1. Ghost/Spirit- The soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.


2. Orb- The manifestation of a spirit which appears in the form of a sphere, this is the most common form of manifestation but is not very credible due to the fact that dust, mist, bugs, and other small particles also appear as orbs in photos and videos.


3. Ectoplasm- The manifestation of a spirit which appears in the form of a smokey mist.


4. Streak- The appearance of a orb moving in fast motion, streaks can be found in photos with high a ISO setting or 800 speed film.


5. Full-Bodied Apparition- A supernatural appearance of a spirit in which the full body of that person can be seen. This typically only lasts for a second or so.


6. Shadow Person- A spirit which manifests as a dark, shadowy silhouette, usually in the form of a person. Shadow people can move very fast but mainly last about a second or so.


7. Elemental- A rare form of manifestation in which the spirit takes on a full physical appearance and form. Typically bad news, because they can be quite violent.

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8. Human Entity- The is the spirit of a human after passing through death. Not too dangerous, this is the type of spirit that people most likely are to come in contact with. This type of spirit was a living human being in life, and will most likely act the same way in death as he or she acted in life.


9. Non-Human Entity- This is a spirit which has never been human and could potentially be dangerous. It may either be a demon or the spirit of an animal, like a pet. It is rare that this type of spirit is encountered.


10. Demon- An entity that is malevolent in nature, very bad news for anyone to come in contact with. Usually something violent(like a mass murder), horrific (torturing or sacrificing people or animals), or stupid (someone who inadvertently summons one through a ritual) must transpire in order for demons to inhabit an area.


11. Manifestation- This is when a spirit appears or materializes to someone in an attempt to make it's presence known. Can be seen with naked eye, or in a photo/video.


12. EVP-Electronic Voice Phenomena- This is when a disembodied voice is NOT heard with the naked ear; rather, it is imprinted on mechanical recording device. There are several theories as to why this may occur:  

1. This disembodied voice is magnetically imprinted on the device.  

2. The frequency in which this disembodied voice is spoken is below or above that which can be heard with the human ear. (300 hz to about 15,000 hz) It cant be heard directly, but it is imprinted on the device and can be heard when replaying the recording.  

3. The disembodied voice is emitted as a radio wave and the recording device acts like a receiver and picks up this wave which is recorded, similar to the way a radio works.


13. EMF-ElectroMagnetic Field- Energy which contains both electric and magnetic properties, it can be found on the electromagnetic spectrum. It is theorized that when a spirit passes by an area, it affects the natural Electromagnetic field caused by the earth. This disruption can be measured with an EMF detection meter and can range from 20 hz up to 20,000 hz depending upon the meter being used, different meters are designed to detect different frequencies.


14. Infrared (IR) Light- Infrared light is below the frequencies of visible light on the Electromagnetic Spectrum. It is believed that spirits can manifest and move in the Infrared light frequencies and be seen with cameras that see and record Infrared light. The good part about this is that digital cameras are now being made to see IR light, which gives them more credibility when capturing orbs.


15. Ultraviolet (UV) Light- This is light appears above violet light in the electromagnetic spectrum. This is a higher frequency of light and thus has more energy than visible light. It is theorized that UV light may attract spirits and UV light can also be utilized to help detect spirit manifestation.


16. Fullspectrum Camera- This is a camera or camcorder which has been modified by removing the "hot lens" which filters out unwanted IR and UV light for typical consumer use. However, the paranormal investigators, having this modified camera may help capture spirit apparitions. Full spectrum cameras need a source of illumination to see in the dark.


17. Full Spectrum Light- This is a type of illuminator which contains infrared light, visible light (red, green, blue) and ultraviolet light. This allows the camera to see the "full spectrum" of light, both visible and invisible to the naked eye. This is theorized to help capture apparitions of spirits by allowing more frequencies of light to be seen and captured.


18. Wide Spectrum Light- This is a type of illuminator which contains only infrared and ultraviolet light. Thus allowing the user to see the "wide" ends of the electromagnetic spectrum.


