Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Before getting into the topic, the news: my new house extension is rolling structurally right now and, though that's a good thing, it's a distraction from the blog. Yesterday we moved 60-70 boxes of mainly UFO files/resources over there as a temporary staging move. This frees up basement footprint space so I can stack new boxes of such stuff --- of which there will be a bunch. This too is a good thing, but a further elimination of blog writing time. ... and there is such a thing as ordinary life. I'll do what I can squeeze in here.

As to poltergeists: this topic arose because I was tossing out redundant "extra" materials for which no space will exist at the new house extension. Some of those were FATE magazines. I have a complete set up to about 1990, and SITU had a complete set up to about early 1980s. Therefore extras from the seventies and sixties needed to go. {I know everyone's horrified}. Instead of simple recycling, and because I couldn't go through the time/effort of boxing anythings up and shipping them out, I decided to "rip" them and include articles interesting to me in proper dedicated, already existing topical folders or three-ring notebooks. {My style of research sources}.

As rips proceeded, I noticed clusters of subjects. One was "FAFROTSKIES" {Sanderson's nickname for Falls From The Skies.} One was "APPARITIONS" and what grew on me as a similar topic "TIMESLIPS". A third was "POLTERGEISTS". There were of course hills of UFO-related matters, but being burnt out on that at the moment, they've been consigned to a "to do" pile. What I'm hoping to do Blog-wise is to get three entries out of this, and the first one = poltergeists.

Veteran readers will recognize the "style" above: it's my way of logging multiple experiences which I intuit might be related somehow, and get a crude characterization of each thumbnailed and easier to remember/collate. The "C" is the UFO-like designator for facts leading towards an estimation of "Credibility". And the "SIGMA+" is the second UFO-like designator for the"Strangeness" in the claims. I found a dozen encounters which were either "traditional" poltergeist-like situations, or things that my erratic Out Proctor mind said "include these."

I found all of these cases interesting. Most of them claimed very many witnesses, usually not only of a single family, and often with police or press or investigator involvement. The three single-witness cases each had a reason to assess a likely credible judgement by me [One, one course, stems from my being a Catholic, and another from my spending so much time as an academic, but what can I say?]. I included two things not usually seen in such a list [a ringing of a broken bell at a time of a significant death, and a physical action called upon by some Ouija gamers], but abnormally included or not, I say: what exactly is the phenomenological difference? All of these things seem to be anomalous physical manifestations which are clearly closely witnessed by stunned humans, who see no normal cause.

Spread about this set are also many of the traditional poltergeist phenomena: footfalls, moving furniture, falling objects, raps in walls or on doors and windows, but interspersed there are many other things which "personalize" each case {shades of UFOlogy}. There are two "rockthrowers". Normally [having been a semi-neanderthalic teenage boy once myself], my "favored hypothesis" would be obvious. But both cases had very long durations, repetitiveness, and police involvement. Some stuff just seems unintelligent and random, and some seems [nervously] person-directed. The Ouija case where the girls specifically asked for the piano to play something is the most blunt [and creepy] case of that, but others like rockthrowers, premonitionary footfalls and sounds of a father returning home, and the wall-knockings which led to a hidden letter addressed to the wife's husband [knockings which stopped upon the finding], seem VERY human-directed as well.

A few particularly odd aspects: a). the stones in one rockthrower case being seen to move too slowly and not in proper "gravitation-controlled" arcs; b). two instances which regularly had events in them which were violent towards humans --- some folks say that there are a lot of poltergeists like this [rather dangerously violent] but that has not been anywhere near the norm in my readings elsewhere; c). several cases where the activity was in its different ways apparently responsive to the humans; and d). my favorite, where the family dog seems to fight a Spirit Dog, but not a friendly Pookha, but one more like those "English" Spirit Dogs with mean dispositions. An apparition of this thing signals the end of the poltergeist effects.

I, just as you, have many thoughts go through my head as I read these things. But I'm no expert, so I'm going to quote a few people [from another FATE article] who are.

The article was "The Nature of Poltergeist Intelligence" in the August 1965 number, written by Raymond Bayless. Bayless was not the leading poltergeist expert of the early-to-mid 20th century, but he wasn't bad. FATE, no doubt, was happy to have him.

One of the fellows who Bayless quotes is Sir William Barrett [who I have found to be quite scholarly on a variety of paranormal matters]. That is Barrett to our left. He states:

"They {the poltergeist entities} appear to have some intelligence behind them... the intelligence is, therefore, in some way related to our intelligence, and moreover is occasionally in telepathic rapport with our minds."

