7 Signs Of Poltergeist Activity
From About Paranormal
DETERMINING THE DIFFERENCE between poltergeist activity and ghost or haunting activity can be difficult. While ghost and haunting activity is the result of spirit energy, poltergeist activity – also known as “recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis” or RSPK – is the result of psychic energy generated (usually unconsciously) by a person, referred to as an agent.
But how do you know there might be poltergeist activity in your home? Most often, you’ll know it if you have it because it is out of the ordinary and pretty obvious: sounds, movements, and odors of unknown origin.
Below are 7 of the most common types of poltergeist activity. Let me be clear, however. Because you experience – or think you experience – one or more of the activities listed below does not automatically mean that it is poltergeist activity. There could be more mundane, everyday causes for the activity. For example, smells of unknown origin could be wafting in from an open window; lights flickering on and off could be faulty wiring.
You should seek logical explanations before jumping to the conclusion that it is poltergeist activity because true poltergeist activity is relatively rare.
1 – DISAPPEARING OBJECTS
You put your set of keys or your cell phone down in the place you always put it. You turn around a minute later and it’s gone. You and your family search high and low for it, but it cannot be found. Later – sometimes days later or longer – the object mysteriously reappears in the very place you always put it. Or, more bizarrely, you later find it in a most ridiculous place, like high on a bookshelf, in a shoebox in the closet… or some other spot where you’d never put it in a million years.
2 – OBJECTS LEVITATING OR THROWN
You’re sitting there watching TV, totally engrossed in a dramatic movie, when suddenly the bowl of popcorn you’ve been munching from rises from the coffee table, floats through the air a few feet, then drops to the floor. Or… you’re having a loud argument with your teenage daughter, and as she storms out of the room, books and knick-knacks come hurtling off of the bookcase, as if reacting to the young girl’s anger.
The movement of physical objects like this can be quite dramatic and can be as slight as a box of Tic Tacs sliding a few inches across a table top or as amazing as a heavy refrigerator levitating off the kitchen floor.
3 – SCENTS AND ODORS
No one in your house smokes, yet on occasion the distinct smell of cigarette or cigar smoke can be detected in the bathroom. Or… as you’re dressing for bed, suddenly the overpowering scent of lilacs fills the room.
Such scents and odors can be a sign of ghost activity as they might be associated with a spirit or with a residual haunting.
4 – ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE
Johnny is having a tough time in school, and sometimes when he enters the living room with that scowl on his face, the overhead light and lamps flicker. Or… It’s 3 o’clock in the morning and you’re shocked out of sleep by the stereo in the den turning on full blast – and it doesn’t have a remote control that could have set if off accidentally, either from inside or outside the house.
5 – POWER FROM NOWHERE
That antique clock on the fireplace mantle hasn’t worked in years, but it’s a family heirloom and you like how it looks there, so you’ve kept it. Quite suddenly, it begins to chime and the second hand resumes moving, even though the clock hasn’t been wound in ten years. Or… it’s 9:15 p.m. and the little kids are sound asleep in bed when suddenly Billy’s little choo-choo train begins to chug across the living room floor. You think that’s odd, but you switch it off and put it back down. A few minutes later, the little train starts up again. Thinking there’s something wrong with the switch, you open the battery compartment to remove the batteries… but there are no batteries in it!
6 – KNOCKS, RAPPINGS, FOOTSTEPS, AND OTHER NOISES
You’re in your office trying to balance the checkbook, but you find it hard to concentrate when your husband is in the other room banging on the wall for some reason. You go to investigate, but then remember your husband is out bowling – he isn’t even home. No one else is. So where’s that knocking coming from?
Or… the family is the kitchen table deep into a heated game of Monopoly. Suddenly, all the chatter stops when everyone’s attention is drawn to the sound of footsteps coming up the basement stairs. Dad checks it out, but of course there is no one there.
7 – PHYSICAL ATTACKS
Twelve-year old Alyssa can’t stand how her parents are always fighting. The constant yelling and screaming are driving her crazy. She sits on the floor in the corner of her room, crying with her face in her hands. She winces from a sudden pain on her back. When she checks it in a mirror, she finds fresh scratches.
Or… the poltergeist activity – from unexplained bangs to flying coffee pots – has been escalating at the Ferman household, and young Becky seems to be the center of it all. It got at its worst when visiting Uncle Donald received sharp slaps across the face, seemingly from an unseen hand.
Physical attacks such as these have been documented in such cases as The Bell Witch and the Amherst poltergeist, but they are exceedingly rare and occur only in the most severe cases.
HOW DO YOU RECOGNIZE A POLTERGEIST CASE?
An experienced paranormal investigator or parapsychologist might be able to help you determine if what is taking place in your home is poltergeist activity or a haunting – which can sometimes exhibit similar effects – or whether there is a logical, non-paranormal explanation. The investigator will look for other factors. Since poltergeist activity is a psychic effect rather than a spirit-based one, the investigator should try to determine who the agent is – the person who is generating the telekinetic activity.
Various kinds of stresses can be the cause of this activity, including emotional, physical, psychological, and even hormonal stresses, and so the investigator should try to examine the personal and family dynamics and very well might need to seek the help of therapists or counselors.
Or not. Most cases of poltergeist activity or short-lived, lasting only days or a few weeks. It is rare indeed that they stretch out for months or more. Most of the time they just fade away on their own. Try as best you can to find reasonable explanations for the activity. If reason and logic fail, and especially if the activity is consistent and persistent, you may have a case.
In the past and even today, people react to poltergeist activity by calling the clergy, an exorcist, a psychic or a paranormal investigator. They do so because the movies and spooky novels have told them that ghosts or demons must be responsible.
If we realize that the activity arises out of a family member’s unconscious, however, and could very well have a stress-induced psychological genesis, then the priests or ministers, exorcists and ghost hunters probably are not the right folks to call.
It may well be true that clergy, exorcists and ghost hunters have been helpful to poltergeist victims. After their visits and subsequent rituals, the unexplained activity might have lessened or disappeared. But why? Because the ghosts were banished or the demons exorcised? More likely, it’s because the comfort brought by these people alleviated the stress the agent was feeling. In other words, it worked because the agent believed it would work.
In other cases, however, bringing in these types of people can backfire. A well-meaning clergy-person who blames the devil for everything or a bumbling “exorcist” could only add to the stress of the agent, especially if the agent is an impressionable child who is ill-equipped to handle the idea that there is a malevolent spirit in the house or that a demon is lurking about – or that they themselves are possessed! Such irresponsible suggestions could elevate the stress and therefore the poltergeist activity.
SURVIVING A POLTERGEIST
If poltergeist phenomena are stress-induced, there are better courses of action.
People get stressed out over all kinds of things; sometimes serious, sometimes trivial things. If the activity seems mild and harmless, it might be best to wait it out. Research has shown that most recurring poltergeist activity lasts only a few weeks. And in the vast majority of instances the phenomena are harmless: lights going on and off, toilets flushing, things being moved around the house, etc.
If the activity is severe, annoying or you just want it to stop, the first thing to do is try to determine who the agent might be. Who in the household is exhibiting signs of stress? There are many causes of stress, of course, and there’s no reason to assume that anything as serious as the Betsy and John Bell case is taking place. But stress from any source is a serious matter, as it can lead to loss of sleep and health problems.
Professional counseling or therapy for the stressed individual could be the answer. The person might be experiencing something that is causing extreme emotional stress, or they might not know how to cope with the common stresses we all face with school, jobs and relationships. A trained therapist can help talk through any issues with which the agent is struggling.