19. Cold Spot- This is a small area is of air that has a colder temperature than the ambient air temperature. This is because spirits can absorb the kinetic energy, or heat, in the air in order to help them manifest themselves. The result is a reduction in heat in that particular area and hence a "cold spot" is formed.


20. Haunting- An area where it is believed that a spirit is present. There are three different types of hauntings:


21. Residual Haunting- This is a type of haunting in which the spirit or spirits that dwell there seem to be stuck in time and will repeat their actions over and over, seemingly unaware they are deceased. They will not interact with anything or anyone but go about their business whether someone is there or not. It does not seem as if they need to absorb energy in order to manifest themselves, although it is not exactly known why.

22. Intelligent Haunting- This is another type of haunting in which the spirit or spirits are actually conscious of a living person's presence and will actually interact with people or events. This is the more common type of haunting, and these spirits provide better results on investigations, because they can understand and respond to questions.


23. Poltergeist- This is a German word meaning "Noisy Ghost." If you are in the presence of a poltergeist, you will know because this type of ghost can physically move, throw, smash, or misplace objects. These ghosts can move objects to draw your attention, scare you, or just be mischievous and play tricks on you by moving something so you can not find it. This is also commonly confused with telekinesis in which someone can move something with their mind, without physically touching the object.


     This is a very interesting, yet fundamental, question for every paranormal investigator. Well, the dictionary defines a ghost as being the “soul of a deceased person.” However, as paranormal investigators, this is not what we look for when seeking the presence of a ghost. It is impossible to simply search for a ghost based on the information obtained from the dictionary.

      Paranormal investigators do not just go around searching for a “soul of a deceased person”; rather, we seek “logical voids” or illogical happenings. For instance, paranormal investigators search for the inexplicable temperature drop, disembodied voice or noise, electronic voice phenomenon (EVP), photo or video anomaly, and/or a physical manifestation for which we have no explanation for. These unexplainable occurrences are attributed to what paranormal investigators believe to be ghosts.

      Another example explaining that ghosts are indeed “logical voids” or, if you will, “gaps in logic” can be derived from the equipment that paranormal investigators use. Paranormal investigators use equipment designed for detecting natural fluctuations in our natural environment. This leaves a huge margin of error for us, because we look for enigmatic occurrences to be detected on our equipment, to which we then associate with the presence of a ghost. The error created by the use of our equipment is then utilized by skeptics who may claim: “the temperature drop was really just a drafty window”, “the EMF spike you got was really a power line”, or “that orb is just an out-of-focus dust particle.” This leaves it very difficult to defend our claims that a ghost actually caused our inexplicable measurements or recordings.

      Therefore, drawing from both the techniques used by investigators to search for the presence of ghosts, and the equipment paranormal investigators use to detect the presence of ghosts; the only logical conclusion, or definition, of what a ghost is would be a “gap in logic.” These “gaps” we seek in order to “prove” that ghosts exist occur mainly due to the fact that ghosts do not exist in our realm. Meaning that, technically, paranormal investigators cannot use science to prove the existence of ghosts, but instead use science to prove that occurrences are not spirits, which is also commonly known as debunking.



        Depending upon the strength and amount of energy a spirit has gathered as well as how active the spirit is, a spirit can manifest itself into different types of apparitions. The first thing is to learn how a spirit can absorb energy in order to manifest itself. Spirits try to manifest themselves for many reasons, i.e. they don’t realize they are dead and are trying to communicate with the living for help. These are all forms of constructive energy: 


There are several ways a spirit can absorb energy to manifest itself, the first way is to absorb the heat in a particular area. When the spirit absorbs this energy, the  result is that the area will be colder than the ambient temperature; hence, a cold spot is formed! Cold spots are an easy way to detect paranormal activity! Cold spots can be measured with an infrared thermometer, seen with a thermal imaging camera, and felt with bare skin. They typically last a second or two and can be measured as a drastic temperature change.


