The word 'poltergeist' is from German and
means 'noisy spirit.' Research into this area from the United
States, Brazil, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Finland,
Germany, France, Italy, Malta, India and Russia and other
countries shows that poltergeists really exist and behave
in the same way.
Tens of thousands of cases
have been tens of thousands of poltergeist incidents recorded.
Many people have seen solid objects flying in the air, huge
kitchen cabinets levitating, plates, glasses and clothing
set on fire. Often stones are thrown to break windows. Sometimes
human voices are heard shouting obscenities. In the most
extreme cases scratches, cuts and bite marks can appear
on people and human forms can be seen. Usually they stop
after a few months.
Michael Gross, a British writer, has written
a scholarly annotated bibliography of 1,111 sources about
poltergeist cases from different countries (Gross 1979).
Colin Wilson has produced a very easy to read and comprehensive
382-page book packed with cases. It is called Poltergeist-A
Classic Study in Destructive Hauntings(Wilson
2009). Guy Playfair's book This
House is Haunted is an excellent description of
the Enfield poltergeist case.
One of Britain's most amazing poltergeist
activities was at the Harper home in Enfield. It lasted
for more than sixteen months. It started in August 1977
and ended in October 1978. Mrs. Harper, a divorcee, lived
there with her four children, two boys and two girls, aged
from seven to thirteen.
The disturbances were witnessed by a number
of different people with different backgrounds including
skeptics: police, politicians, psychologists, psychiatrists,
journalists and social workers all reported the poltergeist
Two leading investigators were a writer,
Guy Lyon Playfair, who had experience with poltergeist activities
in Brazil and Maurice Grosse, a member of the English Society
for Psychical Research (SPR). Playfair and Grosse estimated
that over 2,000 incidents were observed by at least 30 witnesses.
Some of the activities of this particular
• throwing household items around;
chairs were smashed, children's toys were seen flying in
the air thrown from an invisible source
• lighting fires
• draining the power out of the journalists' camera
and other electronic batteries immediately after the batteries
had been charged
• throwing an iron grille from the bottom of the fireplace
across the room narrowly missing Jimmy, one of the Harper
• ripping a heavy gas fire out of the wall.
The voice of the poltergeist was heard.
He said his name was 'Joe Watson.' Voices were heard saying
'F--- off you', 'I was sleeping here', and, 'I like annoying
Thousands of poltergeist
cases have been reported in the United States. In one case
the police arrived on the 19th December 1976 at the home
of Mrs. Beulah Wilson of Pearisburg, Virginia after she
complained of regular poltergeist activities. The police
had ignored the complaint but when they went into the house
they saw it for themselves. An invisible force was smashing
dishes, wooden chairs and other household items. The police
witnessed the amazing sight of a 200 pound kitchen cabinet
floating in the air without any means of support.
A most powerful poltergeist activity occurred
in a lawyer's office in the Bavarian town of Rosenheim in
1967.The poltergeist activity centered around an eighteen
year old secretary, Annemarie Schneider. One morning when
she first got the job at the office, she walked down the
entrance hall. Witnesses stated that:
• the hanging lamp started to swing,
• the lamp in the cloakroom started to swing too,
• a bulb directly above her exploded,
• the fluorescent lighting went out in the next room.
At other times:
• loud bangs were heard
• all the lights in the office went out at the same
• electrical fuses would blow without any cause
• cartridges fuses ejected themselves from the sockets
• all four telephones would ring simultaneously with
no one on the line
• calls were frequently cut or interrupted for short
• telephone bills suddenly soared to very high levels
• developing fluid in the photostatic copiers would
often spill out without any disturbance
• investigating technicians captured swinging lamps
and frames on cameras
• physicists F. Karger and G. Zicha could not find
anything wrong with the electrical and other material things
in the office
• drawers were witnessed opening by themselves
• twice a 400 pound cabinet was seem to move by itself.
Professors, journalists, police and other witnesses all
saw the poltergeist phenomena. Professor Bender, a parapsychologist
who investigated this special poltergeist, stated that it
centered around Annmarie. When Annmarie left to work somewhere
else, the poltergeist phenomenon stopped suddenly.
Video- the Rosenheim poltergeist (in German)
Elsewhere, in 1969 in Nicklheim Germany
scientists investigated apports— solid objects moving
'by themselves' from one place to a different place. They
asked the poltergeist to move perfume bottles from one room
to outside the house. Soon afterwards these bottles were
seen falling from the sky.
The materialists explanation is
Beginning with Frank Podmore's book "On
Poltergeists" in 1887 materialists have consistently
argued that they are caused either by fraud or by unconscious
energy of the person at the center of the disturbance.
Professor William Roll, in his book "The
Poltergeist" (1972) claimed that the cause was a psychologically
disturbed individual, usually a child at the time of puberty.
The person is called "the focus". He called this
“recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis” (RSPK)
and claimed it had nothing to do with spirits.
