Jack-In-Irons: A specter said to haunt the lonely roads of Yorkshire, England. A tall, demonic figure draped in chains, the Jack-In-Irons reportedly jumps out at travelers and gives them a fright. The chains make Jack-In-Irons an unusual specter in that few ghosts have them in folklore and legend, despite the popular portrayal of ghost in chains in art and literature.
Jack-O-Lantern: A type of Ignis Fatuus. In British lore, the Jack-O-Lantern is a spectral light that drifts about at ngith, scaring travelers and beckoning them to follow it until they become lost.
According to lore, the Jack-O-Lantern is a soul who has been denied entry in to both heaven and hell. It is doomed to wander about the Earth clothed in a luminous garment or carrying a lighted wish of straw. It's interesting to note that in Scottish lore, the Jack-O-Lantern can be prevented form causing you to lose your way by driving an iron knife into the ground. In other versions, simply carrying a piece of iron will prevent being misled. This is perhaps an indication that the phenomena may be electrical in nature.
Jamais Vu: The exact opposite to Déjà vu, something which is familiar and experienced by an individual before but they believe it is the first time they have experienced it.
Japanese Ghost Soldier: 日本鬼兵-(Chinese Folklore) Although this ghost is in the form of a Japanese soldier from World War II and often carrying a Japanese sword (katana), it is only common in Chinese ghost tales. While the Japanese view their World War II soldiers as a symbol of honor to their country, the Chinese regard them as brutal murderers of countless commoners in China and South East Asia during World War II. The appearance of such a ghost gives a spooky feeling of loneliness, death, cruelty, torment, fear and ruthless killing.
Jehovah: n. [Blend of the letters of the Tetragrammaton and, with modification, the vowels of ADONAI.] Often incorrectly believed to be the true name of "God", especially in Christian translations of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Jersey Devil: A mythical creature of the New Jersey Pinelands, that has supposedly haunted New Jersey and the surrounding areas for the past 260 years. Over 2,000 witnesses have claimed to see this entity over this period. It has terrorized towns and caused factories and schools to close down, yet many people believe that the Jersey Devil is a legend, a mythical beast, that originated from the folklore of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. Others disagree with this point of view.
Jimmy Squarefoot: (Manx Folklore) A legendary bipedal pig-headed creature. Generally described as a phantom or ghost with a pig's head and two tusks like those of a wild boar. His large feet are swathed in calico bands and are square in appearance, hence the name. According to lore, at one time it was a giant pig which carried around a stone-throwing giant, a Foawr. As a mortal, Jimmy, too, was a stone thrower; his favorite target being his wife. She ultimately left him, after which it seems he assumed his semi-human form and roamed the land. Despite his monstrous appearance, Jimmy Squarefoot is generally a peaceful wanderer.
Jinx Effect: Coined by Joshua P. Warren to describe the inexplicable equipment failure ghost-hunters are familiar with, such as fully charged or new batteries being drained almost instantly. (See also “Battery Drain“).
JOTT: An acronym for "just one of those things" to describe odd paranormal phenomena that do not fit into any prevailing paradigm. According to Mary Rose Barrington, a psychical researcher and vice president of the Society for Psychical Research there are 2 main classes of jotts. The most frequent of the two is "Jottles", which concerns the displacement of objects, including phenomena associated with reports and poltergeist activity. The second is "Oddjotts", which includes miscellaneous happenings that have no explanation.
Jotts are further broken down into different classifications that are interrelated:
(1)Walk-About. An article disappears from a know location and is found later in another and often bizarre location, without explanation as to how it got there.
(2)Come-Back. An article disappears from a known location and later, anywhere from minutes to years, reappears in the same location.
(3)Fly Away.An article disappears from one known location and never reappears.
(4)Turn-Up. An article is known to an observer but from a unknown location is found in a place where it was previously known not to be.
(5)Windfall. A "Turnup" in which the article are not known to any observer.
(6)Trade In: A flyaway followed by a windfall that is closely similar to the article flown away.
Jotts are not cases of carelessness and forgetfulness but events that have no rational explanation
Joy Touch: is a meditative technique devised by Pete A. Sanders Jr. who is based in Sedona, Arizona. Similar to a form of meditation which concentrates on the third eye in the middle of the forehead; the basic technique is to imagine a line from the center of the forehead to the center of the brain and then visualize gently brushing this region. The Joy Touch technique is said to help with things like weight loss, feeling good, paranoia, phobias, life-threatening illnesses and much more.
Jikininki: (Japanese Folklore: 食人鬼, "human-eating ghosts") are the spirits of greedy, selfish or impious individuals who are cursed after death to seek out and eat human corpses. They do this at night, scavenging for newly dead bodies and food offerings left for the dead. They sometimes also loot the corpses they eat for valuables, which they use to bribe local officials to leave them in peace. Nevertheless, jikininki lament their condition and hate their repugnant cravings for dead human flesh.
