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polt lore

 
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colpepper1
Location: England
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PostPosted: 05-08-2008 15:12    Post subject: polt lore Reply with quote

One of the features of poltergeist cases that struck me (sic) is neighbouring properties, even terrace or semi-detached houses, rarely seem to get overspill from the targeted family. I haven't read the South Shield case yet and have some recollection that people outside could hear the Enfield spook. But by and large properties appear to be contained to this type of 'haunting'.

This suggests that a polt is a type of ghost and treads known former ground or has some reason to target a group of people (a curse? demonic attack?) with boundaries placed on its domain.
Any thoughts?
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PeniGOffline
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PostPosted: 05-08-2008 16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

The more you read, the more you'll find that the supposition that a poltergeist is attached to a person or small group of people grows out of the evidence. The number of cases in which one individual was the primary target and was followed when moved into a different family (or even a different town) is huge. This is also why the "prankish children" theory is so hard to falsify. Traditional stories about boggarts, such as the one with the punchline "Aye, George, we're flitting," indicate that this is a constant feature over time, though boggarts seem to have been attached to families rather than to individuals in that family.

Poltergeist activity attached to a place rather than a person is the exception rather than the rule, and such cases seldom have the striking violence, consistency, persistency, and disruption of the classic poltergeist cases like Enfield, the Wesley poltergeist, and that grande dame of noisy spirits, the Bell Witch. Though the Witch is now associated with a cave, in her heyday she was primarily attached to Betsy and John Bell, and the cave-based phenomena, when compared to her spectacular persecution of these two, are dull stuff.
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colpepper1
Location: England
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PostPosted: 05-08-2008 17:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I'd go along with all that PeniG. What's interesting is the movement of apports and figures throughout a dwelling - even if centred on an individual(s) - which includes movement of objects and figures through walls doesn't appear to extend to party walls of adjoining houses.
I recall (somewhere!) that passers by in the Enfield street saw furniture moving from outside and remember another case, more of a haunting, where an elderly lady saw a child's figure float from the upper story of a building before returning but such incidents are rare, unless someone knows otherwise? Britain is full of small, speculative built Victorian and Edwardian terraced houses, the equivalent to the US apartments in many ways, whose divisions are formal rather than robust and yet neighbours rarely complain of 'the polt next door'. Curious.
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SimonBurchellOffline
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PostPosted: 06-08-2008 12:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

I remember reading in This House is Haunted by Guy Lyon Playfair that the Enfield poltergeist did spill over a little into the next-door neighbour's house - with an object being carried from one house to the other and the primary focus claiming to have "gone through the wall".

In the Mayanup poltergeist case in Australia, the poltergeist started at one aboriginal family's home and then spread to another a few hundred meters away.

Poltergeists also seem to be mildly contagious - I have read many reports of people who have visited a poltergeist-infested place having poltergeist incidents occuring in their own home or workplace for a day or two afterwards.


Last edited by SimonBurchell on 08-08-2008 11:48; edited 1 time in total
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jpburnhamOffline
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PostPosted: 07-08-2008 11:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

SimonBurchell wrote:

Poltergeists also seem to be mildly contagious - I have read many reports of people who have visited a poltergeist-infested place having poltergeist incidents occuring in their own home or workplace for a day or two afterwards.


Indeed, the South Shields Poltergeist book makes reference to a couple of instances of strange activity happening to people who had visited the house in question. If I remember correctly, one of these took place in a location a considerable distance away.
J
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forteanflightOffline
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PostPosted: 16-08-2008 12:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

SimonBurchell wrote:

Poltergeists also seem to be mildly contagious - I have read many reports of people who have visited a poltergeist-infested place having poltergeist incidents occuring in their own home or workplace for a day or two afterwards.

Intriguing. This makes me wonder if perhaps we are looking in the wrong direction for explantions as to what exactly poltergeists actualy are. Rather than being a ghost or other paranormal phenomenon, might they actually be a strange type of (so far) undetected illness or virus?
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colpepper1
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PostPosted: 19-08-2008 13:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

After hearing a Mike Hallowell presentation on the South Shields case at the Weird Weekend his conclusion is (if I understood him correctly), that polts are an externalisation of prolonged stress in a few individuals and not a form of ghostly phenomena. They appear to rely on conventional energy sources for their existence and fade once that source is removed.

My only quibble with the theory is that poltergeists pre-date household energy outlets, mobile phones, transmitters and batteries, though you could argue that water courses and naturally occuring minerals might allow for a similar effect. A fascinating case and I look forward to reading the book.
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SimonBurchellOffline
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PostPosted: 19-08-2008 21:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the "psychological" approach to poltergeists is far too simplistic. Poltergeist activity seems to occur with relation to other types of paranormal phenomena (some UFO encounters, for example) and sometimes happens without a "focus"...and the borderline between traditional hauntings and poltergeists isn't as clearcut as it is sometimes portrayed.
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H_JamesOffline
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PostPosted: 19-08-2008 21:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin Wilson's theory is that it's a combination of a wandering 'spirit' or group of spirits taking the confused energy of your typical poltergeist focus, and 'kicking it about like a football', until they get bored.
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SimonBurchellOffline
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PostPosted: 20-08-2008 18:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

That sounds as good a theory as any...
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AtomicBadgerOffline
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PostPosted: 08-03-2013 21:00    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just happened to be re-reading Colin Wilson's write up on the Black Monk of Pontefract recently, and he also mentioned some spillover- one of the neighbors of the afflicted family apparently actually saw 'the monk' in her kitchen one day. She had known about the troubles her neighbors were having, and had apparently heard some of the sounds herself in her own house and experienced some knock-on effects such as a crack in her ceiling plaster from the all the banging it did on the connecting walls. But visible manifestations of polts are apparently somewhat rare in themselves, and a polt physically manifesting outside the afflicted house to a third party when none of the foci themselves are present is, I believe, unique in the literature.

(If you're wondering whether it menaced the poor neighbor, the answer is no; she described the incident as 'getting that feeling that someone's behind you', then looking round and seeing a huge, dark robed shape a few feet away. Then it vanished. Curiously, she did not feel frightened by this, so perhaps it was merely saying hello? Or even popped into the wrong house by mistake and then hastily retreated when it realized it wasn't where it had intended to be? Funny to think of it that way, but who knows? Then again, there was a lot about that case that was bizarre even by poltergeist standards. We have a thread on this as well somewhere.)
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ThaurmaturgeOffline
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PostPosted: 27-03-2013 16:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was involved (many years ago) with an investigation which whilst I would not feel comfortable classifying as strictly a poltergeist case did had activity which could be construed as typical of poltergeist phenomena. The activity appeared to overspill into the adjoining house and was apparently at least as bad, though not as frequent, as that in the "focus" property.

Personally, I think Colin Wilson is perhaps closest to the mark and there is more to poltergeists than just exteriorisation of internal anguish (although that alone would be difficult for most to swallow). I think if it was simply psychological in nature then it would be more prevalent - there is plenty of anguish in this world - although perhaps it is more frequent than we understand and many minor bursts of activity are dismissed as rats, mice, the neighbours etc.
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