Poltergeists & Haunting
BY STEVE RAMSEY
You hear a creaking noise in the night. All kinds of thoughts run through your head.
Is someone breaking into your house?
Is it just your cat stumbling around?
Or do you have the beginnings of a poltergeist situation?
Maybe you’re reading this because you’ve got some weird stuff going on in your house. You might be hearing faint noises like knocking or scratching. Maybe objects in your home are never where you left them, and seem to move around on your own.
How do you know if whether what you’re experiencing has a natural explanation or perhaps there’s something more sinister going on?
In this article, I’ll teach you the basics of what a poltergeist is, how to know if you’ve got one, and what to do if you want to get rid of it.
Poltergeists get their name from the German words meaning “noisy spirit.” They’re a specific type of ghost or spirit that causes physical disturbances. This type of ghost is usually believed to haunt a particular person, as opposed to a location. Poltergeists are one of the most well-known and feared types of ghosts.
That can include anything from objects being moved or loud noises like knocking on doors. And all the way up to physical attacks on people like hitting, tripping, biting, and pinching. Some people even report objects levitating.
Living with a poltergeist can be torture. They tend to torment and harass their victims and keep them in a constant state of fear.
Cultures all across the world have reported poltergeists, and the phenomenon dates back to the start of recorded history. Still, it’s one of the most misunderstood types of paranormal activity. There are different theories for precisely what a poltergeist is or what causes them, which I’ll discuss a bit later.
What’s The Difference Between a Poltergeist, a Ghost, and a Haunting?
Depending on what you think a poltergeist is, there can be distinct differences between them and ghosts.
Ghosts are believed to be the spirit of dead people that have become caught between the planes of the living and the dead. They’re intelligent and can interact with people.
Hauntings can be considered more like recordings almost. They don’t interact with living people. Instead, they’re more like a traumatic event that became imprinted on the environment and replay themselves over and over.
Poltergeists might be ghosts, or they might not. Some people think they’re caused by the subconscious mind of a person who is under a lot of stress.
Of course, these phenomena can occur together in the same place and often do. Whatever causes a ghost or haunting seems to also potentially cause poltergeist activity.
At the end of the day, nobody knows 100% what causes these phenomena. All that we know for sure is that people have been reporting them for thousands of years.
Types of Poltergeists
There are two main types of poltergeist cases that can happen. They may actually be two separate phenomena, but since their symptoms are often similar they tend to get lumped together into one term.
The first type of poltergeist case is the work of an actual intelligent spirit.
The second type of poltergeist case involves humans. Most commonly an emotionally troubled teenager in the family. This person might be unconsciously manipulating objects in the house through the power of psychokinesis. In the vast majority of this type of poltergeist case, the person doing it has no idea that they’re the one causing the activity.
Some poltergeist cases can also be a combination of a spirit and human feeding off each other, which makes it extra hard to define. Haunted locations tend to carry a specific energy that makes it possible for a human’s unconscious energy to manifest, as well as for ghosts to exist there.
In either case, the same types of strange things happen.
- household items and furniture being disturbed or disappearing
- lights turning on and off
- knocking and tapping sounds with no apparent cause
- doors slamming
- fires spontaneously starting
- rocks or dirt being thrown
- sexual or physical assaults by an unseen force
The Stages of a Poltergeist Episode
You’ll start to hear faint noises like scratching, usually at night. You might just disregard it as rodents or water in the pipes.
Sounds become harder to ignore. You start to hear knuckles knocking on wood or glass. As well as loud cracking or banging, and vibrating objects. The sounds begin to happen during the day as well.
Things like stones being thrown is very common. Objects might start to disappear or reappear at random (also called apports and disapports,) usually specific objects repeatedly. It’s rare to see objects actually moving at this point, but they might be too hot to touch after they’ve moved.
The sounds will start to seem like they’re trying to communicate with you. At first it might start as a code of knocks, like 1 knock for no or 2 knocks for yes. They might start to develop into whistles, slurps, and growls. Then distant muttering. The voice might start to sound almost robotic, before finally starting to sound like regular speech.
Similar to the spirits communicated with through an Ouija board, the communication you receive usually is full of lying and deceit. The voice may claim to be a murderer or their victim, someone who committed suicide, or even a famous person.
