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9. Hauntings and Poltergeists

Poltergeists are included under ‘evidence suggestive of survival’, although in many cases the phenomenon can be considered an effect of living minds. Reports on hauntings (repeated sightings of the same apparition in a single location) are found here. Discussions relating to the famous Borley Rectory case are grouped together.

keywords: hauntings, poltergeist


Hughes, Frank S. REPORT ON THE ‘SHROPSHIRE DISTURBANCES’, Journal 1, 1884-85, pp. 19-26. Poltergeist disturbances at a Shropshire farmhouse are investigated, with admissions of trickery by one of the girls involved failing to account wholly for the incidents as reported. poltergeist/cheating

Anon. THE VIENNA DISTURBANCES, Journal 1, 1884-5, p. 27. Brief note of an Austrian poltergeist case, terminated by heavy-handed police action. polergeist 

Taylor, G.L. le M. REPORT ON THE ALLEGED MANIFESTATIONS AT ARUNDEL, SUSSEX, Journal 1, 1884-5, pp. 57-62. Mysterious scratchings and other incidents are thought to have been caused by the girl at the centre of the case. CORRESPONDENCE pp. 86-7. poltergeist

Podmore, F. REPORT ON THE WORKSOP DISTURBANCES, Journal 1, 1884-85, pp. 199-212. A suggestive account of poltergeist disturbances, backed by witnesses’ testimony, where trickery seems unlikely. poltergeist

Smith, G.A. REPORT ON A HAUNTED HOUSE AT NORWICH, Journal 1, 1884-5, pp. 313-7. Sighs, groans, raps, whisperings and footsteps, etc. are reported by members of a household. The investigator and neighbours are unconvinced that the causes are paranormal. hauntings

Theobald, M. [CORRESPONDENCE], Journal 2, 1885-6, pp. 82-6. Includes description of ‘spirit-writings’ on ceilings, claimed by the writer to be of paranormal origin. poltergeist

Anon. AN ACCOUNT OF SOME ABNORMAL PHENOMENA ALLEGED TO HAVE OCCURRED AT B- LODGE, W-, Journal 2, 1885-6, pp. 196-207. Haunting phenomena at a house in London scare away the occupants. The house is rented for six months by the Society and investigators occupy it, but observe nothing unusual. hauntings/apparitions

Anon. [POLTERGEIST], Journal 3, 1888, p. 227. Brief extract from a letter describing strong poltergeist-type incidents surrounding a young girl in France. poltergeist

Anon. [POLTERGEIST], Journal 3, 1888, p. 272. Brief note concerning the visit by a Society investigator to the scene of reported poltergeist activity near Ipswich. Trickery by children is considered the likely cause. poltergeist

Anon. THE WATERFORD GHOST, Journal 5, 1891-92, pp. 227-8. An investigator concludes that occupants of a house reputedly haunted by a poltergeist are themselves responsible for causing the disturbances. poltergeist/cheating

Procter, Edmund. THE HAUNTED HOUSE AT WILLINGTON, Journal 5, 1891-92, pp. 331-52. A classic haunt: heavy footsteps and voices in an unoccupied room; farm machinery heard moving but found untouched; a luminous figure in white; people levitated in their beds; witnesses scared senseless; etc. The family flee to alternative lodgings; while sleeping on their last night a noise of furniture being moved and boxes bundled downstairs raises fears that the ghosts are planning to come with them. hauntings/psychokinesis

Myers, Frederic W.H. ON ALLEGED MOVEMENTS OF OBJECTS, WITHOUT CONTACT, OCCURRING NOT IN THE PRESENCE OF A PAID MEDIUM, Proceedings 7, 1891-2, pp. 383-94. Report of disturbances in a joiner’s workshop in Manchester. Pieces of wood are repeatedly thrown, apparently to attract attention rather than cause harm. A number of workmen witness the movements at different times, but none appears to be the focus. They attribute the disturbances to a young apprentice, recently deceased, trying to get his uncle to repay a debt to his father’s creditors. poltergeist

Podmore, Frank. [POLTERGEISTS], Journal 7, 1895, pp. 246-8. Casts doubt on the paranormality of poltergeist phenomena (summary and discussion). poltergeist

Podmore, Frank. POLTERGEISTS, Proceedings 12, 1896-97, pp. 45-115. Eleven cases are described, with fraud emerging as an explanation in four and being confessed in three. The author amplifies potential unreliability in the testimony of the witnesses, tending to discount any supernormal agency, and concludes that trickery is probably the ‘true and sufficient explanation’ for each incident. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 7, 1895-96, pp. 306-8; Journal 9, 1899-1900, pp. 22-30, 37-45, 56-7, 72, 91-4. ARENSBURG POLTERGEIST, Journal 13, 1907-8, pp. 30-32, 127-8, 158-60. Note on documents pertaining to a case discussed in Journal 9, 1899. poltergeist/cheating/theory

Podmore, Frank. WITCHCRAFT AND POLTERGEISTS, Journal 9, 1900, pp. 204-7. Compares the involvement of young children, particularly girls, in poltergeist cases with a similar prominence of young children in the literature of witchcraft in the 16   and 17 centuries (abstract and discussion). poltergeist/witchcraft

Lang, Andrew. THE POLTERGEIST, HISTORICALLY CONSIDERED, Proceedings 17, 1901-2, pp. 305-26. Lang expresses doubts about Podmore’s reliance on trickery and unreliable memory as the main ingredients of poltergeist episodes and goes on to discuss the historical evidence of certain cases: the Drummer of Tedworth, 1661 (306); the Epworth Cases, 1716 (316); Willington Mill, 1835-47 (321). French cases including Angelique Cottin and Cideville are briefly referred to (324).    In reply, Podmore claims that Lang’s researches regarding the Tedworth case support his contentions regarding the unreliability of testimony (327). Lang demurs, with further details (333). poltergeist/cheating/theory

