Mystic Miscellany

Welcome to the largest paranormal dictionary on the web!

Occam's razor – a principle which states that when presented with any number of hypotheses, the correct one will likely be the one that requires the fewest assumptions to make it tenable; named after William of Ockham, a Franciscan friar who developed it; relevant in a discussion of the paranormal because its use can eliminate faulty thinking, falsehoods and bias SYN Ockham's razor, Ocham's razor, law of parsimony

occult – secret knowledge; the study of magic, alchemy and the paranormal [Latin occultus “hidden, clandestine”] SYN mysticism, kabbalism, esotericism, magic, Wicca

odd – weird; different [Old Norse oddi “land's end, triangle, point of a spear”] SYN bizarre, eccentric

Odin /OH-din/ – according to Norse mythology, the god of wisdom, knowledge, royalty, healing, death, the gallows, battle, sorcery, poetry and the runic alphabet; the father of Thor; the god after which Wednesday is named [Old Norse ódr “inspiration, rage, frenzy”] SYN Woden, Wodan, Wotan, Wuotan, Lord of the Aesir, Lord of the Undead

odor of sanctity – a flowery scent that emanates from the bodies of saints, esp. from the wounds of a stigmatic SYN osmogenesia

Ogopogo – a lake monster that inhabits Okanagan Lake in British Columbia, CAN; a 50-ft.-long sea serpent resembling an extinct basilosaurus or mosasaurus SYN Naitaka

ogre alt. ogress (fem.) – a large and hairy grotesque human-like creature that eats humans, esp. children and babies [Latin Orcus (a Roman god of the underworld)]

O'Hare International Airport UFO incident – when a dozen employees at the Chicago airport on the afternoon of Nov. 7th, 2006 witnessed a disc-shaped UFO hover above Gate C-17 for five minutes and zoom vertically through the clouds, leaving a gaping blue hole

Ohio Grassman – a type of bigfoot that differs from most other bigfoots in that it's nine feet tall, eats grass, behaves in a docile manner and is often seen alongside other bigfoots SYN Kenmore Grassman, Wild One of the Woods, Orange Eyes

Old Hag – an old woman who typically appears at the end of one's bed and either taunts or chokes them during sleep paralysis; it's debated whether she is a dream artifact or a real paranormal entity SYN Night Hag, mare

Ombuiri /ohm-BWER-ree/ alt. Ombwiri – a class of spirits that the Mpongwe of Central Africa respect by making a nominal offering as they pass through their abode

One Step Beyond (1959-1961) – a TV show about hauntings that was the inspiration and an example set for later paranormal shows

oni /OH-nee/ sing. and pl. – a kind of hideous ogre or troll in Japanese mythology, which is featured popularly in the kabuki; they are portrayed as having red, blue, black or yellow skin, a single horn, wild hair, wearing a tiger pelt and carrying a club [Japanese oni “spirit of the dead”] SYN onibaba, kijo

OOPArts – out-of-place artifacts that challenge conventional wisdom; important to paranormal enthusiasts because taken in full, the artifacts may prove them right exp. circumstantial evidence shows that aliens may have visited Earth in the past and shaped the course of humankind, that ancient Egyptians mastered electricity and that humans may have co-existed with dinosaurs SYN anomaly

oracle – a person that makes utterances about the future; the place in which one goes to receive insightful advice; the counsel itself [Latin orare “to speak”] SYN divination, prophet, soothsayer

oracle bones – bones believed to be those of a dragon which were ground into powder and sold by Chinese apothecaries for their healing qualities

Oracle of Delphi – the mouthpiece of Apollo to the ancient Greeks; a blameless older woman who was picked from among the peasantry to sit on the seat at the Temple of Apollo to prophesy SYN Pythia, Sibyl, priestess

orang bati sing. and pl. – a winged monkey said to inhabit the Indonesian island of Seram that abducts children to eat them; a cryptid that resembles an extinct pterosaur [Moluccan “wing-man”]

orang mawas sing. and pl. – a ten-foot-tall humanoid with black hair reported to inhabit the jungle of Johor in Malaysia; it may be a surviving gigantopithecus, which is an extinct ape attested to by bone evidence, or a misidentified sun bear [Indonesian “forest person”] SYN orang dalam, orang hutan (orangutan), mawas, maias

orang pendek sing. and pl. – a 2 ft. to 5 ft. tall ground-dwelling humanoid having either gray, yellow, red or black fur that inhabits the mountainous forests on the island of Sumatra [Indonesian “short person”]

orb – a photographic artifact that some interpret as physical evidence of a spirit; not to be confused with dust or lens flares which look very similar [Latin orbis “circle”] SYN ghost orb, angel orb, globule

oread /OH-ree-ad ; OH-ree-ud/ alt. orestiad – a nymph that inhabits the mountains; a friend to Artemis, the goddess [Greek oros “mountain”]

