I can't wait for Wednesday nights. And it's not because it means there's only two more days until the weekend. It's because Ghost Hunters is on. I love this show. Grant, Jason and their crew go bravely into notoriously haunted places and seek proof of the paranormal. They rarely find it, but when they do, BOY does that start me scratching my head.
We've all heard a ghost story, whether it be a legend, a friend's tale or a personal experience. They've been around for centuries and seem more popular than ever.
I've never had a ghostly experience. In fact, I confess myself a bit of a skeptic, but I've always been fascinated with them.
There are many terms used when referring to ghosts. I'll discuss some of the more common phrases.
An EVP (electronic voice phenomena) is a common phrase used around ghost hunters. It refers to voices caught on a voice recorder that you didn't/can't hear on your own.
A disembodied voice we can hear without aide of an electronic device, but if you happen to have a recorder going chances are you won't hear it on tape.
The residual haunting, is a ghost that is trapped in time. You can't communicate with it. It's like a memory that replays itself. So basically you can insult it and make funny faces at it all day long and it will never respond. They're fun to use in romances. If the hero wants the heroine to be scared enough to fall into his arms, he can always take her someplace he knows has a residual haunting. They're reliable that way.
An intelligent haunting, is a ghost who can communicate in some way. Whether it be by slapping you upside the head, making lamps move, or speaking to you through an EVP. These are more fun to use in a romance because they're a lot scarier and they can interact with you. However, they're not as reliable and you never know when a mischievous intelligent ghost will ruin a perfectly good hair day.
Orbs are spherical images that are typically translucent white or bluish in color. They are usually caught on film or videotape. Orbs are too dull for romances. They're not really good at getting the tension going since the heroine will probably dismiss them as dust, assume the hero isn't a good housekeeper and leave.
Cold spots can be felt when an entity is near. It's believed when a ghost tries to manifest itself, it needs to draw from the energy around it. They can cost you a lot of money in batteries since they drain energy so easily and they don't give it back. Kind of rude, I feel.
As for demons, now we're talking heavy-duty stuff. A demon is a cranky little entity who just wants to cause trouble. And not the fun kind either. They're useful in the darker romances, although they tend to scare the pants off the heroine (see how they're useful?:)
Since we're in the dark arts at the moment, let's discuss the incubus and succubus. Basically they're the same thing, only the incubus is "male" and the succubus is "female".
The incubus is a demonic entity capable of arousing and sometimes even assaulting women. There are numerous possibilities for using a incubus in romance, but since there might be children reading, I won't get into that right now :)
The succubus is said to inspire lust in men. Now, some of you guys out there might be thinking "and that's bad why?" I'll explain. The succubus inspires lust in men but never at a good time. Think back to high school and just as you feel the effects of the succubus, the teacher calls you up to the board for some reason. Also the succubus is capable of attacking, leaving injuries and bruising. Now that might fly in an erotic novel, but for straight romance, it might need to be toned down a bit.
And of course, the poltergeist. This entity is different because while ghosts seem to attach themselves to a home or area, a poltergeist attaches itself to an individual. In a nutshell, they're like spoiled children looking for attention. Maybe that's why it's believed their most common victim is a child. They toss things around and make a lot of noise. Very hard to find a romantic element here. You just want to scold them and give them a time out.
So there you have it. A few terms you can throw around to impress your friends. If you've had a ghostly experience, I'd love to hear about it. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll see you on an episode of Ghost Hunters.