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The name Poltergeist in English generally means noisy ghost or noisy Spirit. Unexplained happenings. No recorded happenings of any significance have been brought forward to say any person has been really harmed by them.
What should be remembered is that in the presence of many Physical Mediums, noises [rapping] and movements of objects [Levitations] and people, mainly children of puberty age are common occurrences. In extreme cases of Poltergeist phenomena, the Poltergeist creates disorder which is haphazard.
A pot getting thrown by the Polterguist
In ancient times the happenings were described as being caused by Hob Goblins or Household Goblins. In the Elizabethan era the name was the Boggart, or Bogy, even the Devil or part of him. Some blame it upon evil around or inside the person or persons the phenomena happens around. I certainly do not go along with those theories. The most likely explanation is the Spirit person who is causing the problems is frustrated at being in a conditions that they do not understand or do not want to belong in. That being the different environment to that which they had lived in on the earth plane. They are in the Netherland, in between the earth plane and the Spirit World, trying to keep hold of their ties to the earth plane, not allowing the progression which is so necessary to go forward into the Light [If you wish to find out more on this subject read the book Meditation Oneness in the R'Help section]. Many causing Poltergeist activity do not realise that they are what we know as dead and yet they cannot let anyone know that they are there, this one of the reasons they throw things around and break things, never really hurting people, it is to get noticed.
In physical phenomena the happenings that occur are in dim light or darkness. This does not seem to be necessary for the poltergeist to perform its attention seeking phenomena, which can occur at any time and in any sort of lighting conditions.
Over the centuries there have been many writers from many different countries who have documented the activities of Poltergeists. Many of the activities across the world having the same characteristics. The activities when they have been researched generally point to one person as being the attraction or the Natural Medium or the Natural Catalyst for the phenomena to be produced. The person is generally a sensitive soul who cares about their fellow man more than others, but not always. It has been shown the person can be a highly strung person, a child, a youth coming up to puberty when their hormones are all mixed up, a person who is easily placed into a trance, a person who has abnormal electrical activity of the brain like those who are epileptic. From the looks of things these happenings are just the forerunners of modern day Spiritualism. Look what happened in Hydesville New York USA with the Fox sisters.
One of the many early poltergeist cases that were written down were those of the Drummer of Tedworth.
The case of the
Drummer of Tedworth began in 1661. A vagrant drummer was taken before a justice
of the peace and deprived of his drum. The instrument was found in the house of
Mr. Mompesson. Later, psychic disturbances broke out in the house. Loud knockings and thumpings and the beating of an invisible drum were heard. Articles flew around
the rooms and the beds (particularly those of the children) were shaken. After
the drummer was sentenced to leave, the manifestations ceased, but reoccurred
when the Spirit later returned.
Local opinion as was normal then, put the case as witchcraft by the drummer. As happens years later psychical researchers such as Frank Podmore believed the two young girls in the bed were responsible for the knockings and scratchings of the poltergeist rather than the drummer. BUT think on, he was not there at the time, and most of these sceptics always placed these happenings as being the fake work of the mediumistic people and not of Spirit. How on earth this man can say with authority these happening centuries ago did not happen as they were reported is beyond comprehension.
In 1716 the Epworth Phenomena case, the family of the Reverend Samuel Wesley (father of Methodist founder John Wesley) described levitations, loud noises, and rappings, together with apparitions such as rabbits and badgers. Podmore was of the opinion that Hetty, one of John's sisters, was in some way responsible for the disturbances. The lady herself did not give any account of the happenings.
In Germany, was recorded a poltergeist case that occurred in 1806-07 in the Castle of Slawensik, Silesia. Justinus Kerner in his book The Seeress of Prevorst, which was published in 1845.
In America in 1850, disturbances occurred in the house of the Reverend Eliakim Phelps at Stratford, Connecticut. Blaming their son who was twelve-year-old at the time, Harry Phelps was put in a water cistern and suspended from a tree. At the time Mrs. Phelps was often pinched and pricked, once from out of a vacant room, a bottle of ink was thrown at her white dress.
Poltergeist in Staus, Switzerland. 1860-62. The disturbances in the house of Mr. Joller, a lawyer. Knocks
were first heard by a maid, who claimed she was seeing grey shapes and hearing
the sound of sobbing. She was not believed so in the autumn of 1861, she was dismissed,
then another maid
was taken on.
