As a rule, police officers don’t like dealing with weird stuff. They are highly trained, highly skilled observers of humanity and the supernatural doesn’t typically figure into that. However, every once in a while, the police respond to a call that defies rational thought and challenges them to think outside the box. The patrolman of St Catherines, Ontario, Canada learned all too well how to deal with the unexpected. And despite all their training, the unexpected disturbed them beyond reason.
In the winter of 1970, police officers with the St. Catharines police department responded to a domestic disturbance in a local apartment building. As they walked into the building, they were met in the hall by a woman who appeared to be hysterical with fear. When they tried calming the crying woman and asked if she was the one who needed help, she screamed at them, “You have to see this!” She then took off down the hall with the officers in tow.
When the officers walked into the apartment of Mr. and Mrs O, they were met with one of the strangest stories imaginable. Mrs. O. began by telling the officers that an invisible, violent force invaded their apartment. Whatever it was knocked pictures off the wall, levitated furniture a couple feet off the floor and made pounding noises on the walls that no one in neighboring units heard.
At first, the officers thought they had a certifiably crazy person on their hands. No one in their right mind would make up such a story, unless they were looking for attention. They were about to take their leave of the apartment, but then the unthinkable happened. A chair flew across the floor unaided by human hands. At that point, the officers of the St. Catherines Police Department, were ready to hear her story.
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For several weeks, the Os and their two sons, eleven and eight, had been experiencing a string of bizarre events that defied logic. Mr. O., a hard-working man skeptical by nature, didn’t entertain a belief in ghosts and ghouls. To him, his family was either making things up or misinterpreting natural phenomena. So, in the interest of putting his family’s fear to rest, Mr. O., went about contacting various city agencies that could give him the explanation he desired.
Every public utility from the telephone company to the gas company came to the apartment and gave an answer to Mr. O. After a close inspection, the utility companies couldn’t find anything to account for the bizarre activity the family was experiencing. That’s when the St. Catherines police department got involved.
Throughout the month of February, several officers made a trip to the apartment and kept a log of the phenomena. Cops don’t like dealing with what they can’t explain, however, whatever inhabited the O’s apartment didn’t care what the police thought.
By the time the police were involved, the local Catholic Archdiocese was on hand to witness the mysterious events. On a handful of occasions, the police watched in awe as a bed levitated six inches off the ground and turned in a counterclockwise direction; a bed even pinned one of the officers against the wall. Police further watched as one of the sons was thrown from the couch, as if several strong men grabbed the couch and dumped the frightened child on his head.
The question on everyones’ minds was “What was this strange force that held this family hostage and seemed to center its anger on an 11-year-old child?” The words ‘demon’ and ‘ghost’ were tossed around and seriously considered as an explanation. One officer though, had a much different explanation – explanation no one would ever have considered.
The officer, who was somewhat familiar with parapsychology and the occult, suggested that what the family was dealing with was a poltergeist. He explained that a poltergeist was out of control psychic energy that originated with a person, not an entity. The officer suggested their preteen son may have been the focus. The Os., at first, were shocked at the unconventional suggestion. But the fact that the activity only seemed to occur around their pre-teen son, they began to believe the officer’s suggestion was the only possible one.
When the events in the O apartment were leaked to the media, several investigators, including prominent parapsychologist William Roll, attempted to gain access. Unfortunately, Roll, was turned away by the police who felt it was their duty to protect the family. The last thing they wanted or needed was a media circus.
Most people who experience poltergeist activity report that the activity stops just as abruptly and mysteriously as it began. The St. Catherines poltergeist was no different. The family decided a long vacation would be in their best interests to escape the supernatural insanity that threatened to overwhelm their lives. When they returned from the much-needed break, the poltergeist activity abruptly stopped. The O family could now put the horrific events behind them and move on with their lives.
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