Often, jikininki are said to look like decomposing cadavers, perhaps with a few inhuman features such as sharp claws or glowing eyes. They are a horrifying sight, and any mortal who views one finds themselves frozen in fear. However, several stories give them the ability to magically disguise themselves as normal human beings and even to lead normal "lives" by day. Jikininki are a "Preta" of the 26th class in Japanese Buddhism. They are also sometimes considered a form of rakshasa or gaki ("hungry ghosts"). In the latter case, they may be freed from their deplorable existence through remembrances and offerings or through the prayers of a holy and/or rightous man that has a truly holy spirit and has done nothing to dishonor his or her family. . (See also: "Preta", "Yurei", "Segaki")
Judge n: a person who is responsible for comparing targets and responses in a Psi experiment.
Judging: The process whereby a rating or a rank-score (that is, “1st,” “2nd,” “3rd,” and so on) is awarded to one or more responses produced (or targets used) in a free-response test of extrasensory perception, in accordance with the degree of correspondence obtaining between them or one or more targets (or responses); also, the attempt to match, under blind conditions, a set of targets with a set of responses.
Jumbee: (also: Jumbie or Michel Mendo): (Montserrat Folklore)A type of spirit or demon in Caribbean folklore. Jumbee is the generic name given to all malevolent entities; however, there are numerous kinds of Jumbees. The various kinds of Jumbees reflect the Caribbean’s complex history and ethnic makeup, drawing on African, Amerindian, East Indian, Dutch, English, and even Chinese mythology. Jumbies are imagined as dark. This phenonemon is widely believed in by people in the English-speaking Caribbean states that were colonized by the British and which practised "Obeah", a form of mystical wizardry that encompassed traditional African beliefs merged with Western European, primarily Anglican, images and beliefs concerning the dead.
Jumbie: (Montserrat Folklore) a ghost, or spirit of the dead. People who have been evil during their lives, are destined to becomes instrument of evil (jumbie) in death. This phenomenon is widely believed in by people in the English-speaking Caribbean states that were colonized by the British and which practiced "Obeah", a form of mystical wizardry that encompassed traditional African beliefs merged with Western European, primarily Anglican, images and beliefs concerning the dead.Whereas Western culture "sees" a ghost as a white misty figure, jumbies are imagined as dark shadowy figures. Jumbies can shape-shift, usually taking the form of a dog, pig or more likely a cat. So heed warnings about playing with random animals. Various islands including Antigua and Barbuda in the east to Jamaica in the north and as far south as Trinidad have had a long held set of folklore that include the jumbie. Jumbies are said to possess humans during ceremonies called jumbie dances, which are accompanied by jumbie drums. Jumbies receive numerous small offerings from Montserratians, such as a few drops of rum or food; they are also the subject of numerous superstitions. Four couples perform a set of five progressively quicker quadrilles during the jumbie dance, switching out with other couples until someone is eventually possessed by a jumbie. There are many recommended ways to avoid or escape jumbie encounters such as leaving a pair of shoes outside of your; jumbies don't have feet and would spend the entire night trying on the shoes to get them to fit before moving onto you. Leaving a heap of sand or salt outside your door; jumbies are compelled to count every grain before moving. When coming home late at night, walk backwards so that the jumbie would be unable to follow you inside. If one is being chased by a said jumbie, cross a river, as they cannot follow over water. If push comes to shove (no pun intended) jump off of a cliff, as jumbies do not walk off cliffs either.
There are many recommended ways to avoid or escape jumbie encounters, such as:
1). Leaving a pair of shoes outside your door; jumbies don't have feet and would spend the entire night trying on the shoes to get them to fit before moving onto you.
2). Leaving a heap of sand or salt or rice outside your door; jumbies are compelled to count every grain before the sun rises.
3). When coming home late at night, walk backwards so that the jumbie would be unable to follow you inside.
4). If one is being chased by a jumbie, cross a river, as they cannot follow over water
5). Leave a rope with many knots by your door step. Jumbies love to try to untie knots, so they will forget about you while trying to untie the knots.
(See also: "Duppy")
Ka: A vital force bestowed by and ancestral group in the spirit world, according to ancient Egyptian mythology. The "Astral body". Everything is infused with "Ka": people, animals and plants. After his death, a person wen to his "Ka", or became assimilated into the post-death group consciousness. Royalty, especially the Pharoh, retained their own identities however. Some kings were believed to have more than one "Ka".
See also: "Akasha".
Kan Hotidan: In Native American lore, a powerful and feared elf-like stree spirit that lived in tree stumps and casts spells over unwary travelers. The name means "Tree Dweller". The kan Hotidan also could bestow magic to ensure success in hunting. Effigies of the elf were kept in a box which symbolized its tree-stump dwelling.
Kaperosa / White Lady, The: (Filipino Folklore) A female spirit with no face or a spirit covered in blood which has been reportedly seen in empty buildings, near forests and on cliffs. She is most commonly reported seen along Balete Drive in Quezon City. She is believed to originally have been a young lady who was raped and killed by two Japanese soldiers during WWII. While there haven’t been stories of the White Lady being a purposefully malicious being, she has been the reported as the cause of more than a few car accidents by drivers who look in their rearview mirror and see a young lady in the backseat wearing a white dress.
