Over all the years that I have been researching and investigating the paranormal, I think one type of phenomenon still captures the attention of ghost hunters more so than others; and that is the strange activity that occurs as a part of a poltergeist infestation. As it is one that can bring with it a unique grouping of spontaneous activity that provides the investigator with the opportunity to experience and document various types of activity at one location across a short space of time.
Granted that it is believed that poltergeist activity is very rare and as such we only have a few documented cases. Although it is worth mentioning that the likes of John Fraser, author of ‘Poltergeist! – A New Investigation into Destructive Haunting’ Believes that poltergeist are more common than we realise occurring in lesser forms during many experiences which are documented. Something which I am inclined to agree on.
One case, that it probably one of the most well know cases in the world now concerning poltergeist activity, is likely to be that of the Enfield Poltergeist. Whilst the case was extensively investigated and reviewed by members of the SPR, following the original investigation conducted by Grosse and Playfair in 1970’s; it was more likely the fact that the case has been the subject of many television documentaries and now dramatisations, including being inspiration for a few horror films lately too. Including the hugely popular Conjuring 2, although I am not entirely sure that Playfair would have been happy with that one as it was factually incorrect an a massive scale.
Still this dramatisation does bring with it some interesting point of views on the phenomena some times, and whilst they may often be far from the mark it can get you thinking; which is good right?
It is often believed that poltergeist cases are related some how to young teenage girls that may have some psychical ability to either generate the activity themselves or be a conduit for the spirit behind said activity. A point in which I am once again left seeking something better as an answer as it lacks conviction for me. Just because something seems to be obvious as the answer, does not necessarily mean it is so. One could argue using Occam Razor, that usually the simplest solution is the best one, but can one really apply a simple solution to something which is categorically beyond the norm?
The Enfield Case often refers to Janet as being the focus of the activity and that may well be so, but in reality she was only one of a number of the family members that were present during some the activity. Equally, much of the activity occurred in the presence of Grosse and Playfair too; should we not consider their involvement here too? Rather than excluding the investigators from the equation simply because they are the investigators.
In situations such as Enfield, South Shields or Pontefract; do we as investigators concern ourselves with seeking out a singular cause, when perhaps it is a combination of events that is required in order for the paranormal activity to escalate to the degree we associate with a poltergeist case. Equally, if we are expanding our field of view when it comes to the poltergeist case, should we not begin to consider aspects beyond the time and space of the events themselves? Currently when we investigate a case of paranormal activity, similar to how Grosse and Playfair did at Enfield, the focus is on that location, that family, that time when the activity occurs. Which is perfectly understandable as it fits our comprehension of time and space. However, what if the events at Enfield escalated not because they were going to, but because of what was due to happen in the future and who would become involved too. Grosse had lost his own daughter called Janet and at the time when the Enfield case came up, was encouraging the SPR secretary to consider him for any case work in the area. Playfair had been in the South Americas where he had experience with many different phenomena. Both men were open to the phenomena they were going to encounter, and it could be argued that Grosse was willing to welcome it in. Could this belief and positive open minded approach to case mean that they would encounter more positive results? Research certainly shows that those psychical researchers that have been known for their more sceptical approaches, have been blessed with a lack of evidence. So, could this have been a contributing factor?
As a random fact, Playfair mentions UFO’s a few times in his book ‘This House is Haunted’ and specifically that there had been number of sightings in the Enfield area too. Now if you are thinking what relevance could UFO’s possibly have when it comes to poltergeist activity, then you probably have not read books by John A. Keel. More specifically, ‘The Mothman Prophecies’ which he subtitles ‘the true story of the alien who terrorised an American city’ and ensures that there are many accounts of encounters throughout the book. However, he also details several accounts of poltergeist activity during the thirteen months that the Mothman and UFO sightings took place around the West Virginian town of Point Pleasant. The point (no pun) being that sometimes we should not simply be consumed by a location and a time when paranormal activity occurs, as we are dealing with strange goings on that are beyond the normality of our day to day lives; we should consider William James tertium quid.
Whilst I am not suggesting that UFO’s and Aliens from other worlds or dimensions may be responsible for poltergeist activity; I am suggesting that there may be more complex elements at work here that require consideration. The UFO, Mothman, Men in Black and Poltergeist encounters of Point Pleasant maybe actually be different versions of the same thing. One persons UFO and aliens, could be anothers spirit or anothers government official dressed in black.
If we can misinterpret the information that provides us with these phenomena so drastically to generate the belief of noisy ghosts on one side and flying saucers on the other, then perhaps these manifestations are extensions of part of us. Perhaps they are simply an example of how powerful our minds can be given the right conditions. Again research shows us that there is a possibility of information being transferred from one mind to another; and even the possibility that we could move objects with our minds too. Even, Elon Musk is looking into the power of our minds, although I think that the news online recently reported that his research was not going too well.
Is it possible that there may be some environmental fluctuations that occur at specific locations (perhaps) and over a set time period, which could be natural or caused by us or indeed a mixture, which are the potential cause of generating greater psi related events. So, back in the later part of the 1960’s the Point Pleasant area experienced such an environmental fluctuation that increased the localised populations psi abilities and as such meant the strange events occurred that led to the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge. Equally, it could be suggested that the collapse of the bridge echoed through time causing the strange psi events, I guess.
The point here being that, we often draw a distinct connection to poltergeist cases being either directly related to a focus subject like a teenage girl or indeed a troublesome spirit of some kind causing problems. However, what if the poltergeist phenomena is little more than the ‘perfect storm’ of psychical activity spanning more than one individual, potentially beyond the locations and beyond that point in time too. Sometimes when investigating strange phenomena such as poltergeist, UFO’s or even huge flying bird-men with red eyes; a little imagination is important to enable us to be open minded about the possibilities. However, that does not mean we should leave our ability to find logical explanation behind and jump at the first crazy idea!
Harry Price investigated a talking Mongoose, Keel went looking for a huge flying bird-man and many seek Bigfoot to this day. Where do you draw the line when it comes to paranormal investigations?