Frequently Asked Questions

 

You have 'Type' next to each entry - what does it mean?

What are Water Horses?

What is the Gwrach-y-rhibyn?

What are Corpse Candles?

What are Kobalts / Bucca?

What is a Tarbh-uisge?

What is a Bean-nighe?

What are Phookas?

What is a Silky?

What is Ireland's Vanishing Island?

Do you analyse photographs?

I submitted a story to you a while but it has not been published - why?

Where does your information come from?

Why have you not responded to my query?

Why can I not see any ghosts / ufos / strangeness in any of your photographs?

 

You have 'Type' next to each entry - what does it mean?

Each database record is categorised under one of the following:

  • ABC - An abbreviation of Alien Big Cats, these are typically large creatures that witnesses claim to be lions, panthers and tigers, but not found in their natural environments.
  • Manifestation of the Living - Ghostly apparitions of people who are not yet dead. This includes people who meet their Doppelganger.
  • Crisis Manifestation - A spectre or entity that normally only appears or is heard by a select few, during family or national disasters.
  • Cryptozoology - Sightings of a creature whose existence is not readily accepted by contemporary mainstream science.
  • Curse - Normally placed upon a place or given object by a vengeful person, curses bring misfortune and even death to those on the receiving end. The most prolific curse in the uk and Ireland is that of the Screaming Skull; placed within a building, removal of the ghastly item can cause ill-fortune to home and owners.
  • Dragon - In the Western world, these creatures were normally malicious fire breathing entities which insisting on eating livestock and people, and normally ended up slain by bold knights or fearless villagers.
  • Environmental Manifestation - Spectral aural or visual effects that can appear to surround a witness or dominate a landscape. The most common form of this type tends to be houses which do not really exist. A complete listing can be found here.
  • Experimental Manifestation - Quite rare, these tend to be apparitions deliberately generated by people exploring the psyche.
  • Fairy - Sightings of fairies, dwarfs, gnomes, goblins, or any of the 'little people'.
  • Haunting Manifestation - A spectral apparition, smell, or sound that has an established presence in a building or area.
  • Legend - A mythological story that has existed for many years, normally passed verbally from generation to generation. A large number of legends in the UK feature King Arthur or the Devil.
  • Other - Any other data entry that fails to fit alternative categories.
  • Poltergeist - Invisible energy sources that can create havoc in the vicinity of the person they take a liking to. Poltergeists tend to attach themselves to teenage girls, though this is not always the case.
  • Post-Mortem Manifestation - A ghost that appears only briefly after the death of the flesh.
  • SHC - An abbreviation of Spontaneous Human Combustion. In the paranormal database, we list where these events occurred.
  • Shuck - Also known under a plethora of alternative names (including Cwn Annwn (Wales), Trash, Striker, Barguest & Padfoot), the shuck is a large black dog, normally the size of a calf, which can bring ill fortune to those who see it.
  • UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects, a list of famous and/or unusual sightings, rather than complete details of the thousands that are reported each year.
  • Unknown Ghost Type - Ghostly phenomena that does not fit any of the previous descriptions.
  • Vampire - an undead entity which returns to drink blood or attack the living; only a handful of reports of these creatures exist in the UK.
  • Werewolf - A person who changes into a large wolf during the full moon. Many believe the lycanthrope to be a mainland European creature, though there are several reports of this monster in the UK.

In regard to the ghost types, the model is based loosely on that by Emily Peach in her book 'Things that go Bump in the Night' (Aquarian Press, 1991).

What are Water Horses?

Welsh Water Horses (Ceffyl-dwr) are semi-spectral creatures which emerged from rivers and offered to carry weary travellers. They would fly for great distances in the air, normally before vanishing several hundred metres above the ground with their rider plummeting to his death. In Scotland, it would be common for the Water Horse to wait invitingly for a rider by the site of a river or loch. Once mounted, the horse would dive into the water and drown the person on its back.

What is the Gwrach-y-rhibyn?

A Welsh version of the Irish Banshee, the Gwrach-y-rhibyn manifests as an old hag who brings warnings of death and disaster to well established Welsh families.

What are Corpse Candles?

While reports of corpse candles have been recorded all over the UK, they are most numerous in Wales, where they are also known as Cannyllau Cyrth. Manifesting as a flickering light, the entity would be seen moving towards a churchyard (following a future funeral path), and once entering the area would hover over the ground where the next corpse would be buried. The size of the flame was said to denote the age of the person to die - a small one for a child, a larger flame for an older person.

What are Kobalts / Bucca?

Kobalts and Bucca were names given to the goblin-like entities that frequented mine shafts, responsible for the banging and rapping heard at night when the mines were devoid of human life. Bucca were also wind spirits, said to be able to foretell storms at sea.

What is a Tarbh-uisge?

A Tarbh-uisge is a Scottish mythological creature in the form of a Water Bull with no ears and soft black velvet skin

.

What is a Bean-nighe?

The Bean-nighe is a Scottish spirit; an ill bringer in the form of an old washer woman who would be seen on the banks of rivers and lochs scrubbing the clothes of those soon to die. The entity has long breasts slung over her shoulders, and if one was grabbed from behind the spirit would have no choice but to tell her assailant to whom the clothes belonged. If a person was indeed brave enough to engage with the Bean-nighe, she could change fate and prevent their death.

What are Phookas?

These evil manifestations normally possess animal bodies (normally that of dogs or goats) and heads of loathing men, though their form does vary enormously from region to region. Exclusively found in Ireland, the creatures tend to hunt in packs and bring ill-fortune and death to any communities they terrify.

What is a Silky?

A Silky is a old Northumbrian name for a phantom woman. The entity tends to be invisible, but makes her presence known by smell (ie perfume) and the rustling of her dress. As the dresses tend to sound like silk sheets rubbing against each other, this ghost type was named 'Silky'.

What is Ireland's Vanishing Island?

In several bays around the Irish coast, fishing communities have spoken about a small, lush island which appears early in the morning before moving off or vanishing. While modern theory is that the island is a mirage, two myths linger. Some people believe that the land belongs to the fairies, which they use to move around (mostly) undetected and away from prying human eyes. The other story states that the island was once rooted in Galway bay and ruled over by a cruel king. His people fled en mass, and he and his land was cursed to move around the sea until the stars burn out.

Do you analyse photographs?

Although this is something we do not normally engage in, if time permits we are happy to give our opinion on any strange images which you may have taken - drop us a line using the contact form.

I submitted a story to you a while but it has not been published - why?

Because the Paranormal Database has limited staff, it can take some time to edit all the mail which it receives. Sometimes stories are omitted for other reasons, though this is rare.

Where does your information come from?

The information published comes from many sources, including journals, books, magazines, and first and second hand accounts. Please see further reading for a list of sources which have not been sent to us direct.

Why have you not responded to my query?

While we try to respond to every query, it can sometimes take a while. Some emails are difficult to respond to as we do not have all the answers, though we do attempt to signpost vistors in the right area.

Why can I not see any ghosts / ufos / strangeness in any of your photographs?

The photographs on this website, unless otherwise stated, show the location of the paranormal activity, rather than the activity itself.

Last Updated 13 Jan 2008

 

 

 

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