Monday, 25 May 2015

A Poltergeist Is Not a Ghost

With the upcoming release of the remake of that famous horror classic "Poltergeist", I found myself inspired to write a new post. Every time I see the advert on TV, I find myself correcting the screen saying "it's not a ghost!" Or something such like it. While the term literally means "noisy ghost" poltergeists, ghosts and hauntings are all different. Let me explain:

A haunting is a residual playback off an event. One may see an entity or hear voices, but the event has passed and the people have gone. The entities seen do not react to the observer and don't give intelligent responses if you try to interact. This is because it is just an event repeating itself, like a holographic movie. Often highly charged emotional events can imprint itself on a place and given the right conditions replay themselves.
This may frighten the living though as screams may be heard or frightening events sighted. The other side effect is that it can attract more negative energy, not just from the original negative event, but from the frightened people witnessing it.

Ghosts are intelligent entities, deceased people who have not moved on to the other side. There are various reasons a person may decide not to move on. They may have unfinished business, such as seeking justice for a unresolved wrong, or feel guilty about something they did. Sometimes these are negative people who do not want to face things on the other side, and would prefer to continue to cause trouble in this realm. Most ghosts are harmless and will just make noise or make themselves seen to try to be acknowledged.
Please note this is different from Spirits which are deceased people who have moved on. These may visit us in dreams or send us signs in non frightening ways to let us know they are okay.

So what is a poltergeist? It's not a deceased person at all. Poltergeists are also called PK (psychokinesis) manifestations. They are the result of repressed energy from an individual, usually, but not always a teenager. Poltergeist activity usually centres around one person in the home and often involves the moving of objects. Classic signs are knocking sounds and items and furniture being moved including beds shaking the famous stacking of chairs, toys etc. in some extreme cases fires have even started.
Some theories are that the "agent" may be repressing anger or sexual tension and unconsciously it gets expressed psychokenetically. It can also be caused when a traumatic event happens and the feelings are repressed and unaddressed. Another cause is someone with psychic abilities who is repressing their sensitivity. One tell tale sign of who is subconsciously manifesting it, is if one person seems to be secretly enjoying the activity while others are frightened.
The activity usually only lasts a few weeks and when the agents issue is resolved, the activity stops. In rare cases it can go on for years, and only stops at the location when the person moves away (but usually follows them to the new place).

As you can see, this is not exactly the sort of paranormal activity in the movie. But then again Hollywood rarely gets it right, and at least it's entertaining.
What are your thoughts?

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  1. Very good explanation, thanks! I never knew all the differences! Sounds like the dark lady who used to visit me in the morning mNy years ago was a psychokinetic manifestation and not a ghost, which is relieving. I am too anxious a person to deal with seeing ghosts!

  2. Great explanation! I get signs from my mom's spirit in my dreams, so I guess she's moved on and she's ok now!