        Another way that spirits can absorb energy is by feeding upon ionized air molecules. Typically this happens during a thunder storm when the frequent lightning strikes cause air molecules to ionize. Spirits then feed off this energy and manifest themselves a lot more frequently than during calm weather. I know this is true because I have gone ghost hunting during a thunderstorm and have gotten far more activity on my EMF meter. I would like to stress that the lightning does NOT cause my EMF meter (cell sensor) to spike, and I get quick spikes in between lightning strikes which I presume to be supernatural. My Tri-field meter, on the other hand, is sensitive to this and WILL detect the lightning, but this is because it is a natural electromagnetic field detector. It is important to make sure that an EMF meter doesn’t detect lightning if you are trying to detect spirits. Mainly natural EM meters will detect lightning, static electricity, etc. 

Natural EM fields can be generated due to the earth’s magnetic field. These geomagnetic fields also can be used by spirits to help them manifest themselves.


The next, creepiest, way that a spirit can absorb energy is by absorbing it out of the living! They can’t kill you or anything of the sort but you may feel physically exhausted. This happened to me a couple of times where, for no apparent reason, I just felt physically exhausted. In other words, I had felt like I had just run a mile! The reason is simple, we as living beings have energy that we can simply replenish by eating food; thus, they partake in this and leave us with a feeling of exhaustion.


        Finally, spirits love to suck the energy out of the batteries in electronic devices. This phenomenon can easily be noticed when you know that your batteries are full and then they suddenly become depleted. However, you must realize that cold weather kills alkaline batteries and old batteries tend to lose their capacity of holding a charge. With this in mind, you can be able to detect this annoying phenomenon when your electronic device suddenly fails because the battery has no charge.




If I may be so bold as to coin my own term to describe experimenting with new equipment that will potentially be used to detect a spirit’s influence on the natural environment, I would like to call this term “GE Experimentation.” I believe that we need a new term to describe the studies that we do to detect the presence of spirits. The term “Scientific Method” is inappropriately used a lot in this field in an attempt to prove to skeptics that we are taking a “scientific approach” in a fruitless struggle to scientifically prove that spirits exist. The Scientific method, in a nutshell, is a guideline on how to prove or disprove how something works. To use the scientific method, we need to:


  • Ask a Question  
  • Do Background Research  
  • Construct a Hypothesis  
  • Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment  
  • Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion  
  • Communicate Your Results


When we attempt to prove that spirits exist we can get to step four before we run into a problem. You see, there is never a controlled factor in paranormal investigating because spirits are not “on our payroll” so to speak, meaning that they do not or cannot act on command. Furthermore, spirits communicate to us by manipulating our natural environment, such as: absorbing the heat in the ambient air to manifest, resulting in a cold spot, they manipulate the Earth’s natural magnetic fields to give us an “EMF spike”, they can affect the ions in the air, etc. Now, what about manifesting and EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena)? Spirits are manipulating light and sound to communicate to us. Both light and sound are part of our natural environment. Due to the fact that we are unable to unconditionally experiment with spirits, we are unable to unconditionally obtain an unconditional result that spirits exist. These flaws lead to the “Three reasons why we will never be able to scientifically prove spirits exist.”




Well, the denotation of this word, to the zealous Paranormal Researcher, it would stand for “Ghosthunting Equipment Experimentation.” This is when a Paranormal Researcher tests or experiments with a piece of equipment in hopes of using it to detect a spirit’s presence. Obviously, many tests will be need to be conducted in a “controlled” (haunted) environment to see if the device actually has the potential to detect the presence of spirits. One thing that I have noticed with EVERY piece of Ghosthunting Equipment, is that there is a natural “flaw” which could cause false results. (i.e. AC voltage, cellphone signals, and electronic devices causing false EMF results; cool breezes causing false “cold spots”; and traffic, wind, or just loose boards causing false Geophone results, etc.) This flaw results from the fact that the device is not originally created to detect “ghosts”, but rather to detect natural fluctuations in our environment.