Lang, Andrew. THE POLTERGEIST AT CIDEVILLE, Proceedings 18, 1903-4, pp. 454-463. Historical details of a French case, 1850-51, based on court depositions. poltergeist

Grasset, J. THE HISTORY OF A HAUNTED HOUSE, Proceedings 18, 1903-4, pp. 464-80.  Repeated removal of bed-linen and other disturbances create suspicions of a supernatural agency in this French case. The author, a psychologist, explains it in terms of fraud and hysteria. poltergeist/hauntings

Anon. TWO POLTERGEIST CASES, Journal 12, 1905-6, pp. 124-42. A window in a Wigan house is repeatedly damaged, with pieces of mortar flying out the room. Witnesses, who include police, do not think the inhabitants are responsible but an investigator fails to observe anything. A second case involves violent disturbances in a farmhouse kitchen, including clothes catching fire and a servant girl being badly burned. poltergeist

Fielding, Everard. [FRAUDULENT POLTERGEIST], Journal 12, 1905, pp. 162-9. Investigation of an apparently convincing poltergeist reveals elaborate trickery involving ‘apports’ concealed in the rectum. poltergeist/cheating

Anon. A POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 12, 1905-6, pp. 260-66. A stone-throwing case in Sumatra. CORRESPONDENCE pp. 278-84, 294-7, 328-31. poltergeist

Anon. AUTOMATIC (?) PHENOMENA, Journal 13, 1907-8, pp. 15-16. A short account by an amateur investigator in Turkey of poltergeist phenomena. In the presence of a young man, apparently a medium, raps are heard that answer questions, often correctly. poltergeist

Anon. POLTERGEIST, Journal 13, 1907-8, pp. 66-79. Detailed account by a local investigator of objects being thrown around a Viennese workshop. The phenomena were apparently linked to young male apprentices, continued for a two-month period, and were highly inconvenient to the owner, causing destruction and light injuries. poltergeist

Anon. POLTERGEIST, Journal 13, 1907-8, pp. 194-7. Brief account of knockings, violent movements of objects, beds being shaken, etc. poltergeist

Anon. SOME MYSTERIOUS RAPPINGS EXPLAINED, Journal 13, 1908, pp. 218-9. Noises thought at first to be supernormal are discovered to be caused by loose wall covering grating against nails. poltergeist

Barrett, W.F. POLTERGEISTS, OLD AND NEW, Proceedings 25, 1911, pp. 377-412. Five poltergeist cases are briefly described. 1) Enniscorthy, N. Ireland, 1910. Two young male lodgers hear unexplained raps in their room. An interested journalist spends a night in the room and sees one of the youths, together with bedclothes, being lifted off the bed, apparently by an unseen force. 2) Derrygonnelly, N. Ireland, 1877. The author is eyewitness to disturbances in a farmer’s cottage: raps, scratchings, falling stones, candles and boots repeatedly thrown out of the house. The raps respond intelligently to unspoken requests. 3) Atlantic Monthly, 1868. Powerful disturbances around an Irish servant in Massachusetts, USA. Bells ring in her presence, no wires attached; raps are heard; furniture and household objects are violently moved. The girl shows evidence of clairvoyance. 4) Portland, Oregon, USA, 1909. Unnatural movements of furniture and objects are repeatedly witnessed. A boy who appears to be the centre of the disturbances is later discovered faking movements. 5) Dale Towers, Georgia, USA, 1911. Violent disturbances in an isolated railway tower. Objects are hurled about the room by an unseen force, in good light and in front of three witnesses. 6) Vienna, 1907. Two apprentices in a blacksmith’s shop are the centre of disturbances: tools and materials are violently hurled around, sometimes causing damage and injury. ABSTRACT & DISCUSSION, Journal 15, 1911, pp. 36-40. poltergeist

Anon. A POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 15, 1911-12, pp. 225-40. Witnesses describe the outbreak of rapping phenomena in a London house. The raps are associated with three teenage girls and communicate intelligently with investigators. poltergeist

Stratton, F.J.M. THE HAUNTING OF — HOUSE, Journal 16, 1913-14, pp. 274-97. Testimony of unexplained rappings, groanings, poltergeist phenomena, apparitions -independently witnessed by several people over a period of years. apparitions/poltergeist

Barrett, W.F. INVESTIGATION OF A HAUNTED HOUSE IN WORCESTERSHIRE, Journal 17, 1915-16, pp. 34-42. Various members of a household report groanings and unexplained noises seemingly associated with an invisible presence. One describes the sensation of being gripped violently by the throat. hauntings/poltergeist

Anon. A POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 17, 1915-16, pp. 84-95. Alarming grunts and groans are heard throughout a house, apparently connected with, but not directly caused by, a teenage girl. poltergeist

Barrett, W.F. & Hesketh, W.F. THE FOLKSTONE POLTERGEIST, Journal 18, 1917-18, pp. 155-82. A builder responsible for making a dugout air-raid shelter complains of a series of violent interruptions, being pelted with rocks, sand and bricks, apparently by some invisible agency. Candles are also unaccountably extinguished. Natural gas, trickery and other causes are found to be unsatisfactory explanations. Various witnesses give detailed statements. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 196-8. poltergeist

