POLTERGEIST

   

 

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Poltergeist (helpinfo) (from German poltern, meaning "to rumble", "to make a noise" and Geist, meaning "ghost" or "spirit") is in mythology and folklore a ghost, spirit, entity, demonic spirit or being that manifests itself by creating noise or moving objects.

Poltergeist manifestations have been reported in many cultures, and are part of folklore in India, the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Brazil and other countries. True believers in the supernatural often claim that no stable scientific explanation exists to date, although several physical theories have been occasionally proposed (some including tremors, air currents, ultra-infra sound waves or unexplained losses of gravity) to produce purported effects. Since there is no proof of the existence of poltergeists the consensus of opinion from the scientific community is that the evidence claimed by believers is all in the mind or caused by scientifically explainable phenomena (e.g air currents, tremors). By definition science cannot disprove the existence of poltergeists since it is impossible to prove a negative.

Although poltergeist stories date back to the first century, the evidence supporting the existence of poltergeists is entirely unsubstantiated. Many of the stories below have several versions and/or inconsistencies.

Lithobolia (1698)

Lithobolia, or the Stone-Throwing Devil, is a pamphlet that records poltergeist activity that took place in the tavern of George and Alice Walton in 1682. Two copies of the pamphlet exist in the British Museum. The Waltons' tavern was located in New Castle, New Hampshire, then known as the Great Island. Lithobolia was written by R.C., one Richard Chamberlain, the secretary of the colony of New Hampshire. In 1682 Chamberlain was boarding at the Walton tavern and witnessed the attack. The pamphlet was later printed in London by Chamberlain in 1698. The opening reads:

"Lithobolia," or stone throwing Devil. Being an Exact and True account (by way of Journal) of the various actions of infernal Spirits or (Devils Incarnate) Witches or both: and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to George Walton's family at a place called Great Island in the county of New Hampshire in New England, chiefly in throwing about (by an Invisible hand) Stones, Bricks, and Brick-Bats of all sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Utensils, as came into their Hellish minds, and this for space of a quarter of a year."

Borley Rectory (1937)

William Roll, Hans Bender, and Harry Price are perhaps three of the most famous poltergeist investigators in the annals of parapsychology. Harry Price investigated Borley Rectory which is often called "the most haunted house in England."

Rosenheim, Germany (1967)

Dr. Friedbert Karger was one of two physicists from the Max Planck Institute who helped to investigate perhaps the most validated poltergeist case in recorded history. Annemarie Schneider, a 19-year-old secretary in a law firm in Rosenheim (a town in southern Germany) was seemingly the unwitting cause of much chaos in the firm, including disruption of electricity and telephone lines, the rotation of a picture, swinging lamps which were captured on video (which was one of the first times any poltergeist activity has been captured on film), and strange sounds that sounded electrical in origin were recorded. Fraud was not proven despite intensive investigation by the physicists, journalists and the police. The effects moved with the young woman when she changed jobs until they finally faded out, disappeared, and never recurred.

In the Rosenheim case of 1967,  The Rosenheim Poltergeist (1967), Friedbert Karger's whole perspective on physics changed after investigating the events. "These experiments were really a challenge to physics," Karger says today. "What we saw in the Rosenheim case could be 100 per cent shown not to be explainable by known physics." The phenomena were witnessed by Hans Bender, the police force, the CID, reporters, and the physicists. The case was made into a documentary by the BBC in 1975 as part of a TV series called "Leap in the Dark.

Other cases

 

Historically, several different hypotheses have been put forward to explain the poltergeist phenomenon.

 

 

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