Poltergeist: The poltergeist haunted

Poltergeist refers to a phenomenon that is widespread worldwide and that deals with parapsychology. The term poltergeist is unfortunate because this form of spooky has nothing to do with the classic spook and ghosts - deceased from the afterlife. Typical of a Poltergeist spook are e.g. Knocking noises, cold spots, self-on and off electrical devices or flying furniture up to light phenomena.

Rescurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK)

Parapsychology describes the poltergeist spook as "recurring, spontaneous psychokinesis" (Rescurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, RSPK), roughly unconsciously produced physical effects on material objects.

Unexplainable knocking, rumbling, taping, scratching, scraping, muffled noises, disappearance and appearance of objects of all kinds, mysterious movement of objects without outside influence, uncanny, loud, indefinable bang noises, nauseating smell, uncanny opening of closed doors, slurping or groping that are not caused by anyone, stones fly around, electrical devices switch on and / or off by themselves, shadowy shadows are just some of the phenomena of a poltergeist spook.

The focus person is a person from whom the ghost unconsciously emanates. Most of them are adolescents in puberty. "At this age of unsolved problems, deep mental tensions seem to project psychokinetically into the environment," wrote H.C.Berendt.


Reports of poltergeists can be found in all epochs of history. The Roman consul Plinus the Younger (around 100 AD) reported of a haunted house in Greece that attracted his attention. To date, the Catholic Church has strictly rejected the existence of spirits and demons.

From 1858, there was a real flood of Poltergeis in the wake of the spiritism movement, but this is a fraud in 99 percent of all cases.

Selection of well-known poltergeist haunted cases

The Tidworth Drummer

An often-quoted poltergeist haunt is that of the drummer from Tidworth (Tidworth) (formerly Tedworth) in Wiltshire, England, in 1661. A tramp named William Drury was reportedly killed in mid-year following an arrest warrant issued by high judge John Mompesson for "fraud. "of funds by pretending to be false facts". A drum that Drury always carried with him was confiscated by Mompesson, but Drury should be released until the judicial investigations have ended. According to tradition, Drury was very upset about this. When Mompesson returned from a business trip from London, he found his wife and children completely distraught. They reported that they were startled by loud drum noises almost every night. Soon afterwards the drumming sounded even over the roof of the house and could be heard for people walking by. Furthermore, furniture began to fly around and levitate (hover), even domestic workers were no longer safe. Poltergeist activity allegedly ended in 1662 when Drury was brought to trial for witchcraft and exiled. Mompesson, meanwhile, had destroyed the drum out of desperation. King Charles II in the meantime learned of the incidents and sent the royal architect Christopher Wren and the court chaplain Joseph Glanvill to Tidworth. While Wren remained skeptical, Glanvill himself is said to have witnessed poltergeist apparitions.

The Fox sisters from Hydesville

Another famous and historical case of alleged poltergeist activity is that of sisters Margaret and Kate Fox, who around 1848 claimed to have heard strange knocking sounds in a house in Hydesville, New York, which they had relocated, which they heard from the ghost attributed to a murdered peddler buried in the basement. The family adopted the long established technique of "communication" with such "knocking spirits", in which each letter in the alphabet is assigned a certain number of knocking characters, and sought the public with great success. Seances and poltergeists became part of the Fox family's day-to-day program. The first public demonstration of girls' "skills" in Rochester in November 1848 included 400 paying guests. In 1888, the Fox sisters admitted that they had faked all of their "poltergeist activity" and "ghosting". The case of the Fox sisters is therefore one of the best-known cases of fraud in poltergeist research.

Melchior Joller spooky

From mid-August 1862, the Swiss publicist and politician Melchior Joller (1818-1865) showed various haunted phenomena, which he wrote down and published in a diary (depiction of mystical phenomena he experienced himself, Hanke, Zurich 1863).

The haunted phenomena in the house in which Joller was born and grew up have not yet been scientifically clarified. Because of the frightening incidents and the sensation that caused them, Joller moved with his family to Zurich, later to Rome. After Joller's departure, the house is said to have remained quiet. The Jollerhaus was demolished in February 2010.

Poltergeist from Enfield

One of the best known more modern cases of alleged poltergeist activity is Enfield's Poltergeist (also known as Enfield Poltergeist and Enfield's Haunt). The scene of the incident was house 284 on Green Street in Enfield, a district of London. The Hodgson family was the victim of the incident. The poltergeist activities occurred between August 1977 and September 1978 and included the classic repertoire of "typical poltergeist apparitions" (knocking noises, flying furniture and levitation). They were documented audio-technically and photographically. The phenomenon was examined by two renowned members of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR), Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair. The events were captured by George Fallows, photographer of the Daily Mirror. The results of the investigations, which have been closely followed by the press worldwide, have been the subject of controversy to this day. The majority of the research rates the "Poltergeist von Enfield" as a fraud case, since family members subsequently admitted to staging several incidents. The film The Conjuring 2 and the British miniseries Invisible Visitors (The Enfield Haunting) are based on this case.

