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Middle English apparicioun, from Anglo-French aparicion, from Late Latin apparition-, apparitio appearance, from Latin apparēre


b : a ghostly figure


In psychology and parapsychology, an apparitional experience is an anomalous, quasi-perceptual experience.

It is characterized by the apparent perception of either a living being or an inanimate object without there being any material stimulus for such a perception. The person experiencing the apparition is awake, excluding dream visions from consideration.

In scientific or academic discussion, the term apparitional experience is to be preferred to the term ghost in respect of the following points:

  1. The term ghost implies that some element of the human being survives death and, at least under certain circumstances, can make itself perceptible to living human beings. There are other competing explanations of apparitional experiences.
  2. Firsthand accounts of apparitional experiences differ in many respects from their fictional counterparts in literary or traditional ghost stories.
  3. The content of apparitional experiences includes living beings, both human and animal, and even inanimate objects.

See also