What is a Poltergeist?

What is a poltergeist? According to dictionary.com the definition of a poltergeist is:

a ghost or spirit supposed to manifest its presence by noises, knocking, etc.

The origin of the word can be traced back to the German word of polter to make noise, knock, rattle + geist which means ghost. The word has been around since the 1840’s.

The British Dictionary definition makes mention of the noises but also the acts of mischief a poltergeist can do such as throwing furniture around. “In the native idiom of Northern England, such phenomenon likely would be credited to a boggart.” (2017, Dictionary.com)

Excuse me, but you seem to have a poltergeist 

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tvtropes.com What is a poltergeist

There are many stories out there about poltergeist activity. As Russ Hymas wrote in 2012 for his article called “Real Haunted Houses: Accidental Injuries Indoors” there was a case of a poltergeist residing in a family home in London, England between 1977-78. This case was partially witnessed by the Physicist, Vladistav Bukreev. It has been reported that Bukreev witnessed windows shattering, and showers of stones and bricks that would fall inside the home. Objects would fly through the air without the help of anyone. There were unexplained noises heard within the home and fluid, that looked like blood, would seep from the walls. The family members had bite and claw marks on their bodies and the daughters were lifted into the air by an unseen force. This was a brave family or perhaps a stubborn one as they resided in the home for almost a year before the poltergeist drove them to leave.

I am sure it is not news to hear that not everyone believes in poltergeists. William G. Roll, PhD was an Oxford-educated parapsychologist who did a study regarding poltergeist and poltergeist activity. He concluded that perhaps “a possible explanation for poltergeist activity that focuses on the living witness- not the ghost- as the source of the psychokinetic energy.” (William G. Roll The Poltergeist)

This is a theory that is held by not only Roll but also by other parapsychologists. This theory has at its core, and in layman terms, that poltergeist activity is caused by a human that resides in the home that is experiencing emotional turmoil. “Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis is the idea that the human mind might be actually causing the psychokinetic-like events to occur without the subject even knowing they might be the source of the activity.” (2012, Dorkenheimer, Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) as a theory for Poltergeist Activity. What’s your part in it?)

Click here to learn about the Ghosts of the White House.

It is difficult for me to believe that someone can allow their mind to bring fear, horror, and even physical pain to their family members without knowing they are doing so. If that is the true explanation for poltergeist activity it must be devastating to the person who caused the PK events. I am left wondering how the problem would be resolved? Intensive therapy?

I hope you enjoyed this article about “what is a poltergeist”. Let us know if you have had any such experiences and what your beliefs are.


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