Paranormal: (circa 1920) 1. of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of an event or perception without scientific explanation 2. 'beyond the normal' 3. the supernatural
Paranormal is a general term that can be defined as anything that it outside the realm of what can be understood using science's science’s current ability to explain or measure. When people think about the paranormal, the subject of ghosts usually comes to mind right away, but this term is also commonly used to describe different kinds of phenomena, including ghosts/spirits of the dead, ESP, cryptozoology and UFOs, amongst other subjects and even the so-called “paranormal experts” cannot agree on a satisfactory definition. However, for the sake of this discussion we will confine ourselves to those phenomena falling under the general topic of “spirit activity”.
As with the term “paranormal” the term “spirit”, in general usage has a wide ranging application. The term “ghost” and “spirit” are often used interchangeably, but the difference might best be described by the simple axiom, “while all ghosts are spirits; not all spirits are ghosts”.
In theory, ghosts originate from this realm of existence and are a manifestation of the soul or memory of someone once living that has died and these are the entities spirit mediums communicate with in the practice of Spiritualism. (see: “Mediumship”)
By contrast, other types of “spirits or entities” may originate from a totally different realm of existence. These spirits seem to behave in a similar manner to the way we understand atomic particles to behave, moving backwards and forwards in time and space, fluctuating between energy and matter. The theories of quantum physics suggest the possibility of alternative universes and multiple dimensions from which these spirits could be originating and these spirits may embody a “quantum mind” wherein what we would describe as forms of energy may have a conscious awareness and be able to interact with those of different dimensions or even different universes. These spirits cannot be directly observed anymore than atomic particles can be directly observed, but can only be discerned by the footprints they leave, like the glow of fairies in the garden. (see: “Nature Spirits”)
There are four terms commonly used by paranormal researchers to describe pathways by which spirits or entities may travel; “Portal”, “Warp”, “Vortex” and “Vortices”. As often happens with the paranormal, although these are commonly used terms there is no one fully accepted definition for any of these terms, nor agreed explanation for their phenomena.
A “portal” is generally considered to be a type of “doorway” through which spirits manifest. Like spirits the portals appear to emanate energy signatures that are detectable by such investigatory tools as voltage (ohm) meters and the like. Portals may be static in nature or may appear and disappear as do the spirits. In folklore and mythology portals often manifest in sacred caves and grottos where the gods appear to humans, such as at the oracle caves of Delphi. In man made structures, such as the quintessential “haunted house”, they may appear in walls, often where there was once a doorway or stairway in the current or even a former structure that was on that property. They also may appear in the center of a room, seemingly emanating from the ground below. Strangely, portals are often found in kitchens and bathroom leading some to speculate that water, or perhaps the plumbing that carries the water may in some way help facilitate the portal’s forming.
Mirrors – There is much debate, with no clear consensus as to whether mirrors are portals to other dimensions. Since ancient times mirrors have been used for divination and magic and are feared in many cultures for being able to steal the soul and should be covered when doing any spirit work. Many people have reported glimpsing images of beings reflected in the mirror and believe these images to be spirits either trapped in the mirror or attempting to use the mirror as a portal, but since there are those who use mirrors in psychic attacks it would be prudent not to communicate with spirits using a mirror as a portal.
A “warp” is a type of conduit or channel though which entities travel, but is more commonly used when referring to UFOs than hauntings. Fans of “Star Trek” know that a star ship’s "warp engines” allow the ship to move from the normal space of Einstein's theory of "general relativity" and enter into “hyperspace” where the limitations of the “space-time continuum” become suspended. These warps in the fabric of space, commonly, but not accurately referred to a “wormholes” are thought to be passageways connecting galaxies, universes and perhaps even dimensions through which entities may be able travel.
A “vortex” is an anomalous form that often appears in photographs taken during paranormal investigations and are believed, by some, to be a gateway or door to the spirit world and the center of associated paranormal disturbances. They usually appear as a long whirlwind or column of light in a photograph. Some investigators believe the vortex can be used as a way for spirits to travel to and from the spirit world to the material world.
The term “vortices” applies to certain vertex points on the Earth’s planetary grid. The concept of a planetary grid system dates back to the time of Plato who theorized that the earth’s basic structure evolved from simple to complex geometric shapes and that these shapes, known today as platonic solids are associated with the Earth’s “prana” or “life-force”.
