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Important Terms & Definitions
Oxford Languages Dictionary - 2020

The listed terms are a combination of formal and informal definitions that are related to the paranormal field. Please note that some terms may be added to, to provide a more in-depth analysis on the topic, as employed and used by E.C.P.S. during investigations.


Acceleration (α) - the rate of change of velocity per unit of time.

  • α = Δv/Δt

Angstrom - a unit of length equal to one hundred-millionth of a centimeter, 10^-10 meters, used mainly to express wavelengths and interatomic distances.

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - an organic compound and hydrotrope that provides energy to drive many processes in living cells, e.g. muscle contraction, nerve impulse propagation, condensate dissolution, and chemical synthesis.

Algebra - the part of mathematics in which letters and other general symbols are used to represent numbers and quantities in formulae and equations.

Anatomy - the branch of science concerned with the bodily structure of humans, animals, and other living organisms, especially as revealed by dissection and the separation of parts.

Angel - a spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe.

Apparition - a ghost or ghostlike image of a person, usually in relation to something remarkable or unexpected. They are typically seen during residual hauntings and appear with distinct features that are easily recognizable.

Apport - the alleged paranormal transference of an object from one place to another or the appearance of an object from an unknown source.

Archaebacteria - microorganisms that are similar to bacteria in size and simplicity of structure but radically different in molecular organization. They are now believed to constitute an ancient intermediate group between bacteria and eukaryotes.

Archangel - an angel of high rank; in traditional Christian angelology, a being of the eighth order of the nine-fold celestial hierarchy.

Archbishop - the chief bishop responsible for an archdiocese.

Archdemon - a spiritual entity, prominent in the infernal hierarchy as a leader of demons; the evil counterparts of the archangels.

Archdiocese - the district for which an archbishop is responsible.

Area (A) - the extent or measurement of a surface or piece of land.

Arithmetic - the branch of mathematics dealing with the properties and manipulation of numbers.

Astral Plane - a plane of existence in the world of the celestial spheres, crossed by the soul in its astral body form on the way to being born and after death, and is generally believed to be populated by angels, spirits or other immaterial beings.

Astrology - the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Astronomy - the branch of science which deals with celestial objects, space, and the physical universe as a whole.

Atom - the smallest unit of ordinary matter that forms a chemical element.

Aura - an emanation surrounding the body of a living creature and regarded as an essential part of the individual.

Automatic Writing/Drawing - a technique used by psychic mediums to gain information from the spirit world, by allowing spirits to channel subconscious information through the medium by means of writing or drawing.

Battery - a container consisting of one or more cells, in which chemical energy is converted into electricity and used as a source of power.

Biochemistry - the branch of science concerned with the chemical and physicochemical processes and substances that occur within living organisms.

Biology - the study of living organisms, divided into many specialized fields that cover their morphology, physiology, anatomy, behavior, origin, and distribution.

Biomechanics - the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms.

Bishop - a senior member of the Christian clergy, usually in charge of a diocese and empowered to confer holy orders.

Calculus - the branch of mathematics that deals with the finding and properties of derivatives and integrals of functions, by methods originally based on the summation of infinitesimal differences.

Capacitance (C) - the ability of a system to store an electric charge; the ratio of the change in an electric charge in a system to the corresponding change in its electric potential.

  • C = Q/V

Capacitor - a device that stores electrical energy in an electric field.

Cardiology - the branch of medicine that deals with diseases and abnormalities of the heart.

Causation - the action of causing something.

Cell - the smallest structural and functional unit of an organism, typically microscopic and consisting of cytoplasm and a nucleus enclosed in a membrane. Microscopic organisms typically consist of a single cell, which is either eukaryotic or prokaryotic.

Center of Mass - a position defined relative to an object or system of objects; it is the average position of all the parts of the system, weighted according to their masses.

Chakra(s) - in Sanskrit, it means "wheel" or "vortex;" each of the centers of spiritual power or energy in the human body.

Chemistry - the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.

Church - a building used for public Christian worship.

Circuit - the complete path of an electric current, including the generating apparatus, intervening resistors, or capacitors.