In the summer of 1862 the disturbances began again. the lawyers wife and his seven children claimed to have heard and seen many sights and sounds, although the lawyer Joller remained a sceptic. After a short time and spending more time at home with his wife and children he became certain that no person on the house was employing trickery neither was their imagination playing tricks so he had to accept the families explanation of the phenomena. During this time many people from the surrounding area heard about all the happenings so they began coming to the house and soon the manifestations appeared before thousands who were attracted by stories of the phenomena that had been circulating. The Land-Captain Zelger, the Director of Police Jaun, the President of the Court of Justice, and many prominent people of the area began to hear about the phenomena they then turned up to investigate the disturbances and some of them suggested a commission be appointed to examine the house. The commission appointed three policemen who said the Lawyer and his family had to move out before the enquiry began. They stayed there in the Joller house for six days without anything at all happening. But when the family came back the happening began again. The town's people started to ridicule the lawyer Joller and his family so they moved out of their home, which had been in the family for generations.
The story known as "The Great Amherst Mystery" (after the 1888 book by Walter
Hubbell) occurred between 1878-79 at Amherst, Nova Scotia, in the Teed family.
The phenomena centred around Esther Cox, a sister of Mrs. Teed. the first of the
happenings was a cardboard
box, moving about on its own beneath the bed. The
next night Esther's body began to swell to an abnormal size [transfiguration]. Soon after, a noise,
"like a peal of thunder" woke up everyone in the house.
The bedclothes flew off Esther's bed night after night; an invisible hand wrote in the plaster: "Esther Cox, you are mine to kill." Cold water on the kitchen table bubbled and hissed like boiling water, yet its temperature remained unaffected; and a voice announced the house would be set on fire and for many days lighted matches were seen falling from the ceiling on the bed.
The Spirit communicated by raps, and said he was an evil Spirit bent on mischief and would torment Esther until she died. Things became so bad that Esther left. In the house of a friend, Mr. White, for a month everything was quiet. One day, while Esther was scrubbing the hall floor, the brush suddenly disappeared from under her hand. A few moments later, it fell from the ceiling. The Spirit was heard to walk about the house, banged the doors, attempted to set the house on fire, stabbed Esther in the back with a knife, and piled up seven chairs in the parlour and pulled one out near the bottom allowing them to fall with a crash. This lasted for nearly a year.
Walter Hubbell, the actor, was supposedly a witness. In 1907, the psychical researcher Hereward Carrington interviewed some of the surviving witnesses at Amherst. The testimonies he gathered confirmed the accuracy of Hubbell.
In Italy, the newspaper La Stampa of Turin claimed on November 19, 1900,
poltergeist occurrences in a wine and spirit shop. Cesare Lombroso investigated
the case and wrote: "I went into the cellar, at first in complete darkness, and
heard a noise of broken glasses and bottles rolled at my feet. The bottles were
ranged in six compartments one above another. In the middle was a rough table on
which I had six lighted candles placed, supposing that the spirit phenomena
would cease in the bright light. But, on the contrary, I saw three empty
bottles, standing on the ground, roll as though pushed by a finger, and break
near the table. To obviate any possible trick, I felt and carefully examined by
the light of a candle all the full bottles which were on the racks, and assured
myself that there was no cord or string which could explain their movements.
After a few minutes first two, then four, then two other bottles on the second
and third racks detached themselves and fell to the ground, not suddenly but as
though carried by someone; and after their descent, rather than fall, six of
them broke on the wet floor, already soaked with wine; only two remained whole.
Then at the moment of leaving the cellar, just as I was going out, I heard
another bottle break."
Alexander Aksakof described several instances of poltergeist fires in his book Animisme et Spiritisme (1906). One occurred in 1870, at the country house of a Mr. Shcnapoff, near Orenburg, Russia and was investigated by various locals. It seems that Mrs. Shcnapoff was the Medium in this case. When she was sent away from the house, the phenomena ceased. On one occasion a bluish phosphorescent spark was seen flying through the air, bursting a cotton dress into flames in her bedroom. Another time the dress she was wearing caught fire. In extinguishing it her husband was severely burned, yet she suffered no injury.