Anon. A SUPPOSED ‘POLTERGEIST’ CASE AND ITS EXPLANATION, Journal 19, 1919-20, pp. 95-9. Mysterious oil ‘leaks’ appear in several places in a Norfolk rectory and are attributed here to the trickery of a 15-year old girl. poltergeist

Anon. THE HOPFGARTEN POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 20, 1921-22, pp. 199-207. An invalid woman undergoes hypnosis and poltergeist phenomena start to occur around her: raps and movement of objects. The police are called in and witness the phenomena. The hypnotic suggestion is reversed and the phenomena cease. Statements by witnesses, made under oath to magistrates, make it clear that the woman is incapable of causing the effects by trickery. poltergeist/hypnosis

Anon. THE POLTERGEIST CASE AT LEDAIG, ARGYLESHIRE, Journal 20, 1921-22, pp. 375-6. An investigator (Dingwall) decisively rejects paranormal explanations in this Scottish case. poltergeist

Anon. THE ALLEGED POLTERGEIST DISTURBANCES AT GOREFIELD, Journal 21, 1923-24, pp. 107-8. Brief mention of a Cambridgeshire case; details said to be available. poltergeist

Anon. ENQUIRY INTO A ‘HAUNTED HOUSE,’ Journal 22, 1925, pp. 83-8. A dripping tap is suspected of being the cause of unexplained noises, but the occupant continues to report ‘a loud groaning’ and other disturbances. hauntings/poltergeist

Anon. AN EARLY RECORD OF A POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 24, 1927-28, pp 26-7. News item from a 1738 publication concerning troublesome poltergeist phenomena attributed to the trickery of a 12-year-old girl. poltergeist

Anon. NOTES ON RECENT CASES [HAUNTINGS], Journal 24, 1927-28, pp. 284-7. Eight cases of hauntings are investigated, but no paranormal activity is observed. hauntings

Woolley, V.J. SOME INVESTIGATIONS INTO POLTERGEISTS, Journal 26, 1930, pp. 104-7. Some minor cases, probably with ordinary explanations. poltergeist

Salter, W.H. [POLTERGEISTS], Journal 27, 1931, pp. 91-5. Summarises the Society’s work on poltergeists and the opposing viewpoints put forward by researchers and interested parties. poltergeist

Layard, John. PSI PHENOMENA AND POLTERGEISTS, Proceedings 47, 1942-45, pp. 237-48. A psychoanalyst describes two cases in which neurotic symptoms lead to apparently psychokinetic disturbances. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 79-84, 94-6, 113-6, 206. Members complained about the poor standards of this article which they argued was based on opinion more than on solid research and should not have been published in the Proceedings. Some of these letters were reprinted in Proceedings 47, pp. 267-74. poltergeist


Anon. SOME RECENT INVESTIGATIONS IN THE BORLEY RECTORY CASE, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 107-10. An update on Harry Price’s book The Most Haunted House In England, giving the results of investigations to 1939. Gives an outline of noises (‘footsteps, knockings, tappings, hammerings, thuds, bangs, cracks, rumblings, the padding of feet, the stamping of horses’ hooves, and whistlings’(109)), visual impressions, and apparitions accompanied by cold breezes. The apparition of a nun faked by students was not noticed by the investigators, although they were impressed by the hoaxers’ poltergeist phenomena and knockings (109-10). CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 34, 1947-48, pp. 177-82. apparitions/hauntings/poltergeist

Dingwall, Eric J. et al. THE HAUNTING OF BORLEY RECTORY: A CRITICAL SURVEY OF THE EVIDENCE, Proceedings 51, 1955, pp. 1-180. A sceptical examination of a supposed haunting investigated and publicised over many years by the independent psychical researcher and journalist Harry Price. Detailed scrutiny of the events convinces the authors that the case, far from being the outstanding example of psychic phenomena that Price claimed in his books, was a concoction of suggestion, rumour and outright fraud. A chronology and abstract is given: the establishment of the rectory in 1863; the reporting of apparitions and other phenomena; the invitation by new occupants in 1929, via a national newspaper, to a psychical research society to quell rumours of hauntings; the ensuing publicity and appearance of Harry Price, followed immediately by poltergeist disturbances; the arrival in 1930 of new incumbents and frequent reports by them of poltergeist phenomena; their departure in 1935 and Price’s renting of the building in 1937 for research purposes; planchette communications concerning a murdered nun; reports of phenomena by new owners; the destruction of the rectory by fire in 1939; continuing national interest following the publication of books by Price; the excavation of human bones; doubts and accusations by some of those involved. Chapters 1-3 deal with the facade of suggestion put up by Price (1); the building of the rectory (9); and its history to 1929 (18). The involvement of Harry Price is then considered (29), with comparisons of Price’s own claims against the expressed doubts of others tending to show that he may have manufactured the ‘phenomena’, and/or that they were caused by local pranksters. Phenomena following the arrival of new occupants in 1930 are analysed (75), including the appearance of supposedly paranormal wall graffiti, and are suspected of being manufactured by the young wife to attract attention. Price’s tenancy in 1937-8 is described (124), and the phenomena supposedly witnessed by investigators hired by him is attributed largely to suggestion.  A final period following the building’s destruction is found to be characterised by exaggerated publicity, credulity and possible hoaxing (143); this includes a much-discussed incident where a brick in mid-air, captured by a press photographer and claimed as paranormal evidence by Price, may have had a quite prosaic explanation (162). In their conclusions the authors speculate on Price’s personality and motives (167). apparitions/hauntings/poltergeist/cheating

