Do you believe that you have spirits or entities in your house, invading your apartment, or haunting your land? Are you or your family members being harassed or frightened by paranormal activity?
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Poltergeists: spiritual infestation, knocking spirits, ghostly sounds, and lights
Description: Initially meaning "noisy ghosts" (from the German poltern "to knock" and geist "spirit"), the term in its modern definition is now associated with physical paranormal activity inside homes such as mysterious noisy disturbances or moving, misplacing of objects. Included in the most common types of poltergeist activities are the rains of stones and other small objects; moving or throwing of objects, including large pieces of furniture; voices, loud noises and shrieks; odors which sources cannot be found (i.e. pipe tobacco when no one smokes). Poltergeists are known to have caused interference in telephones and electronic equipment, and turning lights and appliances on and off. The poltergeist might even become a full bodied or partial bodied apparition. Some poltergeists are said to pinch, bite, hit, and sexually attack the living.
In the late 1970s parapsychologists Alan Gauld and A. D. Cornell did a computer analysis of those cases collected since 1800 to that time. They identified sixty-three general characteristics, which include the following: 64 percent involved the movement of small objects; 58 percent were most active at night; 48 percent featured raps; 36 percent involved movement of large objects; 24 percent lasted longer than one year; 16 percent featured communication between the poltergeist and agent; 12 percent involved the opening and shutting of doors and windows. The Gauld-Cornell analysis found only 9 percent of the cases attributed to demons, 7 percent to witches, and 2 percent to spirits of the dead.
Theory: Poltergeist activity has occurred globally since ancient times and was blamed on the Devil, demons, witches, and ghosts of the dead.
The development and increase of psychical research during the late 19th and early 20th centuries helped confirm the conviction that poltergeist activity was genuine. Among the early investigators were two founders of the Society for Psychical Research, Sir William Barrett and Fredric W. H. Meyers. Meyers believed in the genuineness of poltergeist activity and that it was distinguishable from ghost hauntings.
In the 1930s the psychologist and parapsychologist Nandor Fodor advanced the theory that some poltergeist disturbances were caused not by spirits but by human agents suffering from intense repressed anger, hostility, and sexual tension. Fodor successfully demonstrated his theory in several cases, including the most famous "Thormton Heath Poltergeist" in England, which he investigated in 1938. The case involved a woman whose repressions caused a poltergeist outbreak and apparently a vampire attack. The Spiritualists severely criticized Fodor, but he won a libel suit against a Spiritualist newspaper.
William Roll, project director of the Psychical Research Foundation in Durham, North Carolina, further explored this psychological dysfunction theory. Starting in the 1960s, Roll studied 116 written reports of poltergeist cases spanning over four centuries in more one hundred countries. Roll identified patterns that he labeled "recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis" (RSPK), which are inexplicable, spontaneous physical effects. Generally, he discovered, the most common agent was a child or teenager whose unwitting PK was a way of expressing hostility without the fear of punishment. In this case, those subjects are mainly in puberty and girls rather than boys. The individual was not aware of being the cause of such disturbances, but was, at the same time, secretly or openly please that they occurred.
Other investigators have also investigated agents finding that those in poor mental and physical health are vulnerable to stress. Patient having unresolved emotional tensions have been associated with houses where poltergeist activity occurred. When studying the personalities of agents psychologists found anxiety reactions, conversion hysteria, phobias, mania, obsessions, dissociative reactions, and schizophrenia. In some cases therapy eliminated the poltergeist activity.
However, the psychological dysfunction theory has been disputed by other researchers, including Gauld and Cornell who said the psychological tests employed were invalid. Psychiatrist Ian Stevenson proposed that spirits of the dead may account for more poltergeist activity than realized. In his study of a number of cases attributed to agents and to spirits of the dead, Stevenson noted significance differences. The phenomena in living agent cases was without purpose and often violent, while cases involving spirits of the dead featured intelligent communication, purposeful movement of objects, and little violence.
Poltergeist activity is often found in correlation with psychic adolescent children who are finding their journey into adulthood difficult or fearing the responsibilities expected of them. The more sensitive the child, the more adverse is the spirit's reaction to the fear being transferred, often leading to objects being moved or hurled across the room or ectoplasm being ejected by the spirit. The spirit rejecting or de-toxing itself of the fear it's been presented with causes such activity.
Cases: Poltergeist activities have been reported in many countries, and chronicled by occult writers such as A. R. G. Owen and Colin Wilson. The Epworth Poltergeist case is one of the best-documented cases of poltergeist activity.
Location: inside inhabited houses
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We watched a movie the other night called, "An American Haunting", based on the legend of The Bell Witch. The movie had an interesting little twist and take on the subject, one that you probably won't see coming. I love old legends like this. I'm a sucker for a good ghost story or a haunting, and I found more than a few websites covering this subject. I also discovered that there is a Myspace page devoted to this legend.
