Ghosts Defined

“Ghost” and “entity” are general terms to cover all the things paranormal.
I’ve learnt that most of the time people lean toward using “ghost”, but I’ve also come to understand that paranormal investigators are more likely to use the term “entity” to cover it all.
While some “ghosts” are presumed to be from either the spirit or entity category, let’s go ahead right now and clear some things up so we all have a better understanding of the terminology we frequently use when speaking of the dead or paranormal.



Spirits are souls that were once in a human body.
Within this category are
1.  spirits who are crossed over
2.  earthbound spirits
3.  disharmonious spirits
Earthbound spirits can also be disharmonious, but crossed over spirits NEVER are.
Let’s look deeper at each one.


Crossed Over Spirits

These are souls who have gone on from the earthly and astral plane (also called the spiritual plane) into what most of us refer to as Heaven.
(Astral/Spiritual Plane definition in its simplest form:  the space between Heaven and Earth; souls cross this space when being born and after death when returning to heaven.)
These souls used their last earthly freewill choice to move on.  They could have decided to stay – and there are a few reasons they would – but instead they opted to go while their door was open and clearly accessible.  Once they do this, they are free of all Earthly things that bind a soul; pain, illness, frustration, anger, etc.; yet they maintain the love they had for those while on Earth. They are at peace, there’s no struggle, only love and light once they cross.  They also get to review their life – but that’s another article, for another time.
A crossed over soul will not “haunt” you, but may visit to check in on you.


Earthbound Spirits

If a spirit used their last earthly freewill choice to not go on to Heaven, that soul would be considered an earthbound spirit.
Now some people might think it would be great to stick around and hang out with friends and family, scare a few peeps, or maybe get some kind of revenge on their archenemy.  However, when a soul doesn’t cross over, they maintain all the same feelings, thoughts, and emotions that they had when in a body.  Plus, until they find someone who can open a door to Heaven again, they are forever stuck between worlds; stuck in the astral plane between Heaven and Earth.
They aren’t in Heaven to be loved and educated so their soul can further evolve.
They aren’t in Heaven to petition on loved ones’ behalf.
They’re stuck in time, just as they left it, forever NOT changing.
If they were mean and angry when they left, they’re still mean and angry.   If they were an alcoholic, they’re still craving alcohol.  If they were sick, they still carry that illness with them. (Mental health included!)  If they were a child molester, guess what they still are…
…but now they can go just about anywhere they want.
This is why you NEVER KEEP A SPIRIT AROUND.  It’s always and forever in everyone’s best interest that all departed souls move on to Heaven.