Osculum Infame /OHS-coo-lum in-FAHM-may/ – at a witch's sabbat, a ritualistic kiss given on the Devil's rear; a rite of passage for a witch where she kisses the butt of the Devil and is thereafter accepted into a coven SYN Kiss of Shame, Obscene Kiss, Devil's Salad Tossing

Ostara – a Wiccan holiday celebrated on the spring equinox, March 22nd in the N. hemisphere; the name of a German goddess; the season of spring [PIE “shiny”] SYN Easter, Eostre, Ishtar

Oude Rode Ogen /OWD-duh ROH-duh OHGH-in/ – the name of a cannibalistic shape-shifter that changes between human form and that of a black dog; the name of a faceless bogeyman that terrorizes the Flanders (Belgium) region and kidnaps children [Dutch “Old Red Eyes”] SYN The Beast of Flanders, De Nekker

Ouija board /WEE-jee bord/ – a board with “yes” and “no” printed along the top, the alphabet and numbers arrayed in the center and “good-bye” printed along the bottom which, in conjunction with a planchette, is used by séance participants to receive messages from spirits; a parlor game introduced by Hasbro, Inc. to the public on July 1st, 1890 [a combination of the French and German word for “yes”] SYN spirit board, talking board

Our Lady of Częstochowa (Middle Ages) – a Byzantine painting showing the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus while Jesus holds a copy of “The Gospels”; a national icon that is credited with two miracles: the sudden writhing death of a Hussite who was robbing the Jasna Góra Monastery when he slashed the painting with a sword and the safety of the hilltop parish when the Swedes tried to overtake the country during the Siege of Jasna Góra SYN “The Black Madonna”, Queen and Protector of Poland

Our Lady of Fátima – a series of angel visitations and Marian apparitions witnessed by three Portuguese children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, beginning in 1916, which culminated in “The Miracle of the Sun” on Oct. 13th, 1917 and the revelation of three secrets SYN Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fátima, Nossa Senhora de Fátima

Our Lady of Guadalupe – a series of four Marian apparitions belonging to a Mexican peasant named Juan Diego in 1531 who was told in his native Aztec tongue to have a church honoring her erected on Tepeyac Hill, Mexico City; the iconography of it is highly stylized and can be commonly seen in Mexico and the American Southwest, even in non-religious settings SYN Virgin of Guadalupe, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe

ouroboros /YOUR-roh-BORE-ohs/ alt. uroborus pl. ouroboroi, ouroboroses – an ancient symbol depicting either a dragon or a serpent eating its own tail which represents the cycle of life [Greek ourobóros “tail-devouring”]

out-of-body experience – when the soul of a person leaves the body temporarily and transports itself elsewhere; some medical conditions and medicines can produce the sensation of leaving the body while others claim they can leave their body at will or once asleep SYN OBE, OOBE, astral projection, autoscopy

Ovilus /AH-vil-luhs/ – an electronic speech-synthesis device developed by Bill Chappell for communicating with the dead SYN Ovilus I, Ovilus II, Ovilus 5, Ovilus X, Ovilus FX, Paranormal Puck, Talker, PX

owl (1) – an omen of death and a symbol of witchcraft in some African cultures, many Native American cultures and only sporadically in European cultures; a harbinger of bad luck and ill health; the Apache, Hopi, Seminole, Winnebago, Ojibwe, Aztec and Maya tribes view/ed owls negatively SYN gloom-bird

owl (2) – in Old Europe and the Modern West, a symbol of wisdom, magic and femininity; a familiar of Athena (referred to as the Owl of Minerva); in Japan, a symbol of luck; in Hinduism, the goddess Lakshmi rides one; the embodiment of purity and vigilance in Cherokee lore; to the Pawnee tribe, a symbol of protection

Owlman – a large feathered bird-man seen hovering over a church tower on April 17th, 1976 in the village of Mawnan (England) by two young girls which caused their family to cut short their vacation SYN Owlman of Mawnan, Cornish Owlman


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