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A Genuine Poltergiest


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Ian Topham's picture
Ian Topham
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The term poltergeist is derived from German, and literally means noisy ghost or spirit. The term relates to a specific type of haunting, which involves the movement of objects, objects appearing and disappearing, strange noises and general chaos. More often than not nothing is seen on these occasions but the phenomena is very distressing for the people concerned.

The above is a description of the classic poltergeist, but has anyone actually come across a genuine convincing poltergeist case? I've been investigating for many years now and not come across one yet so it would be good to hear from anyone who has

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Daniel Parkinson
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Poltergeist

Only ever been involved in one case and that was after the fact, so difficult to prove or disprove although all the witnesses I tracked down seemed to confirm the events. I have included a brief outline and a transcription of a witness testimony below for interest rather than any proof or disproof of events (This is a big post) Hope you enjoy. (Idid get witness permission to post this):

This is a transcript of one witness’s testimony of a haunted terraced house in a North West England. The alleged events happened in the 1970’s, and I have traced other witnesses (including the family involved) who experienced the events and confirmed much of the general story.
The house was a typical red bricked terrace house in a working class area of NW England, witnesses were subject to what could only be described as poltergeist activity: doors opening of their own accord, lights turning on, televisions and stereos turning on, bad smells and also physical manifestations. Eventually the family left one night after thing had become too much for them. The following transcript is a shortened version of an account by a friend of the family involved, who I interviewed some years ago.

While the transcript is purely anecdotal, and is only a snap shot of one experience in the house, the story shows how strange events can be experienced within a modern urban setting by witnesses who have no belief in the events. I include it here as a social commentary of the times and as part of a vibrant and humorous witness testimony. (no apologies for the language)

My witness was in his late teens at the time of this account, and had gone to visit his friend who was related and regularly babysat for the family involved. The baby sitter knew about what had been happening at the house, and was loathe to stay in the house for any length on his own.

(I have changed names and the name of the street)

Terrace Haunting Witness interview:

DJP:
Could you explain a little about the haunting

NT:
It was when Barry (an old friend) was baby sitting, just a normal terraced house, whatever was in there was absolutely 100% evil, malevolent doesn’t describe it, I mean,… absolutely utterly anti-human.

Barry used to go baby sitting, he couldn’t be in the house on his own, but the number of phenomena that happened…..and the family who it was - well they were a right fightin family, such a down to earth family. This is a practical street fighting guy, not really clever just a battler you know what I mean. When ‘he’ starts telling you its ‘f***** true’ and ‘he’s’ scared…(Laughs) you know what I mean, in the end they just walked straight out of the house and never went back. He had a nine year old,, he scooped her out of bed in the middle of the night, him and his wife, spent the rest of the night in the car.

DJP:
So what sort of things were they experiencing?

NT:
Well… they had a dog, and it was a terraced house, you imagine, like the same sort of lay out as….. the stair went up and down between the kitchen…... you’ve been in hundreds down ******. You go into door and there’s a little vestibule leading into living room, it’s a terrace, you know the long terraces, then there was a living room if you went straight on there was a door that took you through into the kitchen, well two doors in sequence, er that led through to the kitchen then right in the middle of the house was a flight of stairs

And then there were two bedrooms off there, one of them was shortened to make a bathroom but they were the old two up two downs as they called them in *******. Now it had had an extension built on the back, and the dog…… an Alsatian, big Alsatian, you know what I mean, It ‘Would Not’ enter the house, in the out kitchen, it stayed in the out kitchen, you could drag it, it wouldn’t bite or try to attack you it just cowered. It wouldn’t put a paw over the threshold. You could hold food for it say come on “come on”, whatever it was called Major or whatever you called dogs in those days or summat, and it would stand there like that (gestures) at the threshold with its paw.

Most of the disturbances were electrical: the stereo being turned on, but not just the stereo being turned on, a record being taken and put on the deck, and all of a sudden in the middle of the night ………They used to unplug everything because of the radios coming on in the night. Going downstairs all the lights are on, the telly’s on, everything’s switched on, kettles boiling. They’d unplug everything, it used to get plugged back in and switched on.

DJP:
That’s quite common for poltergeist activity, electrical disturbance, can you remember anymore details

NT:
Records being taken out of their sleeve, put on the deck, and started in mid track and started at full volume, boom, all of a sudden, you know. So whatever it was plugged everything in pulled a record from its sleeve put the bar to the start of a track and played music, lights on and off, watching telly then boom telly’s switched off. And er that sort of thing in general.