The poltergeist activity will increase past anything experienced so far. If the poltergeist is able to talk, it might say that it’s leaving soon.
Decline. The poltergeist starts to lose its abilities in reverse order and starts to become weaker. This wind-down period generally lasts shorter than the activity took to build up.
Abrupt endings. The decline can be allowed to happen naturally and generally let the poltergeist fade away. But alternatively, the phenomenon can be ended prematurely with a blessing or exorcism. If the activity seems to focus around one person and they leave the house, it might also cause the activity to stop.
Most cases of poltergeist activity are short-lived and only last for a few days or weeks. It’s quite rare that they will stretch out for more than a month. Most of the time the phenomenon will gradually fade away on its own.
Phenomenon Associated With Poltergeists
A poltergeist manifestation usually involves one or more of the following phenomenon. Typically an event that occurs once will recur multiple times as well:
- Throwing of projectiles (like small stones or other items)
- Doors and windows opening or closing or banging
- Sounds of cracking, knocking, or rapping
- Movement of objects like furniture, including levitation
- Mimicking or imitative noises (like the sound of a barking dog or a crying baby)
Flooding or puddles (absent of heavy rainfall, leaky pipes, or any other logical cause)
- Physical attacks on people (biting, pinching, or scratching of the skin)
- Random outbreaks of fire
- Graffiti or writing, especially on walls or pictures and seemingly involving blood
- Mechanical failures and electrical disturbances
- Glowing orbs of light or luminous effects
- Scents or odors, especially cigarette or cigar smoke, or perfume.
- Electrical interference, such as lights flickering or a stereo in the kitchen suddenly turning on in the middle of the night
- Objects that have been broken for years starting to work. For example a broken clock starting to chime
- Odd behavior or fear in pets like cats and dogs
If you have multiple of these things occurring in your home, there’s a chance that you’re dealing with a poltergeist. An experienced paranormal investigator can help further determine if your home has a poltergeist or haunting, or whether there’s a logical and non-paranormal explanation for what you’re experiencing.
Theories – What Causes Poltergeist Activity
Nobody knows for certain what a poltergeist is, or if it’s a real phenomenon at all.
Before you assume you have a poltergeist, you should try to rule out all the logical explanations.
There’s a lot of natural stuff that can cause weird noises and movement in homes, particularly in older houses. Things like wind in the walls of your house, or birds or rodents.
Airlocks in your plumbing, underground water, or earth tremors are potential causes as well.
If you have a gas leak in your home, it can make you hallucinate or black out and lose track of time. You might open all of your cupboards yourself and not remember it.
Then you get into slightly less scientific explanations, but still stuff with pretty natural and mundane explanations. In particular, electromagnetic fields. There seems to be a correlation with poltergeist activity and people who live near high voltage power lines, windmills, or phone towers. Basically anything that generates a lot of electrical energy or radio or cell signals.
Some people also believe there are natural magnetic meridians in the Earth that can contribute to poltergeist phenomenon and other paranormal occurrences. Many investigators report having the batteries for their equipment instantly drain or having equipment malfunction when in one of these areas reported to have a strong magnetic field.
Poltergeist activities can be caused by people with natural psychic powers when they’re under high levels of stress. This is called RSPK or recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis.
People who have suffered physical, verbal, or emotional abuse are most at risk. As well as anyone with any type of anxiety, dissociative, or multiple personality disorder.
A period of emotional stress or hormone changes like a divorce, death in the family, or pregnancy can cause poltergeist activity to start happening. Poltergeists seem to prefer women to men, perhaps because women tend to be more in touch with their emotions.
If you can’t explain poltergeist activity through any other cause, perhaps it’s spirits, ghosts, or even demons. Some think that poltergeists are the spirits of the dead who got lost on their way to the afterlife for whatever reason. Others think they’re the souls of people who died a premature or violent death.
It’s just a prank bro
Don’t rule out that a family member, friend, or neighbor is using trickery and pulling a prank on you. Either for innocent or malicious reasoning. Some of the most well-known poltergeist cases are believed to be fake.
How to Get Rid of a Poltergeist
So what do you need to do if you think you have a poltergeist?