Hmmmm..... despite my predilection to credit psi in many forms, I hadn't related poltergeist phenomena to it. The physical events, the sounds, the responses, ... all that stuff seemed to happen, in a weird sense, "normally", in the real physical world. Could some of this stuff, like happens with the sensory events during exorcisms, "happen" NOT AT ALL physically, but "merely" psychically perceived? I still can't see that, as the vast majority of poltergeist claims find objects actually moved, crockery actually broken, rocks actually "in hand", unlike the exorcist who finds that he has been ducking psychic phantoms.

Another expert quoted is one of my favorites: Herbert Thurston, SJ. In his book, Ghosts and Poltergeists, Thurston reported on a case {"An Indian Poltergeist"} wherein the events included fire-starting, injuries, an apparition which evinced hostility. The family was Catholic and tried an exorcism. The Church "magic" struck out totally on this one as the ghost became filled with "increased violence and fury."

This sort of thing encouraged Bayless to make a fairly strong stand that the majority of cases were negative in the extreme.

" It may be well to mention here a rather popular belief --- that the poltergeist is a friendly, playful, childish spirit which indulges in activity of a teasing nature. This is a naive view. The poltergeist force is almost always indicative of a psychological rather than a spiritistic origin and the phenomenon is most certainly not playful." 

Well, I guess that I can understand why Bayless would say that --- he's fired up for the then-new idea of William Roll that all of this is due to unconscious psychokinetic forces projected by [usually] teenagers with raging hormones and unsettled self-images and confidence. I confess that I've never liked the theory. There are too many incidents which are geographically-grounded in a "spot" not a person. And, as to the malignant nature of these things, I must say, generally, balderdash. The picture of the fine old house above is of my brother and sister-in-laws' home, which is a poltergeist house, inhabited by an entirely playful teasing childish spirit named "Kenny". To give Bayless a road out of this disagreement, he makes a [somewhat mysterious-to-me] distinction between "poltergeists" and "hauntings". I'm willing to entertain that there might well be two or more different sorts of agencies behind all this, but how, at this stage, does one feel comfortable making the sorting? I'd rather not just make the distinction after-the-fact by saying "if it's nasty it's a poltergeist; if it's friendly or neutral, it's a haunting."

There were other weird things going on in FATE as well. There were two instances where the witness described something as a levitation by an unseen force. Once it was a bed with a sleeping kid raised off the floor, and once it was a series of levitating/floating/sliding plates on a luncheon table. The latter witness was boggled but somewhat cooly experimental about trying to move them back where they belonged and sensing how much force had to be applied. This was not related to poltergeists. But why not? Where's the dividing line? What's the criterion?

Another triplicate of reports involved what we've been calling here "Trickster" phenomena. All cases had different atmospheres about tham. One involved the sudden appearance of small change moneys which hung around but other money would occasionally disappear --- always leaving the family with a "profit-margin" in the exchange. Then when the father tried to scheme this anomalous largesse, the giving phenomenon stopped altogether and there was an actual loss. {This just screams Old-Celtic-Style "Don't mess with the Little People" to me, despite its occurrence in British Columbia in 1961}.

Another case involved a more "ordinary" Trickster incident where a billfold disappeared and despite severe and long searching was given up for lost, then reappeared SIX MONTHS LATER neatly sitting on top of items in a clothes drawer. The third report was of some earrings which vanished until they were prayed for. Soon after the prayers, and entirely by accident, they were discovered in a box which hadn't been seen for years --- really weird. Again these things were not reported as poltergeist phenomena. Again, why not?

There was a post-death phenomenon reported where the relative of a deceased father, who had promised to try to find a way to give a sign, reported raps on the table just as the father would do, but more stunningly, the playing of his violin by "no one." Raps on tables, levitations, and playing musical instruments also give me creepy returns to thoughts of 19th century "physical mediums", who I had conveniently discarded into the rubbish bin of my non-beliefs [mainly due to how embarrassing some of the debunking had been.] .... groan .... do I have to put them back on the tilting table?

And, is it possible that all of this ( poltergeists, hauntings, post-death signs, apports, tricksters,  help--even Faerie?} is part of One Thing?

Well, I know who I need to get hold of [double-entendre ENTIRELY conscious]. And don't try to talk me out of it.

