The Baltimore Poltergeist

The past five decades have produced some of the most terrifying episodes of paranormal phenomenon. One of those episodes occurred in Maryland between January 14 and February 8, 1960. The Jones family of Baltimore was subjected to the horrors of an unseen force that invaded their home and caused nothing but chaos.

The first sign something was wrong occurred during a quiet family dinner. While the family ate in peace, a large pitcher of water on the table unexpectedly shattered as if the pitcher was lined with firecrackers. Water and glass flew in every direction showering the family of five with shards of glass.

For several moments the family of five sat in awed silence wondering what in the world could have caused this to happen. Mrs. Jones was the first to move and ran to the kitchen for a broom to clean up the mess. Before she could start cleaning all hell broke loose when another pitcher exploded followed by several other objects that inexplicably were sent crashing to the floor. The bizarre event sent the Jones’ into hysterics.

During the month of horror that followed, the family found themselves in the grip of intense fear. Whatever this thing was destroyed everything in its path. Picture frames flew off walls, books jumped off shelves and were hurled through windows. Furniture was overturned and chairs were thrown at people. Mr. and Mrs. Jones even watched as a sugar bowl levitated slowly into the air and dumped its contents before shattering into countless little pieces. Fortunately, the only injury that occurred was Mr.Jones being cracked in the back of the head by a can of sauerkraut.

As the month of activity progressed, the local media and scientific community got word of what was happening to the Jones family. Both newspaper reporters and scientists became regular visitors to the house. Everyone had a theory, but nobody had any answers about what was causing the frightening activity.

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One of the theories to explain the activity centered around the 17-year-old son, Ted. Ted was accused of playing malicious pranks on the family because he was bored with his life and wanted attention regardless of that attention being good or bad. Ted of course denied any wrongdoing.

Upon hearing the accusation leveled at their son, his parents flatly rejected the explanation. Ted was either not in the room when the violence broke out, or he was in full view of his family members. He could not possibly have caused the unnerving activity that was becoming a daily occurrence. With that theory busted, the activity was blamed on radio signals, earth tremors and a faulty furnace. Each theory was easily debunked and investigators found themselves back at square one.

Real help finally arrived when respected psychologist and psychical researcher, Nandor Fodor, paid the family a visit. Fodor suggested that a poltergeist was at work in the house and Ted was unwittingly producing the violent activity in the house. 

Upon conducting an investigation, Fodor, discovered that although Ted was a high school dropout, he was a gifted writer. Whenever Ted sought the approval of his family, they dismissed him saying he would never amount to anything. This caused Ted a great deal of frustration and since he had no outlet for his anger, the young man psychically lashed out at his family.

When Nandor Fodor declared Ted’s anxiety over his writing and his family’s acceptance caused the activity in the house ceased and things returned to normal. This case is another important one in the annals of psychical research. It proves once again that even a mature person long past puberty can be a poltergeist focus. 

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About Rick Hale 99 Articles
Rick Hale became interested in anomalous phenomenon at an early age after encountering an apparition in his grandparent's home. Rick is the author of "The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghost and Demons," and "Behold! Shocking True Tales Off Terror...And Some Other Spooky Stuff." Rick has been published in Haunted Times Magazine, Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, and Legends Magazine. Rick appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and Ghost Tapes: The Series found at

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