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Poltergeist means noisy ghost. A poltergeist disturbance usually focuses around one person called a poltergeist focus or poltergeist agent. The focus or agent is usually a girl who is beginning puberty and has some kind of emotional or psychological stress. It is not uncommon, however, for the agent to be a boy or an adult. In most cases, the agent does not realize that they are causing the disturbence.

Most parapsychologists have adopted the explanation that poltergeist phenomena are caused by psychokinectic (PK) ability of a living individual. Many of the historical cases and virtually all of the recent one involve one individual around whom all the commotion seem to focus. When that person is present, things happen. When the person is absent, they cease. There are numerous cases in which the phenomena followed the apparent poltergeist agent to a new location. Typically, these cases involve fairly young children who are temporarily taken to the house of a friend or relative for closer observation. The poltergeist agent is under severe psychological stress. It is believe that poltergeist disturbances are external manifestations of repressed anger and hostility triggered by stress. The difference between an poltergeist disturbance and a haunting is the duration of the activity. Poltergeist disturbances seldom last more than a few months. Many occurances last only a few weeks. Reports of hauntings can last years, decades, or longer.

Research on poltergeist disturbances

The developement and increase of psychological research during the late 19th and 20th century helped confirm the threory the poltergeist activity was genuine. Among the early investigators were two founders of the Society for Psychological Research, Sir William Barrett and Frederic W. H. Meyers. In the late 1930's, the psychologist and parapsychologist, Nandor Fodor, advanced the theory that some poltergeist disturbances were caused, not by spirits, but by human agents suffering from repressed anger, hostility, and sexual tension. William Roll, director of the Psychological Research Foundation in Durham, NC, further explored the psychological disfunction theory. In the 1960's, Roll studied a 116 written reports of poltergeist cases spanning over 4 centuries in over 100 countries. Roll identified patterns that he labeled recurrent spontanious psychokenisis (RSPK).

What happens during a poltergeist disturbance

Objects have been reported to fly about in bizarre trajectories to crash to the floor and break, or to shatter in place and to disappear and reappear, sometimes in different locations.

Stopping a poltergeist disturbance

Poltergeist disturbances tend to stop when the agent realizes that he or she is responsible for the phenomena.