Kappa: (Also known as a "Water Monkey") (Japanese Folklore) A small goblin-like creature. A Kappa has a dent in its head that is full of water from its native spring. If the water spills out of its head, it looses its magical powers. Kappas generally drink blood but can be either good or evil. Kappas love to eat cucumbers and a family wishing to gain the favor of a kappa, or at least avoid its wrath, writes their names on a cucumber and throws it into the Kappa’s pond. The creatures are known for being polite and always keeping promises. There are over a dozen different, weirdly specific categories of Kappa. There are different names for one-eyed Kappas, hairy Kappas, cowardly Kappas, mountain-climbing Kappas, and even a "party animal" Kappa. [You can find an artists impression of what a Kappa might look like on our page featuring cryptids and creatures of folklore HERE.]
Kapre: (Filipino Folklore) Hairy giants with glowing eyes and a cigar that never burns out. They can usually be found sitting atop of trees waiting for nightfall to scare naughty children who are outside of their homes late at night. The Kapre is a unique Filipino monster because he doesn’t steal fetuses, eat people or cut them up. The Kapre simply enjoys terrorizing young children. Some stories claim they are actually very friendly beings who can grant wishes if you find their magical white stone. One can assume a Kapre is nearby when trees sway while there is no breeze or you see faint smoke from high above, probably from the Kapre‘s cigar.
Karma: Hindu and Buddhist ethical doctrine of "as one sows, so shall one reap".
Kasa-obake: (Japanese Folklore) An animated parasol. An old umbrella that becomes spirit possessed. Apparently, at some point in Japanese history, umbrellas were reported to be animating so often that someone eventually decided that they required their own name, just to separate them from other Tsukumogami. "Kasa-obake" is the name for . (See also: Tsukumogami). [You can find an artists impression of what a Kasa-Obake might look like on our page featuring cryptids and creatures of folklore HERE.]
Kataw, The: (Philippine Mythology) One of the merfolk who is believed to have higher rankings than other water and sea creatures as those of Sirena, Sireno and Siyokoy. It is believed that the Kataws are the reigning rulers of the kingdom Bantay Tubig. Based on physical features, Kataws, along the Sirena and Sireno, were the Bantay Tubig-creatures that bear likeness to human while Siyokoy are those that resemble water-creatures. Unlike Sirena, they have feet instead of tails but they have gills on their bodies and fins on their arms. These marine creatures disguise themselves as fishermen asking for help. When approached by mortals, the Kataws drown them in the abyss. Kataws have the ability to manipulate and control water-type elements and related forces such as pressure, tides, waves, bubbles and the likes. They are also able to change water to ice.
Kelim: (From the Hebrew for "Vessels"). First tractate of Order Tohorot in the Mishnah. Its 30 chapters deal with the tendency of vessels, domestic utensils, and clothing to become ritually unclean (cf. Lev. 11:29-35). Some of the subjects covered are: the primary sources of uncleanness, the grades of uncleanness, the utensils which are susceptible to uncleanness, how ovens and fireplaces can become unclean, and becoming unclean through touching, sitting, or lying upon unclean things. Since the destruction of the Temple and the unavailability of the ashes of the Red Heifer, it is no longer possible for anyone to purify himself from the primary form of tumah (impurity), which is contact with a dead body. For this reason, everyone is considered unclean (tamé met) and most of these laws have had no practical application since the destruction of the Second Temple. The subject matter is amplified in the Tosefta but not in either of the Talmuds.
Kelpie: A malevolent water spirit of Scottish lore believed to inhabit every body of water and is a "Death Omen if seen. According to lore, kelpies usually appear in the shape of a horse but, ,ay assume the form of a shaggy looking man. They are invariably terrifying to humans.
As horses, they appear on lake and river bank, grazing peacefully, and lure travelers to mount them. only to plunge into the water and drowned them. Or, the kelpie will plunge the victim into the water where they will kill and eat them, except for the livers, which float to the surface. they are also said to jump on solitary riders and try to crush them in their grip. They have even been said to read people in to pieces and eat them. They make a sound like thunder to frighten travelers.
When in the form of a horse, they sometimes have a magic bridle . Anyone who forces the kelpie to do something against it's will risks being cursed by it and meeting with nothing but misfortune. To see a kelpie is a harbinger of death by drowning and nothing can be done to prevent the tragedy from coming to pass.
Kere: A pirit of the dead in ancient Greece. It was believed that the keres escaped from the "pithos", the jars used to contain the bodies of the dead, and devoted themselves to pestering the living. They were exorcised by ritual and incantation. Sticky tar was painted on doorframes to catch them and prevent them from entering a dwelling.
In mythology, keres are akin to the goddesses of death who originally escaped from Pandoras box. They serve the will of the gods and their chief functions are to carry off the corpses of the dead and to afflict the living with disease and illness.
