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:: What is a Poltergeist? ::
:: What is a Poltergeist?

The term poltergeist is made up of two old German words. Polter means ?noisy? and the second half geist means, ?ghost?. Basically a poltergeist means a noisy ghost. Modern theories and studies today don't associate poltergeist activity with a ghost however. It is usually associated with a human agent who is under some type of extreme stress, or emotional turmoil. The agent is often unaware that they are actually causing the phenomenon to occur.

Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus (typically a prepubescent female). Almost seventy years of research by the Rhine Research Center (Raleigh-Durham, NC USA) has led to the hypothesis among parapsychologists that the "poltergeist effect" is a form of psychokinesis generated by a living human mind (that of the agent). According to researchers at the Rhine Center, the "poltergeist effect" is the outward manifestation of psychological trauma. Skeptics believe that the phenomena are hoaxes perpetrated by the agent. Indeed, many poltergeist agents have been caught by investigators in the act of throwing objects. A few of them later confessed to faking. However, parapsychologists investigating poltergeists think that most occurrences are real, and the agents cheat only when they are subsequently caught cheating. The longevity and consistency between poltergeist stories (the earliest one details the raining of stones and bed shaking in ancient Egypt) has left the matter open for debate within the parapsychology community.

Another version of the poltergeist is the "wrath version." When a person dies in a powerful rage at the time of death, that person is believed by some to come back to fulfill that vengeance. In some cases, the vengeance is too strong to let go or forgive, and the metaphysical ghost becomes a poltergeist, in which the newly formed ghost can affect solid objects, and in some cases are deadly. According to yet another opinion,  (The visible disembodied soul of a dead person)  ghosts and poltergeists are "recordings." When there is a powerful emotion, sometimes at death and sometimes not, a recording is believed to be embedded into the fabric of time, and this recording will continue to play over and over again until the energy embedded disperses.

Some people theorize that poltergeists are caused by the Hutchison effect. (A study based a similar method to magnetism)

William Roll and Harry Price are perhaps two of the most famous poltergeist investigators in the annals of parapsychology. Harry Price investigated Borley Rectory which is widely regarded as "the most haunted house in England."

:: Famous Cases

Although poltergeist stories date back to the first century, most evidence to support the existence of poltergeists is anecdotal. Indeed, many of the stories below have several versions and/or inconsistencies.

    * The Bell Witch (1817)
    * The Haunting of The Fox sisters (1848) - arguably one of the most famous, as it started the Spiritualism movement.
    * The Borley Rectory phenomena (1929)
    * The Rosenheim (Bavaria) Poltergeist (1967)
    * The Enfield Poltergeist (1977)
    * The MckEnzie Poltergeist (fairly recent) - Famed for haunting Greyfriars church yard, Edinbourgh, UK

:: The Enfield Poltergeist (North London)

Regarded as one of the most spectacular poltergeist cases ever recorded, the Enfield Poltergeist case lasted from August 1977 to September 1978. During this time a woman and her four children who were living in a council house in Enfield, London, experienced almost ever single poltergeist phenomena ever identified. Over 1500 separate phenomena were recorded, from a mild beginning with just a few unexplained sounds, to alleged possession and other more disturbing occurances.

Attempts by researchers to prove once and for all the existence of such phenomena failed time after time to actually collect good solid evidence of the events in Enfield. In one instance, a toy brick was said to have materialised out of thin air, flew across the room and hit a photographer on the head. Many items were found to catch fire on their own accord, while metal items seemed to bend and twist out of shape. Most disturbing of all, was the apparant possession of 12 year old Janet, from which came a deep gruff voice on many occassions.

Janet was also reported to have been constantly levitated out of bed at night by an unseen force, effectively trapping her on the ceiling in some cases. To this day the sheer length of time over which these phenomena occurred baffles researchers. This is considered to be a true "classic" poltergeist case.


During an interview, a photographer snapped a photo of the telephone in action and was printed in the newspaper the following day. The publication of the photograph touched off a media furor. Television crews and newspaper reporters from across the country descended on the Resch home, all hoping to witness some other manifestation of the supernatural.

Click here to learn more about the Enfield Poltergeist ..
(The Enfield Poltergeist)

Maurice Grosse, the famous investigator for the Enfield Poltergeist ..
(Maurice Grosse - The Enfield Poltergeist Investigator)