Hi All, as one of the newer NGI team members I thought I would take a little time to introduce myself and talk about my reasons for joining NGI and also about my favourite type of haunting, the Poltergeist.
I have believed in hauntings and ghosts from a very early age, when I was around seven years old playing with my friends in a nearby park I saw a man with 2 large dogs appear from nowhere near us. He didnt move but the dogs beceame larger and purple and eventually disapeard in a mist, when I asked my friends about it you can imagine the response I got: “Purple Dogs? Disappearing?” \, much amusement ensued on their part and to my embarrassment. As I was growing up and visiting relations I was always aware that there might be something other than ourselves in the room and certain rooms or areas filled me with severe dread or sadness. In particular we were visiting a great aunt who lived in Haswell, she was a kind old lady and getting on a little in age and , as children do, I wandered around her house while the adults chatted. As I approached her rear bedroom I was filled with terrible fear and althought not wanting to enter into the room I did: I didnt last more than 2 or 3 minutes in there but felt as though I was being watched and almost stalked. I ran downstairs and felt a little like an idiot as everything was friendly and happy, not wanting to make more of an fool of myself I just sat quietly but never wanted to visit here in the house again.
Over the years in different parts of the country and different situations I have been able to pick up on feelings and presences and I would probably describe myself as an empathic sensitive. I can usually tell where something is in a building, if its male or female and slso at times feel its emotions and its physical state when it was alive. Recently with the help of John , also one of NGI’s new team members and other sensitive, I have allowed a presence to transfigure my features in order that the people in the room could see how they looked when alive. (details of this can be found soon in our Butterwick report from Acklam Hall 2010). Having had many experiences and wanting to use this ability to help people with possible problems either in their homes or in commercial premises I contacted NGI and they were good enough to allow me to join them on several investigations and then to join their team. I would never claim to be an all singing all dancing medium (mainly as I cant sing or dance) but have enjoyed each and every location we have so far visited and always looking forward to the next.
Now to my favourite type of haunting, the Poltergeist. Im sure that lots of you have seen the films ( the first most definitely being the best) and have an idea that it is always a vicious nasty spirit invading someones home or work and causing sorrow, disturbance and damage. Items are smashed, thrown, teleported around the area., they disappear and then re appear elsewere (know as apports) . Knocking is sometimes heard and strange noises, items are levitated , the list of possible happenings goes on and on. In truth there are 2 schools of thought as to what causes this, one scientific and the other spiritual.
The scientific approach is based mainly on a phenomena called RSPK or recurring spontaneous psycho kinesis. In essence we all have an amout of electro magnetic energy throughout our bodies which can at times of stress or anger, or indeed at certain times of our lives, externalise itself into kinetic energy and cause objects to move or break, noises to be heard etc. This was documented by the psychologists Jung and Freud (details of this can be found in Colin Wilson’s book Poltergeist). They termed this exteriorization phenomena , the external creation of an activity caused by the utilisation of the bodies own energy (whilst in a particular frame of mind) and directed at an item or area. Jung caused an explosive noise in a nearby bookcase as the pair were arguing over a point. Freud dismissed this and Jung created a second noise to prove that it could happen. Many other researchers , both psychological and para psychological, have documented such cases, Professor Cezar Lombroso being one such. It is also well documented that adolescents (with huge surges in their electro magnetic fields due to the flux of hormones and behaviours) can also be the centre of poltergeist activity or indeed can someone with immense psychological traume ie severe depression or anger or fear. This perhaps can also explain the stories that we read of people being able to move cars or heavy objects by themselves to free someone trapped, their fear and stress increases their electro magnetic rate which externalises itself as great strength or speed for a short period of time. There are a many great number of cases documented by the proponents of the scientific theory which seems to explain away any supernatural activity whatsoever/
However, you and I, we know that not everything in this world can be explained away scientifically dont we?
From a spiritual perspective, as I’m sure you know, the word Poltergeist is made of two disctinct german words, Polter meaning noisy and Geist being ghost. There are again a couple of spiritual schools of thought, one of hauntings and ghosts and the other more religious and down the path of the demonologist. From a haunting perspective the poltergeist is mainly seen as a mischievious spirit using objects to announce its presence in an area. Raps and taps, knock and bangs, objects going missing and re appearing etc. I can give a personal experience of this type of haunting. For a number of years I was a pub landlord, moving from town to town and site to site. I moved into quite an old pub in northwest Leeds and the previous landlord had left, in the lounge, a corner display unit with glass doors. When I had first entered the living area I had not felt alone and more than a little uneasy, almost as though I was being watched. As is the case when we move into somewhere new I wanted to get unpacked and moved in as soon as possible and decided to keep the corner unit and place some items inside it. After a couple of hours I went down to the bar to work and locked all doors behind me me. When I returned later in the day the corner unit door was open, all the items I had placed inside were on the floor and my laptop had been moved from the coffee table onto the window sill. No one could have entered as I had the only key and for days the sense of being watched was always with me. I invited my parents to stay over one weekend and 3 times on their first night they woke me to say they had heard tables and chairs being dragged around downstairs after the pub was closed and the lights off and alarm set. Of course no one was there , it was the spirit in the pub trying to get some attention
There a lots of this type acivity encountered and documented and it appears for the most part to be mainly innocuous and not harmful other than being very annoying at times. However there are cases of actual harm being done to people by what can only be dsecribed as very unpleasant entities. These tend to attempt to create fear in order to feed their need for energy from the individuals within the home. Stephen La Chance has covered this in his book “The Uninvited” dealing with the activites within the Union Screaming House in America, locally Mike Hallowell and Darren Ritson have covered this in the case of the South Shields Poltergeist. There are the cases of the Greyfriars haunting and leakage of poltergeist activity into nearby homes from the graveyard (see Jan Andrew Hendrson “The Ghost that haunted itself” for details) and the documented cases within the Edinburgh vaults of scratches and people being pushed. One of school of thought believes that as a spirit was unpleasant and malicious in life so will it be in death. The other, more religious belief, is that theses cases are more likely to be caused by “demons” masquerading as ghosts to infest, oppress and then possess individuals, a lot of this work has been done by the noted American demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren. This approach seems to be pre disposed towards all poltergeist activity being evil and the work of devils and requiring the Ritual Romana to end it. Surely devils and demons have better things to do with their time than to make pens and pencils disappear and re appear?
The savvy reader may have noticed I have not made mention to one of the most famous poltergeist cases, that of the Enfield Poltergeist. Lots has been written about this case and Maurice Grosse has documented his investigation into this very thoroughly. I do not mention it as I have yet to make my mind up whether this was a case of an actual polt , a case of RSPK or one of a mere hoax. All three opinions could be equally valid or a mix of any or all three.
So to Polt or not to Polt? Well at NGI we fortunately rely upon both scientific emprical data and also on information gained from sensitives in order to have a balanced approach. Personally I am open minded to each, personal experiences not withstanding, and would ask that anyone with a supposed polt consider all the reasons rather than jumping immediately to the paranormal conclusion. However in order to satisfy my own curiousity later this year I will be visiting the Edinburgh’s most active poltergeist sits, GreyFriards graveyad, Mary Kings close and the Niddrie street vaults and will blog on the NGI site what I find there and will hopefully provide our members with more personal experiences to ruminate upon.
As to the question, well, I think that is a case for each individual to make their mind up about but if you feel you need help NGI are always here!