Poltergeist haunted by Rosenheim

One of the most famous poltergeist spooks in Germany is the spook of Rosenheim, which occurred in autumn 1967 in a law firm in Rosenheim. The case also caused a sensation internationally in the mass media. Many claim that it is the best investigated and documented case of a poltergeist spook. Skeptics oppose this and criticize the approach taken by the leading parapsychologist Hans Bender. Skeptics believe that the case was uncovered as a hoax.

At the Rosenheim law firm Adam at Koenigstrasse 13 in Rosenheim, the fluorescent tubes attached to the ceiling at a height of two and a half meters were always running out. Craftsmen found that they were rotated 90 degrees out of the bracket without any external influence being observed. A number of witnesses kept hearing loud popping noises, automatic circuit breakers tripped for no apparent reason, liquid from a photocopier was spilled into the room, and within a short time the time announcement was dialed several times from the office's telephone connection without anyone using the four office telephones . The operation of the law firm was temporarily impossible, and so the Technical Inspection Office of the Rosenheimer Stadtwerke was commissioned to carry out a thorough inspection. Permanent voltage and current recorders were installed under the direction of the later director of the municipal utility, Paul Brunner. The suspicion of power disturbances initially seemed to be confirmed. Then pictures began to turn on the wall, lighting fixtures swung and exploded, drawers and a cupboard moved.

On December 1, 1967, the Freiburg Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Psycho-Hygiene intervened in the investigations under the direction of Hans Bender. After extensive technical and physical examinations failed to provide an explanation, it was striking that all phenomena only occurred when the law firm's 19-year-old trainee, Annemarie S., was nearby. Bender examined the girl and identified conflicts that he described as occurring frequently in the environment of haunted cases or the people who triggered them ("focus persons"): current problems, mental instability, high short-term excitability and low frustration tolerance. The events abruptly disappeared when the girl gave up her employment in the law firm in January 1968, but according to Bender it should also have appeared at her new employer at short notice. Bender saw it as evidence of "psychokinetic effects". "Spontaneous psychokinesis" was "objectively registered for the first time". Annemarie S. denied having supernatural abilities.

This metaphysical explanatory approach and Bender's approach have been criticized as unscientific. Bender, for example, neglects that in one case the manipulation could be proven by Annemarie S. Science author Kendrick Frazier criticized that a detailed report by the parapsychologists had never been published, which is why it is unclear whether and how natural causes have been excluded. In addition, the magician Albin Neumann (Allan) together with Herbert Schiff and Gert Gunther Kramer found several clues in the law firm that the public had been deceived by tricks. Allan, Schiff and Kramer recorded this in 1969 in "False Spirits - Real Tricksters". They found nylon threads on various objects, including a pendulum lamp, a gas pipe and a wire frame of a "jumping" wall plate, which could cause the objects to be observed as ghostly movements. Behind a closet they found a rubber truncheon, which could be used to knock against the wall to make the supposed ghost knock, which the housekeeper confirmed. Even previously suspicious black wall marks could be reproduced in this way with the rubber truncheon. Lawyer Adam, on the other hand, stated that he had the stick for self-defense. The electro-phenomena could have arisen from an X-ray machine in the same building at the time or from deliberately caused short circuits. Hot lightbulbs could have burst loudly by splashing them with certain liquids.

An injunction against the publication of the book by Allan, Schiff and Kramer was rejected.

Contrary to Bender's assertion, there were never any spooks at Annemarie S.'s new workplace.

A number of documentaries about this haunted case can be found on Youtube.

A group creates Philip

Interesting in this context is the book by Iris M. Owen and Margaret Sparrow, A Group Generated Philip - The Adventure of a Collective Spirit Summoning - The Physical Power of the Mass (Aurum-Verlag, Freiburg im Breisgau, 1979), in which a group of parapsychology -Interested people "created" a ghost.

In the experiment of the Toronto Society for Psychical Research (TSR) in 1972/73, a small group came up with a fictitious mind, who was then questioned about ghosting (table backs).

In the experiment, phenomena such as knocking noises in the wall, flickering of the room lighting or table movements were registered.

This, albeit unscientific, experiment has shown that practically every poltergeist phenomenon can occur.

First aid at Poltergeist Haunted

Those who are bothered by poltergeist haunted phenomena should follow the advice below.

Create a spooky diary in which you note down all the small things:
→ Where did something happen?
→ WHEN did something happen?
→ WHO present what?
→ WHAT happened?

We have learned that poltergeist spook is a personal spook that e.g. occurs subconsciously in adolescents during puberty. Don't let this irritate you when things move by themselves or things sometimes fly around the corner.

After a relatively short time there is a focus person on whom the spooky apparently concentrated, e.g. the person is always present when phenomena are observed.

Then the real work begins: Poltergeist phenomena are a cry for help to the outside world. Talking to the data subject will help them deal with their problems.

Poltergeist phenomena are short-lived, rarely several weeks. After working on the problems, the phenomena will go away on their own.