Disharmonious Spirits

If a mean, unhappy, or otherwise agitated spirit stays earthbound, they’re considered a disharmonious spirit.  This group includes alcoholics, drug addicts, abusers, and murderers.
There are spirits who don’t cross that were happy in life and retain that happiness when they depart; but, that can change.  Like I mentioned, a soul out of body can go just about anywhere they want, leading them to seeing a lot of things they may not have known about while in body. (I talk about the “just about” part of this here.)  And because they have all the same feelings, thoughts, and emotions as when they were in a body, some of the things they witness while in spirit can be upsetting.
Perhaps they see deceit within the family, someone is stealing their belongings, or they discover an extramarital affair…the list is endless when you consider how many things could be revealed and upsetting in the time of disclosure.
These generally happy souls can also become disharmonious if they drop in to visit a place or someone they love and are ordered to get out.  I always suggest you speak to spirits in a very particular way, and certainly different than you would an entity.
Think about this.
Imagine it’s a lovely day and you’re headed to your grandparents’ house to visit, you’re so excited to “come back home” since you have such fond memories of this place and you dearly love your grandparents.  You haven’t gotten to see them in a long time, so this visit is even more important for you.  You open the front door, step in, and shut it behind you.  You call out for your gramps and then your granny, but they don’t hear you; so you head toward the kitchen because you’re pretty sure that’s where granny is.  And sure enough, she’s right there.  You scoot a step-stool out of the way as you come into the room and close a cabinet door so granny doesn’t bop her head on it.
Suddenly your granny turns around with her paring knife in hand screaming angrily, “Get out! Get out of here!  You aren’t allowed in my home!  You aren’t wanted here. Get out and never come back.” and she chases you out the door.  She won’t even acknowledge your question of, “Why?”
At first you’d most likely be very hurt and confused, and maybe you’d even cry.  And then, like most hurt does, it becomes anger. You begin to scowl when someone even mentions granny and your discontentment with her grows and your anger becomes stronger.  You eventually vow to never go there again, you’ll never speak to either granny or gramps, and you’re not even attending their funeral when they die. You’re pretty mad.
As the anger lingers within you, you may begin to wish ill things for granny and gramps.  Maybe you secretly wish her delicious pies start being total flops that no one eats, or she trips over that stool you carefully moved out of her way, or she actually does hit her head on that cabinet door.  You’re still confused and hurt by what happened and you’re lashing out…it’s kind of a normal thing.  (Side note: If you’re so centered with who you are and things like this roll off you like water off a duck’s back, try to remember a time when that wasn’t true for you and how this scenario could be.)
In this story you’ve gone from happy, to hurt, confused, and now angry – and we aren’t really sure how long all this process took because everyone is different.  It could have happened within minutes, or you needed days to mull over your confusion about it and allow the hurt and anger set in.  No matter which way it is, the fact is, you’re now angry and wishing bad things to happen – no matter how minor you may think these are.
Now, think back about this story but instead of it being you coming to visit your grandparents, it’s a spirit coming back to a home they loved and have many beautiful memories about; and you – you are the person whose home they just entered.
A spirit –something you can’t see– opens and closes your front door, walks through your house into your kitchen, and moves a stool and closes a cabinet door.
I’m a medium.  I’ve seen some of the creepiest things you can ever imagine – but I still get startled by things like this.  I understand how someone who can’t see what I see can have an experience and be terrified…or even just really, really freaked out.
If this kind of thing happens once and that’s one time too many, or it’s happened daily for a month before you’ve had your fill – the point is, when you reach your fill and you speak to an earthbound spirit (who has all the same feelings, thoughts, and emotions that they had while in a body) like granny just spoke to you, they’ll more than likely process it the same way.
The only significant difference is this…they know you can’t see them. Guess what they could do?  They could slide that stool over in front of you so you fall over it.  They could open that cabinet door while you’re leaning down so you slam your head into it when you stand up.  They can move things, push you, pull your hair, and scream in your ear.
…and the more they do these things, the more irritated or afraid you become; and the more afraid you become, the more you command them out; and they become angrier because you keep ordering them out, and so they do more things to you and you’re now in a struggle with a disharmonious spirit, in your home.  It’s a terrible cycle.
This is why you NEVER KEEP A SPIRIT AROUND.  It’s always and forever in everyone’s best interest that all departed souls move on to Heaven.
I like to put it like this to people who still aren’t convinced that keeping a spirit around isn’t a good idea. If your best friend or most loved family member died, would you want them to forever be between worlds; left with the same feelings and emotions as they had when they passed, unable to go to heaven or fully be on Earth?
Consider also the fact that your “ghost” may be the spirit of a small child who didn’t realize they’d died and missed their opportunity to cross.
(Note: The stronger or older the soul, the more advanced they are; the more advanced they are, the more they can manipulate on Earth.)


Soul or Spirit

A soul or Spirit (in reference to psyche) is the immaterial part of a person that exists forever.
It is the essence of who we are.


I don’t want to confuse you, but alien beings generally have a soul or spirit too; and many live solely in this form. Angels, demons, fairies, and sprites, etc. do not have souls.
Gee, this can get deep quickly…
(Write your questions down and send them here. 😉 )

Spirit Guide

Spirit guides are crossed-over souls who have agreed to help you with something while you’re on Earth.  You two make this arrangement and agreement before you get here.  They have experience in whatever it is you’re working your way though, and they “guide” you – if you choose to listen.
I don’t care what anyone else says to you, your spirit guides WILL NEVER, EVER frighten you – neither will your angels!  They will not appear to you in a creepy way, they will not sneak up on you, they will NOT make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.  Seeing one in a physical form may startle you, but you would immediately sense good energy and a calm from them.
Also, please know that your departed loved ones (who where on Earth while you were this time around) do not typically become spirit guides. In fact, it’s more typical that they do not.



