Basic Terminology

What does "Paranormal" mean?
This word has been tossed around a great deal, but what exactly is paranormal? Breaking this term down includes "Para-" and "-normal". The Greeks used the word Para for usage in "beyond". Normal is used to discuss what current human society dictates as the currently common knowledge. It is important to realize that we say current rather than just common knowledge because what is deemed "common" is constantly changing. 1000 years ago it was "common" to understand that Europe, Africa, and Asia was the known world. Only 300 years ago that knowledge would be completely obsolete and deemed irrational as all seven continents were founded by that point. However, 300 years ago it was "common" to understand that Earth was at the center of the universe. Today anyone who claims that this is the case would be considered an extremely uneducated individual. Thus, the idea of what is common and what is "beyond common" is based only on a factor of the overall level of human knowledge.

Paranormal then should be considered what is beyond the normal common knowledge, or in other words, what is yet to be categorized by common thought. Paranormal has been used in the context of "ghosts", "hauntings", and even "UFO's", "Bigfoot", and other such claims. However, based on the definition of paranormal, this can apply to literally everything we do not know enough information. Traveling to Mars, building automated robots, or cloud computing should thus at one time be considered paranormal since this was beyond the normal thought. Instead, the mainstream media dictates that only the most extreme of thought be listed in the category of paranormal. In essence, paranormal is just a greater depth of the unknown fringe science. The task that Scientific Paranormal attempts to complete is to bridge the gap between the para and the norm in relation to the claims of hauntings. Simply ignoring all the facts and figures that support theories on the paranormal continues to spread misinformation on what actually is an unknown event and what may be easily dismissed as natural occurrences.

What is a "Ghost"?
The term "ghost" is one of the most thrown around words in paranormal research. It is believed that the phenomenon known as a "ghost" is a combination of science, religion, and psychology. It is completely irrational for any person or group to claim to know what the true definition of a "Ghost" is. There are many theories and classifications that have been presented, but the purpose, content, and composition of what a "Ghost" is remains unknown. Thus, we can only present our current research and begin to classify what we have found. This is what we will define the term as a "ghost".

To begin, when people claim to see ghosts, there can be many different classifications of ghosts. From our current research it seems that what we know as an authentic "ghost" is an entity like manifestation that can present paranormal like activity by manipulating physical objects, sights, smells and sounds. There are a few theories on what a "ghost" represents. One theory is that a "ghost" is either a representation or the actual "soul" of a deceased individual. This theory is presented in the fact that the "ghost" may have features that resemble the deceased individual, such as their body type, face, voice, smell, etc. Further research suggests that by creating "trigger effects" (calling out the person's name, a place or concept they felt most attached to, leaving an object they would be attached to), increased paranormal activity can occur. The supposed correlation between these trigger objects creating activity and attributes and the notion that the "ghost" has some intelligence from the deceased individual is the basis for this theory. Sometimes the slang of "interactive ghost" is used to describe this intelligence.

Other research suggests that "ghosts" exist only in the manipulation of the environment and have no direct correlation between trigger objects and increased activity. This theory stresses that this activity occurs randomly and without consequence. Sometimes the slang of "residual ghost" is used to describe this randomness.

Both types of classifications of "ghosts" create what is known as a "haunting". A "haunting" specifies that a location contains regular paranormal activity brought on by this entity. This location is most often associated with either the deceased individual if it is believed to be intelligent, or brought on by some traumatic event such as a military battle in a residual haunting.

Ghosts sometimes can be nothing more than a psychological state of mind. Too often people claim to have seen a loved one when in fact it is nothing more than the mind seeing and wanting to see something when there is nothing to be seen. Additionally, shadows, wind, light, and other random factors make individuals believe that they are seeing something paranormal when it is truly just normal. Psychological persuasion is a powerful mind trick that people often fall prey to. For example, if an individual is told a murder was committed in a perfectly normal home, they would be more persuaded to believe a paranormal event would occur when an individual who is not told this, would not. Further statistical analysis is being done to shed some data on this theory.

What comprises a "ghost"?
When we can determine what something is made up of, we can delve into the very existence of that object. Unfortunately, since the concept and location of "Ghosts" are so sporadic and difficult to find, determining their composition is nearly impossible. What we do hypothesize, however, is that ghosts themselves are made up of some form of energy. We begin to propose this to due the fact of discovering that unknown pockets of energy are being detected from EMF detectors. EMF, standing for Electro Magnetic Field, picks up the natural electricity and magnetism given off by our surroundings and man-made devices. EMF can be released from most electrical devices and even some natural places that contain energy. However, when a paranormal event is believed to take place within the area, EMF detectors pick up energy spikes from the normal EMF fields. For example, when an average EMF for an area is determined to be a base reading of .5 milligauus, and we receive a spike of 2.5 milligauus, we immediately begin to find a source for this spike. When no such source occurs, or if a paranormal event occurs soon after (such as object movement, unusual noises, smells, visual phenomena, etc), we document this. This seemingly indirect correlation has occurred many times over, leading many to believe that a "ghost" may be either comprised or has the ability to manipulate natural EMF in an area.