Clairalience - the ability for a person to acquire psychic knowledge by means of smelling; "clear smelling."

Clairaudience - the supposed faculty of perceiving, as if by hearing, what is inaudible; "clear hearing."

Claircognizance - the ability for a person to acquire psychic knowledge without knowing how or why they knew it; "clear knowing."

Clairgustance - The paranormal ability to taste a substance without putting anything in one's mouth. It is claimed that those who possess this ability are able to perceive the essence of a substance from the spiritual or ethereal realms through taste; "clear tasting."

Clairsentience - The psychic ability for a person to acquire knowledge by means of feeling or emotions; "clear sensing."

Clairvoyance - the supposed faculty of perceiving things or events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact - usually performed by a psychic medium; "clear seeing."

Concentration ([ ]) - the abundance of a constituent divided by the total volume of a mixture.

Cognition - the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

Commutative - involving the condition that a group of quantities connected by operators gives the same result whatever the order of the quantities involved.

Congregation - a group of people assembled for religious worship.

Contraction - a decrease in volume resulting from a decrease in temperature.

Correlation - a mutual relationship or connection between two or more things.

Cosine (cos) - a trigonometric function that for an acute angle is the ratio between the leg adjacent to the angle when it is considered part of a right triangle and the hypotenuse.

Cross-Product (AxB) - vector product; a binary operation on two vectors in three-dimensional space.

Current (I) - a stream of charged particles, such as electrons or ions, moving through an electrical conductor or space. It is measured as the net rate of flow of electric charge past a region.

  • I = V/R

Cyanobacteria - a division of microorganisms that are related to bacteria but are capable of photosynthesis. They are prokaryotic and represent the earliest known form of life on the earth.

Deacon - (in Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox Churches) an ordained minister of an order ranking below that of priest.

Deceleration - reduction in speed or rate; acceleration in the opposite direction.

Dematerialization - the sudden disappearance of matter in full view of a witness.

Demonolatry - the worship of demons.

Demonologist - a person who studies demons and the belief of demons.

Demonology - the study of demons, including the theology, philosophy, and belief in demons.

Denomination - a recognized autonomous branch of the Christian Church.

Density (ρ) - degree of consistency measured by the quantity of mass per unit volume.

  • ρ = m/V

Derivative - the rate of change of a function with respect to a variable.

Diocese - a district under the pastoral care of a bishop in the Christian Church.

Displacement (x) - the moving of something from its place or position; an object's overall place and position; a vector quantity.

  • x = Δxf - Δxi

Distance (d) - a measure of the interval between two locations; a scalar quantity.

  • d = st

Dot-Product (A.B) - scalar product; an algebraic operation that takes two equal-length sequences of numbers, and returns a single number.

Ectoplasm - a supernatural viscous substance that is supposed to exude from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and form the material for the manifestation of spirits.

Egregore - an occult concept representing a distinct non-physical entity that arises from a collective group of people.

Electricity - a form of energy resulting from the existence of charged particles (such as electrons or protons), either statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a current.

Electron - a stable subatomic particle with a charge of negative electricity, found in all atoms and acting as the primary carrier of electricity in solids.

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) - sounds found on electronic recordings that are interpreted as spirit voices that have been either unintentionally recorded or intentionally requested and recorded.

Electron-volt (eV) - a unit of energy equal to the work done on an electron in accelerating it through a potential difference of one volt.

  • eV = VQ

Empath - a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual; empaths can validate and interpret information that was previously unknown to them through clairsentient means.

Energy (E) - the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object.

Enthalpy (H) - a thermodynamic quantity equivalent to the total heat content of a system. It is equal to the internal energy of the system plus the product of pressure and volume.

  • H = U + PV

Entropy (S) - a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in a system, i.e. the number of microstates in a system.

  • S = (kB) ln Ω

Epigenetics - the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Equation - a statement that asserts the equality of two expressions, which are connected by the equals sign "=".

Equilibrium - in physics, the condition of a system when neither its state of motion nor its internal energy state tends to change with time. A simple mechanical body is said to be in equilibrium if it experiences neither linear acceleration nor angular acceleration.