Sporadically, events were claimed to have occurred to justify the Russian belief in the "domovoy," the Slavic "House Elf" who performs various domestic duties during the night and watches over the sleeping household. The Shcnapoff case is similar to the Morell Theobald case where the poltergeist obligingly lit the kitchen fires. An even more domesticated poltergeist was recorded by J. A. Gridley in his book Astounding Facts from the Spirit World (1854). He wrote that on one occasion the breakfast table was laid by Spirit agency.
The medieval Annales Fuldenses includes a chronicle of stone throwing
approximately 858 AD in the town of Bingen on the Rhine. It was believed
stones were thrown by a malignant Spirit, and they struck dwelling walls.
Joseph Glanvill in his 1681 study Sadducismus Triumphatus, recorded the witch trial of Mary London. She was a servant girl who, in addition to vomiting pins, had stones flung at her. Surprisingly the stones vanished after falling on the ground.
In the early period of the Society for Psychical Research, London, opinions
about poltergeist phenomena were dominated by the sceptical theories of Frank
Podmore, but an alternative view was presented by Sir William Barrett in 1911.
Amongst reported cases, Barrett investigated one at Derrygonnelly, in Ireland,
where he claimed the phenomena had intelligence. Four times he got answers to
numbers that he mentally asked.
In 1926, Eleonore Zugun, a Romanian peasant girl, was brought to London by psychical researcher Harry Price to London, and studied at the National Laboratory of Psychical Research for more than three weeks. The girl exhibited stigmata. Poltergeists stuck pins and needles into her body. Objects wandered around the room when she was in it. Reportedly no fraud was detected.
Hereward Carrington investigated the Windsor Poltergeist case involving a haunted town. Many of the Windsor residents conspired to play a prank on an old judge to mock his belief in Spiritualism. Carrington's account of the hoax was published in his book Personal Experiences in Spiritualism (1918, pp. 112-24). As is the case with many believers confronted with evidence of having been defrauded the judge refused to accept Carrington's explanation and insisted the manifestations were genuine.
One of the most interesting things about poltergeist phenomena is that in modern times, when there has been a marked decline in the physical phenomena of mediumship (most of which was fraudulently produced by tricks that will no longer work), poltergeists (not the product of fraud) continue to be reported, and many have been accessible to parapsychologists with modern monitoring equipment.
In Germany, the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie (Institute for Border Areas of Psychology) under the direction of Dr. Hans Bender has studied 35 cases of poltergeists since World War II. Of these, the Rosenheim Case, 1967-68, attracted the most attention. In a lawyer's office in Rosenheim, Bavaria electric lamp bulbs exploded, neon tubes continually went out, fuses blew, photostatic copying machines did not work, telephones rang or conversations were cut off unaccountably, and sharp bangs were reported. The focus of these events seemed to be Annemarie Sch., a nineteen-year-old employee. The disturbances ceased when she left the office, although witnesses claimed further events took place in her new office.
In Britain in 1977, the Enfield Poltergeist attracted wide attention. The
poltergeist effects reportedly appeared in-house in the North London suburb of
Enfield and focused its activity around the Hodgson family, Peggy Hodgson and
her four children. Events recorded included inexplicable movements of objects,
often flying through the air, levitation and transportation of one of the
children, and noisy knockings. The case was investigated by members of the
Society for Psychical Research, and author Guy Lyon Playfair who published a
book on the phenomena.
In the United States, parapsychologist William G. Roll of the Foundation for Research on the Nature of Man, made poltergeists one of his specializations following his initial investigation of the Seaford Poltergeist of Long Island in 1958, when disturbances took place in the family of Mr. and Mrs. James Herrmann and their two children. Bottles were uncapped and the contents spilled, and toys were broken, in addition to the usual noises and movement of objects. Roll's monograph, The Poltergeist (1976), summarized the parapsychological aspects of the subject.
Reference books :-
J. A. Gridley in his book Astounding Facts from the Spirit World (1854).
Britten, Emma Hardinge. Nineteenth Century Miracles. N.p., 1883.
Lang, Andrew. Cock Lane and
Common-Sense. London: Longmans Green, 1896.
