Below is a list of  terms that is commonly used in Paranormal Investigations:

Anomaly – An occurrence for which there is seemingly no normal explanation.

Auditory Pareidolia – Interpreting random sounds as voices in their own language. The human mind is always searching for patterns to make ordered sense out of random chaos.

Cold Spot – An area where the temperature is inexplicably lower than the surrounding environment.  It is theorized that spirits will draw from available energy in order to manifest or communicate, thus drawing from the energy in the air and leaving the area cold.

Dosing Rods –  L -shaped metal rods. One rod is held in each hand, with the short arm of the L held upright, and the long arm pointing forward. When something is found, the rods cross over one another making an “X”.  The rods are sometimes fashioned from wire coat hangers, and glass or plastic rods have also been accepted. Skeptics and some supporters believe that dowsing apparatus has no power of its own but merely amplifies slight movements of the hands caused by a phenomenon known as the ideomotor effect: people’s subconscious minds may influence their bodies without their consciously deciding to take action.

EMF (Electromagnetic Field) – Energy field surrounding all things, both natural and man-made. Anything that uses electricity generates a magnetic field.  Sudden EMF spikes without electrical explanation is said to be a paranormal entity.

EMF Meter – A tool that is widely used by paranormal investigators to detect changes in the electromagnetic field. It has been suggested that a normal reading for paranormal activity is between 2.0 and 8.0 milligauss, anything above that is usually man made.

EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) – An unexplained disembodied voice or sound that is not heard, but imprinted on audio recording devices.  These “voices” or sounds respond directly to questions or comments made by paranormal investigators. EVPS are broken down into classifications.  Here are possible theories of what they are.

Fear Cage – A term used to describe a confined area such as a walk-in closet, hallway or basement with very high EMF readings. The combination of being close and confined within an area of strong EMF often brings out extremely great feelings of uneasiness, anxiety, paranoia and/or uncontrollable fear.

Frank’s Box/Spirit Box – A controversial tool to further EVP research developed by Frank Sumption. The box continuously scans AM or FM radio frequencies, creating white noise, which is said to assist spirits in communicating verbally.  There are several variations on the original device, including the Radio Shack Hack, which is made by altering an AM/FM radio by cutting the mute pin on the radio so it continuously scans the radio frequencies.

Ghost – A spirit who may or may not have been a living human being, which can sometimes appear to be semitransparent.

IR (Infrared) – Light from the lower end (long wave length/low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum (between the visible light spectrum and microwaves). IR light is not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special equipment. There is evidence that ghosts/spirits and other paranormal entities may be more susceptible to being viewed (including video and image photography) using the IR light spectrum. IR sensors are also often used for measuring temperature and detecting movement.

KII Meter/ K2 MeterAn EMF meter that measures magnetic and electrical fields and may be recalibrated for paranormal investigations.

Matrixing – A natural tendency for the human mind to try to interpret sensory data into recognizable patterns ( Example: Looking at clouds and seeing shapes, faces or animals)

Orb – A photographic anomaly that appears as a ball or ribbon of light that theoretically represents a spirit energy. Most orbs can be attributed to environmental sources such as moisture, reflective surfaces, lens flare, obstruction on lens, dust, dander and insects.

Ouija Board – Also known as a spirit board or talking board, is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words “yes”, “no”, “hello” and “goodbye” and various symbols and graphics, manufactured by Hasbro Inc.  It uses a planchette (small heart-shaped piece of wood) or movable indicator to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a séance. Participants place their fingers on the planchette and it is moved about the board to spell out words.

Paranormal – Beside or beyond the normal. Inexplicable in terms of our ordinary understanding or current scientific knowledge.

Paranormal Field Trip – Investigating two or more locations in one day with a group of other investigators. These “Mini” investigations at each location range from 2-3 hours in length.  The trips usually take a half day or longer.

Paranormal Investigation – The act of visiting an alleged “haunted” location to gather data such as pictures, video, audio, recordings, barometer pressure, electromagnetic field and temperature readings and summarizes the data.

REM-POD -Designed exclusively  for paranormal investigators by the company Professional Measurement, it has a EM Radiating antenna that detects energy disturbances & fluctuations around the antenna and displays the field disturbance using multi-colored light columns and audible tones.

Ultraviolent (UV) – Light from the upper end (long wave length/low frequency) of the electromagnetic spectrum. As with Infrared light, UV light is normally not visible to the naked human eye without the use of special viewing or photography equipment. Some paranormal investigators have experimented with using UV light to take video of ghosts and other paranormal entities.

White Noise – The random non-descriptive static sound produced by various electronic devices. The sound covers and combines all wavelengths and frequencies.

Vortex – A theoretical rip in the fabric of space-time that opens into a spirit world and lets entities from the other side in. ( Most notably at the Queen Mary in Long Beach CA, and The Whaley House, San Diego CA)