To the experienced, rational Paranormal Researcher, the connotation of the word “GE Experimentation” would mean “Good Enough Experimentation.” This means that after thorough experimentation with the new device, there is enough evidence to suggest that it is indeed potentially able to detect a spirit’s presence, but the researcher understands that it will never unconditionally prove that a spirit is present and the researcher recognizes the natural flaws of the device. In essence, the device is “good enough” to be respectably used in the paranormal field in our aid to find evidence of the paranormal.


Proving or Persuading: What do paranormal researchers really do?

By: Stephen Slapinsky


         First, I would like to start off by simply stating, that I am an advocate for acknowledging the existence of spirits, and that I am simply writing this because I wish to think critically about what it is that we paranormal researchers/investigators really do when we claim to “Prove the existence of spirits.”  I started pondering this concept after reading an article which gives credit to a reality television series for proving that spirits do indeed exist.  Which leads me to ask myself:  “If the existence of spirits has been proven, then why do skeptics still doubt their existence?”  I, myself, believe in the existence of spirits, yet I have formed three reasons which explain why it is NOT possible to scientifically prove that spirits exist.  And they are as follows:





1. The first reason why it is impossible to unconditionally prove that spirits exist is simple: No one knows what a spirit is and there is no absolute definition of it. We obviously assume that it is the soul of a deceased person which remains attached to this world, but no one knows exactly what it is made up of. The best explanation that we have today is that it is made of “energy.” If this is indeed true, and spirits are composed of energy, then one might be inclined to ask: What is the source of this energy?  How is it that the energy only exists for a short period of time? Where does this energy come from, and where does it go when it disappears? Finally, why is this energy so ambiguous? Meaning, that one time this energy can be measured as a sound wave (voice), the next it can be measured as an EMF reading with an EMF meter, and/or it could be measured as a light, such as an orb, mist, or apparition. The question then remains: How do we measure something if we do not know exactly what it is?


2. The second reason as to why it is theoretically impossible to prove that spirits exist, results from the first reason. If we have no idea what a spirit is, how do we know that it exists in this realm? Spirits almost seem to defy the laws of science and we cannot use scientific approaches to detect them. We detect natural fluctuations in our environment, and then we assume that it is a spirit causing these abnormalities. Hence, we have no device to measure a spirit, we only have numerous devices which detect attributes that we believe are associated with the presence of spirits. When we search for “evidence of a spirit’s existence,” we are, in fact, searching for “flaws in logic.” An example of this “flaw” would be an unexplainable EMF reading, a disembodied voice that was captured on our voice recorders, or a sudden temperature drop, for which we cannot explain, etc. When someone attempts to apply logic to these “flaws” we call this “debunking.” We use science not to prove that spirits exist; rather, we use science to prove that it is not a natural explanation. This stems from the first reason that we cannot measure something that we do not know what it is. This leaves us with the question of: How do we know that what we are measuring is indeed a spirit, and not just some natural phenomenon?  This, then, leads us to our third problem.


3. The third reason is then a result of the first two reasons: which is that we are using equipment to detect natural fluctuations. This leaves a huge margin for error in detecting spirits. How can we prove to someone that we are detecting a spirit when we are using equipment intended and designed to detect natural phenomena? From a skeptical standpoint, it seems absurd. Why am I writing this as a paranormal researcher? Well, I firmly believe that in order to solve a problem, we first need to recognize that it exists.


            I still firmly believe that these reasons hold true, and have not yet been disproven.  If that is the case, then it would be impossible to say that the existence of spirits has been proven.  Thus, this leaves us with the question of “How do so many people now believe in spirits after viewing evidence of their existence?”   Are paranormal researchers really proving the existence of spirits, or are they just persuading people into believing that spirits exist.  In order to answer this question, we must first explore what “proving” really means, what “persuading” really means, and if they are indeed different. 


