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Unlike a residual haunting, an intelligent haunting demonstrates clear signs of being aware of the presence of the witnesses.  These signs may be as simple as responding to questions by knocking or as complex as a possession.  The term "intelligent" is a misnomer since it does not indicate the level of knowledge.  A more accurate definition may be "stimulus aware" haunting (but that doesn't sound good on TV).

Written by Kyle T. Cobb, Jr.

Nos tibi credere.

Phenomenon explored

One of the scariest kinds of paranormal activities is that of the Poltergeist event.  As mentioned before the term  “poltergeist” is German (poltem- “to make noise” and geist- “spirit”).


While legends pre-date surviving articles by hundreds of years, the most detailed and earliest surviving record of poltergeist activity was written in 1698 by Richard Chamberlain the secretary of the colony of New Hampshire.  Two copies of this pamphlet called (Lithobolia, or the Stone-Throwing Devil) still exist in the British Museum.  All full version of the text can be found HERE thanks to Salem State university.   In this case, the poltergeist was able to throw “Stones, Bricks, and Brick-Bats of all sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Utensils.”  Thus the events, which occurred over a three month period in 1692, demonstrated an incredible amount of energy.  Most importantly Chamberlain was a direct witness to many of them.  Of interesting note, the owner of the house impacted (George Walton) was 68 years old and the house was occupied by his wife, this tenants and his grand-children, 4 young girls and 3 sons.

Prior to the release of the movie POLTERGEIST   in 1982, the concept of poltergeist was practically unknown to the general population.  With such memorable phrases as “They’re Here...”  and “Step into the light, Carol-Anne... Step into the light,” the movie has left its mark on paranormal culture (much like a scuff mark on a new pair of shoes).

Unfortunately, the movie was so wildly inaccurate about the nature of poltergeist that viewers knew less seeing the film than in complete ignorance.

Thanks to the movie and the plethora of televisions shows on the paranormal, the number of reported cases has skyrocketed.

The Internet and especially Youtube is filled with videos of alleged poltergeist activity (over 5000 videos as of this writing).

The problem is, most of it is fake.


Unlike cases of human apparitions, poltergeist cases almost never have an associated physical form side to the events.  Generally, they are recognizable by the extremes in kinetic activity such as throwing objects and large amounts of noise.  The size of objects tossed about vary from dinnerware to stones to shovels to large pieces of household furniture.

There seems to be little or no predictability to the attacks and the duration last from a few hours to a few months.  Many parallels to these paranormal events have been drawn to that of a very angry teen-aged girl entering puberty.

And, for the most part, that seems to be the cause of the events.

Almost every case of poltergeist activity has occurred in a setting where teen-aged girls were present.  Most cases occurred in high-water areas.  Virtually every case ceased when the girl was removed from the situation or as the girl matured into biological adulthood.

It has therefore been suggested that the poltergeist events may actually be the latent telekinetic powers of a teenage girl reacting to chemistry changes during puberty.  As strange as this may seem, there is very little difference between a teen-aged girl and jack the Ripper at various points in the growth process.  At least one knows what to expect from Jack every day.

Even so, the energy source behind these events remains a mystery.


Thanks to the amazing world of digital camera and digital film, it is easier than ever to fake your own poltergeist.  Just as back in the old film days, common fishing wire is the most effective tool in the fakers arsenal.  Completely invisible to Infra-red cameras and 99% invisible to traditional cameras it becomes very easy to fake the impossible.  The use of quiet fans to add randomness to the movement can make the illusion complete.

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La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911

The universe is described by some physics theories as being like a donut. Homer Simpson would approve.