Jott is an acronym for “just one of those things” to describe odd paranormal phenomena that do not fit into any prevailing paradigm. The acronym was coined by Mary Rose Barrington, a psychical researcher and vice president of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). Barrington has collected, classified and catalogued numerous cases of jotts.

There are two main classes of jotts. The more frequent of the two is jottles, which concern the displacement of objects, including phenomena associated with apports and poltergeist activity. The second is oddjotts, which concern miscellaneous happenings that have no explanation.

Jottles are further broken down into classifications that are interrelated:

Walkabout. An article disappears from a known location and is found later in another and often bizarre location, without explanation for how it got there.

Comeback. An article disappears from a known location and later, anywhere from minutes to years, reappears in the same location. It may be a special case of walkabout.

Flyaway. An article disappears from a known location and never reappears. Flyaways may be stage 1 walkabouts.

Turnup. An article known to an observer but from an unknown location is found in a place where it was previously known not to be . Turnups may be stage 2 of a walkabout.

Windfall. A turnup in which an article is not known to the observer.

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.

See Also:

Further Reading:

  • Barrington, Mary Rose. “JOTT—Just One of Those Things.” Psi Researcher 3 (1991): 5–6.
  • ———. “JOTT Update.” Paranormal Review 5 (1998): 10– 11.


The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – September 1, 2007