Coleman, Michael et al. THE BORLEY REPORT: SOME CRITICISMS AND COMMENTS, Journal 38, 1955-6, pp. 249-64. Draws attention to weaknesses in the report, and in view of the seriousness of the allegations of cheating by Harry Price expresses surprise at the lack of unequivocal evidence. The authors of the report briefly reply. CORRECTION, Journal 40, 1959-60, p. 194. COMMENT AND CORRESPONDENCE, Proceedings 55, 1966-72, pp. 65-175; Journal 45, 1969-70, pp. 183, 115-24,230-37,315-6. apparitions/hauntings/poltergeist/cheating

Owen, Iris M. & Mitchell, Pauline. THE ALLEGED HAUNTING OF BORLEY RECTORY, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 149-62. Marianne Foyster, an occupant of the Rectory criticised by Harry Price in his book, here gives her version of the events. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 415-8; Journal 60, 1994-5, p. 414. apparitions/hauntings/poltergeist/cheating

Coleman, M.H. THE FLYING BRICKS OF BORLEY, Journal 61, 1996-7, pp. 388-91. Throws doubt on particular claims of paranormal activity made by the researcher Harry Price. apparitions/hauntings/poltergeist/cheating


Tyrrell, G.N.M. HAUNTED HOUSE, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 34-40. The occupant of a country house complains of an evil presence: rappings, alarming noises, unpleasant smells, and frequent illnesses among visitors and servants. hauntings/poltergeists

Anon. POLTERGEIST, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 224-30. A member investigates poltergeist phenomena in a bungalow inhabited by a woman and her 13-year-old grandson. The boy is thought here to be directly responsible for causing the disturbances. poltergeist

Anon. MALVERN POLTERGEIST, Journal 33, 1943-6, pp. 265. A poker detaches itself from its wall hook, rises in the air and glides ten or twelve feet through the kitchen in front of an investigator and a number of other witnesses. poltergeist

Anon. POLTERGEIST AT NETHERFIELD, Journal 34, 1947-48, pp. 71-4. A much-publicised case is investigated and thought to be explained by the acoustic effects of a faulty clock-spring. poltergeist

West, D.J. RECENT CASES OF HAUNTINGS, Journal 34, 1947-48, pp. 129-38. A mildly sceptical look at some examples of cases brought to the attention of the Society and investigated by its Research Officer. A guest at a hostel in South Kensington is disturbed by lights, voices and his bedclothes being pulled off. A Luton man fails to have his rates reduced on the grounds that his house is haunted. A family in a terraced house complain of haunting phenomena - footsteps, noises, luminous vapour - which are here attributed to their personal psychology. Occupants of a large stone house in Yorkshire are frightened by noises that suggest a haunting. A 16-year-old boy is suspected of being the cause of reported ‘poltergeist’ phenomena. hauntings/poltergeist

West, D.J. THE ‘HAUNTED’ DANCE HALL, Journal 34, 1947-48, pp. 294-300. The author here further develops his theme of hauntings as the effects of ordinary events magnified by suggestion in susceptible and superstitious individuals. This example concerns a dance-hall which the owners complained was losing money following a string of unlikely accidents, which they believed was due to a malevolent presence. hauntings/theory

Hope, Charles & Heywood, Rosalind. REPORT OF A VISIT TO BROOK HOUSE, FRIMLEY, Journal 35, 1949-50, pp. 56-60. An occupant reports having been awoken by heavy breathing in his room, which ceased abruptly each time he switched on the light. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 91-2. hauntings

Lambert, G.W. POLTERGEISTS: A PHYSICAL THEORY, Journal 38, 1955-6, pp. 49-71. Lambert argues on a number of grounds that poltergeist phenomena are initiated by physical forces: that the geographical distribution of the occurrences favour coastal regions, especially tidal estuaries; that they tend to occur in winter rather than summer; and that they correlate significantly with meteorological and local geological conditions, also in some coastal cases with the tides. He concludes that underground water in movement initiates the disturbances, which are then misinterpreted from fear and superstition into ‘miraculous’ effects. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 149-55. poltergeist/methodology/theory

Lambert, G.W. POLTERGEISTS: SOME SIMPLE EXPERIMENTS AND TESTS, Journal 38, 1955-6, pp. 201-11. To reinforce his ‘geophysical’ theory of poltergeist phenomena the author describes some procedures for demonstrating how some of the effects commonly reported in such cases may occur. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 276-82. poltergeist/methodology/theory

Lambert, G.W. SCOTTISH HAUNTS AND POLTERGEISTS, Journal 40, 1959-60, pp. 108-120. Also Journal 42, pp. 223-7. Groups two kinds of phenomena that other researchers consider to be separate, and argues that they can be linked to geophysical patterns. Fifty cases in Scotland are taken to demonstrate the point. hauntings/poltergeist/theory

Lambert, G.W. THE GEOGRAPHY OF LONDON GHOSTS, Journal 40, 1959-60, pp. 397-409. A ‘geophysical’ theory refers to underground streams and rainfall patterns to explain ghostly noises and disturbances. hauntings/poltergeist/theory

Cornell, A.D. & Gauld, A. THE GEOPHYSICAL THEORY OF POLTERGEISTS, Journal 41, 1961-62, pp. 129-46. A frontal attack on Lambert’s geophysical theory. The authors analyse the mechanics of typical effects to demonstrate that geophysical forces could not produce the kinds of phenomena reported. They say the theory lacks proper evidence; involves many factual errors; fails to eliminate alternative hypothesis; and rests on a circular argument, using the distribution of ghost cases to prove that geophysical forces can produce eerie noises.    In his reply (148-53), Lambert concedes that the theory proves nothing in relation to cases where it is clearly contra-indicated, for instance in cases where the phenomena ‘shows intelligence’ (153). CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 192-3. Gives an example of poltergeist-type disturbances being directly traced to underground streams, contradicting a major contention of critics of the geophysical theory. Also pp. 320, 422-3. poltergeist/methodology/theory

