already seen'.  In English the term is associated with seeing or doing something entirely new, but having the distinct feeling that the experience had been done before.     DEMATERIALIZATION      A strange, unusual or paranormal fading and/or disappearance of an object.     DEMON      One of the evil spirits of traditional Jewish and Christian belief. A demon is typically regarded as being an evil supernatural being or a devil. Demons are also found in mythology where they are described as being spirits, or immaterial beings, that hold a middle place between men and deities. An inferior deity often spoken of in religious text as pure evil.     DEMONIC                                                      Extremely evil or cruel; expressive of cruelty or befitting hell.     DEMONOLOGIST       One who writes on, or is versed in, the study of demons and the demonic.     DEMONOLOGY      The study of demons or evil spirits; also a branch of magic that deals with such beings. In religious science it has come to indicate knowledge regarding supernatural beings that are not deities. DEVIL      A name derived from the Greek diabolos, meaning "slanderer." The name is used for the supreme spirit of evil, the enemy of God and man, also known as Satan.   DIRECT VOICE PHENOMENON      This is the ability of an entranced medium to provide the facility for a deceased communicator to speak in something resembling his own voice. The phenomenon is normally aided by the use of a séance trumpet, which levitates and which amplifies the sound of the voice, directing it towards a particular sitter.     DISEMBODIED      A human behavioral function that seems to take place without the vehicle of the body.     DISSOCIATION       Activity performed outside of normal conscious awareness, or mental processes that suggest the existence of separate centers of consciousness.     DIVINATION      Practices involving the interpretation of signs or symbols that seek to obtain oracular knowledge of events. Examples of divinatory practices are geomancy, tarot, I Ching, sortilege, and reading tea leaves.     DOPPELGANGER      This rare phenomenon is a ‘ghostly’ double of a living person, seen by the person himself.  German author, scientist and statesman Goethe famously reported meeting his Doppelgänger, who passed him on horseback, wearing the clothes he would wear eight years later when his real self finally carried out that action.     DOUBLE BLIND      An experimental procedure in which neither the subject nor experimenter is aware of key features of the experiment.     DOWSING ROD      Often a forked twig or bent steel rods (but sometimes a pendulum) are employed to locate subterranean water, oil, and so on, or other concealed items by following the direction in which the rod turns in the user’s hands. Some practitioners use their bare hands with no gadget. Will also be used to locate a spirit's energy. EARTHBOUND      A term referring to a ghost or spirit that was unable to cross over to the other side at the time of death and is therefore stuck on earth.   ECTOPLASM      A term coined by Dr Charles Richet to denote the substance allegedly produced by a physical medium during a trance to enable the manifestation of spirit. Sometimes this would form a materialized body, at other times it would create a rod or similar structure for manipulating objects such as flowers, musical instruments etc. In most photos from the heyday of Spiritualism (i.e. the Victorian period) it looks like muslin, and this is what many of the religion’s detractors claimed it to be. It can also look like mist, a solid white mass or vortices. Mediums have been accused of being able to swallow and regurgitate masses of the stuff at will and have been subjected to all sorts of intrusive physical examinations to ensure orifices were clear.     ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY      A technique for amplifying and recording the fluctuations in electrical voltage in the cortex of a living brain using electrodes attached to key positions on the person's head; this technique has proved to be particularly important for sleep- research (and thus also for research on dream-telepathy), where characteristic brain waves have been identified and related to the successive stages of sleep.     ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELD       In physics electromagnetism is one of four forces (the others being gravity and the weak and strong forces in atoms). It is commonly experienced in such phenomena as light, radio and magnetism. It is thought by some researchers to be responsible for various apparently paranormal phenomena. It is known from laboratory experiments that low frequency electromagnetic waves can directly induce hallucinations in humans. There is no credible evidence, as yet, that such a process actually occurs in the real world, but it is being sought.     ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA       A tool for survival research with varying success rates. Voices are recorded either from white noise or silence, often at haunted locations. The voices are not usually heard at the time of recording. The apparent voices are often hard to make out and interpretations of messages varies. One problem in EVP is formant noise, where various ordinary sources of sound containing harmonics can appear to be voices, particularly if heavily processed with audio editing software. The two most famous early researchers were Konstantin Raudive and Friedrich Jürgenson, while researcher David Ellis examined some of the best recordings and came to largely negative conclusions as to their ability to provide evidence of survival.     ELEMENTAL      A term usually used synonymously with elementary spirits, but sometimes given a special connotation by Spiritualists to indicate discarnate entities of a malicious nature. Theosophists use the word elemental to denote the "astral remains" or "shell" of one who has lived an evil life on Earth and who is loath to leave the scene of his pleasures.     EMF DETECTOR      A scientific instrument for measuring electromagnetic radiation. An EMF meter can measure AC electromagnetic fields, which are usually emitted from man-made sources such as electrical wiring, while Gauss meters or magnetometers measure DC fields, which occur naturally in the earth’s geomagnetic field. The same device is also used widely by ghost hunting groups. Critics of paranormal investigation contend that EMF meters are misused to indicate the presence of an apparition, due to the belief that paranormal entities emit an electromagnetic field.     ENTITY      A broad term used to describe what possibly could be a ghost, spirit, object or something else associated with the paranormal.     ETHEREAL      Anything heavenly or celestial. Also pertains to the higher regions beyond Earth where it is theorized the air and atmosphere is lighter and purer.     EXTRA SENSORY PERCEPTION (ESP)       A wide range of phenomena are covered by this term, from the ability to read another’s mind to predicting the future. ESP includes clairvoyance (knowledge about some distant object or event, such as an unreported accident), telepathy (reading another's thoughts or sending one's own to another), and precognition (predicting the future). Although many people claim to have extrasensory powers, these powers have yet to be verified by scientific procedures.     EXTRATERRESTRIAL BIOLOGICAL ENTITY (E.B.E.)      The life that may exist and originate outside the planet earth. It is currently defined as an unknown, non-human, non- Earth animal, non-Earth plant biological being of some kind.     EXORCISM      In Christianity, a ceremony used to drive demons out of a person, place or thing they have possessed. Jesus healed people tormented by evil spirits, casting them out with a word, and his followers later drove out demons "in his name." It occurs both in primitive societies and in the religions of sophisticated cultures.     EXORCIST        The person performing the exorcism, is often a priest, or an individual thought to be graced with special powers or skills. The exorcist may use prayers, and religious material, such as set formulas, gestures, symbols, icons, amulets, etc.. The exorcist invokes God and/or several different angels and archangels. The Priest also uses Crosses and Holy Water often when performing one.     EXPERIMENTER EFFECT        Term used by parapsychologists to indicate an experimental result that has been influenced by the conscious or unconscious attitudes or behavior of the experimenter, rather than by the characteristics or psi factors relating to the subject. Such an effect could involve the expectations (positive or negative) of the experimenter or the particular methods used in dealing with subjects.
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