Key Cards: are used normally in a card-guessing experiment and are used as reference cards to indicate each target alternative.
Kian: (Irish Folklore) The father of Lugh (who was the father of the Ulster warrior-hero Cuchulain). Kian had a magic cow with a wonderful supply of milk. After the cow was stolen by Balor (king of the Fomorians), Kian took revenge by making Balor's daughter, Ethlinn, the mother of three sons. Two were drowned by Balor, and the third, Lugh, escaped by falling into a bay and being wafted back to his father, Kian. Some years later while fighting in Ulster, Kian encountered the three sons of Turenn, whose house was at enmity with his. To escape their notice, he turned himself into a pig, but they recognized him and one of them wounded him. He begged to be allowed to restore himself to his human form before dying. This request was granted, and Kian rejoiced in having outwitted his enemies; they would have to pay the blood fine for a man instead of a pig. The brothers, determined that there should be no bloodstained weapon as evidence of the deed, stoned Kian and buried his body.
Kinesiology: The study of muscles and their movements as applied to physical conditioning.
Kirlian Photography: A type of high-voltage, high-frequency photography, developed in the Soviet Union by Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, which records on photographic film the so-called “corona discharge” of an object caused by ionization of the field surrounding that object; it is claimed by some that this process indicates the existence of hitherto unknown radiations or energy fields such as “bioplasma” or the “psychic aura.” Two Russian scientists, Semyon and Valentina Kirlian founded this process.
Kitchen Witchcraft: (Also: kitchen witchery) A form of witchcraft wherein the substitution of mundane items for magical items is encouraged. Only the intent is believed to be required. For example, a kitchen knife may be substituted for an athame.
Klabautermann: A water sprite (or nix) who assists sailors and fishermen on the Baltic Sea in their duties. He is a merry and diligent creature, with an expert understanding of most watercraft, and an unsupressable musical talent. He also rescues sailors washed overboard. His image is of a small sailor in yellow with a tobacco pipe and woolen sailor's cap. This likeness is carved and attached to the mast as a symbol of good luck. The Klabautermann nowadays is sometimes described as having more sinister attributes, and blamed for things that go wrong on the ship. This incarnation of the Klabautermann is more demon- or goblin-like, prone to play pranks and, eventually, doom the ship and her crew. This deterioration of image probably stems from Sailors, upon returning home, telling stories of their adventures at sea. Since life at sea can be rather dull, all creatures - real, mythical, and in between - eventually became the center of rather ghastly stories. Despite the positive attributes, there is one omen associated with his presence: no member of a ship blessed by his presence shall ever set eyes on him. He only ever becomes visible to the crew of a doomed ship.
Knights of Ålleberg, The: (Swedish Folklore), are according to an old legend, the ghosts of twelve knights that died in the battle of Ålleberg in 1389. The legend says that the ghosts are trapped inside the Ålleberg-mountain, waiting for a new war to wake them up so they can fight to save the country and show themselves worthy to finally be accepted for heaven.
Konak Jiji: (Japanese Folklore) A malicious little creature that takes the form of an infant and lurks in remote mountain areas, waiting for an innocent traveler to pass by. When a victim is in sight, the Konak jiji begins to cry. Now, it’s human nature to want to stop a baby from crying, and so most kindhearted travelers will seek out the wailing infant and, of course, make the fatal mistake of picking it up to comfort it. Once the Konak jiji is picked up, it grows unbearably heavy. Some sources say that they can grow up to over 350 kilograms in weight, enough to do serious damage to anybody holding them. Most of the time, it’s not possible to drop a Konak jiji because you become paralyzed once you pick it up. It’s not all bad, though – If you manage to survive the crushing weight of the Konak jiji, it may give you magical gifts.
Koro-pok-guru: (also koropokkuru, korobokkuru, and koropokkur) [Ainu Folklore/Japan] A race of small people in Ainu folklore. The name is traditionally analysed as a tripartite compound of kor or koro ("butterbur plant"), pok ("under, below"), and kur or kuru ("man, husband, person") and interpreted to mean "people below the leaves of the butterbur plant" in the Ainu language. The Ainu believe that the koro-pok-guru were the people who lived in the parts of Japan before the Ainu's lived there. The koro-pok-guru were short of stature, agile, and skilled at fishing. They lived in pits with roofs made from butterbur leaves. Originally, the koro-pok-guru were on good terms with the Ainu, and would send them deer, fish, and other game and exchange goods with them. The little people hated to be seen, however, so they would stealthily make their deliveries under cover of night. Eventually, a young Ainu peaked at one who became so enraged at the young man's rudeness that the Koro-pok-guru have not been seen since. Their pits, pottery, and stone implements, the Ainu believe, still remain scattered about the landscape.
