Many of us have seen movies about Poltergeist activity, but a surprising number of people don’t know how this specific haunting type differs from other types of ghosts.
In fact, many don’t know that there are “Types” of ghosts at all.
In the South, the southern United States, where Dedra and I were raised, we both grew up hearing stories of ghosts, as part of everyday life.
It was relatively normal to hear a tale of a dead relative that still walks the halls at night, to still smell their cigar or pipe tobacco or the signature perfume of the former lady of the house. Hardly ever though, were stories about any of these ghostly entities malicious and are thought to usually be around to watch over - or still be in - their home with their loved ones or maybe even a beloved object.
A poltergeist, as mentioned earlier is one type of manifestation that a spirit can take. The word actually means “noisy ghost”. The name actually described the most common manifestation of a spirit where mysterious sounds (like footsteps and knocking) or furniture and objects moving around with no explanation are experienced. There is plenty of recorded evidence of poltergeist manifestations. Although, sometimes a poltergeist will take additional forms.
Occasionally, these spirits take the form of what are called Funnel Spirits. They appear as a vortex or irregular shaped light or fog which is sometimes captured in photographs or on video.
Oftentimes, when you encounter a “cold spot” or get a chill, that’s probably one of them brushing past you, perhaps just coming back for a visit, or to check on loved ones.
Orbs are another type of ghostly entity, and probably the most photographed of all ghostly encounters. An orb appears as a translucent ball of light. They are often fast moving and are considered to be a “pure version” of a deceased souls spirit.
Most of the time the Orb will appear white in photographs but can be blue as well. When seen in person, other color variants have been described as well.
Any of the previously mentioned spirit types can often gain strength and become interactive. It is thought that a spirit can manifest in any form, and interact with the surrounding environment -- it depends on how much energy it has.
A common practice of Paranormal Investigation is to capture EVP recordings. Electronic Voice Phenomenon utilizes a recorder (usually digital) and the person carrying out the investigation will ask questions, pause to give the spirits a chance to answer and later review the recording to see if there were any answers. This will usually require some digital manipulation to increase volume, decrease background noise but sometimes there are actual results and these can be chilling at times. It’s believed that ghosts communicate on sound frequencies that are well below the human hearing range. Some people claim to have heard spirits speak without the use of any device.
Joyce, a Tennessee woman, claimed to have heard such a voice while taking a shower one day. As she enjoyed her shower, she heard a man’s voice say, “Looking good babe.”
At the time, she thought it was the voice of her husband, but to her surprise, when she got out of the shower, her husband was nowhere to be found.
At the time, the couple was staying in Joyce’s house that she shared with her deceased first husband.
When she came out of the shower, the hairs on her neck stood up as she felt a cold breeze and saw a chair rocking, the chair that her former husband used to sit in quite frequently.
Perhaps he came back to check on her?
Near Dedra’s home, one may hear of many other stories, stories such as the Haunted Mansion of Ras Al Khaimah.
This mansion was built by an elite family for a reported 12 million dollars, back in the 70s. The family was overjoyed to move into their brand new home, but their joy wasn’t meant to last, as within weeks, they were being terrorized by the sight of children’s faces in the windows, the sounds of screaming, and apparitions that began to knock over things, turn lights on and off, and the putrid, overpowering rotting smell that they left behind.
Within weeks, the residents fled the property, leaving many valuable belongings behind, and no one has lived there since.
Around the world, Poltergeists have left many people horrified and have given them many tales to pass on to anyone who will listen.
A small English market town was said to be the host of one of the most violent Poltergeist hauntings in all of European history. The angry spirit was known as Pontefract Poltergeist but was also nicknamed the Black Monk of Pontefract due to a belief that it was the spirit of a monk killed during the 16th century.
In his former home, many residents have reported attacks by a spirit that leaves puddles on the floors and makes selected rooms become colder. Allegedly, he enjoys throwing objects around and smearing substances on doorknobs and windows. One of his many talents includes levitating eggs and then throwing them to smash them against the walls.
Currently, no one dares to live in his house, and he has managed to scare off anyone who has ever tried.
Poltergeist stories can be some of the most frightening when they are shared. Very often, a paranormal experience seldom has a visual or physical manifestation associated with it. As with most humans, not seeing something that may be making a disturbance can be very unsettling.
As a child, growing up in a very old house, I had heard stories of our house ghost. He actually had a name, “John”. My mother would speak of John on a regular basis and she had actually told us of seeing an apparition on several of these occasions. While I never can say I ever saw the ghost of John, I did experience sounds and moving objects. Usually, when I was alone in my bedroom, playing with my toys, some of them would move around or be knocked off of shelves. While I cannot say I ever felt threatened or feared this entity, I usually greeted the ghost with a friendly Hello Mr. John and then went on with my business.
To me, this was just another day and such a regularly, non-threatening experience, it never dawned on me to be afraid.
However, I know now that not all experiences with the supernatural are as benign. As a participant on a few investigations, I have witnessed severe cases of Poltergeist activity where the intent of the disturbance was malicious and sometimes causing injury to the investigators or other bystanders.
A lot of thought has gone into the theory about why some poltergeist are easy-going and some are just down-right malicious. Depending on the nature of the entities history is usually what defines their disposition in a haunting.
Although, sometimes a paranormal disturbance is something more than just a simple haunting and a ghostly entity may not be the sources of harassment. These are the cases that keep a Paranormal Investigation Team on their toes and eager to take on their next case, looking into other types of supernatural manifestations.