What Are Poltergeists?

What Are Poltergeists? Parapsychologists Can’t Agree on Their Origin

Poltergeists have been a topic of debate among parapsychologists for decades. Some believe that they are supernatural ghosts responsible for psychological and physical disturbances, while others suggest that the activity originates from an unknown energy associated with a living person or a location. Skeptics, on the other hand, believe that most of the incidents are pranks or trickery.

Poltergeists Tend to Prefer Women

In most cases, poltergeist activity involves a female adolescent who is suffering from emotional turmoil. However, William G. Roll, a pioneer in poltergeist research, found that the age of people reporting experiences of poltergeist activity ranged from eight to 78 years. Therefore, not all focal agents are teenagers.

Some of the Best Poltergeists Are Thought to Be Fakes

One of the most famous examples of a possible fake poltergeist occurred in Rosenheim, Germany in 1967. A secretary named Annemarie Schaberl worked at a lawyer’s office, where strange things began to happen. Paintings and overhead light fittings started swinging, fluorescent tubes unscrewed themselves, and there were massive spikes in electrical activity. The speaking clock was also called multiple times per minute, and furniture was moved. The police, utility company, physicists, and parapsychologist Hans Bender investigated without explanation. But many believe it was a fake due to hidden nylon threads, especially given that the incidents stopped when Schaberl left the firm in early 1968.

Poltergeists Like to Mess with Your Stuff

Poltergeist activity typically starts with minor isolated incidents, such as unexplained sounds or familiar objects moving from their usual place. Manifestations typically last around five months, but some cases have persisted for several years. The Chilliwack poltergeist in Canada was active for only two months between 1951 and 1952. During this time, the poltergeist produced loud and violent hammerings on walls accompanied by occasional flying objects. The Brother Doli Case included a range of phenomena, including stains, carvings of images and Welsh words, generally of a religious nature. These experiences continued for several years.

poltergeist ghost in house

Experts Are Undecided about the Enfield Poltergeist

One of the most famous poltergeist cases occurred in Enfield, North London between 1977 and 1979, and involved the Hodgson Family and their new house. The incidents included strange voices, objects moving without reason, levitation, and creepy noises. Witnesses, including a police constable, a press photographer, and investigators, observed the phenomena. While investigators did discover some evidence of pranks and fakery, many of the poltergeist incidents were believed to be genuine.

Emotional Stress May Cause Unusual Activity

Some believe that poltergeists are actually the emotions of troubled individuals built up during times of stress. This theory, known as Spontaneous Recurring Psychokinesis, suggests that increasing stress unconsciously projects outwards in the form of mental energy, which affects the physical environment and produces the phenomena we call poltergeists. However, there is little evidence to support this.

Some Believe They Are Spirits of the Dead

Many people believe that spirits of the dead are responsible for poltergeist activity. People who experience them believe in an underlying intelligence and meaningful communication with an otherworldly being. This view proposes that a disembodied consciousness, or soul, survives bodily death. However, there isn’t any scientific evidence to support this view.

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