Located in sleepy Adams, Tennessee is the former location of the John Bell Farm, one of the most famous haunted spots in American History. This sinister case involved spectral creatures, disembodied voices, poltergeist activity and even resulted in the death of John Bell. . .all at the hands of the infamous Bell Witch.
According to the annals of supernatural history, the story of the Bell Witch started in 1817 when the Bell family, prosperous farmers from Tennessee, began experiencing strange phenomena in their home. First, the house was plagued with knocking and rapping noises and scratching sounds.
Blankets were pulled from beds, family members were kicked and scratched and their hair pulled. Particularly tormented was a 12-year-old Betsy Bell, who was slapped, pinched, bruised and stuck with pins. At first, John Bell was determined to keep the events secret, but soon confided in a friend , who then formed an investigative committee. John Bell's friends soon learned that the strange force in the house had an eerie intelligence. It soon found a voice and from that day on. . .was seldom silent.
The spirit identified itself as the "witch" of Kate Batts, a neighbors of the Bell's, with whom John had experienced bad business dealings over some purchased slaves. "Kate" as the local people began calling her, made daily appearances in the Bell home, wreaking havoc on everyone there. People all over the area of soon learned of the witch and she made appearances, in sounds and voices, all over Robertson County.
The ghost became so famous that even General Andrew Jackson decided to visit. He too experienced the antics of the witch and his carriage wheels refused to turn until the witch decided to let them.
John Bell fell victim to bouts of strange illness, to which "Kate" claimed responsibility. While he was sick in bed, the spirit cursed and prodded him, never allowing him to rest. One day, he went to bed and never recovered. He was found senseless in his bed one morning and a strange bottle was found nearby. Bell's breath smelled of the black liquid in the bottle, so a drop of it was placed on the tongue of a cat. . .the animal dropped dead. John Bell soon followed suit and "Kate" screamed in triumph. She even made her presence known at his funeral, laughing, cursing and singing as the poor man was buried.
"Kate" didn't vanish immediately after the death of her proclaimed enemy though. She stayed around, threatening Betsy Bell to not marry the man that she truly loved, Joshua Gardner. The witch would never say why, but she did allow the girl to later marry the local schoolteacher, Richard Powell. "Kate" soon left the family but promised to return in seven years. She did come back and plagued the family again for two weeks. Before departing, she appeared at the home of John Bell Jr. and made a number of predictions that Bell recorded. The warning proved true, reflecting the Civil War and the later World Wars of the next century. "Kate" said that she would return again 107 years later, in 1935, but the year came and went without incident.
Who was the Bell Witch? Was she really a ghost, who claimed to be connected to a living person? Or did the resentment and the hatred of the real Kate Batts create an entity of it's own? Or could the haunting have been poltergeist activity linked to Betsy Bell? No one will ever know for sure. . .but whoever, or whatever, the Bell Witch was, many believe that she has never left Adams, Tennessee at all.
The owners also offer tours of an authentic reproduction of the Bell Family cabin, complete with period antiques, and recountings of the strange events that occurred back in the early 1800's. Cabin tours are $5 per person.
On the outskirts of Adams, visitors can also see the Bellwood Cemetery. There is a large burial plot and memorial to the Bell family. In front of the Bell School, on Highway 41, is a road sign about the haunting. It was designated by the Tennessee Historical Commission.
And here's a link to another site...
Here's a very brief list of a few haunted cemeteries in the US and a link to this site at the bottom of the page. How I wish that some of you were closer so we could go ghost hunting together on a full moon night!!
Stull Cemetery - Kansas City, Kansas...It's nickname is the Gates of Hell. It's said that the devil's child is buried here. A boy who was believed to be able to turn himself into a werewolf. Satanists conduct rituals in this graveyard. At the spring and autumn equinoxes evil forces are suppose to materialize.
Old York Cemetery - York Village, Maine...A friendly ghost makes this cemetery her home. Mary Miller Jason, a white witch, would help sick people by prescribing herbs and exorcising neighbor's homes in her life. She died in 1774 and sightings of her have been occurring ever since. Children have also told stories of a good invisible woman that pushes them on the swings of the playground across the street.
White Cemetery - Barrington Illinois...A very strange cemetery. Glowing lights hovering over the tombstones. A strange black car haunts the surrounding area. One block away where a large house once stood, (now burned down), the house has been seen reappear and then vanish again.
Adelaida Cemetary - Palo Alto, California...A ghost wearing a long white nightgown makes her appearance in this old cemetery every Friday night between 10 pm and Midnight. This mennonite ghost lays flowers on the grave of one of her children that died in the diphtheria epidemic. She may have also committed suicide in her own life.
