by Maurice Grosse MRI. MInstPI.
The word Poltergeist is of German origin and means "noisy spirit". Poltergeist phenomena differs from 'hauntings' in that it is associated with people, whereas hauntings are usually associated with buildings or places.
The phenomena has been reported from the beginning of recorded history. Various kinds of activity are involved, ranging from the psycho kinetic (inexplicable movement of objects) through to apparitions, all of it spontaneous and similar in character, despite the differing social and ethnic backgrounds of the people involved.
Because of the character of the phenomena, which are often dramatic and violent, speculation waxes furiously, not only on the origin of the activity, but whether the phenomena are genuine. Many suspected cases of Poltergeist activity have proved to be no more than the fantasies of distraught minds or the action of practical jokers. However, massive evidence has accumulated over countless years of genuine phenomena occurring throughout the world.
Spontaneous phenomena have always been suspect, especially with the scientific establishment, but in recent years many scientists, physicists in particular, admit from the evidence submitted, that these experiences need very serious consideration and consequently much research is taking place. Hardened sceptics, for reasons only known to themselves, will deny that the phenomena exists and dismiss them out of hand. Theories abound to account for the activity, ranging from the Externalisation of the Human Personality to the Intervention of Forces from the Multi Dimensional Universe, but however the phenomena are viewed it is a strange and exciting experience to be involved in a genuine case. Where children are involved, accusations of trickery flow thick and fast, but the real experience cannot be confused with the pranks of children or the antics of tricksters.
The fascination of Poltergeists lies in the vast range of activity they engender, and the study of the phenomena usually encompasses much of the material already under research both in and out of the laboratory. Investigation of a case requires patience, tact and understanding, not only with the people involved, but with outsiders attracted to the phenomena. Unfortunately the successful investigation of a case is not a common event, as most cases are reported to investigators after the phenomena have reached their peak, and after a great deal of chaos and misunderstanding has taken place. This usually makes the participants confused, and a competent investigation becomes very difficult. However, many successful investigations have taken place, and with the aid of modern equipment such as tape recorders, videos, cameras etc., good evidence has been obtained.
Guidelines for investigators exist, together with help from experienced researchers, but there is no substitute for tact and patience in handling a case. Knowledge of the subject is of prime importance, as is the competent use of equipment, but above all there is a need for understanding and the ability to stay calm and objective when all about is far from normal.