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Ghostly Glossary C-D

From The Parapsychology Foundation
A test for precognition, associated especially with the Dutch sensitive Gerard Croiset but first demonstrated by Pascal Forthuny, a French psychic, in which a chair is randomly selected from all those set up for a later public meeting, and the percipient describes the appearance, characteristics and events in the life of a person, unknown to them, who will later attend that meeting and occupy that chair.
The constellation of undefined causal factors which are considered to be irrelevant to the causal relationship under investigation; often spoken of as if it were a single, independent agency; the expression “pure chance” is sometimes used to describe a state characterized by complete unpredictability, that is, an absence of any cause-effect relationships. The term “chance” is frequently a short-hand expression for “mean chance expectation” as in “deviation from chance.”
A phenomenon in which, according to Arthur Hastings (1990, p. 99), “a person purports to transmit information or messages directly from a personality or consciousness other than his or her own, usually through automatic writing or trance speaking; this other personality usually claims to be a nonphysical spirit or being.”
Paranormal information expressed as an auditory experience; it is generally considered to be a form or mode of clairvoyance. [From the French clair, “clear,” + audience, “hearing,” ultimately derived from the Latin clarus, “clear,” + audientia, derived from audire, “to hear”]
Paranormal information expressed as a sensation or feeling; generally considered to be a form of clairvoyance. [From the French clair, “clear,” + sentience, “feeling,” ultimately derived from the Latin clarus, “clear,” + sentiens, derived from sentire, “to feel”]
Paranormal acquisition of information concerning an object or contempory physical event; in contrast to telepathy, the information is assumed to derive directly from an external physical source (such as a concealed photograph), and not from the mind of another person; one particular form of extrasensory perception, it is not to be confused with the vulgar interpretation of “clairvoyance” as meaning “knowledge of the future” (for which see Precognition).
As a noun, a person endowed with a special talent for clairvoyance; not to be confused with its colloquial usage meaning “a fortune-teller”; As an adjective, involving or pertaining to clairvoyance.
Two events are said to constitute a coincidence if they occur in such a way as to strike an observer as being highly related as regards their structure or their “meaning”; to dismiss such an occurrence as a “mere coincidence” is to imply the belief that each event arose as a result of quite independent causal chains (that is, they are “acausal”) and that no further “meaning” or significance is to be found in this fortuitous concurrence; sometimes, however, a sense of impressiveness is engendered by the belief that the concurrence is so very unlikely as to have been the result of “pure chance” that there must be some cause or reason for the concurrence, thus investing the coincidence with a sense of meaningfulness. See also Synchronicity.
A set of statements purportedly gained by paranormal means but which in fact is wholly based on broadly accurate generalizations and/or on information obtained directly from the person seeking the reading, such as can be gleaned from facial gestures, clues in conversation, and so on.
A personality, usually manifesting through a medium, and claiming to be that of a deceased individual trying to communicate with the living. See also Drop-in Communicator.
(i) A personality purporting to be that of some deceased individual, believed to take control of the medium’s actions and speech during trance, and/or who habitually relays messages from the communicator to the sitter. (ii) In the context of scientific investigation, a control is something (a procedure, condition, object, set of subjects, and so on) which is introduced with the purpose of providing a check on (that is, of “controlling for”) the influence of unwanted factors.
See under Apparition.
A highly complex series of independent communications delivered paranormally (and ostensibly from one or more discarnate entities) to two or more geographically separate mediums such that the complete message is not clear until the separate fragments are pieced together into a meaningful whole.
Term coined by Theodore Flournoy to refer to a memory of some event or experience which has been forgotten by the conscious mind, and which may appear in awareness without the person recognizing it as a memory; sometimes invoked as a counterhypothesis to apparent paranormal awareness. [From the Greek kryptos, “hidden,” + mnesis, “memory”]
French for “already seen,” the feeling or illusion of having previously experienced an event or place actually being encountered for the first time; also called “false memory,” or “memory without recognition,” although the phenomenon could conceivably involve precognitive or clairvoyant information, in which case Frederic Myers gave it the name promnesia. [From the Greek pro, “prior to,” + mnesis, “memory”]
A phenomenon of physical mediumship in which living entities (sometimes the medium’s own body) or inanimate objects — sometimes previously materialized — are caused to disappear. Compare Materialization.
Term used by G. Razran to refer to the ability to discriminate color and brightness by means of touch. Also known as “skin vision,” “finger vision,” “dermal vision,” “digital sight” [From the Latin digitus, “finger, toe”], or “cutaneous perception” [From the Latin cutis, “skin”]. [From the Greek derma, “skin,” + optikos, “of sight,” derived from opsomai, “I shall see”]
The determination of the nature and circumstances of a diseased condition by means of extrasensory perception. See also Healing, Psychic.
A disembodied being, as opposed to an incarnate one; the surviving personality of a deceased individual or non-human entity; a spirit. [From the Latin dis-, “away, apart,” + caro (carnis), “flesh”]
A process in which a body of awareness (perceptual, memory, physical) becomes separated or blocked from the main center of consciousness; examples are trance-speaking, automatic writing, amnesia, multiple personality, and so on; thought by some to be a psi-conducive state.
Word sometimes used to refer to the acquiring of paranormal information, frequently (but not invariably) by the use of such various practices as tea-leaf reading, palmistry, scrying, the I Ching, Tarot cards and so on.
An apparitional double or counterpart of a living person. See also Astral Body; Bilocation [German for “doublewalker”]
A behavioral automatism in which, generally, a “dowsing rod” (also called a divining rod: often a forked twig but sometimes a pendulum) is employed to locate subterranean water, oil, and so on, or other concealed items by following the direction in which the rod turns in the user’s hands. Some practitioners use their bare hands with no gadget.
An apparently paranormal dream, inasmuch as some of the dream details give information about events normally unknowable to the experient.
Term coined by Ian Stevenson for a communicator who appears unbidden at a sitting, and who is entirely unknown to the medium, sitters, or anyone else present.

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