Barrett, Sir William. "Poltergeists, Old and New." Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research 25, no. 64 (August 1911).
Price, Harry. "Same Account
of the Poltergeist Phenomena of Eleonore Zügun." Journal of the American Society
for Psychical Research (August 1926).
Bell, Charles Bailey. A Mysterious Spirit. N.p., 1934.
Poltergeist. London: Faber & Faber, 1940.
Carrington, Hereward, and Nandor Fodor. Haunted People; Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1951. Reprinted as The Story of the Poltergeist Down the Centuries. London: Rider, 1953.
Thurston, Herbert. Ghosts and
Poltergeists. Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1954.
Dingwall, E. J., K. M. Goldney, and Trevor H. Hall. The Haunting of Borley Rectory. London: Duckworth, 1955.
Fodor, Nandor. On the Trail of the Poltergeist. New York: Citadel, 1958. Reprint, London: Arco Publications, 1959.
Owen, A. R. G. Can We Explain
the Poltergeist? New York: Helix Press, 1964.
Bell, Charles Bailey, and Harriet Parks Miller. Bell Witch of Tennessee. Reprint, Nashville, Tenn.: C. Elder, 1972.
Beloff, John, ed. New Directions in Parapsychology. London: Paul Elek (Scientific Books), 1974. Reprint, Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1975.
Bender, Hans. "Modern Poltergeist Research—A Plea for an Unprejudiced Approach." In New Directions in Parapsychology, edited by John Beloff. London: Paul Elek (Scientific Books), 1974. Reprint, Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1975.
Richat, Charles. Thirty Years of Psychical Research. New York: Macmillan, 1923. Reprint, New York: Arno Press, 1975.
Roll, William G. The
Poltergeist. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press, 1976.
Gauld, Alan, and A. D. Cornell. Poltergeists. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1979.
Playfair, Guy Lyon. This House is Haunted; An Investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist London: Souvenir Press, 1980.
Objects that abruptly materialise [apport] and others that mysteriously vanish from sight [asport] - do they come from and go into another dimension?
MYSTERIOUS APPEARANCES and disappearances bulk large among the inexplicable happenings that fill the archives of the paranormal. They are frequently an important part of poltergeist activity. Elusive though the relevant evidence is, those who study such cases often become convinced that objects apparently normal in all other respects can suddenly appear from nowhere - and that may mean from another dimension. A well-documented example of such an event involved a couple enjoying lunch with two guests in the Brazilian town of Jabuticabal in 1966. In their own words: Just as Mrs Dias instinctively looked up at the ceiling, she saw a stone fall, as if it had come from the ceiling, but when it was about 5 feet [1 1/2 metres] from the floor it split into two separate pieces, each of which fell in the opposite direction to the other.
Mrs Dias quickly picked up the two pieces of stone
and found that they fitted together with a strong magnetic attraction.
The others present were able to repeat this several times until the
stone gradually lost its magnetic force.
Neighbours of the family were also involved in a poltergeist manifestation, which was unusually well-witnessed. During this a local dentist, Mr João Volpe, amassed no less than 312 stones, one weighing over 8 pounds (3.7 kilograms), that had been flung into his house. The happenings apparently centred on an 11-year-old girl. The stones appeared from all directions, yet only once was anybody hit - when a stone appeared in mid-air, tapped three people lightly on the head, and fell to the floor. The witnesses reported that the sensation was like that of being hit by 'a ball of compressed air'.
In 1977 a professional photographer, Graham Morris, was less fortunate. He was struck hard on the forehead by a flying toy brick at the moment he released his shutter. His photograph shows two people facing him, one with folded arms and the other with hands in pockets. So who threw the brick? This took place in the early days of the Enfield poltergeist case (see page 290), when several witnesses saw stones, coins and even a paper handkerchief fall to the floor, as if they had come through the ceiling. Other incidents at Enfield that violated accepted laws of physics included the teleportation (transportation by mysterious means) of a book into the house next door, which was witnessed by people in both houses; the appearance in mid-air of a piece of plastic, before the eyes of a relative of the familv involved; and, most remarkable of all, the sudden appearance of a large cushion on the roof of the house, witnessed by several astonished passers-by.
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