Equivalent Weight - the mass of one equivalent, that is the mass of a given substance which will combine with or displace a fixed quantity of another substance. 

Eschatology - the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind.

Etiology - the cause, set of causes, or manner of causation of a disease or condition; ​the investigation or attribution of the cause or reason for something, often expressed in terms of historical or mythical explanation.

Eukaryote - an organism consisting of a cell or cells in which the genetic material is DNA in the form of chromosomes contained within a distinct nucleus. Eukaryotes include all living organisms other than eubacteria and archaebacteria.

Evolution - the process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth.

Exorcism - a forced expulsion or attempted expulsion of an unwanted entity, force, or energy from a person, place, or thing that is afflicted by that energy.

Exorcist - a person who specializes in casting out unwanted entities, forces, or energies from a person, place, or thing.

Expansion - an increase in volume resulting from an increase in temperature.


Force (F) - an influence tending to change the motion of a body or produce motion or stress in a stationary body. The magnitude of such an influence is often calculated by multiplying the mass of the body by its acceleration.

  • F = ma

Free Energy - a thermodynamic quantity equivalent to the capacity of a system to do work.

Frequency (f) - the rate at which a vibration occurs that constitutes a wave, either in a material (as in sound waves), or in an electromagnetic field (as in radio waves and light), usually measured per second.

  • f = v/λ = 1/T

Friction (f) - the resistance that one surface or object encounters when moving over another.

Fulcrum - the point on which a lever rests or is supported and on which it pivots.

Function - a binary relation between two sets that associates every element of the first set to exactly one element of the second set.

Gas - one of the four fundamental states of matter; a pure gas may be made up of individual atoms, elemental molecules made from one type of atom, or compound molecules made from a variety of atoms.

Gene - a distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesize.

Genetics - the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics.

Ghost - an apparition of a dead person which is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image.

Gibbs Free Energy (ΔG) - a thermodynamic potential that can be used to calculate the maximum of reversible work that may be performed by a thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure.

  • ΔG = ΔH - TΔS

God(s) - (in Christianity and other monotheistic religions) the creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being. (in certain other religions) a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.

Gravitation/Gravity (g) - a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass or energy - including planets, stars, galaxies, and even light - are brought toward one another. Gravity is a physical connection between spacetime and matter.

  • Fg = G m1 m2/r^2

Haunt(ing) - a phenomenon in which a ghost or spirit manifests itself in one form or another and causes harm or has negative effects on the person, place, or object being afflicted.

Heat (Q) - energy that is transferred between systems or objects with different temperatures (flowing from the high-temperature system to the low-temperature system).

Homeostasis - the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements, especially as maintained by physiological processes.

Inorganic Chemistry - the branch of chemistry that deals with inorganic compounds.

Internal Energy (U) - the energy associated with the random, disordered motion of molecules within a system.

  • ΔU = Q


Kinesiology - the study of the mechanics of body movements.

Kinetic Energy (KE) - energy which a body possesses by virtue of being in motion; the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity.

  • KE = 1/2 mv^2

Kinetic Friction (fk) - a force that acts between moving surfaces.

  • fk = μkN

Kinetics - the branch of chemistry or biochemistry concerned with measuring and studying the rates of reactions.

Liquid - one of the four fundamental states of matter; a nearly incompressible fluid that conforms to the shape of its container but retains a constant volume independent of pressure; as such, it is the only state with a definite volume but no fixed shape.

Loa/Lwa - a god in the voodoo religion of Haiti.

Magick - the power of influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

Mass (m) - the quantity of matter which a body contains, as measured by its acceleration under a given force or by the force exerted on it by a gravitational field.

  • m = ρV

Materialization - the sudden appearance of matter in full view of a witness.

Mathematics - the abstract science of number, quantity, and space.

Matter - any substance that has mass and takes up space by having volume.

Mean (x̄) - for a data set, the arithmetic mean, also called the expected value or average, is the central value of a discrete set of numbers: specifically, the sum of the values divided by the number of values.

