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Scotland, 1960: A teacher observes a hinged desktop fly open as a little girl tries diligently to restrain it; later, the teacher sees a desk behind the girl levitating a few inches above the floor. A minister visiting the girl's home watches a linen chest float through the air, and hears loud, percussive rapping sounds that are later recorded there by two medical doctors.

Indiana, 1962: One hundred and ten incidents, including unexplained knocking sounds, strange movements of furniture, the breaking of household objects, and mysterious bites, are recorded over a two week period in the home of a thirteen year-old girl, her mother and grandmother.

Miami, 1967: The mysterious breakage of numerous mugs, ashtrays, vases and other crockery creates havoc at a warehouse, in an intrusion apparently targeted at a nineteen year old clerk. Professional researchers subject the case to thorough and strenuous investigation.

Germany, 1968: The so-called Rosenheim poltergeist, which obligingly makes its actions visible on film, leads to an intensive investigation by two physicists from the renowned Max Planck Institute, who conclude that "these phenomena are not explicable by the means available to theoretical physics." Activities of the Rosenheim poltergeist so disturb postal and telecommunications officials that the local telephone system must be sealed off and replaced.

These are not everyday occurrences. Neither are they reported by all those who experience them. Many people have watched a lamp tip over for no apparent reason or felt a chill wind pass through a warm, sealed room, and jokingly dismissed it as the presence of a ghost or a poltergeist. Many others, however, have discovered that such incidents can become much more than a laughing matter.

"There's no denying that the poltergeist is a citizen of the world," explains Dr. William G. Roll, an eminent parapsychologist whose research confirms what scholars and skeptics have debated for years 末 the existence of an unusual and still unexplainable phenomenon that manifests itself through the mysterious movement of objects.

A German expression for "noisy or boisterous ghosts," poltergeists have been reported throughout recorded history. Like ghostly "hauntings," poltergeist "intrusions" seem to occur most often in a house or a building. Yet hauntings are typically nonphysical and can continue for years, while intrusions are noted for a whole spectrum of physical and often violent activities which seen to erupt spontaneously and seldom last for more than two months. Perhaps most interesting of all, an intrusion is almost always associated in some way with a living individual under the age of twenty.

Reports of poltergeist activity include the destruction, disappearance and reappearance of household objects; the movement of furniture; rapping, hammering, pounding, sawing and other loud, unexplainable noises; blasts of wind, flashes of light and electrical discharges in closed rooms; the disruption of telephones, televisions, radios, automobiles and other equipment; bite wounds of unknown origin; and perhaps rarest and most disturbing of all, the actual sighting of apparitions.

According to researcher and author Michael Goss, one of the most common sightings is that of a robed figure whose features are hidden from sight, and who appears at the site of a past accident or tragedy. Another apparition reported time and again is that of an angelic lady with long hair and flowing white gown, who lends assistance to people in distress before fading from sight.

For many, the baffling behavior of poltergeists conjures up images of spirits, a natural assumption given the common belief that a haunting represents the activity of a ghost returning to or remaining at its earthly habitat. Other modern researchers are attempting to uncover a 'human connection' in the poltergeist phenomenon, linking these strange occurences to such paranormal abilities as ESP, psychokinesis, life after death experiences, and astral travel.

Hostility, adolescent tension and feelings of frustration have been noted in a majority of individuals who seem to be at the center of such intrusions, suggesting that the poltergeist phenomenon may result from the unconscious use of latent psychic abilities. Yet researcher Ian Stevenson observes, "I have not been able to imagine how such effects could be produced solely by the mind of a living agent...even when equipped with important paranormal powers."

After an exhaustive study of 304 hauntings, Ernesto Bozzano found that over 80% were linked to a death, and that apparitions usually represent the figure of the deceased. From these cases, he also found that phantoms of the dead can haunt places where they did not die, and in some instances, places where they did not even live. Finally, it appears that when certain specific actions 末 sometimes actions suggested by the behavior of the phantoms themselves 末 are performed, hauntings often cease.

The concept of communication between "the other side" and our world is often raised to explain the poltergeist phenomenon. Indeed, the work of many researchers seems to indicate that both intrusions and hauntings can have a specific purpose. Perhaps that purpose 末 a mission of revenge, of precaution, or simply a final farewell to a loved one 末 can only be accomplished from "the other side" through the manipulation of a living individual's paranormal abilities.

There are no final answers yet 末 only questions.


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