Poltergeist derives from the German word “noisy ghost” or the exact translation, polter=rumbling, & geist=ghost or spirit. This refers to activity usually credited to mischievous ghosts & are characterised by Psychokinesis or other physical manifestations. Some of the most common symptoms of poltergeist activity are chairs moving on there own, walls shaking from unexplained banging, water dripping from the ceiling, or any usable object disappearing for days or weeks only to reappear back where they belong.
Although ghosts may also be involved, most poltergeist occurrences are a kind of psychic phenomenon which centres around a living agent. Cases of poltergeist activity have been reported & documented since the beginning of recorded history. There are some documented stories that I refuse to write about as they were proved to be a hoax such as the Enfield Case. However it was that well put together, TV productions in the UK, did a mini series of the case & a film is in the making. Also the Birmingham (UK) Poltergeist. The residents of Ward End believed they were victims of poltergeist activity, purely because every night for three years, stones would bounce of the roofs of their homes & smash their windows. Personally, I think they were victims of vandalism. Here are some other stories I have looked into.
The Thornton Heath Poltergeist Case
A family from Thornton Heath, UK, had a terrifying four years worth of poltergeist activity. The chain of events began in the middle of the night, when they were suddenly woken up by the radio blaring loudly on a foreign station & the lampshade would repeatedly fall to the ground by unseen hands.
During the Christmas period in 1972, an ornament was thrown across the room, hitting the husband in the face. As he flopped into the armchair, the Christmas tree began to shake violently. In the new year, footsteps were heard in the bedroom when no-one was up there, & on one occasion, their son woke up & saw a man in old style clothing, staring at him threateningly. One night, whilst entertaining friends, things became much worse. There was loud banging coming from the front door, which startled everyone. Suddenly the living room door swung open & all the lights throughout the house came on.
They tried having the house blessed, but to no avail. Objects flew through the air, loud noises were heard & sometimes the family would hear furniture being dragged or even smashing to the floor. When they went to investigate, nothing had been moved or was out of place.
The family decided to contact a medium who informed them the house was haunted by a farmer known as Chatterton, who believed the family were trespassers. This was investigated & found to be true. Chatterton lived in the house with his wife in the mid 18th century. His wife had now joined in with the hauntings, & the tenant’s wife would often be followed up the stairs by an elderly, gray haired woman with a bun, wearing a pinafore. When the wife turned to look at the female specter, she would disappear back into the shadows. The last report from the family was seeing the old man in their TV set wearing a black jacket with wide, pointed lapels, high neck shirt, & a black cravat. The family soon moved out after that.
The Danny Poltergeist Case
In 1998, reporter Jane Fishman wrote a series of articles in the Savannah Morning News about a possible haunted antique bed in Georgia, Savannah. The bed was bought by Al Cobb from an auction, which he bought for his 14 year old son, Jason, as a Christmas present – a purchase he would soon regret!
Three nights after Jason had the bed, he told his parents he felt like someone had placed elbows on his pillow & watching him. He also claimed to feel ice cold breath on the back of his neck. The next night, he found a photograph of his deceased grandparents face down on his wicker nightstand. The next morning, after leaving his room for breakfast, he returned to find two beanie babies in the middle of his bed – a tiger & a zebra, & next to his conch shell was a dinosaur made of shells & a toucan bird. This caught the attention of his twin brother & their parents.
Trying to make sense of it all & to add a little light humour, Al left some lined composition paper & crayons on the bed. Before the family left the room, Al asked out loud, “is there a Caspar in the room? Can you tell me your name & your age?” 15 minutes later, they all came back to the room, & on the paper they found written vertically in large block childlike letters, “Danny, 7.”
Whilst the family were out of the house, Al decided to continue contact with the spirit in the same way. Danny had indicated that his mother had died in the bed in 1899, & he wanted to remain with the bed. Danny also told Al he did not want anyone to sleep in the bed. Jason had moved out of the room by this time after another note saying, “no-one sleep in bed.” Jason decided to stretch out on the bed & pretended to sleep, which was a big mistake. Jason recalled, “I doubled back into the room to pick up my clothes, when this terracotta head that had been hanging on the wall, came flying through the room, just missing me before it smashed on the closet door.”
No-one really knows who, or what is leaving the notes, moving furniture, opening kitchen doors & draws, setting the dining room table, flipping chairs, lighting the candles, or arranging posters to spell out the name Jill & hanging the finished product on the wall. Jason also mentioned other spirits, uncle Sam who came to reclaim his daughter who, he said, was buried under the house. A young girl named Gracie whose sculpture sits in Bonaventure Cemetery, & Jill, a young woman who left a series of handwritten notes, one such letter invited the Cobb’s to a party in their living room.
parapsychologist Andrew Nichols, head of the Florida Society for Parapsychological Research, investigated the case. He believes that the hauntings would have still happened to Jason without Danny or the bed. It was the electromagnetic energy of the wall, which Jason slept next to, that charged a psychic ability that the boy already had.