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A Poltergeist is a being, or manifestation, which affects the physical world. Poltergeists are often noisy, disruptive and even destructive.

Famous poltergeist infestations

Although poltergeist stories date back to the first century, most evidence to support the existence of poltergeists is anecdotal, which is hardly surprising as the nature of the phenomenon is unpredictable and sporadic. Indeed, many of the stories below have several versions and/or inconsistencies; however there are a few that do not, for example, the Miami poltergeist has event records signed by all witnesses as to the way things happened. These witnesses include police officers, a skeptical magician, and workers at the warehouse. The Rosenheim case is another, with multiple witnesses and unexplained electric and telephonic phenomena.

Lithobolia (1698): A pamphlet printed in London in 1698 by Mr. Ricard Chamberlain provides an account of a poltergeist-type haunting that had occurred some years before. Two copies of the pamphlet exist in the British Museum called: "Lithobolia, or stone throwing Devil. Being an Exact and True account (by way of Journal) of the various actions of infernal Spirits or (Devils Incarnate) Witches or both: and the great Disturbance and Amazement they gave to George Walton's family at a place called Great Island in the province of New Hampshire in New England, chiefly in throwing about (by an Invisible hand) Stones, Bricks, and Brick-Bats of all sizes, with several other things, as Hammers, Mauls, Iron-Crows, Spits, and other Utensils, as came into their Hellish minds, and this for space of a quarter of a year..."

  • An "evil spirit" threw stones and made the walls shake in a small farmhouse. This was the first recorded poltergeist case. (circa 858)
  • Drummer of Tedworth (1661).
  • The "Wizard", Livingston, West Virginia (1797).
  • The Bell Witch (1817).
  • The Haunting of The Fox sisters (1848) - arguably one of the most famous, because it started the Spiritualism movement.
  • Hopfgarten, Germany (1921).
  • Eleonore Zugun - The Romanian 'Poltergeist Girl' (1926).

Rosenheim (1967): Dr. Friedbert Karger was one of two physicists from the Max Planck Institute who helped to investigate perhaps the most validated poltergeist case in recorded history. Annemarie Schneider, a 19-year-old secretary in a law firm in Rosenheim (a small town in southern Germany) was seemingly the unwitting cause of much chaos in the firm, including disruption of electricity and telephone lines, the rotation of a picture, swinging lamps which were captured on video (which was one of the first times any poltergeist activity has been captured on film), and strange sounds that sounded electrical in origin were recorded. Fraud was not proven despite intensive investigation by the physicists, journalists, and the police. The effects moved with the young woman when she changed jobs until they finally faded out.,[1] [2][3][4] Friedbert Karger's whole perspective on physics changed after investigating the events. "These experiments were really a challenge to physics," Karger says today. "What we saw in the Rosenheim case could be 100 per cent shown not to be explainable by known physics." [4]. The phenomena were witnessed by Hans Bender, the police force, the CID, reporters, and the physicists. The claims were aired in a documentary in 1975 in a series called "Leap in the Dark."

  • The Black Monk of Pontefract [5]
  • The Enfield Poltergeist (1977).
  • The Miami Poltergeist, a poltergeist witnessed by police and a skeptical magician who did not believe it was a ghost, but admitted he witnessed phenomena he could not explain. Many others witnessed phenomena including reporters, parapsychologists, and workers at the warehouse.
  • The Mackenzie Poltergeist (fairly recent) - Famed for haunting Greyfriars church yard, Edinburgh, UK.
  • The Canneto di Caronia fires poltergeist (2004-2005)) - Famed for defying all attempts at a scientific explanation, Sicily, Italy [6].
  • The Entity Case allegedly involved a single mother of three named Carla Moran who was being repeatedly raped by an invisible entity and its two helpers over the course of several years.
  • The case of Tina Resch, widely reported in the media in 1984.
  • A recent case in Barnsley in England, where poltergeist effects were witnessed by the police force. [7]
  • The Thornton Road poltergeist of Birmingham (1981).
  • Easington Council in County Durham, UK paid half of a medium's fee so that she would exorcise a poltergeist from public housing in Peterlee as it was deemed more cost effective than relocation of the tenant (2008).[5]


  1. Fairley, John and Welfare, Simon. Arthur C. Clarke's World of Strange Powers. Harper Collins, 1984 (ISBN 0002166798), pp. 28-31
  2. [1] (German and most extensive)
  3. [2]
  4. [3]
  5. Council pays psychic for exorcism (retrieved 2 January 2009)

External links

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