A mild form of hallucination is known as a disturbance, and can occur in most of the senses above. These may be things like seeing movement in peripheral vision, or hearing faint noises and/or voices. Auditory hallucinations are very common in schizophrenia. They may be benevolent (telling the subject good things about themselves) or malicious, cursing the subject, etc. Auditory hallucinations of the malicious type are frequently heard, for example people talking about the subjects behind their back. Like auditory hallucinations, the source of the visual counterpart can also be behind the subject's back. Their visual counterpart is the feeling of being looked or stared at, usually with malicious intent. Frequently, auditory hallucinations and their visual counterpart are experienced by the subject together.
Hypnagogic hallucinations and hypnopompic hallucinations are considered normal phenomena. Hypnagogic hallucinations can occur as one is falling asleep and hypnopompic hallucinations occur when one is waking up. Hallucinations can be associated with drug use (particularly deliriants), sleep deprivation, psychosis, neurological disorders, and delirium tremens.
The word "hallucination" itself was introduced into the English language by the 17th-century physician Sir Thomas Browne in 1646 from the derivation of the Latin word alucinari meaning to wander in the mind. For Browne, hallucination means a sort of vision that is "depraved and receive its objects erroneously".
Hallucinations may be manifested in a variety of forms. Various forms of hallucinations affect different senses, sometimes occurring simultaneously, creating multiple sensory hallucinations for those experiencing them.
A visual hallucination is "the perception of an external visual stimulus where none exists". Alternatively, a visual illusion is a distortion of a real external stimulus. Visual hallucinations are separated into simple and complex.
For example, one may report hallucinating a giraffe. A simple visual hallucination is an amorphous figure that may have a similar shape or color to a giraffe (looks like a giraffe), while a complex visual hallucination is a discrete, lifelike image that is, unmistakably, a giraffe.