Krasue, The: (Thai: กระสือ; sometimes also spelt 'Kra-Sue') is a certain female spirit of Southeast Asian mythology. This ghost has been the subject of a number of movies in the region, including Konm Eak Madi Arb (or Krasue Mom), a Cambodian horror movie which has the distinction of being the first movie made in the People's Republic of Kampuchea after the absence of locally-made movies and the repression of local folklore in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge era. A similar spirit is also found in the traditions of the Malaysia and Indonesia, where it is called Penanggalan or Hantu Penanggal, as well as the Philippines, where it is identified with the local spirit Manananggal. A Krasue or Ap is a malevolent spirit appearing during the night. It manifests itself as a woman, usually young and beautiful, with her internal organs hanging down from the neck, trailing below the head. Since it has no lower body this spirit hovers in the air above the ground. The organs below the head include a length of intestine and are usually represented freshly daubed with blood. Her teeth often include pointed fangs in vampire-fashion.
Kuchisake-onna: (口裂け女, Kuchisakeonna) ("Slit-Mouth Woman") refers to both a story in Japanese mythology, as well as a modern version of the tale of a woman, mutilated by a jealous husband, and returned as a malicious spirit bent on committing the same acts done to her.
The legend is said to originate with a young woman who lived hundreds of years ago (some versions of the legend state the Heian period). and was either the wife or concubine of a samurai. She is said to have been very beautiful but also very vain, and possibly cheating on her husband. The samurai, extremely jealous and feeling cuckolded, attacked her and slit her mouth from ear to ear, screaming "Who will think you're beautiful now?"
The urban legend picks up from this point, stating that a woman roams around at night (especially during foggy evenings), with her face covered by a surgical mask, which would not be especially unusual, as people with colds often wear masks for the sake of others in Japan. When she encounters someone (primarily children or college students), she will shyly ask, "Am I beautiful?" ("Watashi kirei?"). If the person answers yes, she will take off her mask and say, "Even like this?" ("Kore demo?"). At this point, if the victim answers "No," she will slay them or cut their mouths to resemble hers (in many versions, her weapon is a pair of scissors). If the victim tells her she is pretty a second time, she follows the victim home and slays them at the doorway to their residence, due to the fact that "kirei" (きれい), Japanese for 'pretty,' is a near homophone of "kire" (切れ), the imperative form of "to cut". In other versions of the myth if you reply yes after she removes the mask she will give you a large blood soaked ruby and walk away. During the seventies, the urban legend went that if the victim answers "You're average", they are saved. When the urban legend was revived around 2000, the answer that would save you was changed to "so-so," with the change that this answer causes the kuchisake-onna to think about what to do, and her victim can escape while she is in thought. Another way to escape while the Kuchisake-Onna is distracted is to throw candy or other sweets at her, or simply offer her candy. One other way is to ask her if you are pretty. She will get confused and leave.
During the spring and summer of 1979, rumors abounded throughout Japan about sightings of the Kuchisake-onna having hunted down children.
In October 2007, a coroner found some old records from the late 1970s about a woman who was chasing little children, but was hit by a car, and died shortly after. Her mouth was ripped from ear to ear. It is believed that she caused the panics around that time.
In 2004, a similar legend spread throughout cities in South Korea of a red masked woman, though this may have been fueled by tales of the 1979 cases in Japan, as well as a 1996 Japanese film.
Kukulkan: (From Yucatec "kuk" meaning "feather" with the adjectival suffix -ul, giving kukul meaning "feathered" + "can" meaning snake giving a literal meaning of "feathered snake". Also interpreted as: "Plumed Serpent"or "Feathered Serpent") The name of a Maya snake deity that also serves to designate historical persons. The depiction of the feathered serpent deity is present in other cultures of Mesoamerica. Kukulkan is closely related to the god Gukumatz of the K'iche' Maya and to Quetzalcoatl of the Aztecs. Little is known of the mythology of this pre-Columbian deity. Although heavily Mexicanised, Kukulkan has his origins among the Maya of the Classic Period, when he was known as Waxaklahun Ubah Kan, the War Serpent, and he has been identified as the Postclassic version of the Vision Serpent of Classic Maya art.The cult of Kukulkan/Quetzalcoatl was the first Mesoamerican religion to transcend the old Classic Period linguistic and ethnic divisions. This cult facilitated communication and peaceful trade among peoples of many different social and ethnic backgrounds. Although the cult was originally centred on the ancient city of Chichén Itzá in the modern Mexican state of Yucatán, it spread as far as the Guatemalan highlands. In Yucatán, references to the deity Kukulkan are confused by references to a named individual who bore the name of the god. Because of this, the distinction between the two has become blurred. This individual appears to have been a ruler or priest at Chichen Itza, who first appeared around the 10th century. Although Kukulkan was mentioned as a historical person by Maya writers of the 16th century, the earlier 9th century texts at Chichen Itza never identified him as human and artistic representations depicted him as a Vision Serpent entwined around the figures of nobles. At Chichen Itza, Kukulkan is also depicted presiding over sacrifice scenes. Sizeable temples to Kukulkan are found at archaeological sites throughout the north of the Yucatán Peninsula, such as Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Mayapan.