             The definition of “prove”, according to is “to establish the truth or genuineness of, as by evidence or argument; to give demonstration of by action.”   This is what is needed in order to prove something.  So, let’s apply this to the paranormal field.  When paranormal researchers attempt to prove the existence of spirits, they attempt to gather evidence to back up their claims that spirits do indeed exist.  They then use this evidence to establish a truth or genuineness of the existence of spirits.  This makes sense to a certain degree; however, one could argue the genuineness or truth of the so-called evidence, by simply asking the paranormal researcher to verify that the evidence is indeed a spirit, and not just an error created by a natural phenomenon.  Well, according to my “three reasons as to why it is impossible to prove that spirits exist”, there will always be a degree of error when capturing “evidence” of spirits because: (1) No one really knows what a spirit is: there is no known definition, other than being a logical void; (2) There is no absolute guarantee that the evidence captured is genuinely paranormal; (3) Paranormal researchers use equipment designed to detect natural fluctuations in order to record and observe unexplainable events which they believe to be attributed to spiritual existence.   As a result, the error being created from paranormal investigations in an attempt to capture evidence of spiritual existence is far too large for paranormal researchers to prove they exist.  In order for the existence of spirits to be proven, the argument needs to stand up to criticism.  This means there has to be little, if any, doubt that the evidence collected is erroneous.  While all the necessary precautions can be taken to help eliminate some of the error factors, the fact of the matter still remains that the equipment used is still designed to measure natural fluctuations in our environment; therefore, it cannot be said that spiritual existence has been proven.  The second part of the definition of “proving” actually kind of backfires on us paranormal researchers: “to give a demonstration of by action.”  It is very hard, if not impossible, for us to make a spirit act or manifest upon command.  However, this is can quickly backfire on paranormal researchers because it is very possible, and quite easy, to recreate and discredit evidence of spirits.  For example, do a web search of “ghost photo” and see how many falsified images of ghosts come up.  It is surprisingly high.  With video and photo editing programs, it is easy to simply superimpose a “ghost” into a photo.  Heck, they even have apps for smart phones that do simply that.  So, concluding this, it is clear to see that paranormal researchers cannot prove that spirits exist.  Let’s see if it is possible to persuade people to believe that spirits exist. 


            The website,, defines “persuade” as: “to induce to believe by appealing to reason or understanding; convince.”  I believe the keyword to focus on in this definition would be “believe.”  The reason is as follows: as stated in “Three reasons why it is theoretically impossible to prove that spirits exist,” we conclude that spirits exist outside of our realm of science, and that we cannot use science to prove the existence of spirits; rather, we use science to prove that a phenomenon is NOT a spirit, by applying logic to an otherwise “illogical void,” which is thought to be a spiritual occurrence, through a process called “debunking.”  Since science can only disprove the existence of spirits, we must rely on the antonym science to show the existence of spirits: faith or belief. 


It is a lot easier to make people believe that spirits exist by using reasoning and understanding.  When paranormal researchers capture an EVP (electronic voice phenomena), photo, or video of a suspected spirit, it makes a lot more sense to say that the paranormal researchers explain their evidence with reasoning and understanding.  For example, they can say they captured an EVP in a room where no one was present at the time, etc.  Through using this reasoning and understanding, people are CONVINCED that it was a spirit’s voice and that spirits exist! Furthermore, you make people believe in the existence of spirits.



            In conclusion, we can see that paranormal researchers do, in fact, PERSUADE people to convince them of the existence of spirits.  It is fallacious to say paranormal researchers PROVE spirits exist, based on the fact that one needs FAITH to believe in spirits, as they cannot be scientifically proven; only disproven.  Furthermore, paranormal researchers cannot absolutely guarantee the genuineness of their evidence as being that of a spirit, due to the large amount of error created through the techniques, and equipment used to gather said evidence.  From this conclusion, we can say that most paranormal groups, myself included, have made fallacious claims of proving the existence of spirits, when they actually persuade people to believe they exist.






Paranormal researchers agree upon the fact that there are three types of hauntings:

1. Residual Haunting- This is like an imprint of an event which is stuck in a loop.  Communication with a residual spirit is impossible due to the fact that the spirit is unaware of our existence, mainly because the spirit or spirits are not actually present, and the event is stuck in a time loop.

