WHAT IS A GHOST?

AND OTHER TERMINOLOGY

 

If you are new to the world of paranormal investigating, or simply love to watch the shows on TV, you may have heard some terms that you an unfamiliar with.

You may be surprised to read that even the explanantion for a ghost is different to what you assumed.

From a 'spirit' to a 'crisis apparition', The Ghost Book explains a little about each for you. 

 

GHOST 

'the disembodied spirit of a dead person, supposed to haunt the living as a pale or shadowy vision' Collins Dictionary

Ghost is often used as the collective term for all types of supernatural sightings. However, by those in the field, the word is often used to describe a person, animal or object witnessed by someone, from a time passed. Also known as 'Residual Energies', a ghost has no consciousness, and behaves more as a 'play back' of an event, often repetitive. A 'Crisis Apparition' will more often than not be a ghost. 

 

SPIRIT 

'the force or principle of life that animates the body of living things' Collins Dictionary

Spirit is the term used to describe an interactive apparition, one with an awareness of its surroundings, and with the ability to interact with humans. 

 

POLTERGEIST

'a spirit believed to manifest its presence by rappings and other noises and also by acts of mischief, such as throwing furniture about' Collins Dictionary

A German word derived from Poltern 'to be noisy' and Geist 'ghost'. A poltergeist will be known for making noises such as loud banging or dragging noises as though furniture is being moved. People may witness objects falling or being moved as though tucked by unseen hands. Another example would be object displacement, leaving an item somewhere only to find it in a completely different location. 

 

APPARITION 

'an appearance, esp. of a ghost or ghostlike figure' Collins Dictionary

This is the appearance of a person or animal who's body is not physically present. This is not necessarily always a visual experience. Any of our senses can be affected by an apparition. For example, you may feel icy cold, or an unexplained breeze. You may hear music, talking or crying where there is no explainable cause. Ever smelled an out of place aroma? Cigarettes or perfume? These are all things which may indicate an apparition. 

 

CRISIS APPARITION

When a person has died under tragic circumstances ie a murder, suicide or accident, their ghost may be seen re-enacting the point of death. This is usually a residual energy and will repeat the same act over and over throughout time. 

 

MANIFESTATION 

'the materialisation of a disembodied spirit' Collins Dictionary

A manifestation is a spirit appearing in front of you. Where as you may come across a ghost in action, a spirit can manifest itself. People believe 'orbs' may be the beginning of such an apparition, whilst others may claim to see a mist, lights or shadows. 

 

ORB 

A ball of light seen by the naked eye or on film. These are believed by some to be the manifestation of a spirit, given the name due to their usually spherical shape. Many 'orbs' on film (video or stills) can be explained as dust, moisture in the air or on the lens, insects picked up by the flash etc. The idea of an orb is very much debated still, some argue to scientific approach, others are adamant they are spirit.