What Exactly is A Poltergeist?


 

Poltergeist:


  Poltergeist (German for noisy ghost) is a term for a supposed spirit or ghost that manifests by moving and influencing inanimate objects (rather than through visible presence or vocalization). Stories featuring poltergeists typically focus heavily on raps, thumps, knocks, footsteps, and bed-shaking, all without a discernable point of origin or physical reason for occurrence.

  Many accounts of poltergeist activity detail objects being thrown about the room, furniture being moved, and even people being levitated. A few poltergeists have even been known to speak (The Bell Witch, 1817; Gef the Talking Mongoose, 1931). Most classic poltergeist stories originate in England, though the word itself is German. Forteans sometimes will informally refer to poltergeists as "polts".


 
Research:


  Poltergeist phenomena are a focus of study within parapsychology. Parapsychologists define poltergeist activity as a type of uncontrolled psychokinesis. Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) is a phrase suggested by parapsychologist William G. Roll to denote poltergeist phenomena. 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.
 


Poltergeist activity originates with agents:


  Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus. Focuses are often, but not limited to, pubescent children. Almost seventy years of research by the Rhine Research Center in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, 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.

 

Separate Existences:


  Poltergeists might simply exist, like the "elementals" described by occultists.

  Another version posits that poltergeists originate after a person dies in a powerful rage at the time of death. According to yet another opinion, ghosts and poltergeists are "recordings." When there is a powerful emotion, sometimes at death and sometimes not, a recording is believed to be "embedded" in a place or, somehow, in the "fabric of time" itself. This recording will continue to play over and over again until the energy embedded disperses.

  However some poltergeists have had the ability to articulate themselves and to have distinct personalities, which suggests some sort of self-awareness and intent. Practitioners of astral projection have reported the existence of unfriendly astral life forms, which Robert Bruce called "negs" (who we might also identify with elementals). If they exist, these may well have the ability to affect the physical world.

 

Caused by physical forces:


  Some scientists propose that all poltergeist activity that they cannot trace to fraud has an explained physical explanation such as static electricity, electromagnetic fields, ultra- and infrasound and/or ionized air. In some cases such as the Rosenheim poltergeist case, the physicist F. Karger from the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik and G. Zicha from the Technical University of Munich found neither none of these effects present, and psi proponents claim that no evidence of fraud was ever found, even after a sustained investigation from the police force and CID, though criminologist Herbert Schäfer quotes an unnamed detective watching the agent pushing a lamp when she thought nobody was looking, however if this is true or not police officers did sign statements that they had witnessed the phenomena.

  John Hutchinson has claimed that he has created poltergeist effects in the lab. Also worth noting is that some scientists now propose that poltergeists and ball lightning may be linked phenomena. Some scientists go as far as calling them pseudo-psychic phenomena and claim that under some circumstances they are caused by obscure physical effects.

 

Self-delusion and hoaxes:


  Skeptics think 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.

  Skeptics maintain that parapsychologists are especially easy to fool when they think that many occurrences are real and discount the hoax hypothesis from the start. Even after witnessing firsthand an agent throwing objects, psi-believing parapsychologists rationalize the fact away by assuming that the agents are only cheating when caught cheating, and when you do not catch them, the phenomenon is genuine. One excuse given is that the agents often fake phenomena when the investigation coincides with a period of time where there appears to be little or no 'genuine' phenomena occurring, which the agents believe makes them look foolish.


 

 

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