Psyche is the mind, soul, or spirit.


A ghost is the spirit of a dead person; earthbound or not.
The phrase “give up the ghost” is in reference to this immaterial part of us leaving our human form.
Spirit, soul, psyche, and ghost are EXACTLY the same thing – that (typically) unseen part of every human that exists forever.  However, this has become the generalized term that is most commonly used when speaking about anything pertaining to the supernatural world. (Angels and demons included.)
I believe this has come about mostly because people don’t always know what they’re dealing with.  They may have an angel in their home, there to guide and protect them, yet they refer to that angel as their ghost.  One could also say their ghost is mean, when they’re actually dealing with an entity (demon or alien being).
Chances are that this won’t happen, but if you ever hear me refer to something as a ghost, it’s a spirit I’m talking about.
(What about aliens?  I refer to them as aliens – not as spirits.  When I encounter them, they appear in various forms, but I reserve “spirit” and “soul” for humans alone.)


Paranormal and Supernatural

Paranormal and Supernatural have basically the same meaning.  They are events or things that can’t be scientifically explained.
It would be appropriate to use the phrases “supernatural activity” or “paranormal activity” interchangeably; however, in the world of the supernatural, these words are frequently used distinctly.
Paranormal is typically used as a broader term relating to happenings (e.g. paranormal activity) and supernatural is most often used when speaking more specifically about a type of being – spirit, entity, alien being, or angel, for example.
Supernatural Beings
All beings within the spirit world; including Angels, spirits (including earthbound spirits), demonic entities, alien beings, and other unseen or unexplained universal beings.


An angel is a heavenly creature; a benevolent celestial being that acts as an intermediary between Heaven and Earth.
(Benevolent means kind and with good intentions, and celestial means “belonging to Heaven”.   Intermediary means a being (or person) who acts as a link between, in this case “a link between Heaven and Earth.” )
There are nine orders of Angels.  (I’ll write another article about this, so stay tuned.)


Fallen Angel

Why do they fit in the category of “entity” but angels do not.  They’ve given up their entitlement as an angelic being; they’ve “crossed to the dark side” so to speak, and though they possess some of the same powers as they did when an angel, they do not possess all and their intentions have shifted.  Their thoughts are more human or alien now, but they do not have a soul.  Demons are considered to be fallen angels; but not all fallen angels are demons.
The answer I received:  “Because of the level they fell to.  It’s the same with humans, though we don’t re-title you; you can be kind or you can be evil.  That’s the way with fallen angels, they can be kind or they can be evil.  Either way they’ve given up their entitlement, and there’s no coming back.”


Entity (Entities)

This is the term that is most commonly used within the paranormal world to encompass all supernatural beings, bigfoot (or yeti), and aliens; basically anything that they can’t explain or uniquely identify.
As it’s been shown to me in my work with supernatural beings, a separation is preferred with high vibrational beings (angels and crossed-over spirits).  I believed at first this was due to the words entity and entities within the paranormal world to have a negative connotation.  Maybe for me it’s still a bit about that, but for Supernatural Beings it’s about being correctly categorized.  Similarly to someone putting you in the male category when you’re female; or lumping you with prison inmates when you’re a wealthy socialite.
Entities are beings that wish us humans harm.  They are typically from the underworld or alien planets; demons, demonic “spirits”, and fallen angels.
I’m not going to go in depth in this, but as I was writing this article it was revealed to me that some alien forms (greys and reptilians for example) “are, but they are not.” Meaning, they act as if they are demonic, but are really disharmonic alien beings – they wish us harm, can be invisible, can transform, and otherwise ACT as a demonic entity.  So in a sense they fit here, because of their disharmony with humans, as well as with alien races.
It makes much more sense to me now, and I hope to you too, as to why angels and spirits don’t wish to be categories as entities.
Let’s keep them separate.