What is an EVP?
An EVP stands for Electronic Voice Phenomenon. EVP's are human-like voices or sounds that appear on an electronic device that is not audible when in the current area. EVP's are imprinted onto these devices by currently unknown means. It is currently believed that EVP's are actually sounds that are being heard at the same time when they are taken, but is in a frequency range that is inaudible by the human ear. Audio recorders take these inaudible sounds and converts it to the normal frequency range that we can hear. We have begun to research this concept called "Infra-Sound". Non-audible frequencies, such as bat sonar and dog whistles, can occur at very loud decibels, but are unable to be heard because of our ears being not tuned to receive that particular frequency.

What is EMF?
An EMF stands for Electronic Magnetic Field. An EM Field is present always on our planet in one form or another. Earth itself is constantly rotating. Earth also has an iron core. Heat from the Earth's core creates a convection effect, which, along with the rotation of the Earth, causes the liquid iron to move in a rotational pattern. A current working theory is that these rotational forces in the liquid iron layer creates magnetic forces around its axis'. Because of this, Earth generates its magnetic field around itself. This natural magnetic field is the reason why Earth can deflect most solar radiation from our planet. Earth can also generate DC voltage, such as from weather patterns in strong storms. A combination of magnetism and electricity can generate an EMF.

Normally, a base reading in a home or in the field is generally between .1-.5mG (milligauss). Some electronic devices can increase this field such as a laptop computer, air conditioner, television, microwave, etc. This field can increase only a slight amount from a computer, to around 5.0, to a dramatic amount to around 75 when a microwave is present. If you find a base EMF reading and then find a spike in that number, you must check for all nearby sources of possible energy. If that EMF reading cannot be found by a source, or appears to randomly fluctuate and is not stable, it must be documented as unknown.

EMF is sometimes believed to be manipulated by paranormal events. When no sources can be found of high EMF spikes, which correlate within seconds to unknown paranormal phenomena, theories suggest that a paranormal event may have occurred.

Be warned of areas that either have a natural high EMF range or those that "seep" into different rooms. EMF leakage can cause nausea, headaches, itchiness, and rashes. These can typically occur in an EMF area of 1.2 milligauus+. Strong EMF readings or EMF readings that are present in an area where someone sleeps or spends a lot of time can lead to more significant health risks such as cancer and cysts. If an area that is not near a powerbox or is in an area where there is a lot of human activity, then an electrician should be called to cover unshielded wires or re-route wires to prevent these health risks.

What does infrared video do?
As opposed to normal video, infrared video allows paranormal researchers to view video in total darkness. IR light is not visible to the human eye. By "shining" this light in an area where your video is placed, you will see the area illuminated on your video, while it is still in total darkness (to the visible light spectrum at least). It is currently hypothesized that paranormal activity may occur in the infrared spectrum more readily than visible light due to better success at capturing unusual phenomena in this spectrum. As there are countless frequencies that we cannot hear but are all around us, one theory states that paranormal activity occurs and may even be generated from these other frequencies and wavelengths.

What does thermal imaging do?
Specific field equipment called Thermal Imaging can allow a user to see the heat-signatures of any object with extreme clarity. Heat signatures would indicate hot and cold spots in areas, whether they be inanimate objects like a bed or hot bodies like a human or dog. These heat signatures map out an area in great clarity with hot and cold spots that would otherwise be impossible to see. It is believed that paranormal events contain energy in many forms, heat included. If thermal energy is used or drawn from an area this would create a surface area that is colder or warmer than the rest of the room, possibly creating an outline that has no apparent source. This is extremely useful for both finding paranormal activity or debunking a possible animal or behind-wall heat sources.

Physics and energy?
Energy. This term gets thrown around quite often among paranormal researchers. But what does it really mean? Energy is used incorrectly by some paranormal enthusiasts to state that a paranormal entity has "energy" to take or give to something else. Energy is neither given or taken, rather, it can only be transferred. It is believed that everything has a finite amount of energy. In essence everything contains energy, including humans. We know from the energy conservation law that "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed". Thus, if a paranormal event occurs, it uses energy in the form of kinetic, thermal, electrical, etc. This energy can be transferred, which is believed to be how a paranormal even can occur in the first place.

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