Paranormal spirit activity can be divided into two categories:
1) Possessions, where an individual is inhabited or “possessed” by an invading spirit or entity. (see: “Psychic Protection” )
2) Hauntings, where a place (or environment) is inhabited or “haunted” by apparitions of spirits or ghosts. In general, most paranormal experts would agree that hauntings are spirit activities tied to a particular location, but that is pretty much where the agreement ends. Other explanations of hauntings often reflect differing ideas arising out of traditional religious and cultural backgrounds. This presents a significant problem in the field of paranormal investigation as the investigators prior religious or cultural assumptions about the nature of ghosts may unconsciously hinder a truly unbiased scientific approach to discovering the true nature of the phenomena being studied.
In modern paranormal research there is generally considered to be six common types of hauntings:
Residual hauntings occur when something traumatic happens, such as on a battlefield, where intense energy leaves an imprint of the event. A residual haunting is a "recording" of the event. Like a recording, the events will replay over and over and over again and the entities involved in this residual haunting are unaware of their circumstances and apparently unaware of being observed from this realm. When there is an interaction between the entities and the observer the entities seem to not to be able to comprehend what is occurring. There are reports that during the making of the movie “Gettysburg”, while filming on the battlefield, some “ghost soldiers” were seen to drift into formation with the “movie soldiers” during scenes, in lunch lines and following them onto buses.
Probably the most common and well know type of haunting, a poltergeist is a spirit, usually mischievous and occasionally malevolent, which manifests its presence by making noises, moving objects, and assaulting people and animals. The word "poltergeist" comes from the German words "poltern," which means "noisy", and "geist," which means "spirit." Poltergeists are a different sort of spirit from the typical haunting entity. These particular spirits seem to be able to interact at will with the material world, sometimes with malevolent force. The most common types of poltergeist activities are the moving or throwing of objects, loud noises and vile smells. It also seems that poltergeists have adapted to modern technology and have been known to cause interference with telephones and electronic equipment, turning lights and appliances on and off and in some cases have been known to tinker with email and other computer communication. Poltergeist activity almost always occurs at night when someone is present to act as an “agent. The agent seems to serve as a focus for the activity and is usually a female going through puberty.
Though much rarer than a poltergeist haunting, doppelgangers are another well know type of haunting and a favorite subject of fictional horror stories. A doppelganger is an entity that manifests in the image of the person it haunts and is considered to be like the person’s evil twin. In most cases the doppelganger is a harbinger of misfortune and is often an omen of death placing the victims of these haunting activities in grave danger. Some paranormal investigators theorize that the doppelganger is a projection of the individual as he or she exists in an alternate universe and the doppelganger is out to destroy what it considers to be its rival for existence.
In religion, folklore, and mythology a demon is a supernatural being that has generally been described as a malevolent spirit, and in Christian terms it is generally understood as a fallen angel, angels and demons being basically the of the same form, but demons being no longer subservient to God. Demons have never had a mortal human form and are pure energy entities. Demons are deceivers and they seem to feed on chaos and destruction they cause.
Demons appear in three different forms:
1) As a beautiful angelic being or one of saintly bearing that will manipulate the person to unknowingly commit an evil or destructive act. It is traditionally believed that when demons appear in this “holy” form they will invariably appear standing with their feet obscured by a cloud. It is said that the cloud hides the cloven hooves of the demon.
2) As a horrific, evil looking monster, incredibly hideous to look at and striking terror in those who see it.
3) As a black mist, black fog, black shadow, black pool or black smoke.
Orbs are pale and circular anomalies seen on stills photographs (usually from digital cameras) and video recorder footage. Circular light anomalies seen with the naked eye are often observed, and are also linked with the paranormal, but these have little to do with the orbs that have been linked with hauntings. Though there is overwhelming evidence that orbs are out of focus bits of dust or water, however many to believe that they are paranormal in origin and are some sort of energy manifestation occurring in areas of intense spirit activity.
Shadow People Hauntings
This is a extremely strange type of entity manifestation that is different from typical haunting activity. Shadow People appear as shapeless dark masses or dark humanoid shapes, often seeming to be made up of dark smoke or dark steam and mostly seen in peripheral vision. At times when they move, they appear to be moving on an invisible track from one place to another and at other times they appear to hop about in what appears to be a strange dance. People who have encountered Shadow People, say they do not feel they are human and have experienced a feeling of dread during the encounter. Like orbs, they are a recently examined phenomena and investigators have yet to come up with an explanation as to what these Shadow People are and what their intention is in manifesting.
*Curiously, a number of shadow people sightings have described an entity that has come to be known as "Hat Man". The Hat Man almost exclusively wears a fedora and sometimes has red, glowing eyes. Witnesses report sensing that it is extremely malevolent and that it is feeding off their fear.
Common to all these types of haunting are certain phenomena that often accompany a haunting.
While these things do not indicate a haunting in and of themselves they are still phenomena to be watched for in determining the actual presence of a haunting.