Cornell, A.D. & Gauld, A. A FENLAND POLTERGEIST, Journal 40, 1959-60, pp. 343-58. Investigators witness paranormal-seeming movements of objects and hear clear percussive raps. The geophysical theory is considered in detail and ruled out, partly because the raps appear to reply to questions and indicate a form of intelligence. Hoaxing is also considered unlikely. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 431-2. poltergeist

Barrington, Mary Rose. THE CASE OF THE FLYING THERMOMETER, Journal 43, 1965-66, pp. 11-20. Reliable witnesses describe the unnatural movement of objects in a case that centres on their seven-year-old daughter. psychokinesis/poltergeist

Barrington, Mary Rose. FURTHER REPORT ON THE ‘FLYING THERMOMETER’CASE, Journal 45, 1969-70, pp. 149-61. Repressed emotions are held to be the cause of poltergeist disturbances, suggesting a comparison to Eusapia Palladino. psychokinesis/poltergeist

Barrington, Mary Rose. A POLTERGEIST REVIVED: THE FLYING THERMOMETER CASE AGAIN , Journal 48, 1975-6, pp. 293-97. The psychological tension thought to have given rise to PK incidents is found to have existed in other members of the family involved. psychokinesis/poltergeist

Ellison, AJ. EXORCISM IN EAST LONDON, Journal 43, 1965-66, pp. 44-6. Factory employees are frightened and their work disrupted by poltergeist activity and repeated sightings of an apparition. The ghost fails to attend a séance laid on by a Society investigator, but following his announcement that it has been exorcised the disturbances cease. The author suggests this is a valid case of ‘psychological exorcism’. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 99. poltergeist

Turner, K.H. A SOUTH YORKSHIRE HAUNT, Journal 45, 1969-70, pp. 325-53. A number of unexplained disturbances occurred in the spring of 1968 in a house in Askern occupied by a Mr. and Mrs. Brown and their two children. Movement of objects, metallic clicks, and the appearance of a figure which disappeared upon investigation were some of the inexplicable events which led to a complete investigation of the house by the Doncaster Group for Psychical Study. A total of seven observational visits were conducted by the group. The phenomena observed and recorded during these visits were mainly thermal and acoustical. Tape recorders, thermometers, a thermograph, microphones, vibration and sound level meters, cameras, mercury dishes, leveling devices, etc., were employed in the investigation and indicated that virtually all occurrences during that time could be explained by normal physical means. potergeist/hauntings/hallucinations

Lamb, C. et al. AN EAST MIDLANDS POLTERGEIST, Journal 47, 1973-4, pp. 120, 139-55. Results of a close investigation into poltergeist-type raps and bangings. The authors argue against fraud (154) and point out that the phenomena seemed to be linked to an individual and to a particular room. poltergeist

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE: IAN STEVENSON ON POLTERGEISTS, Journal 47, 1973-4, pp. 399, 538-9. Comments on an article by Stevenson ‘Are Poltergeists Living or Are They Dead ?’ published in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 1972, pp. 233-52. poltergeist

Rogo, D.Scott. PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE POLTERGEIST, Journal 47, 1973-4, pp. 433-46. This discussion contains a first-hand account of a Los Angeles case, in which objects move, a radio changes stations, shadows are seen, footsteps are felt, and cold breezes and breathings are sensed. The author views the poltergeist as a ‘vehicle of expression’ (445), particularly of tensions to which the whole family may contribute. poltergeist

Bayless, Raymond. [EARLY METAL BENDING INCIDENT], Journal 48, 1976, p. 322. Apropos of Uri Geller, recalls a metal bending instance in a nineteenth century poltergeist case. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 49, 1977, pp. 474-5. Another early example, from an eighteenth century poltergeist episode in Bristol. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 622-3, 680-81, 848-50, 977-8. Controversy concerning the paranormal interpretations of such incidents. poltergeist/psychokinesis

Green, Andrew. A CASE OF PARAPSYCHOLOGICAL BLACKMAIL, Journal 49, 1977, pp. 469-74. Describes how charlatans exploit a family’s fear of haunting to extort money. hauntings/cheating

Bayliss, Raymond.   HAUNTING - PLACE OR PERSON, Journal 49, 1977-78, pp. 682-5. A parapsychologist describes unexplained noises and other ‘haunting’ type effects that occurred in two different houses occupied by him and his wife. hauntings/psychokinesis

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE: THE LAMB INN POLTERGEIST, Journal 49, 1977-78, p. 474. See also pages 622-3, 680-81, 848-50. Controversy about Uri Geller leads to discussion of an apparent instance of metal bending in this poltergeist case. psychokinesis/poltergeist

Zorab, G. & MacKenzie, A. A MODERN HAUNTING, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 284-93. Two experienced researchers discuss a case where a family and their home help experience a variety of haunting phenomena. hauntings

Lawden, D.F. REPORT ON A POLTERGEIST CASE, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 73-6. A girl aged 17 dances over tombstones in a cemetery and subsequently her family’s council house is haunted by the apparition of an old woman. A number of incidents involving poltergeist-type noises and disturbances are described. poltergeist/hauntings/apparitions