Kumakatok: (Filipino Folklore) Three hooded figures, one a pretty, young woman and two elderly men, who knock on a homes door in the middle of the night. There are no stories of how the group was formed or where they originated but tales about them have popped up all over the Philippines and with more frequency around the time of widespread disease outbreaks. Legend has it that their visit is an omen that someone in the family will soon die. There are no known defences against them. They simply knock and leave and then someone would still die shortly thereafter.
Kundalini: In Yogic belief, a source of tremendous vital energy that may be stimulated by various practices. Kundalini, or the "Serpent Power", is believed to provide energy for paranormal phenomena.
La Llorona: "the weeping woman," (Spanish, Latin American Folklore). A popular legend in Spanish-speaking cultures in the Americas, with many versions. A spectral weeping woman dressed in a white gown with long black hair, who drifts about at night looking for her murdered child or children whom she drowned in a river before drowning herself. Because of her actions, she was cursed to wonder the Earth at night seeking her lost children before being allowed to rest. She is said to kidnap naughty children and drowned them as she did her own. Seeing this spirit is said to foretell death for the following year or a year of misfortune. Many folklorists believe that the legend may have originated as a variation stories about the Aztec goddess Civacoatl. The basic version of the tale is that La Llorona was a beautiful woman who killed her children to be with the man that she loved and was subsequently rejected by him. He might have been the children's father, and left their mother for another woman, or he might have been a man she loved, but who was uninterested in a relationship with a woman with children, and whom she thought she could win if the children were out of the way. She drowned the children then killed herself, and is doomed to wander, searching for her children, always weeping. In some cases, according to the tale, she will kidnap wandering children.
Lamashtu: (Sumerian Dimme) A female demon, monster, malevolent goddess or demigoddess In Mesopotamian mythology who menaced women during childbirth and, if possible, kidnapped children while they were breast feeding. She would gnaw on their bones and suck their blood, as well as being charged with a number of other evil deeds. She was a daughter of the Sky God Anu. Lamashtu had a hairy body, a lioness’' head with donkey's teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails, and the feet of a bird with sharp talons. She is often shown standing or kneeling on a donkey, nursing a pig and a dog, and holding snakes. She also bears some functions and resemblance to the Mespotamian demon Lilith.
Lamia, The: (ancient Greek Folklore) A vampire who stole little children to drink their blood. She was portrayed as a snake-like creature with a female head and breasts. Usually female, but sometimes referred to as a male or a hermaphrodite. Lamia was a Queen of Libya who became a child-murdering daemon. In later writings she is pluralized into many lamiae (Greek lamiai). Similar in type to other female monsters from Greco-Roman myth, such as the empuses and the mormolyces, she is distinguished from them by her description as half-woman and half-serpent.
Lamia: (Basque mythology) (plural: lamiak). Lamiak, laminak or amilamiak live in the river. They are very beautiful, and stay at the shore combing their long hair with a golden comb and they charm men. Their feet are webbed and are said to resemble those of ducks. In some coastal regions, many locals believed that there were "itsaslamiak" who had fish tail which appeared when it entered the sea.
Laying on of Hands: A healing practice, in which the healer's hands are placed on or near the body of the sick person. (See also: “healing“).
Le Diable au XIX, Siècle: A book allegedly writen by "Dr. Bataille" and published in Paris in 1892. It created a sensation with its revelations of the secret rites and orgies of many diabolic societies. The author claimed personal experience with devil worship. This exciting and colorful work of some 800,000 words attracted enormous attention and its stories of worldwide diabolic conspiracies associated with Freemasonry were widely discussed. It was first thought to be the work of Dr. Charles Hacks, who contributed a preface entitled "Revelations of an Occultist." Hacks was a real, although shadowy, figure. The book was later revealed to be the work of journalist and editor Gabriel Jogand-Pagés, also known as "Leo Taxil," who confessed to fabricating the book as an anti-Freemasonry, anticlerical hoax.
Legend Tripping: also known as "ostension," (Latin: “To Show“). An adolescent practice (containing elements of a rite of passage) in which a usually furtive nocturnal pilgrimage is made to a site which is alleged to have been the scene of some tragic, horrific, and possibly supernatural event or haunting. The practice has been documented most thoroughly to date in the United States, though there can be little doubt that it occurs in many other countries and cultures.
Lemuria: was thought by some to be the cradle of humankind. The assumption for this arose in the 1860's by the supporters of Darwinian Theory who felt that the discontinuous distribution of a group of species called prosimians needed to be reconciled. In order to do this a number of possibilities were muted including, the notion that Africa, Madagascar, India and South East Asia had been connected by a continent bridging the Indian ocean where the first prosimians where thought to live. As with Atlantis it was thought that this continent sank thus leading to the strange geographic dispersal of the prosimians. The group of animals called prosimians encompass around 20 different species of lemur which tend to be found only on Madagascar and some smaller offshore islands. Strangely their closest relatives are the lorises of South-east Asia and the Indian subcontinent; and the bushbabies and pottos of tropical Africa. To explain this anomoly zoologists suggested that there was once a continent called Lemuria, which sank leaving the species at some distance from each other and separated by water.