DJP:
What was your experience in the house?

NT:
Well er what it did with me is er, I went up to the toilet upstairs which was a pull cord, Barry had been telling me all this about it, he could wind himself up thinking like that, So.. but I wasn’t wound up at all in that sense, at that age me I was ……

DJP:
How old were you?

NT:
I was only about 19, I was doing Karate, I was riding a motor bike, I was well alive me you know, well and truly high, happy, haven’t been happier than I was in those days, and erm I said “Ar Barry you’re talking shit”, so I went for a piss, shut the door, turned light on: it was a pull chord in the bathroom. Just starting to undo my zip, click, and the light went off, I went “alright” opened the door looked downstairs now it weren’t Barry. Now the room opposite was the main bedroom and I thought well, its probably Baz in that room, he’d be hiding in the bedroom and just nipped downstairs quick, because he would have had time to, so I thought, right, if he does it again. I went back, switches the light on, still not frightened at this point in time, so I turns round started to undo my fly hole again, click, light switches off. So this time I hid behind the door, the light switch chord is there, and I thought Baz will open the door his hand will come in and I’ll trap it.

DJP:
You was going to trap his hand in the door?

NT:
Well I wouldn’t have hurt him you know I would have caught his hand in the door, I’m there me and I wasn’t even looking at the light chord, I was waiting for the door to open. The pull ball on the light chord rose about 6 inches and switched off, I f*****, (laughs) I’d already had me hand on the door handle, I f****** flew. I took one step and cleared 13 stairs you know the full flight, in one f****** step I was at the bottom of the stairs, and I went and had a piss in the out house and the Alsatian just looked at me like, ‘aye you know, do you pal’.

I don’t know! I know what happened to me was the real thing, because I was Jack the Lad, you know, id fight me fu***** shadow You know I was a bloody idiot basically..

You know, I was there lets see how quick you are when you’re hand comes through that door, you know I wouldn’t have hurt him I would have just pinned his hand in the door and started laughing you know, you ba**** like, but I’m stood there I watched this light switch rise slowly up and really hard fast down, and I watched it, fu***** hell you know you don’t even think you just, ‘shite’ you know you don’t even think shite you just ‘go’ your whole wits, its just away.

I can’t remember opening the door, I just remember taking one giant step for mankind and clearing the stairs, I was fit enough to jump that then and land without hurting myself. I was doing an awful lot of Karate and I was so full of energy. I must have been down the stairs in three seconds. The dog just looked at me like I told you so, you’ve had it too have you pal.

I mean when it started moving up (the light switch cord) it was curiosity then bang Shhhit. That is not an electrical fault that is not something stopping the power in the cable you know that was a mechanical movement

DJP:
I know because it could be the switch, a loose switch with the pull chord.

NT:
A very sensitive, yeah the spring goes cling and it jumps back, but when you see the flamin chord rise, the pull on the end of it was only a little plastic thing, it wasn’t a big heavy thing or anything, saw that go up arrgh shite. Gone, out of there.

Well it went on and on they were getting…. All the house up wide open at 3 o’clock in the morning you’ve got to switch everything off, shut all the doors lock up the bolt, the key, no keys available, the only keys to the house where in your……...then ten minutes later everything’s on again the doors have been unlocked.

DJP:
You said the family left, When did they leave?

NT:
It was erm, the night they flew the house, the night they left, the guy I am talking about he was a battler like, you know, and er he’d been down the stairs. Everything had come on again, so he’d been down the stairs and locked up, but these were dead bolt locks and the doors had been opened but the bolt locks stuck out. Anyway if someone had undid it they must have turned the lock, opened the door, locked it back, you know cos all the locks were still there and locked in, just a weird sort of game you know.

The night he blew it with it is, he’d just been downstairs with everything on and locked it all up, he’d been down the rugby club and er, he’d got half way back up the stairs when the lights came on, he turns round and says “all right you fly fu**ing ba***rd, if yer that good fu***ng show yerself, ill take you now” like you know, what he said then is this green ball/spot, appeared grew to a big ball the size of a football, and started to come into shape, and he just, he said, he took one fu***ng kick at it (laughs) and then just went right up the stairs and said “come on get up” they just went outside to the car and that was it, they weren’t having any more.