Nisbet, Brian C. A WEST CROYDON ‘POLTERGEIST’, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 229-37. A couple in bed hear rapping and scratching noises from the bedside table, that respond intelligently to questions. The table levitates and crashes down, hitting one of them on the head. poltergeist

Anon. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 50, 1979-80, pp. 552-4. A sceptic expresses doubts about claims to have captured poltergeist activity in photographs. See also Journal 51, p. 35, 258-9, 399. poltergeist/photography

Rogo, D. Scott. THE POLTERGEIST AND FAMILY DYNAMICS: A REPORT ON A RECENT INVESTIGATION, Journal 51, 1981-82, pp. 233-7. In this Los Angeles case an adolescent boy experiences a psychotic episode which is followed by poltergeist disturbances in his family’s apartment. The case is explored as an effect of family tensions, rather than of a single individual. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 401-3; Journal 52, pp. 152-3. poltergeist

Permutt, Cyril. THE BOURNEMOUTH POLTERGEIST, Journal 52, 1983-84, pp. 45-51. Features in this case include the violent destructiveness of the disturbances; an extreme chill in the atmosphere; the presence of witnesses other than the family, including social workers and police officers; and the involvement of a mentally retarded child, thought to be significant in earlier cases. poltergeist/psychokinesis

Betty, L. Stafford. THE KERN CITY POLTERGEIST: A CASE SEVERELY STRAINING THE LIVING AGENT HYPOTHESIS, Journal 52, 1983-84, pp. 345-64. A wealthy 63-year-old widow experiences violent poltergeist phenomena that cause her to flee from her house. The author considers the event to be caused by a discarnate agent. COMMENT, Journal 53, 1985-86, pp. 87-99; 249-54. poltergeist

Rogo, D. Scott. A CASE OF MYSTERIOUS STONE-THROWING IN ARIZONA, Journal 54, 1987, pp. 16-37. Stones thrown at a house and vehicles outside are thought by the family to be the work of a disgruntled individual. The author investigates the event which he regards as possibly the effect of poltergeist activity. poltergeist

Eastham, Peter. TICKING OFF A POLTERGEIST, Journal 55, 1988-89, pp. 80-83. Various paranormal explanations for a mysterious ticking sound are considered, until it is identified as the mating call of the house’s insect population. poltergeist

Playfair, Guy Lyon & Grosse, Maurice. ENFIELD REVISITED: THE EVAPORATION OF POSITIVE EVIDENCE, Journal 55, 1988-89, pp. 208-19. Researchers who described apparently robust evidence of poltergeist activity in a North London household here describe the ways in which it was diminished during the following years by other people’s disbelief (This House is Haunted: An Investigation of the Enfield Poltergeist - London: Souvenir, 1980; see Suggestions for Further Reading). CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 375; Journal 56, p. 188. Earlier correspondence arising from the authors’ original book can be found in Journal 50, 1979-80, p. 258; Journal 51, pp. 34-5, pp. 115-6, 195, 321-2; Journal 52, pp. 92-5, 155-6; Journal 64, 2000, p. 192. poltergeist

Amorim, Michel-Ange. THE GUARULHOS POLTERGEIST, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 193-207. Reinterpretation of a Brazilian case reported in 1984 in terms of discarnate agents and black magic rites. The phenomena extended over a period of eleven years and included spontaneous fires, apports, possession trances, apparitions and cuts on people and furniture. Violent displacements of objects were common. The author prefers the ‘living agent’ hypothesis. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 57, 1991, pp. 435-8. poltergeist/apparitions/psychokinesis

Fontana, David. A RESPONSIVE POLTERGEIST: A CASE FROM SOUTH WALES, Journal 56, 1989-91, pp. 385-402. A stone-throwing poltergeist in an engineering workshop is investigated over a period of several months. The disturbances include small stones, coins or bolts impacting on the floor and walls; apports of coins and other objects from other parts of the premises; movements of objects; large stones crashing on the roof; stones thrown at the windows; carburettor floats embedded in the ceiling of the occupants’ homes; a persistent smell of burning; frequent unidentified telephone calls to the occupants’ homes; planks of wood thrown violently into the workshop; throwing of stones in front of customers in the retail shop. A stone thrown in anger towards the focus of the disturbance is returned and the process repeated several times. A request to bring a pen results in a pen appearing in a space where it was not seen previously. The investigator observes some of the incidents, notably the reciprocal stone-throwing, which he finds he can reproduce on separate occasions. The phenomena end temporarily when one of the occupants leaves and the premises are refurbished. The possibility of fraud is discussed in detail, but motives and opportunities are found to be scarce and the occupants show themselves over a period to be reliable and sincere. Unusually, no children or adolescents are involved and the family seems stable. CORRESPONDENCE, Journal 58, 1992, p. 221. poltergeist

Fontana, David. THE RESPONSIVE SOUTH WALES POLTERGEIST: A FOLLOW-UP REPORT, Journal 58, 1991-92, pp. 225-31. Further evidence is shown to have accumulated, including the arrival of crumpled banknotes and three sightings of an apparition. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 404-7, 409-10. poltergeist/apparitions

Carvalho, Andre Percia de. A STUDY OF THIRTEEN BRAZILIAN POLTERGEIST CASES AND A MODEL TO EXPLAIN THEM, Journal 58, 1991-92, pp. 302-13. Features commonly associated with Brazilian reports, such as repressed aggression and psychological disturbances, a majority of women and an average age of 13 years, are found to correspond to features reported by Roll and Gauld & Cornell. poltergeist/theory

