Necromancy is a claimed form of magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 that involves communication with the deceased
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

, either by summoning
Evocation is the act of calling or summoning a spirit, demon, god or other supernatural agent, in the Western mystery tradition. Comparable practices exist in many religions and magical traditions.-Evocation in the Western mystery tradition:...

 their spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

 in the form of an apparition
In traditional belief and fiction, a ghost is the soul or spirit of a deceased person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living. Descriptions of the apparition of ghosts vary widely from an invisible presence to translucent or barely visible wispy shapes, to...

 or raising them bodily, for the purpose of divination
Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic standardized process or ritual...

, imparting the ability to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge. The term may sometimes be used in a more general sense to refer to black magic
Black magic
Black magic is the type of magic that draws on assumed malevolent powers or is used with the intention to kill, steal, injure, cause misfortune or destruction, or for personal gain without regard to harmful consequences. As a term, "black magic" is normally used by those that do not approve of its...

 or witchcraft
Witchcraft, in historical, anthropological, religious, and mythological contexts, is the alleged use of supernatural or magical powers. A witch is a practitioner of witchcraft...


In Renaissance magic
Renaissance magic
Renaissance humanism saw a resurgence in hermeticism and Neo-Platonic varieties of ceremonial magic.The Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution, on the other hand, saw the rise of scientism, in such forms as the substitution of chemistry for alchemy, the dethronement of the Ptolemaic theory of...

, necromancy (or nigromancy, negromancy, by popular association with negro "black") was classified as one of the seven "forbidden arts".

The word "necromancy" derives from the Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 νεκρός (nekrós), "dead body", and μαντεία (manteía), "prophecy
Prophecy is a process in which one or more messages that have been communicated to a prophet are then communicated to others. Such messages typically involve divine inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of conditioned events to come as well as testimonies or repeated revelations that the...

 or divination".