A demon is an evil supernatural being.



A poltergeist is a disharmonious spirit or entity (demonic or alien being) who will manifest itself by noises and/or acts of mischief and disharmony.  Think of a poltergeist as something that is generally trying to cause harm or create upheaval in someone’s life or space. Therefore, angels and crossed over spirits WILL NOT BE a poltergeist.


Evil Spirit

These are disharmonious spirits.
This is often used to refer to anything in the supernatural world that isn’t harmonious.  However, since “spirit” is part of this phrase, it refers to just that – SPIRITS.
REMEMBER THIS: A demon is never a spirit.  Therefore, it cannot rightfully be an “evil spirit”


An apparition is an image of a spirit, usually appears as a “see-thru” being, silhouette, mist, or shadow.
This is usually thought of as a ghost but can actually be any supernatural being. (Angels included!)

While you’re here, let me also clear up the difference between a medium, a psychic, and a card reader.  No, this isn’t the beginning of a cheesy joke!



A medium is someone who can communicate with the spirit (soul) of a human who has died; by using extrasensory perception – clairaudience (hearing), clairvoyance (seeing), clairsentience (feeling), clairalience (smelling), clairgustance (tasting), claircognizance (knowing).
Extrasensory perception is to perceive things by means other than the known senses.
“Clair” means clear; so clairaudience means “clear hearing”; Clairvoyance means “clear seeing”; and so on.
Seeing, tasting, smelling, feeling, and hearing are part of our five senses; however with “clair” as part of the word it is meaning beyond the normal perception. “Feeling” in extrasensory perception is not meant as touch.)


A psychic is someone who can see (using clairvoyance) or know (using claircognizance) without prior knowledge, the past, present, or future – or all of those.  Typically a psychic is privy to all time frames, but I’ve spoken to people who say they are psychic yet only see the future or only see the past.  (I would venture to say that they simply haven’t developed the missing time frame – either by choice or they haven’t had the need for it.)

Card Reader

A card reader is just that – someone who reads cards, whatever those cards may be. Being a card reader does not mean one is psychic or a medium.
However, some card readers are actually a psychic and may not need to read cards to get information for you; or they could use cards as a starting point for a reading.
Don’t automatically assume that a card reader is either psychic or a medium.  And being a medium or psychic doesn’t mean you read cards.
I am not a card reader.


Remember these things:

1.  Being a medium or psychic does not mean you’re a card reader.
2.  Being a card reader does not mean you’re psychic or a medium.
3.  Not all psychics are mediums, but mediums are generally also psychics. (Some don’t admit it or recognize this though.) Mediums are generally psychic because they already have that strong and unique connection with the spirit world, so they can retrieve information from various time periods.
4. Psychics can be mediums, but don’t count on it being true unless they tell you so and/or you have proof of it.
5. Having the occasional dream, thought, or idea that comes true does not make you psychic. However, everyone – EVERYONE – is born with the gift of intuition, but it’s typically only used for themselves and close family members. (Think about the parent who just knows something has happened with their child before they even got home from school.  That’s intuition linked to a loved one, not psychic abilities the way we typically think of psychic abilities.)


….. a medium can communicate with the dead.
….. a psychic is not necessarily a medium.
….. studying demonology does not mean you can eradicate a haunting.
….. paranormal investigators do just that, INVESTIGATE.  They will attempt to find evidence and debunk anything they come across.
If you find this information helpful, please share it! 
If you have any questions, comments, or additional terms you’d like addressed, email me!
You may also find the following article of great benefit to you:
“A True Medium”
When You Purchase a Haunted Home
Never Do These Things
What Happens When a Soul Crosses Over
Never Keep a Spirit Around
The Passage Between Heaven and Earth
How to Ask Your Ghost to Leave
Just About Anywhere They Want
You Don’t Need a Paranormal Investigation Team
Why a ghost Hangs Around