After years of reading countless paranormal books that detail the shenanigans of poltergeists, the experts all seem to agree on one detail, the term poltergeist is German for noisy ghosts. And that is where the agreement ends, and the multitude of competing theories begin. No one can really come to an agreement on what this mischievous force might be.
Over the past century, scientists, clergy, and investigators have made an attempt to try and pin down what a poltergeist is and what it is not. When one considers all the theories and opinions of what it is and what it isn’t, normal folks are left with more questions than answers. With that being said, let’s explore the two camps concerning the nature of poltergeists, the religious and the scientific.
The Religious Opinion
Some religious traditions believe this mysterious force is a demonic entity that takes up residence in a home or building. Why, you may ask. For the purpose of wearing a human down to the breaking point of exhaustion and despair. The religious approach believes that once this breaking down occurs, the entity can reach its final goal: the possession of its victim and eventually the destruction of the victim’s body. But, is it really a minion of the prince of darkness?
Those who have reported dealings with poltergeists agree on one point, the frightening energy that takes up residence in their home, displays tendencies and behaviors that go against reason. Almost as if it’s not guided by an intelligent force. In fact, a number of reported poltergeist cases appear to be almost childlike. As if an unruly child is behind the activity.
Those who hold to the religious aspect believe the demon puts on a front to lure people into thinking there’s nothing sinister going on. Just something playful and not by any means diabolical.
The activity of a poltergeist may start out innocently enough, but progresses into something so terrifying, words could hardly express. For example, the activity may start out as scratching on a wall and over time progresses to deafening pounding on a wall. Almost as if a jackhammer was turning the aluminum siding into Swiss cheese or shattered wood.
Many poltergeist outbreaks result in reported physical attacks upon the residents of a house. Some have reported what feels like a large rough hand viciously smacking them across the face. While others report the sensation of sharp nails digging into their flesh. And still others report furniture, dishes and personal belongings being thrown around a room by unseen hands. Each poltergeist case is different and yet have some similarities and one of those similarities appears to be the ability to mess with the electricity of a location.
Poltergeists have also been known for starting fires that destroy personal property. And in a few cases, burning entire buildings to the ground. It really isn’t any wonder why some regard this mysterious force as something that comes straight from the pits of hell. However, these is a second camp that attempts to explain the nature of poltergeists: the scientific angle.
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Parapsychologists who have spent years researching and investigating this phenomena, as a rule, don’t concern themselves with the religious aspect of the poltergeist. They are more concerned with examining psychic phenomena such as Extra Sensory Perception and other powers of the human mind. Parapsychologists, generally believe poltergeists are an extension of the human psyche. In other words, poltergeists aren’t vengeful ghosts or demons but rather a product of a troubled person.
When investigating a poltergeist case, the parapsychologist focuses on the people involved in the case. Generally, they look for a person, a young person specifically, who is going through puberty or some other traumatic circumstances. It’s believed that during this time of change can unleash psychic energy called Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK).
Many parapsychologists believe this pressure builds up in the mind of a young person eventually exploding into the physical environment. And this energy being released results in fire starting, objects breaking and thunderous pounding on walls. But there’s another aspect of poltergeist phenomena where people report witnessing ghosts or frightening apparitions.
In the historical record of poltergeist outbreaks, people have witnessed apparitions. Some parapsychologists and researchers of poltergeists believe these apparitions are thoughtforms created in the minds of the unwitting poltergeist focus and projected into the physical environment. When the poltergeist energy is finally wears out, the apparitions and haunting phenomena vanishes as well. Poltergeists can be frightening but eventually fade away over time.
In future articles, we’ll explore some of these cases together and try to figure out which one is a ghost, a demon or just a person going through a major change in life.
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