..... heck. I don't care whether she really knows anything about ghosts or not.

C'mon people. I'm 74 years old --- sadly harmless.



  1. Hello Prof, it's been quite a while and it's good to see you're doing well and also that the home plans are working out. The 'poltergeist' phenomena resonate with me as the home I spent most of my childhood in was scene to many expressions of unusual incidents.

    We had moving objects, temporary 'vanishings,' footsteps and occasional voices being heard in one room. Different TVs would turn on in empty rooms although this was quite rare. It wasn't a case of marginal mental illness within the family as these things occurred independently with visitors too; neither were they necessarily environmental as they varied in frequency and might be months apart or clustered. If there was a 'personality' to them, one side of the house seemed mischievous and sometimes annoying (disturbing sleep) whilst the stairs and ground floor featured the voices and footsteps.

    Amusingly, my dad takes a debunking, scoffing approach when my mum mentions something unusual. However, he's described a couple of incidents to me that left him genuinely afeared. As far as I'm concerned, I'd be satisfied with a straightforward explanation whether it be psychological or standing waves of infrasound. In spite of that sentiment, and a lot of study, they remain, for me, unexplained and cautiously intriguing.

    As for the possibility that they might all be part/s of 'one thing?' Maybe.

    Best regards,

  2. Hello again, my friend. Interesting stuff as always. Your "comment" on "personality" is particularly resonant with me. I'm at 99% confidence that there is something extremely paranormal about many of these cases. Only my old scientist training blocks me from totally selling-the-ranch on this phenomenon --- there's just too much in my files "pile" anchored by my relatives' own home. Still, I wish "Kenny" would have manifested on one of the many times that I was there... but you can't get everything you want I suppose.

  3. On another supernatural TV series there is a line that I like, during a dialogue between a female vampire and a female medium. The medium is confused about her 6th sense and the vampire says... "It is as if you think that you really are human." (pointing to the fact that the medium herself wasn't really normal, being able to acess another reality) So, everytime I read about cases I ask myself what I know about being human. In other words, could this reality/world really be ruled or managed from down here from the begining?
    Maybe it is like I once read in a book, that spirits tend to suffer more when they enter this world (squeezing themselves against flesh and matter) than when they return (which would recover their full personality/status)... As for the real nature of those entities what one could do to clarify it properly?
    Anyway, thanks again for more thinking material The Professor,

  4. It appears in your "A through L" charts above, as in many prior postings, that you apparently employ the use of a "Sharpie"-type pen, with a rather thick "nib" to make your notes.

    Unfortunately, in the case of this particular post, the thickness of the lines in your handwritten notes, and/or the smaller size of the graphics that contain them, creates a situation where much of your text appears very difficult to clearly and easily read, and in cases is nearly or actually illegible.

    I assume you wish your readers to be able to peruse your posts and to understand what may appear in your hand-written style of "charting" of certain phenomena characteristics, so might I make a gentle suggestion to improve the clarity and legibility of your efforts?

    Try using a pen or marker with a less thick point so that your readers can actually and more easily read what your handwritten notes say without having to either squint and re-read them in an effort to interpret them, or as I did after some similar effort, simply give up. Pilot makes a fine series of "roller-ball" style pens in a very wide variety of widths, and I recommend them or similar pen for increased clarity of posted writing.

    1. OK... objection noted. When I click on the illustrations, the notes fill the screen and seem quite easy to see. Different tolerances I guess.

      Of course I am assuming that you DID click on the notes to make them larger.

  5. Actually, when you click on the chart illustrations, due to an "innovation" by Google, who owns blogger / blogspot, the illustrations you note that I referred to get smaller -- perhaps you don't see that, as the owner of the blog, but if you try that from someone else's computer, you'll see what I mean.

    A couple years ago, Google introduced a "portrait" view of clickable documents and illustrations that you can then scroll through, showing all the docs in thumbnail form along a bottom row, but originally allowed a blog owner to make such clickable docs bigger -- there may be a way to change this by changing your settings on your blog, but this is a common and known issue for over two years now that is worse than it originally was, before Google's great "invention," which was a step backwards, IMHO.

    1. Really? I'd have never guessed that as they fill my screen practically when I click them. {The written note-types, anyway --- some of the illustrations remain small as they apparently bring a small-sized nature to begin with}. I wonder if folks could solve their strained eyeball problems simply by clicking the illustration and then hitting the "zoom in" function on their computer --- mine also does that just fine.