While this "exteriorization of energy"
is part of the cause it is clearly not the whole story.
Otherwise there would be poltergeist activity in every house
with a disturbed teenager. And it does not account for the
cases where there are no disturbed teenagers. And the experimental
evidence for psychokinesis only produces raps and very small
A kind of physical mediumship?
It seems to us that poltergeists have a great deal in common
with uncontrolled physical mediumship. We do know that many
physical mediums were at the center of poltergeist activity
when they were in the early stages of developing their mediumship:
* Daniel Dunglas Home was thrown out of his home by his
aunt at age 17 when furniture started moving on its own
* Florence Cook at age 15 was sacked from her position as
an assistant school teacher because in her presence books
and pencils flew around, chairs kept following her and tables
were moving on their own.
* Brazilian medium Mirabelli was sacked from his job as
a shoe salesman at age 23 because the shoes kept jumping
off the racks
* Matthew Manning from the age of 11 was at the center of
poltergeist activity- various items were moved or disappeared,
there were loud knocking and creaking sounds and objects
flew violently around the house and signatures of dead writers
appeared on his bedroom wall. Matthew later learned to channel
his energies into healing and the phenomena stopped.
We also know from physical mediumship that
some people have an abundance of ectoplasm- a substance
taken from the bodily fluids which on examination turns
back into water. And we know that small puddles of water
are a very common feature
of poltergeist activity.
Modern investigators who believe
that poltergeists are spirits
Ian Stevenson in his paper ‘Are Poltergeists Living
or are they Dead?’ (1972) presents three cases to
show that sometimes poltergeists are caused by spirits of
Some of the points which he suggests a spirit is the cause
include cases where:
• objects seem to be carried and deposited
• the subject is disadvantaged or injured by the phenomena
• meaningful responses are obtained from raps
• apparitional and visual phenomena occur early and
• communications come through mediums from apparent
• the phenomena ceases upon
intercession, placation or exorcism.
Professor Roll did admit that in some poltergeist cases
the spirit explanation has to be accepted.
When Colin Wilson wrote the first version
of his book Poltergeist in 1980 he still followed
the "accepted" theory of parapsychologists that
poltergeists were caused only by living human beings.
He says that he was influenced first by Guy Lyon Playfair
who told him that poltergeists caused by:
" A football of energy. When people get into conditions
of tension, they exude a kind of energy, the kind of thing
that happens to teenagers at puberty. Along come a couple
of spirits, and they do what any group of schoolboys would
do: they begin to kick it around, smashing windows and generally
creating havoc. Then they get tired and leave it. In fact
the football often explodes and turns into a puddle of water."
Wilson claims that soon after he talked
with a German professor of Parapsychology who told him that
the Germans who had investigated the Rosenheim Poltergeist
under Professor Hans Bender had come to the same conclusion.
Soon after this Colin Wilson met British psychic investigator
Montague Keen who told him he had shared his house with
two poltergeists. The first in December 2001 was identified
by two mediums as Mrs Joyce, the previous owner of the house
and the second was a man named "Alfie House" who
had drowned in the river two years before. Both were persuaded
to move on.
Wilson also claims that following the sudden
death of 300,000 people from the tsunami in Thailand in
2004 poltergeist phenomena were in "plague" proportions-
a clear indication of spirits not able to move on. Read
Alan Kardec's explanation
The name “Allan Kardec” was the pen name of
H. Leon Denizard Rivail, a French educator and philosopher.
In 1854, he made a list of
hundreds of questions on the afterlife. He sent them to
the best direct writing mediums who seemed to be getting
information from high level spirits. He was absolutely stunned
to find that the answers which came back were all consistent.
The answers were compared, analyzed and published in The
Spirits Bookand a number of others including The
Book on Mediums (1874).
In Chapter 5 of the Mediums book which is on "Spontaneous
Physical Manifestations" he gives an explanation of
* He says that physical manifestations are
caused by low level spirits who always use the power of
someone who is a real medium but does not know it.
* there are cases in which the spirit appears to act alone
but then it draws the "animalized fluid" from
elsewhere and not from a person present.
* this explains why spirits who surround us constantly do
not at every moment produce disturbances.
* the spirit must have a motive- usually either to draw
attention to something or to amuse themselves. Sometimes
they set upon an individual who they want to annoy and laugh
at the fears they create. Sometimes revenge is the motive.
Sometimes they just want the person to leave their house.
How to cope with a poltergeist.
Kardec advises to make sure
first of all that there is no human or physical cause. Then
try to talk to the spirit to find out what it wants- bring
in a medium if needed. "If they ask for something,
it is certain that their visits will cease as soon as their
desire is satisfied".
If it turns out that the spirit is "an idle jester"
he suggests you give it as little attention as possible.
Emotion feeds the disturbance.
If it turns out that the spirit is malevolent , "we
can pray to God to make him better. In every case prayer
will always have a good result. But the gravity of the forms
of exorcism make them laugh, and they care nothing about