Like I mentioned earlier, poltergeist cases seem to dissipate on their own over days or weeks, so no intervention may be necessary. But if the activity continues to happen for months, interrupting your sleep and becoming unbearable, it’s probably time to seek help.
Confront the poltergeist
It sounds strange, but in many cases a homeowner can merely give the poltergeist a stern talking to and the activity will stop immediately. Your first course of action should be to yell out and ask the poltergeist to stop disrupting you and leave the house.
In the case of a bad haunting or experience with ghosts, most religious people will first think to call a priest to come perform some type of exorcism or blessing on the house.
Usually there’s no harm in trying this, although sometimes it can seemingly aggravate the poltergeist and make the activity even worse afterward.
If the poltergeist phenomenon you’re experiencing is caused by an entity like a demon or the spirit of a person, then exorcism might work. But if there’s any other explanation for what you’re experiencing, an exorcism will likely be ineffective.
Pay attention to who in your home may be under a lot of stress or going through a lot of turmoil, especially young people in the family. If you think a specific person is the root cause of the poltergeist activity, you can arrange psychological counseling to help them overcome their issues.
If you have trouble identifying exactly who is the cause, try to isolate people one by one and rule them out. Get your children to stay with an aunt or uncle for the weekend. Then you can see if the poltergeist activity stops when a specific person is out of the house. Or maybe they will even carry the phenomenon with them and manifest it at other locations they stay at.
Once you understand who is causing the disturbance, don’t blame them or try to punish them. Poltergeist phenomenon is generally believed to be completely involuntary and subconscious. They aren’t intentionally causing things to happen, nor can they turn it off.
The best course of action is to have the affected person speak to a counselor or therapist and see if their emotional problems can’t be dealt with and put to rest.
Similar to using traditional counseling or therapy, a hypnotherapist might be able to help identify traumatic events in the past that you didn’t even know were causing a strong negative influence over your life and emotions, and help you to resolve the issues.
Geomancy is the study of the earth’s energy and things that might either block or amplify its flow. Many things could potentially cause changes in the energy flow in and around your home. These include a new extension on your home, or even nearby construction or roadwork.
If you’ve had recent work done near your home before the poltergeist activity began, you might want to consult a geomancer for recommendations on how to restore or divert the energy to a less destructive state.
Paranormal societies, ghost hunters, etc.
There are plenty of societies around to research paranormal phenomenon as a hobby. Many such groups will gladly come and investigate your home for free, or a small fee like some free pizza. Search for local groups in your area who might be able to help determine what the cause of your poltergeist activity is, and how to get rid of it.
Remove cursed objects
Normally poltergeist activity revolves around a person instead of a thing. But in rare cases, a haunted object can be the cause. Try to identify a particular doll, painting, or other object that might be haunted and causing you hassle. Normally you’ll have a strong gut reaction and uneasy feeling when you encounter such an object. Get rid of it. Don’t forget to check the attic, crawlspace, and other places where objects might be stashed away.
There are plenty of different cleansing rituals and other techniques to try and rid your home of the poltergeist yourself. You can perform a cleansing ceremony with white sage, hang crosses, garlic, or other good luck charms around your house. Sprinkle salt around your home, especially in doorways and windows. Read Bible verses aloud if you’re Christian. and the Torah . and for the general and best method that I saw it works is to read the Roqeya verses from the holy book of Quran.
Sometimes poltergeists can be like bratty children that are just trying to get a reaction out of you. If you don’t talk about them or acknowledge them, they might get bored and decide just to go away.
Poltergeists aren’t always scary or aggressive. If it’s not causing any particular harm or damage, you might want to just consider sharing your home with the poltergeist. Sometimes poltergeists can even be friendly, for example making money appear on your coffee table seemingly out of nowhere.
Poltergeists are a mysterious paranormal phenomenon, and no one can seem to agree on exactly what causes them. In fact, there might be multiple different causes!
They might be spirits. They might be psychic energy being released by a person under a lot of emotional stress. They might be an energy imbalance in the Earth around your home. Or they might have a perfectly logical explanation, like bats living in your attic!
The word poltergeist means noisy spirit, and that’s a good way to sum them up. Most poltergeist activity involves strange noises or objects being mysteriously moved.
Whatever the cause of your particular poltergeist situation, you now have some actionable steps that you can take to identify the source and resolve the situation.