Home Horror SubgenresParanormal HAUNTED HISTORY – Poltergeist


by Angela Ancarana

A poltergeist, according to lore, is a type of spirit or ghost that is responsible for physical disturbances, such as loud noises and objects being moved or destroyed. The term poltergeist comes from the German word “noisy ghost.” They are described as troublesome spirits that haunt a particular person and not a location. Claims of these entities go back to the 1st century and became more common in the 17th Century.


This is one of the most common entities or spirits talked about, but it is not common to find a true poltergeist haunting as they are known to be the harassing or tormenting entity. The harassment usually includes minor disturbances such as loud sounds, moving furniture, and small objects being thrown about. They are also known as pranking spirits.

So what is a poltergeist?

One theory states that poltergeist hauntings are person-focused, the energy of an adolescent female with troubling emotions that are  manifested into creating objects to move and strange occurrences to happen. Another theory hails from psychical researcher Frank Podmore who proposed the ‘naughty little girl’ theory. He found that the center of attention was usually an adolescent girl who was throwing objects around to fool or scare people for attention.

One of the most famous poltergeist encounters took place in 1967 in Rosenheim, Germany.

A 19-year-old secretary worked for a law office. During her time working there, paintings and overhead light fittings started swinging, fluorescent tubes unscrewed themselves, and spikes in electrical activity occurred often. Furniture also moved, seemingly on its own. The police, utility company officials, physicists, and parapsychologist Hans Bender investigated without explanation. All activity stopped when the secretary left in 1968. Many believed the activity was faked.

Some ghost hunters believe poltergeists are the emotions of troubled individuals during times of stress, known as Spontaneous Recurring Psychokinesis. Others believe these are the spirits of the dead that cause the poltergeist activity. It has been said the entity is intelligent and has meaningful communication.

Poltergeists have been idealized in modern culture through movies. One of the most famous is, of course, Poltergeist from 1982.

There are so many theories out there on what a poltergeist spirit actually is. Whether it stems from the emotions of an adolescent teenager or a spirit from the other side, the people who have experienced them feel they are very real.