2.Intelligent Haunting- This is where the spirit may try to communicate with the living by attempting to draw our attention by making noises, manifesting, or moving objects.  The spirit is actually present and may be able to be interacted with.

3. Demonic (Non-Human Entity) Haunting- This haunting is where a malevolent spirit, or demon, is attempting to wreak havoc upon the living.  It feeds off of  negative energy, and will attempt to create an unpleasant atmosphere in an attempt to harm the living.  Please note: it is a common fallacy to mistake a demon for an aggravated human spirit.  Humans act the same way in life as they do in death.  If a person feels that he or she has been wronged, and wants revenge, it is possible that a human may attempt to harm the living or create an unpleasant atmosphere.       


        There are countless reasons why a spirit will remain in this world rather than passing on to the next world, whether it is Heaven, Hell, or whatever else may exist beyond this life. Some spirits told us that they do not want to cross over, because they are waiting for a spouse, they do not want to, and one man did not want to cross over because he wanted to see his granddaughter grow up. Mainly it is dependent upon how the person died which will determine if they will remain in this world or cross over to the after life. 


                The second, most common reason as to why someone does not cross over after death is because the person has unfinished business. Hollywood has drilled this into our heads time and time again that a person will be bound to this world after passing through death because he or she feels the need to remain on this earth to finish something that could not be accomplished during his or her life time. This is true in the sense that it is quite possible for someone to refuse to cross over because they need to finish their business but, he or she will end up being stranded in this world as a ghost because, obviously, he or she can not possibly finish business in this world as a ghost. 

The next reason why a person will not cross over after death is because he or she died violently or needlessly and feel that justice must be served in order for them to be at peace. This spirit will be, put bluntly, pissed at the world and unable to rest in peace because he or she feels that their life was taken unfairly and want vengeance. This kind of spirit is one who potentially could be very aggressive towards the living.


        The third reason for a haunting is because the person is unaware that he or she is deceased. If a person died instantly or while sleeping, he or she may not even know that he or she is dead, rather the person may refuse to cross over, or not even attempt to cross over because they refuse to believe they are dead. This is a sad and creepy type of haunting; to suddenly wake up and realize that no one could see you or hear you is a chilling concept.  

The fourth reason as to why a haunting may occur is because that the person, after dying, is actually in Purgatory. Purgatory, in the Catholic religion, is a place or condition of temporal punishment in which the person has not committed any serious sins to which they are damned to Hell but rather they must repent their venial sins and are stuck in this place or condition until their sins have been forgiven. Purgatory is not eternal suffering like Hell, but the person must wait a given amount of their time depending upon the number and degree of their sins before they are pure enough to enter the Kingdom of God. It is not exactly written what or where purgatory is. So who is to say that being stuck on Earth after death is not purgatory?


        The fifth reason someone does not cross over after death is because, simply put, they are afraid of judgement. If someone has lived a life full of sin and that person is convinced that he or she is damned to an eternity of Hell, they will simply refuse to "Head into the light." This is allowed because God has given us the gift of "Free Will." We have the right to openly accept God in our lives or to reject God in our lives. I believe the concept is similar in death as it is in life, so that someone may freely and willingly refuse to accept judgement and remain here on Earth. 

The five previous reasons for hauntings all relate to Intelligent Hauntings. The following reason for a haunting refers to the Residual type of haunting, which is that person was killed so violently that the person is actually stuck in limbo. This is extremely common in the Battle of Gettysburg where so many young men died violently, slowly, and painfully. Somehow, for reasons beyond my knowledge, people just get stuck in time and seem unaware of any of their surroundings and their actions and manifestations are in a continuous loop.




Studies suggest that orbs are NOT evidence of the paranormal; rather, they are just particles in the air, such as: moisture, dust, pollen, lint, ect.

These are false orbs created by dust and pollen

These are false orbs created by moisture

These are insects, not fairies