Levitating Saints: Saints who seem to possess the an ability to defy the laws of gravity and move up into the air without a visible means of support. The early European Church tended to link this phenomena to diabolical practices and as such it has been widely frowned upon. There have been a number of incidences of levitation among both Saints, noteworthy Christians and over 200 Catholic Saints. Some of these include:
St. Edmund, then Archbishop of Canterbury circa 1242.
St. Teresa of Avila in Madrid during 1680.
Sister Mary an Arabian Carmelite nun in Bethlehem circa 1700.
St. Adolphus Liguori in Foggia during 1777.
Father Suarez at Santa Cruz in Southern Argentina in1911.
Perhaps the most extraordinary levitations of all was St. Joseph of Copertino born 1603 in Apulia Italy. After 22 years of ascetic behaviour coupled with religious torture to achieve a state of religious ecstasy, he finally managed to levitate. At one point a prayer-induced state of ecstasy resulted in him being transported through the air at Mass and left across the altar. Pope Urbain VIII was quite taken aback when St. Joseph of Copertino floated a few feet above the ground in front of him. It is also reported that he managed to levitate more than a hundred times until his death in 1663 when he was canonized because of his unique ability, which was seen by the Church to have been the work of G-d. Today scientists tend to be very sceptical of this type of phenomena, attributing it largely to mass hypnosis of the audience, clever illusions or even drug-induced hallucinations.
Levitation n : the phenomenon or ability of a person or thing to rise into the air and float in apparent defiance of gravity by apparently supernatural means. The raising or suspension of persons or objects into the air without any apparent agency as required by known physical laws of motion and gravity. (See also: “Levitating Saints”)
Ley Lines: Lines as a way Alignments of ancient sites, these are considered to be earth's natural energy lines and also that spirit may use these of traveling quickly from one place to another. It has also been suggested that where two Ley Lines cross there is a possible chance of a portal opening to other dimensions.
Lich: (or liche) An animated corpse commanded by the spirit of a powerful black magician. In Roman Catholicism and the Church of England, the word lychgate refers to a covered area at the entrance to the cemetery where the casket awaits the clergy before proceeding into the cemetery for proper burial, lych being a word meaning body or corpse derived from Old English. Cognate to German Leiche (corpse). Liches are depicted as being clearly cadaverous (as opposed to the generally more appealing forms of vampires), their bodies desiccated or even completely skeletal. Liches achieve a perverse form of immortality and are usually much stronger as undead than they were when they were alive. Liches are often depicted as holding power over hordes of lesser undead creatures, using them as their soldiers and servants. A necromancer is an evil wizard who practices in the necromancy. Necromancy is the power over the world of the dead. Their powers enable them to raise corpses from the ground to create armies of skeletons and Zombies. The underlying idea of eluding death by means of arcane study and black magic can be traced to Middle Eastern folklore,and the method of achieving immortality by placing one's soul in a phylactery, usually hidden in some vast fortress, is suggestive of the burial practices of Egypt. Eastern Slavic mythology includes stories of a powerful dark wizard or a demon, Koschei the Deathless, who evades death by having his fiery soul placed in the eye of a magical needle. The needle is inside an egg, which is inside a duck, which is inside a hare, which is locked in an iron chest placed at the roots of a great oak tree, which is in a hole in the ground on the magical island of Buyan. Koschei can be killed only by breaking the magical needle, which is much like the phylactery of a lich. This image is consistent with the modern interpretation of the lich.
Life Review: Flashback memories of the whole of a person's life, often associated with the near-death experience.
Light Trance Medium: A person whom spirits can communicate through. The spirit wishing to communicate through them does not possess light trance mediums. (Compare with “Deep Trance Medium“).
Liminality: A state of dissociation where a person becomes disoriented and loses their sense of self. Self-proclaimed trance mediums often describe this ambiguous state before they begin to allegedly channel a spirit.
Linger Effect: When an object moves after the agent of psychokinesis has been removed form the area.
Linkage Hypothesis: Maurice Clement Marsh believed that in order for a sensitive to “tune-in” to another person, they must have a personal object from that person, called linkage material.
Lilith (Hebrew: לילית Līlīt; Arabic: ليليث Līlīṯ) A female Mesopotamian storm demon associated with wind and was thought to be a bearer of disease, illness, and death. The figure of Lilith first appeared in a class of wind and storm demons or spirits as Lilitu, in Sumer, circa 4000 BC. Many scholars place the origin of the phonetic name "Lilith" at somewhere around 700 BC despite post-dating even to the time of Moses. Lilith appears as a night demon in Jewish lore and as a screech owl in the King James version of the Bible. In later folklore, "Lilith" is the name for Adam's first wife. The name comes from the proto-Semitic root L-Y-L meaning "Night," literally translating to nocturnal "female night being/demon", although cuneiform inscriptions where Līlīt and Līlītu refers to disease-bearing wind spirits exist. Another possibility is association not with "night" but with "wind," thus identifying the Akkadian Lil-itu as a loan from the Sumerian lil, "air", specifically from NIN.LIL "lady air," goddess of the South wind (and wife of Enlil) —and itud, "moon."
