What is a poltergeist?
There are really two main schools of thought on this topic. Some paranormal experts believe it is a troublesome, mischievous spirit which makes its presence known by moving objects of any size, physically attacking people, starting fires, turning appliances on and off, making loud sounds and various other alarming methods.
It has to be said at the outset, that this type of supernatural activity is extremely rare.
The other school of parapsychology feels it is actually psychokinesis, which is also known as PK.
Psychokinesis suggests that repressed anger, stress, tension and sometimes epileptic tendencies can manifest energetically from the person who is affected, also known as 'the agent'.
That is, that the mind can influence matter, move objects and generally change things physically.
Typically, in a house where there is this kind of paranormal activity, there will also be a teenager or young adult, as these ages are normally quite stressful and angst-filled times in life.
The actual word comes from the German poltern, "to knock," and geist, "spirit."
The earliest known reports of this date back to the ancient Romans. Medieval history also mentions this type of phenomena.
In most cases, the activity starts suddenly, is brief, and ends quickly.
However, there are cases of phenomena going on for months, even years, without only brief periods of respite.
Could this be someone's unexpressed anger, stress and rage simmering on for years? This is a scary thought.
In any cases that I have been on, physical manifestations have merely been one or more spirits trying to get someone's attention – usually for help.
Sounds, voices, bad smells and the sounds of large furniture being moved or tipped over (without anything actually being found out of place) would be the typical physical paranormal phenomena I would encounter.
Fortunately, whichever school of thought you subscribe to, this type of spirit activity is very rare.
One of the most credible stories of physical spirit activity that I've ever heard was told to me by my husband.
As a young man living in Scotland he worked as an aerial installer.
On one of his jobs, there was a problem with the flat where he worked and no one could get into the residence because while no one was home, a poltergeist had completely rearranged the furniture and the door was blocked.
The lady who lived alone in the flat told them that it was a regular occurrence.
He said there was no way a lady of her stature could have moved that heavy furniture, and there was no other explanation.