Do such things as poltergeists and ghosts really exist? If so then what are they? This article examines the poltergeist phenomenon and tries to explain what it is. Poltergeists are rare, but they do exist. For those that aren’t in the loop, a poltergeist is a spirit that moves through inanimate objects like cups, TVs, furniture, and windows. Noises – like bumps, thuds, kerplunks – yes kerplunks is a dictionary word, knocks, scratching at the window, and banging at the door are all examples of poltergeist activity. Of course, these are natural phenomena when a human or natural cause is to blame. However, the wind, a person, the rain, or a cat or dog aren’t the cause in these occurrences. A poltergeist could be at fault.

In Ancient Egypt, bed-shaking and the raining down of stones were reported. However, a sceptic could conclude that mud slides or earthquakes were to blame. It’s no wonder that all cultures have reports of spirits interfering in our lives – even to this day. Parapsychologists have put forth one explanation that suggests that poltergeists originate in a person, and the lingo for that person is an agent or focus. They suggest that the psycho-kinetic effects originate in the individual, and manifest as the result of psychological trauma in that person.

Other researchers have proposed several unrelated and interesting hypotheses. Ball lightning, static electricity, electromagnetic fields, ionized air, people propelling objects as hoaxes, unfriendly spirits, and “recordings” of negative emotional energy that don’t abate ever after death. The emotion can keep re-playing itself in the natural world even after the person is dead. Of course, this is all speculation. Evil spirits are reported by practitioners of astral projection, an art associated with out-of-body experiences. Some, a minority, occasionally use hallucinogens, which may account for the effects. Since there is scant pictorial, video, and audio evidence of poltergeist phenomena, it’s a good idea to opt for the famous movie, Poltergeist.

Much of the phenomena reported by parapsychologists is depicted well in the movie. Over the years, there have been countless reports of haunted houses, abodes, and buildings. Most of these go unreported in the mainstream media, and it takes quite a bit of digging in obscure anthologies of poltergeist accounts to find them out. However, a few of the more important ones are as follows. The reader should be advised that many of these stories have inconsistencies, but some do not. Here they go, in the order of their appearance. In 1858, an evil spirit chucked heavy stones at a farmhouse, and it shook the walls with power. The Demon Drummer of Tedworth in 1661, the Wizard named Livingston in 1797, the Haunting of the Fox Sisters in 1848, the Borley Rectory incident of 1929, and the Enfield, Mackenzie, Entity, and other cases in the latter part of the 20th century, e.g., 1977, 1984, 2000s.