Litanies of the Sabbat: According to one account, on Wednesdays and Saturdays it was the custom to sing at the witches' sabbat the following litanies: " Lucifer, Beelzebub, Leviathan, have pity on us. Baal, prince of the seraphim; Baalberith, prince of the cherubim; Astaroth, prince of the thrones; Rosier, prince of denominations; Carreau, prince of the powers; Belial, prince of the vertues; Perrier, prince of the principalities; Oliver, prince of the arch angels; Junier, prince of the angels; Sarcueil, Fume-bouche, Pierre-le-Feu, Carniveau, Terrier, Contellier, Candelier, Behemoth, Oilette, Belphegor, Sabathan, Garandier, Dolers, PierreFort, Axaphat, Prisier, Kakos, Lucesme, pray for us." Satan was evoked in these litanies only in company with a crowd of other demons. Accounts of different sabbats vary and many litanies appear to have been merely anti-Christian parodies. This particular litany sounds more like an evocation of demons for a magical ritual than a celebration of a witchcraft sabbat.
Lithoboly: Also called clodding; the strangest phenomenon in poltergeist cases where rocks and other solid objects inexplicably fall from the sky or from the ceiling in a house.
Loch Ness Monster: A legendary animal which lives in the depths of Loch Ness, a lake in the Highlands of northern Scotland. The size of this monster, Nessie as it is fondly called, is 12-15 m (40-50 ft) and it has a long, snake-like neck. It is popularly believed to be female. The sightings date back to 565 CE when the Irish Saint Columba claimed he saw the Niseag (the Celtic name for Nessie) when he attended a burial for a man who had been bitten to death by the monster. While it has been sighted in the subsequent centuries, it was not until the 19th century that the sightings become more frequent. The most famous encounter was perhaps in the summer of 1933. On that day Mr. and Mrs. Spicer, returning from a trip to London, saw a monster cross the road, with an animal in his jaws, and submerge in the lake. This incident drew the attention of the world press and Nessie became an international phenomena. There have been many expeditions since, but none as successful as to prove its existence. Also the many sightings, photos and films have been inconclusive.
Llyn Llion: Fabulous ‘Lake of the Waves’ in early Welsh tradition, the overflowing of which caused the flood from which Dwyfan and Dwyfach escaped only in a ship built by Nefyd Naf Neifion. Also the home of the water-monster Afanc, Llyn Llion may possibly be associated with the actual Bala Lake.
Lucid Dream: A dream in which the dreamer is conscious of the fact that they are dreaming. Often associated with feelings of aliveness and freedom, and with the ability to control dream events.
Lucid Dreaming: The state of being able to consciously perceive and recognize that one is in a dream while one is sleeping, and having control over the so-called 'dreamscape,' the faux-reality dream world within a dream.
Lucidity: 1. An early term for clairvoyance. 2. Lucid dreaming
Lucifer: [Middle English, from Old English, morning star, Lucifer, from Latin Lucifer, from lucifer, light-bringer : lux, luc-, light + -fer, -fer.] A term meaning "light bringer," from the Latin "lux" and "ferre," which appears in the Latin Vulgate Bible as a translation of the Hebrew word helel. The name appears in Isa. 14:12, where the king of Babylon is compared to Lucifer (or the planet Venus, the morning star) as one fallen from heaven. In the third century C.E., Lucifer was identified with Satan, and Luke 10:18, which speaks of Satan falling from heaven, was seen as a reference to the verse in Isaiah. In the West, Lucifer also survived as an independent spirit being. According to the old magicians, Lucifer was said to preside over the East (possibly an identification with the morning star). He was invoked on Mondays in a circle in the center of which was written his name. As the price for appearing to the magician, he asked only a mouse.
Other traditions state that Lucifer rules Europeans and Asiatics. He sometimes appears in the shape of a beautiful child. When he is angry his face is flushed, but there is nothing monstrous about him. He is, according to some students of demonology, the grand justice of Hades, and as such is the first to be invoked by witches in the Litanies of the Sabbat. In his poetry John Milton pictured a most human Lucifer, who existed as a potent force for good or evil, one who might have done great good, intensely proud and exceedingly powerful. The attempt to revive Lucifer in his pre-Christian positive nature occurred in Theosophy. Early in the twentieth century, the Theosophical Society named one of their prominent periodicals Lucifer, and the Arcane School called its publishing concern Lucis Publishing.
Luminous Phenomena: The experience of strange lights or glows, often around objects or people in pictures or video. The paranormal production of light phenomena, generally in the presence of certain physical mediums
Luminosity: Small bright lights that suddenly appear and hover, with no scientific explanation or logical cause.
Lycanthrope: A person who can, or has the ability to, change into the form of a wolf. (See also: “Wereworlf“).
Lycanthropy: The transformation of a person into the form of a wolf.