McConnio Cemetery - Monroe County, Evergreen, Alabama...Respected locals, individuals and passers by have reported strange events in this cemetery since 1865. Phantoms of Union soldiers have been seen riding their horses across the graveyard. Ghostly parades of troops march in lines with bandages rapped around their heads. Men in Civil War uniforms wander throughout the area. Even now people visiting the McConnio Cemetery with no knowledge of its ghostly past witness strange vanishing apparitions of soldiers killed in battle. For any ghost hunter that's also a Civil War buff this is an excellent place to put on your travel list.
Resurrection Cemetery - Justice, Illinois...This cemetery is home to a well known ghost story. It's the story of Resurrection Mary. Her name is Mary Bregavy, a young Polish girl that was killed in a car accident in 1939 while going home from a dance at the O'Henry Ballroom, now the Willowbrook Ballroom. Her ghost makes appearances all along the cemetery roads and at the Willowbrookk Ballroom. She has been known to dance with men at the ballroom and ask them for a ride home only to disappear from their cars as they pass the cemetery. She been seen hitchhiking on the nearby roads by many creditable witnesses. A taxi cab driver saw young girl walking one evening in 1989 and picked her up. The two of them were talking and driving but as the cab passed Resurrection Cemetery the girl, (Mary), disappeared from the front seat of the cab.
In the summer of 1976, the Justice police received a phone call from a man who said that he saw a girl locked in the cemetery after hours. It was 10:30 PM when Sergeant Pat Homa responded to the call. Homa shined his flashlight through the cemetery bars into the darkened burial grounds. He didn't find any girl. He did find two of the bars on the gate were bent apart at a weird angle. They appeared have been bent apart by human hands. After a closer examination, imbedded in the metal were the impressions of small handprints. On the surface of the green patina of the bronze were scorch marks that looked very much like skin texture. Metallurgist experts could not explain how the bars were bent. Officials had the bars cut off and sent them away to be straightened. The bars were gone for over two and a half years. They were finally reinstalled in the gates in the early 1980's. The same bars were put back, but are refitted upside down.
Los Angeles Pet Cemetery - Calabasas, California...Pets of movie stars and the rich and famous are buried here. There have been sightings of many different animal ghosts playing in this graveyard. The ghost that gets the most attention is the spirit of a great Dane named Kabar. Kabar belonged to Rudolph Valentino. The animal, deceased since 1929, still makes frequent appearances near its grave to lick the people that pass.
Masonic Cemetery - Central City, Colorado...Every April 5th and November 1st a beautiful women in a black satin dress appears and lays flowers on the grave of John Edward Cameron. There are many different rumors for the connection between this ghost and Cameron, who died on November 1, 1887. Once twelve people gathered together at Cameron's grave on Nov. 1st to see the ghost. At sunset, she appeared as always. Two men tried to grab her but she flew off and vanished on a hill not far from the cemetery.
Woodland Cemetery - Dayton, Ohio...A young girl, blond with a blue sweater tied around her waist, has been seen floating over the grass and skipping down pathways. At night her tombstone glows eerily.
Chestnut Hill Cemetery - Exeter, Rhode Island...A young girl, Mercy Brown, died on Jan. 18, 1892. Her father later dug up her body thinking that she had become a vampire. With local help they removed her body and the medical doctor drained her organs of the remaining blood. This violation of her grave has caused Mercy to appear in the graveyard at night. Many witnesses report seeing strange blue lights moving in the graveyard. Mercy's spirit.
Oak Hill Cemetery - Cedar Rapids, Iowa...A Czech girl haunts this graveyard carrying flickering candles and trying to pull people into one of the mausoleums. The ghost is believed to be named Tillie. She is buried in the potters field section of the cemetery.
Wolfinger Cemetery - Toledo, Ohio...Tombstones dating back to the late 1700's. Very small area surrounded by a forest. Along the far side of the cemetery there are five graves, mother, father and three children all of whom were deceased within weeks of each other. It has been reported that these three children have been seen playing among the tombstones. Particularly a young girl dressed in the style of the late1800's. She wears a blue dress with a white pinafore, and appears to be 10-12 years old.
Unknown Cemetery - Carey, Ohio...The story goes that a wife was found dead. She had been strangled. No murder changes were ever brought up because of lack of evidence. Today her husband is also deceased and they are buried together under one tombstone that reads husband and wife. The solid marble tombstone is near the road. It's said that if you park in front of the tombstone with the headlights on there are "unnatural lines" at the top of the marble stone that depict the two individuals. They are facing each other and the husbands hands are wrapped tightly around the wife's throat. The tombstone has been altered more than once but the pictures still return. The cemetery has also blocked off the area so that cars can no longer park in front of the headstone.