AMERICAN GHOST SOCIETY

HAUNTINGS: 
poltergeist-like activity

Presented by Troy Taylor, Author of the GHOST HUNTER'S GUIDEBOOK and President of the American Ghost Society


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POLTERGEIST-LIKE ACTIVITY
Poltergeists (noisy ghosts) have commonly been blamed for any violent or destructive activity in a haunting. In the past, researchers believed that all such activity at a haunted location was the work of the spirits, or an outside force, but today, most investigators don’t think so. While interactive spirits may be the culprits in some cases, many of cases have a force behind them that is much closer to home.

In a poltergeist case (and in its counterpart) there can be a variety of phenomena taking place. There are reports of knocking and tapping noises, sounds with no visible cause, disturbance of stationary objects like household items and furniture, doors slamming, lights turning on and off, fires breaking out and much, much more. While in some cases, this activity can be connected to ghosts, in other cases it probably isn’t. It certainly remains paranormal though and because of this, it is also unexplained and very controversial.

The current theory behind this Poltergeist-like phenomena is that the activity is caused by a person in the household, known as the "human agent". The agent is usually an adolescent girl and normally one that is troubled emotionally. It is believed that she unconsciously manipulates physical objects in the house by psychokinesis (PK), the power to move things by energy generated in the brain. This kinetic type of energy remains unexplained, but even some mainstream scientists are starting to explore the idea that it does exist.

It is unknown why this energy seems to appear in females around the age of puberty, but documentation of its existence is starting to appear as more and more case studies have become public. It seems that when the activity begins to manifest, the girl is usually in the midst of some emotional or sexual turmoil. The presence of the energy is almost always an unconscious one and it is rare when any of the agents actually realize that they are the source of the destruction around them. They do not realize that they are the reason that objects in the home have become displaced and are usually of the impression that a ghost (or some sort of other supernatural entity) is present instead. The bursts of PK come and go and most poltergeist-like cases will peak early and then slowly fade away.

It should be noted that while most cases such as this manifest around young women, it is possible for puberty age boys (and even older adults) to show this same unknowing ability. As with the young women, the vast majority will have no idea that they are causing the activity and will be surprised to find there is even a possibility that strange things are happening because of them.

In most cases like this, an excellent chance can be provided the researcher to document strange activity. Unfortunately though, the case will have nothing to do with ghosts and there is really no way to help the witnesses (or victims). It is usually better to refer the family to a good counselor or mental health care provider, rather than try to act as a paranormal investigator. A counselor is usually the best person to provide assistance under these circumstances because PK normally manifests because of emotional disturbance.

But not all such cases involve disturbed individuals. We have already discussed that not all hauntings can be easily categorized and we must be careful not to jump to conclusions in any case. In some cases, what appears to be the work of a human agent may actually be that of the spirits, and vice versa. In addition, some genuinely haunted spots seem to be so filled with energy that witnesses at the location can manifest their own phenomena. 

SIGNS OF POLTERGEIST ACTIVITY: The already mentioned types of physical activity are most common in these cases, usually involving the violent manipulation of household and stationary objects, which seem to move about "under their own power". Watch for these reports of phenomena to escalate for a period as time goes by. Also watch for a female adolescent to be present in the household or for all of the activity to be centered around one person in particular. It is common that none of the activity will take place unless that person is present at the time.

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Copyright 2004 by Troy Taylor. All Rights Reserved. 

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