The expression poltergeist comes from the combining of two German words: poltern (crash) and geist (spirit or ghost). So in other words, a noisy or unruly ghost or soul. Although less common than conventional hauntings, reports of poltergeist activity dates back to the first century. In contemporary times the phenomenon has generated several major films and television programs .
So with this in mind, here are the eight main things that you need to know about poltergeists.
1. Parapsychologists can not agree on what they are
Some parapsychologists see poltergeists as a sort of ghost or supernatural entity that are accountable for physical and psychological disturbance. Other people think that such activity originates from"unknown energy" associated with a living individual or a place. Sceptics, on the other hand, favor ordinary explanations like attention seeking, pranks and trickery.
2. Poltergeists often favor women to men
A person-focused poltergeist tends to (although not necessarily ) involve a female adolescent who's experiencing emotional turmoil when the activity begins. That said however, not all so called"focal agents" are teens. Indeed, William G. Roll, a pioneer in poltergeist research, discovered that the age of people reporting encounters of poltergeist activity ranged from eight to 78 years.
3. Some of the best poltergeists are thought to be fakes
In 1967, in a lawyer's office at Rosenheim, Germany odd things started to occur in the presence of the 19 year old secretary Annemarie Schaberl. Paintings and overhead light fittings started swinging, while fluorescent tubes unscrewed themselves and massive spikes in electrical activity occurred. The speaking clock was also called multiple times per minute and furniture was moved. The authorities, utility company officials, physicists and parapsychologist Hans Bender investigated with no explanation. However, many think it was a bogus -- all because of concealed nylon threads -- particularly given that the incidents stopped when Schaberl left the company in early 1968.
4. Poltergeists like to mess with your stuff
Poltergeist activity usually starts with minor isolated episodes . This may include unexplained sounds or familiar objects like your keys or your telephone moving from their usual place. However, while poltergeist activity is normally short lived -- manifestations typically lasting around five months -- several instances have persisted for many years.
The Chilliwack poltergeist in Canada, for example was active for just two months between 1951 to 1952. During this time period the Poltergeist produced violent and loud hammerings on walls accompanied by occasional flying objects. The Brother Doli Case, on the other hand, included a range of phenomena -- stains, carvings of images and Welsh words, normally of a religious nature -- and those persisted for many years.
5. Experts are still undecided regarding the Enfield poltergeist
Among the most well-known poltergeist cases to happen in the UK involved the Hodgson Family, and their newly occupied council house in Enfield, North London. Between 1977 and 1979 it had been the scene of demonic voices, things moving without explanation, levitation and odd sounds. Events focused on the two teenage daughters Margaret and Janet.
A number of trustworthy witnesses observed phenomena -- these witnesses included a police constable, a press photographer and researchers from the Society for Psychical. While researchers did discover some evidence of pranks and fakery, it was considered that a number of the poltergeist episodes were genuine.
6. Some believe that psychological stress can cause activity
Some ghost hunters and paranormals suggest that poltergeists are in fact the emotions of troubled individuals -- built up during times of stress.
This concept, called Spontaneous Recurring Psychokinesis suggests this built-up stress then unconsciously projects outwards in the kind of emotional energy, which impacts the physical surroundings and creates the phenomena attributed to poltergeists. However, there's not much evidence to support that idea.
7. Others think they are souls of the deceased
A lot of people think that spirits of the dead are responsible for poltergeist activity. This is believed to be because individuals who experience them perceive an underlying intelligence and purposeful communication with an otherworldly being. This view proposes a disembodied consciousness -- or soul -- survives bodily death. But there also isn't any compelling scientific evidence to support this opinion .
8. However, sceptics put a lot of it down to misinterpretation
Misinterpretation is likely to happen when people think that a place is haunted and they're searching for signs to verify that. This way, a lot of poltergeist activity can actually result from inaccurate perception of natural phenomena. Just take the case of the women haunted with a ticking clock, it had been actually found that the sound was created by a tiny insect. Other instances like"the curse of the spinning Egyptian" -- an Egyptian statue at a Manchester museum seemed to turn itself during the day -- have both been explained by physical elements like minor seismic activity, underground streams and even rainfall patterns.