Bugaj, Roman. MACRO-PK IN POLAND: AN ACCOUNT OF TWO CASES, Journal 61, 1996-7, pp. 26-33. Author’s abstract: An account is given of two teenage girls which the author investigated whom independently, manifested psychokinetic powers in two different towns in Poland during the mid-1980s. Some of the phenomena described are similar to those associated with poltergeist outbreaks, but both girls were able to gain a degree of control over these manifestations. spontaneous psi/psychokinesis/poltergeist

Bugaj, Roman. TWO WATER-POLTERGEIST CASES, Journal 61, 1996-7, pp. 235-42. A Polish case is described in which a 12-year-old boy is the focus of abnormal appearance of water from the walls and ceilings of his family’s flat. The streams of water cause great discomfort and continue despite the water supply being switched off. A similar case in Switzerland is described, where an 11-year-old girl is thought to be the focus of the disturbances. CORRESPONDENCE, pp. 411-3. spontaneous psi/psychokinesis/poltergeist

Houran, James & Lange, Rense. RATIONALE AND APPLICATION OF A MULTI-ENERGY SENSOR ARRAY IN THE INVESTIGATION OF HAUNTING AND POLTERGEIST CASES, Journal 62, 1997-8, pp. 324-36. Authors’ abstract: Evidence from field studies and case analyses implicates electromagnetic field activity in processes underpinning hauntings and poltergeist-like episodes. Consistent with these findings, a comprehensive literature review shows that previous procedures often included indices of electromagnetic field activity. Unfortunately, most of these approaches have been limited by the fact that variables of interest were collected and studied separately. Consequently, it has not been possible to establish cross-correlations between various types of electromagnetic fields through standard signal-processing techniques. To remedy this situation, this paper describes the application of MESA (a previously described computerized, multi-energy sensor array for the detection and recording of low frequency energy fluctuations) for researching the electromagnetic properties of hauntings, poltergeist-like episodes and other anomalous phenomena. CORRESPONDENCE, p. 475; Journal 63, 1999, pp. 242-3. poltergeist/hauntings/methodology/theory

Tandy, Vic & Lawrence, Tony R. THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE, Journal 62, 1997-8, pp. 360-64. Authors’ abstract: In this paper we outline an as yet undocumented natural cause for some cases of ostensible haunting. Using the first author’s own experience as an example, we show how a 19Hz standing wave may under certain conditions create sensory phenomena suggestive of a ghost. The mechanics and physiology of this ‘ghost in the machine’ effect are outlined. Spontaneous case researchers are encouraged to rule out this potential natural explanation for paranormal experience in future cases of the haunting or poltergeist type. hallucinations/hauntings/methodology

Puhle, Annekatrin. GHOSTS, APPARITIONS AND POLTERGEIST INCIDENTS IN GERMANY BETWEEN 1700 AND 1900, Journal 63, 1998-9, pp. 292-305. Author’s abstract: The report is intended to make a contribution to our historical understanding of ghost and poltergeist phenomena, concentrating on cases from the so-called ‘Age of Goethe.’ Historical research into German RSPK phenomena and apparitions is a challenging but elusive area which has so far escaped the scholarly investigation it warrants. While the Anglo-American literature has produced a body of scholarly works on the ‘poltergeist’, a historical review of such phenomena, ranging from the rapping ‘Klopfgeist’ to the mysterious ‘WeiBe Frau’ (white lady) cases, fills an important gap in German cultural history and suggests that these phenomena have a pervasive nature. To date, the following collections along with some other selected libraries have been thoroughly researched for documents on 18   and 19 -century ghost and poltergeist cases: the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbuttel, the Herzogin Anna Amalia Library in Weimar, the Bavarian National Library in Munich, and the Austrian National Library in Vienna. From this research material an extensive selection has been made of cases concerning RSPK phenomena and apparitions, and in inventory made for future research purposes. The bibliography covers to date more than 1000 titles published in the German-speaking area between 1700 and 1900. A short-list of typical poltergeist reports, most often in the form of monographs, resulted in 50 cases, 15 of which took place before 1700 and 1900. A short-list of typical poltergeist reports, most often in the form of monographs, resulted in 50 cases, 15 of which took place before 1700, 15 in the 18 , and 20 in the 19   century. A general survey of the authors and their works, as well as the spectrum of parapsychological phenomena reported in these eras, is followed by the presentation of a ‘classic’ poltergeist case: the ‘Gerstmann’ case from the year 1713. This took place in the house of a well-known physician, the family being confronted with many different aspects of these phenomena. The documentation has a diary-like precision and was written by the son in the family and also includes a report by a clergyman who had become a daily eye-witness of the incidents in Gerstmann’s house. Finally, the form and personification that these phenomena take are seeing in the context of what can be learned from the tradition of Folklore. poltergeist

Houran, James. [SOFTWARE FOR INVESTIGATING ELECTROMAGNETIC ASPECTS OF HAUNTING AND POLTERGEIST PHENOMENA], Journal 64, 2000, p. 54. Briefly describes software the author believes could be useful in investigating electromagnetic aspects of haunting and poltergeist phenomena, and gives web site reference for its purchase. hauntings/poltergeist/methodology

Tandy, Vic. SOMETHING IN THE CELLAR, Journal 64, 2000, pp. 129-40. Author’s abstract: An investigation into the link between infrasound and the perception of apparitions was performed in the 14th Century cellar beneath the Tourist Information Centre in Coventry. Based on the effect described in The Ghost in the Machine (Tandy and Lawrence, 1998) details of individuals’ experiences were recorded and an analysis performed to test for any infrasound present in the cellar. Infrasound was found to be present at the point at which individuals had reported apparitional experiences at exactly the same frequency as that predicted in the original paper. hauntings/hallucinations/methodology