  •  x̄ = (Σ xi)/n

Medicine - the science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).

Meditate - to think deeply or focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.

Meditation - the action or practice of meditating.

Mental Plane - a plane of existence made of thoughtforms which itself is considered to be an intermediate realm, lying between the astral plane and other higher realms of existence.

Microorganism - a microscopic organism, especially a bacterium, virus, or fungus.

Molality (m) - a measure of number of moles of solute present in 1 kg of solvent.

  • m = mol/kg

Molarity (M) - a measure of the concentration of a chemical species, in particular of a solute in a solution, in terms of amount of substance per unit volume of solution.

  • M = mol/L

Mutual Exclusivity - a statistical term describing two or more events that cannot happen simultaneously.

Necromancy - the supposed practice of communicating with the dead, especially in order to predict the future.

Neurology - the branch of medicine or biology that deals with the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system.

Newton (N) - the SI unit of force; it is equal to the force that would give a mass of one kilogram an acceleration of one meter per second squared, and is equivalent to 100,000 dynes.

  • kg.m/s^2

Normality (n) - a measure of concentration equal to the gram equivalent weight per liter of solution.

  • n = GEW/L

Nuclear - relating to the nucleus of an atom.

Nucleus - the positively-charged central core of an atom, consisting of protons and neutrons, and containing nearly all its mass.

Orbit - the curved path of a celestial object or spacecraft around a star, planet, or moon, especially a periodic elliptical revolution.

Organic Chemistry - the chemistry of carbon compounds (other than simple salts such as carbonates, oxides, and carbides).

Organism - an individual animal, plant, or single-celled life form.


Parabola - a curve where any point is at an equal distance from a fixed point (the focus) and a fixed straight line (the directrix).

Paranormal - any event or phenomenon that is deemed beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.

Parapsychology - the study of mental phenomena which are excluded from or inexplicable by orthodox scientific psychology.

Perception - the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Period - the interval of time between successive occurrences of the same state in an oscillatory or cyclic phenomenon, such as a mechanical vibration, an alternating current, a variable star, or an electromagnetic wave.

Physical Chemistry - the study of macroscopic, and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of the principles, practices, and concepts of physics such as motion, energy, force, time, thermodynamics, quantum chemistry, statistical mechanics, analytical dynamics and chemical equilibrium.

Physics - the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

Physiology - the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts.

Plane - a flat surface on which a straight line joining any two points on it would wholly lie; a level of existence, thought, or development.

Plasma - one of the four fundamental states of matter; it consists of a gas of ions – atoms which have some of their orbital electrons removed – and free electrons.

Potential Energy (PE) - the energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position relative to others, stresses within itself, electric charge, and other factors.

  • PE = mgh

Power (P) - the time-rate of doing work, measured in watts or less frequently horsepower.

  • P = W/t = IV

Pressure (P) - continuous physical force exerted on or against an object by something in contact with it.

  • P = F/A

Priest - an ordained minister of the Catholic, Orthodox, or Anglican Church having the authority to perform certain rites and administer certain sacraments.

Prokaryote - a microscopic single-celled organism that has neither a distinct nucleus with a membrane nor other specialized organelles. Prokaryotes include bacteria and cyanobacteria.

Proportionality - having a constant ratio to another quantity.

Psychiatry - the study and treatment of mental illness, emotional disturbance, and abnormal behavior.

Psychic - relating to or denoting faculties or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by natural laws, especially involving telepathy or clairvoyance.

Psychokinesis (PK) - the supposed ability to move objects by mental effort alone.

Psychology - the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context.

Psychosis - a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.

Pythagorean Theorem - a fundamental relation in Euclidean geometry among the three sides of a right triangle; it states that the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares on the other two sides.

  • a^2 + b^2 = c^2

Quantum - a discrete quantity of energy proportional in magnitude to the frequency of the radiation it represents.

Range (MR) - the area of variation between upper and lower limits on a particular scale.

  • MR = Xmax - Xmin

Rate - a measure, quantity, or frequency, typically one measured against some other quantity or measure.

