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Image POLTERGEIST
In German, polter means “commotion” or “noisy” and geist means “ghost”. This noisy ghost is a troublesome household guest causing objects to move, even fly through the air. The poltergeist is held responsible for rapping noises or loud sounds. Sometimes fires are set or other general destruction is blamed on the poltergeist. A poltergeist is different from a haunting in that the activity is centered around a person rather than a place. Those who study this phenomenon are called parapsychologists. They don’t necessarily believe the poltergeist is a spirit or demon but is a result of energy from a person that is transferred outside of the individual’s body without their knowledge. The person in the center of the action is most often a pre-teen female. Often, the child is adopted or a foster child or is having other personal trouble in the home. Poltergeist activity certainly indicates that something is wrong in the home but apparently it’s not paranormal. In these cases, family members or paranormal investigators are anticipating something unusual to occur; it often does. Skeptics, however, have been able to spot hoaxes. It’s relatively simple to fool expectant observers. Even after an individual has been caught doing the throwing or damage in the house, parapsychologists are not convinced. A confession by the person is sometimes not enough to declare fakery when others are so willing to believe in a paranormal event. However, after decades of research to provide evidence for the supernatural force known as “psi”, there is still none that stands up to scrutiny. Therefore, we must currently conclude that poltergeist activity is more likely caused by a disruptive family member rather than a rowdy ghost.
- Sharon Hill (Scientist)
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Skeptical Briefs Online Articles
Spirit Painting: Part 2
The Case of the Missing Poltergeist
Spirit Painting: Part 1
Italy's Graveyard "Ghost" Photo
Caveat Specter
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NESS Encyclopedia:   Ghosts
The Skeptic Report:   Ghosts
Australian Skeptics:   "Humpty Doo" Poltergeist
Museum of Hoaxes:   Ghostwatch
Tampa Bay Skeptics:   Do Cars Really Roll Up "Spook Hill"?
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