But it didn’t have any history, the house didn’t have any history, you know no bad history, very very normal people living there.

DJP:
Do you know if anything had happened afterwards then….

NT:
I knew the family that moved into it, Berni er she was called Bernadette, but I knew them they had a wee baby and there was nothing: sweet little house again, it was normal.

DJP:
Did you feel there was anything else strange in the house apart from your experience? (Barry had mentioned some other evidence)

NT:
The only thing that disturbed me, well there were two things that disturbed me and er, one was this rug it was like the three kings you know it was, obviously, it was really old I would think it would have probably been her father or grandfathers and er, one of them had been in the army and brought this back from Egypt, because it was like a Persian style rug with this like camel train thing and pyramids on it I don’t know but that felt, that was hanging on the wall, that felt that gave me the ….. The other thing they had was a lion, wooden all black you know like the Trafalgar Square lions but it wasn’t the Trafalgar Square Lions it was like a dead lion which is quite a common motif an antique of sorts, Victorian antique and that was a bit, you know, but I don’t know. They split up shortly afterwards, so when there is a lot of stress in the house like that you never know.

The fella who moved into afterwards had it modernised, er they were in at, I don’t know at least 5 or 6 years maybe longer but in all that time nothing ever happened. I didn’t say anything to them because I thought well that’s just what I’d want to hear moving into a house. So I think whatever it was came in with them and went out with them.

It was empty for as short while before, maybe something had taken up residence but you don’t know what these things are

DJP:
No

NT
To think of them as disembodied human spirits is a bit odd. Even now thinking about that is scaring me, frightening me.

Discusion here turns to Lancashire Folklore and legends.

S Graham
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Poltergeist

fascinating case - I wonder if anything happened to the family before or after?

I recall a book cover I was designing 10 or 15 years ago and it was the life story of a woman who claimed she was psychic and when I asked what the book was about she mentioned that she could see spirits but that a malevalent one in the house she lived in tried to push her down the stairs. To my chagrin I did what happens too often and didn't ask a lot of questions but just thought it was fascinating. doh!

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Ian Topham
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Poltergeist

Great interview transcript Dan. Not heard the term battler for a while. It is interesting that the house was quiet before and after this family moved in. It has been suggested that poltergeists haunt people and ghosts haunt locations, though the MacKenzie Poltergeist would seem to break that ruling. Interesting how the witness singled out two items he felt disturbed about.

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Daniel Parkinson
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Poltergeist

There was never any other disturbances in the house after the family had left. The house was a council house at the time and a new family were in very quickly. Two people thought that objects in the house were part of the problem but they were friends and may have influenced each other.

The occupier at the time was certainly a down to earth guy, and certainly a 'battler' perhaps this is one of the only cases were the occupant of a haunted house took a flying kick at an apparition

Mauro
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Martial Arts Move

I agree: I've heard persons trying to hit an apparition with anything (broomsticks, billiard cues, samurai swords, hockey sticks etc) but never with a martial arts move!

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"Louhi spoke in riddled tones of three things to achieve: find and catch the Devil's Moose and bring it here to me. Seize the Stallion born of Fire, harness the Golden Horse. He captured and bound the Moose, he tamed the Golden Horse. Still there remained one final task: hunt for the Bird from the Stream of Death"

-Kalevala, Rune XIII-


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Ian Topham
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Not Now Cato

Reading the witness report reminded me of Cato ambushing Peter Sellers in The Pink Panther. You can just imagine the ghost materialising or some poltergeist activity starts hurling things at you, then someone traps your arm in the bathroom door and attacks you with karate chops. “Not now Cato!!”

One of the Pluckley hosts was supposedly shot at with a hunting rifle whilst it walked through a library and in Carlisle Castle a ghostly woman was stabbed with a bayonet by a frightened sentry who supposedly died the day after.

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Agricola
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Ian Topham wrote: Great
Ian Topham wrote:

Great interview transcript Dan. Not heard the term battler for a while. It is interesting that the house was quiet before and after this family moved in. It has been suggested that poltergeists haunt people and ghosts haunt locations, though the MacKenzie Poltergeist would seem to break that ruling. Interesting how the witness singled out two items he felt disturbed about.

Actually, I believe the MacKenzie poltergeist has followed a person - the guy from the tour company who apparently took the poltergeist from his previous job to its current position. Something that I have from an Edinburgh tourism insider!



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