Written by Kelly Wilson
The above picture represents one of the most recognizable scenes and spoken lines from one of the most recognizable movies ever made. Poltergeist (the original one) came out in 1982 and has become an icon of horror movies and what could happen if you tamper with those who are resting in peace. I imagine that anyone who has an interest in the Paranormal/Supernatural enjoys movies centered around these types of happenings. The vengeful dead haunting and terrorizing the living. There are an abundance of ghost/poltergeist movies, Ghost Ship, House On Haunted Hill, Mama, Etc. There are also some comedies as well, Beetlejuice, Ghostbusters, Scary Movie 2, and plenty of others from all genres.
Movies are one thing but what is it like in real life? Poltergeists are just ghosts, right?
Well not exactly.
Ghosts are typically thought of as people who have passed but, for whatever reason, their spirits have remained as a non-threatening part of our world. Maybe it’s a loved one that is watching over their family or a grieving widow that is awaiting the return of her husband from the war or the sea. Perhaps it’s a soldier that doesn’t realize he was killed in battle and that his war is over or maybe it’s a murder victim that wants to see justice done. These spirits generally don’t cause any trouble other than scaring witnesses senseless, at least in their first few meetings. People have been known to cohabit with ghosts for many years and not have a problem.
Poltergeists are different. They forcefully and directly interact with our world and have no qualms about making their presence known. They do this in frightening and, sometimes, violent ways. The word “Poltergeist” is a German word which translates into “Noisy Spirit” or “Noisy Ghost” and they live up to this name very well.
Common occurrences include: movement of inanimate objects including ones that are extremely heavy, opening and closing doors and windows, unexplained voices, noises, screams, crashes, taps, thuds, knocks and the like. They are also said to be responsible for unexplained scratches, bruises and physical assaults, heavy footsteps, unexplained appearance of objects, bad odors and mists. One of the tell-tale signs is the malfunctioning of electrical equipment: batteries will suddenly go dead, light bulbs will stop working or even burst and equipment will fail to work, occasionally returning to normal when not in the presence of the spirit. Most often the first sign they use to make you aware of them is the throwing of rocks, if that warning isn’t heeded more severe manifestations begin.
Reports of Poltergeist activity have been recorded throughout the ages:
In AD 355 Jacob Grimm, of Brothers Grimm fame, included in his book Deutsche Mythologie several cases in which people were pulled from their beds, loud noises and thuds were heard and stones were thrown from unknown sources.
Giraldus Cambrensis in his AD 1191 book Intinerarium Cambriae wrote of a home in Wales that was infested with unclean spirits. These spirits threw dirt and other objects, ripped and tore clothing and even revealed secrets of the people that were present for the public to hear.
One of the most popular American poltergeists is the Bell Witch of Tennessee. The family of John Bell was terrorized between the years of 1817 and 1821 by an unseen presence. There were strange animals, extreme physical assault, unexplained and unknown sickness and many other things, it’s believed that the spirit eventually killed Mr. Bell.
There are people who believe that these entities are demonic and that “true” stories such as The Amityville Horror, The Entity, The Conjuring and others are based on nothing short of demons terrorizing the people that are having the experiences. These are extreme cases and it is quite possible that the assumption is correct.
The Amityville Horror is the story of the Lutz family who had moved into a house that supposedly had a spirit in it. It supposedly terrorized them so bad they fled the house after 28 days, leaving all their belongings behind.
The Entity is the story of Doris Bither, a woman who was attacked, beaten and raped repeatedly by a spirit, even she moved to a different home in a different state.
In The Conjuring the Perron family lived in a farmhouse that was haunted by a spirit who terrorized, attacked and, at one point, even possessed the Mother.
There are many such films and books out and regardless of what type of spirit is causing the disturbances a poltergeist is unpredictable and terrifying and potentially physically harmful.
There is another type of poltergeist that is called a “Wraith”. This happens when a person dies with such a strong hatred, such a strong rage or with such a strong need for vengeance that their spirits come back to fulfill that revenge and their energy becomes embedded in the location and remains there whether their mission is completed or not.
But what if it’s not a spirit at all.
There has been a lot of research done on this subject by scientists and parapsychologists, 70 years worth of research done by the Rhine Research Center of Raleigh-Durham N.C. alone. These scientists have (for the most part) all come to the agreement that poltergeist activity is usually always caused by humans. Their research has led to what they call “Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis” or RSPK for short. This is an unconscious form of telekinesis that is usually centered around a adolescent which is usually a female. It can happen with males and older people as well as some of these people may have a natural psychic ability.
Due to hormonal and emotional fluctuations their negative energy is pushed outward causing the poltergeist activity without them knowing they are the cause of it. Some of these people may be natural spirit mediums as well. They draw a spirit to them with an ability they may or may not know they have and that spirit gets “tangled” in the person’s mind or energy and gets confused and maybe even angry. When this happens then the spirit will lash out causing poltergeist activity. Poltergeist activity is said to usually follow the pattern of beginning slowly, coming and going, reaching a height and then slowly dissipating.
Of course there are also hoaxers that are just out to make a name or a dollar for themselves knowing that eventually they will be exposed as a fraud.
If you believe you have a spirit causing trouble and unwelcome activity how do you get rid of it?
In the movies they always have some grandiose plan for getting rid of the dangerous spirit. At exactly midnight on a certain day, under a certain moon, with certain words spoken in Latin, they will banish the spirit to the underworld and it will never return…until the sequel at least. What if it’s not that complicated?
A person must always be careful and have an understanding of what they are doing when working with spirits. The last thing you want to do is make it more angry. I have a friend whose son was having unexplainable things happen around him and his family. A friend of the family told them to recite a Bible passage (Psalm 91 to be precise) in every room and then leave the Bible opened to the verse. They say it worked. She says that since then her son hasn’t had any more problems or unusual happenings.
Some of the things I found while researching were as simple as ignoring it, telling it to go away forcefully; sometimes banging on pots and pans helped, Sprinkling salt around the area of activity and smudging with Sage. These are simple enough for someone to do with minor happenings.
If these don’t work there is what’s called a “Simple Exorcism”. This involves never addressing the spirit directly and never using “I”, as in “I rebuke or I command”, but asking a Higher power to do it for you, “ex. (Odin, Goddess, Jesus, whomever) rebuke you…”. This can be done by reciting St. Michael’s Prayer,
“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke Him, we humbly pray. And do thou, O Prince of Heavenly Hosts, thrust into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”
If that doesn’t work it may require a “Solemn Exorcism”. This is one that is done by a Priest and made famous by the movies. A Shaman or someone who is trained can also perform the ritual, this can be dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone untrained. It could make matters a lot worse if done by someone who doesn’t know what to expect and isn’t prepared.
Whether it’s a human spirit, a human being or a demon when things are happening that you can’t understand or control and you don’t know what will happen next it is a terrifying experience. When things are happening that you can’t protect yourself from in the normal ways you quickly begin to feel helpless. When you’re afraid to tell people what’s happening or afraid to ask for help because you believe people will think you’re crazy what do you do?
It’s said that faith can move mountains.
Have you ever experienced poltergeist activity or strange happenings?