Poltergeist-Therese Selles

A poltergeist (also called Rumpelgeist, Gespenst, Spectre, Kobold)[1] in folklore and parapsychology is a noisy and destructive ghost or spirit, held responsible for the movement and/or destruction of objects. Poltergeists reportedly have been in the United States, Brazil, Japan, and most or Europe.

Etymology Edit

The 1838 literal meaning of "noisy ghost" comes from German postern, "make noise, rattle", and geist, "ghost".[2]

Folk History Edit

Early poltergeist accounts were reported at a farmhouse in Germany in 856 A.D., where the poltergeist tormented the family by throwing stones and starting fires.[3] These early accounts are what distinguished poltergeists from ghosts. Unlike ghosts, poltergeists are able to make contact with the physical realm. The power of the poltergeist determines their strength to manipulate the material world; ranging from cold drafts, sounds, levitating objects, to physical abuse.[4] Poltergeist activity as often been associated with demonic powers. They have also been thought to be a spirit that haunts a particular person instead of a location.[5] Manifestations of this nature have been reported in the United States, Brazil, Australia, Japan, and most European nations. Famous cases include "Bedworth Drummer", "Epworth Rectory Haunting", "Bell Witch Haunting", and "Enfield Poltergeist". The "Bedworth Drummer" occurred in England of 1661, where a drum that was previously owned by an impriosned beggar played on its own. The playing of the drum was paired with the hurling of chairs, the levitation of servants, and loud scratching noises.[6] According to the "Epworth Rectory Haunting" legend Reverend Samuel Wesley, his wife, and 19 children who lived in the Epworth rectory all heard the sound of footsteps in the floor above them on a Christmas morning in 1716, believed to be the ghost of the eldest daughter "Old Jeffery".[7] The "Bell Witch Haunting" occurred in Tennessee of 1817, was thought to be the ghost of Kate Batts who previously got into an argument with her neighbor John Bell. The haunting consisted of apparitions of strange animals, whistling, loud disembodied voices, and aggressive physical attacks on residences of the farm. Legend has it that these attacks caused John Bells death.[6] The story of the "Enfield Poltergeist" goes that in 1977 single mother Peggy Hodgson called the police after she and her children experienced furniture moving around the apartment, knocking sounds, demonic voices, and levitating children. [7]

Modern Usage Edit

The common theory about poltergeist's is that they occur as an "expression of psychological trauma". Poltergeists are rumored to be drawn to homes with young, preferably female, children. They target and attach themselves to "disturbed teenagers".[6] There is usually as a stressor or repression occurring in the house.[8] A theory is that the spirits cannot find a means of communication and are frustrated. The Poltergeist trilogy (1982, 1986, and 1988) each shows the lives of the Freelings, where the spirits inhabiting the families home have the mission to kidnap the youngest daughter.

Poltergeist Series Curse Edit

Years following the production of the film, a number of cast members of the Poltergeist film series died due to unexpected circumstances. In 1982, Dominique Dunne was murdered by her boyfriend. The next death was that of Heather O'Rourke, at the age of 12 she passed from cardiac arrest. The third death was the director of the second Poltergeist film, Brian Gibson, at the age of 59. However 10 years after starring in the original Poltergeist film Richard Lawson survived a plane crash where 27 people died.

List of Texts/Media Edit

In the narrative folk tale, Lithobolia by Ricahrd Chamberlayne has many comparisons to the recorded accounts of poltergeist encounters.

In the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling the character Peeves who is described as an “indestructible spirit of chaos.”

Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist ii (1986), Poltergeist iii (1988) are all movies that exhibit the horror that a poltergeist haunting consist of.

References Edit

  1. Lecouteux, Claude. The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses: From Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions, 2012. Print.
  2. "Online Etymology Dictionary." Online Etymology Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Oct. 2015.
  3. Staff. "History of Ghost Stories." A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
  4. "Poltergeists." Poltergeists. True Ghost Tales, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2015.
  5. Irwin, Harvey J., and Caroline A. Watt. An Introduction to Parapsychology,. 5th ed. Jefferson: Mc. Garland, 2007. Print.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Haughton, Brian. "The Poltergeist - A Short History." The Poltergeist - A Short History
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hallam, Scott. "Historical Origins of the Poltergeist." Dread Central. Dread Central, 20 May 2015. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.
  8. Wagner, Stephen. "The Poltergeist Phenomenon." Entertainment., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2015.