Houran, James. [SOFTWARE FOR INVESTIGATING ELECTROMAGNETIC ASPECTS OF HAUNTING AND POLTERGEIST PHENOMENA], Journal 64, 2000, p. 54. Briefly describes software the author believes could be useful in investigating electromagnetic aspects of haunting and poltergeist phenomena, and gives web site reference for its purchase. poltergeist/hauntings/methodology

Grosse, M. & Barrington, Mary Rose. REPORT ON PSYCHOKINETIC ACTIVITY SURROUNDING A SEVEN-YEAR-OLD BOY, Journal 65, 2001, pp. 207-17. Authors’ abstract: The paper describes an investigation by two researchers into a recent report of psychokinetic activity surrounding a seven-year-old boy. Knocking sounds for which no natural explanation could be provided were witnessed on three occasions and recorded on camcorder and tape-recorder. poltergeist

McCue, Peter A. THEORIES OF HAUNTING: A CRITICAL OVERVIEW, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 1-21. The term ‘haunting’ is generally applied to cases involving recurrent phenomena, of a supposedly paranormal nature, that are associated with particular places. Approaches to understanding hauntings can be divided into two categories: those that attempt to explain the manifestations ‘naturalistically’ (e.g. in terms of the misinterpretation of normal sounds or the effects of underground water), and those that employ concepts such as telepathy or the laying down of a ‘psychic trace’ in the haunted location. Some psi-based theories posit discarnate agency. "Naturalistic’ and psi-based theories are reviewed, and suggestions are made regarding possible directions for future research in this area. hauntings/poltergeist/theory

Tandy, Vic. A LITMUS TEST FOR INFRASOUND, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 167-74. A significant barrier to extending research into the link between infrasound and apparitional experiences is the high cost of monitoring equipment. This paper is offered in response to requests from researchers looking for a method of measuring infrasound within a reasonable budget. It provides the construction details for a filter-set, which can be used in combination with a commercially available sound level meter. The latter is operated slightly outside its intended parameters to produce what is described as the equivalent of a litmus test for infrasound. Operating thus is clearly a risk and no absolute guarantee of success can be given. However, using this meter saves so much time and money that it was felt warranted. As part of the development process three units were built and four meters tested. Their performance compares very well with devices costing up to twenty times that invested and they are now entering use in the field. Some prior experience of electronic circuit construction is assumed. hauntings/poltergeist/hallucinations/methodology

Crabbe, John. SOME PARACOUSTICS PROPOSALS, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 175-9. Pursuing a suggestion that the acoustic intensity of paranormal noises occurring in poltergeist situations should be recorded and examined, a method of achieving this is proposed. Then, after a brief survey of reports, findings and conjectures regarding temporal anomalies observed in both spontaneous and séance-induced rappings, a programme of research is suggested, whereby it should be possible to offer impeccable recordings of such sounds for attempts at replication by sceptics under controlled conditions. psychokinesis/poltergeist/methodology

Daniels, Michael. THE ‘BROTHER DOLI’ CASE: INVESTIGATION OF APPARENT POLTERGEIST-TYPE MANIFESTATIONS IN NORTH WALES, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 193-221. In February 1997 two Irish tourists allegedly witnessed a healing apparition of the Virgin Mary in a field near Mold, North Wales. Soon after, further apparitions and other phenomena began to be reported in the field and in the house of its owners. Since October 1998 a large number of unexplained stains and carvings of images and Welsh words, generally of a religious nature, have been discovered inside and outside the house. Welsh religious words were also found in emails sent from the house, in computer files and printed documents. Other phenomena have included noises, strange smells, temperature fluctuations, pools of water, electrical disturbances and object displacements. A number of photographs taken in and around the house also contained unexplained monk- like shapes and other seemingly anomalous images. An investigation of these various phenomena was undertaken. This focussed on surveying the stains and carvings, on an examination of the photographic anomalies, and on an attempt to record manifestations using time-lapse surveillance equipment. Results are described, strengths and weaknesses of the evidence discussed, and possible interpretations considered. Although there are some highly strange features in this case, it is not possible to conclude with certainty whether the phenomena indicate genuine paranormal activity, whether they are the result of an elaborate hoax, or whether there is a mixture of genuine and fabricated incidents. hauntings/poltergeist

Gower, Rose-Mary & Gower, David. THE ‘BROTHER DOLI’ CASE: FAMILY PERSPECTIVES, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 222-4. The authors discuss their experiences of the apparent poltergeist-type manifestations at their home in North Wales and comment on the investigation into the case reported by Michael Daniels. hauntings/poltergeist

Houran, James and Lange, Rense (eds.) HAUNTINGS AND POLTERGEISTS: MULTIDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES, essay review by Alan Gauld, Journal 66, 2002, pp. 260-72. A collection of 19 papers, ‘undoubtedly one of the most substantial in its subject area so far published [providing] a conspectus of a fair proportion of the leading themes of the most recent work in that area... ‘ The review gives details of the contents, which include a discussion by Hilary Evans of discusses "the ghost experience" in the wider context of religious and Marian apparitions, folklore entities, angels, demons, etc; Emily D. Edwards on ‘Ghostly Narratives in Popular Film and Television’; McClenon and others examining beliefs and attitudes from a socio-cultural perspective; Brazilian hauntings and poltergeists; Tony Lawrence and others on the psychological characeristics that may correlate with paranormal beliefs; sceptical approaches, including one by the editors which the review criticises in detail; and articles on the physics and physiology of hauntings and poltergeists. book review/hauntings/poltergeist/theory