The paper is one in a series of blogs around paranormal research. This topic investigates the evidence for the differences between parapsychologists and the general public perception of poltergeist activity. Also, we briefly explore the evidence for the establishment of poltergeist phenomena.
Poltergeist means “noisy ghost” in German. It referrs to cases of objects being thrown without a conventional explanation, unexplained noises, electronic interference, etc. There are many phenomena associated with poltergeist activity, too many to write in a blog!
Generally, the public perception is of poltergeist activity in haunted locations, and around a specific house. However, scholarly research is a more limited definition of poltergeist activity to focus on cases where there is consistent activity rather than a haunting location where activity could only be witnessed a few times a year.
There are thousands of poltergeist cases recorded, some going back hundreds of years. All have a similar pattern where the activity lasts between four to twelve weeks. The activity usually involves some objects mystically moving by themselves, unattributed sounds, feeling of being touched, etc. In some cases, there was actual fraud and in other cases independent verification of the phenomena. Therefore, the evidence suggests that poltergeist is a genuine phenomenon.
One of the most interesting facts around poltergeist cases is the common themes around people in the investigations. In most cases, there is a central person within the poltergeist case, who is at the center of the activity. It is quite common for this person, to be a teenager, have a high level of suppressed frustration and have some neurological abnormalities, such as temporal lobe functioning or epilepsy.
A rare form of poltergeist phenomena comes from case studies of people who have suffered a brain injury. In a few well-documented cases, people who had brain injuries caused typical poltergeist activity when they are stressed. Their brain injuries are typically related to abnormalities in the temporal lobe. These cases are interesting, as the person as the center doesn’t want these poltergeist phenomena taking place. Fortunately, these poltergeist phenomena can be treated with medication, and it seems to work.
All the research seems to point to the conclusion that poltergeist cases are genuine but more of a humankind activity rather than spirts. Especially if we consider that central people have a similar profile and the case studies of the individual at the center of poltergeist phenomena can be successfully treated. This all points to a human being at the center of poltergeist activity. Although, it could be argued that spirits connect to human’s with a similar profile to cause the phenomena. Although, I don’t think there is much evidence to support this argument.
So, is there any other evidence to support a human’s ability to manipulate objects, create sounds by non-normal means? Yes, there is. In my first blog, I point to evidence that humans can somehow manipulate the environment to cause things to move (Nina Kulagina), PK experiments, some types of martial arts.
The next question is whether there is a theoretical basis to humans being able to manipulate things by non-normal means. The answer may lay in the quantum mechanics experiments of the interference effect and non-local communications. There is some research starting to establish whether the brain has a quantum effect. Although not yet fully developed as a theory behind poltergeist activity, it at least provides a theoretical framework to investigate paranormal phenomena.
So, I think there is strong evidence that poltergeist phenomena exist. It is hard to ignore thousands of cases, some of which have been independently verified, and a few medical case studies of poltergeist phenomena around people with a brain injury, the commonalities within the poltergeist cases, i.e., persons at the center neurological, psychological profile. The best explanation for poltergeist activity lays within the human mind rather than the spirit world. Parapsychologists have struggled to form adequate explanations for poltergeist phenomena. The best answer may lay in Quantum Mechanics.
I will be presenting a series of blogs around the paranormal: The next topic is “how valuable are statistics in paranormal investigations?”
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Thanks for reading, Ian