Reiki - a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.

Religion - a particular system of faith and worship, particularly of a superhuman controlling power, especially to a personal God or gods.

Resistance (R) - the opposition to current flow.

  • R = V/I

Resistor - a device having a designed resistance to the passage of an electric current.

Resultant - a force, velocity, or other vector quantity which is equivalent to the combined effect of two or more component vectors acting at the same point.

Ritual - a religious or solemn ceremony consisting of a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order.

Scalar - (of a quantity) having only magnitude, not direction.

Science - the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.

Sect - a group of people with somewhat different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.

SI Base Unit - the standard units of measurement defined by the International System of Units for the seven base quantities of what is now known as the International System of Quantities: they are notably a basic set from which all other SI units can be derived.

Sigil - an inscribed or painted symbol considered to have magical power.

Sine (sin) - the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the side opposite a given angle (in a right triangle) to the hypotenuse.

Sociology - the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society.

Solid - one of the four fundamental states of matter; the molecules in a solid are closely packed together and contain the least amount of kinetic energy; characterized by structural rigidity and resistance to a force applied to the surface.

Soul - the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal; the spirit.

Space - the dimensions of height, depth, and width within which all things exist and move.

Space-Time - the concepts of time and three-dimensional space regarded as fused in a four-dimensional continuum.

Speed (s) - the rate at which something happens or is done.

  • s = d/t

Spirit - the nonphysical part of a person which is the seat of emotions and character; the soul.

Static Friction (fs) - a force that keeps an object at rest.

  • 0 ≤ fs ≤ μsN

Statics - the branch of mechanics concerned with bodies at rest and forces in equilibrium.

Statistics - the practice or science of collecting and analyzing numerical data in large quantities, especially for the purpose of inferring proportions in a whole from those in a representative sample.

Subatomic - smaller than or occurring within an atom.

Surgery - the branch of medical practice that treats injuries, diseases, and deformities by the physical removal, repair, or readjustment of organs and tissues, often involving cutting into the body.

Tangent (tan) - in any right triangle, the tangent of an angle is the length of the opposite side divided by the length of the adjacent side.

Taxonomy - the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms; systematics.

Telekinesis (TK) - the supposed ability to move objects at a distance by mental power or other nonphysical means; similar to psychokinesis.

Temperature (T) - a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy, present in all matter, which is the source of the occurrence of heat, a flow of energy, when a body is in contact with another that is colder; average kinetic energy.

  • °C, °F, K

Thermodynamics - a branch of physics that deals with heat, work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, radiation, and physical properties of matter.

Thermophile - a bacterium or other microorganism that grows best at higher than normal temperatures.

Thoughtform - (especially in Christian theology) a combination of presuppositions, imagery, and vocabulary current at a particular time or place and forming the context for thinking on a subject.

Theology - the study of the nature of God and religious belief.

Time - the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.


Vector - a quantity having direction as well as magnitude, especially as determining the position of one point in space relative to another.; an organism, typically a biting insect or tick, that transmits a disease or parasite from one animal or plant to another.

Velocity (v) - the speed of something in a given direction.

  • v =  Δx/Δt

Voltage (V) - electric potential difference, electric pressure or electric tension; the difference in electric potential between two points, which is defined as the work needed per unit of charge to move a test charge between the two points.

  • V = IR

Volume (V) - the amount of space that a substance or object occupies, or that is enclosed within a container.

  • V = m/ρ

Voodoo/Voudou - a religion practiced in parts of the Caribbean and the southern US, combining elements of Roman Catholic ritual with traditional African magical and religious rites, and characterized by sorcery and spirit possession.

Wavelength (λ) - the distance between successive crests of a wave, especially points in a sound wave or electromagnetic wave.

  •  λ = c/v

Weight - the force acting on an object due to gravity.

  • Fg = mg

Wicca - a form of modern paganism, especially a tradition founded in England in the mid 20th century and claiming its origins in pre-Christian religions.

Work (W) - the energy transferred to or from an object via the application of force along a displacement.

  • W = Fd = PΔV = ΔKE

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