Paranormal Book Club: Poltergeists

14th February 2021. Reading Time: 9 minutes General, Paranormal Book Club. 349 page views. 0 comments.

Here are some book recommendations all about poltergeists

Poltergeist stories have been around since ghost stories have existed.  A 'classic' poltergeist haunting consists of things like knocking, objects being moved, open and closing of doors, bed shaking, putrid smells, objects being thrown, stone and rocks being thrown at windows, puddles of water appearing mysteriously on the floor, fires starting from nowhere, scratching and physical assault. It usually starts slowly with knocking or stones being thrown and seems to amplify over a period of time. It is quite common in these accounts and stories for the activity to occur at night when the individual is in bed causing them to lose sleep.

Poltergeist is a widely used (and often misused) term to describe paranormal phenomena where physical items are moved or manipulated or a person is physically assaulted by an unseen force. It is probably one of the most faked areas of paranormal phenomena, particularly on the internet. Claims of genuine poltergeist activity are few and far between, and one could argue that there has never been a proven case of genuine poltergeist activity. The same however could also be said about paranormal phenomena in general so it depends who you talk to as to what they consider a genuine account of the activity. There have however been famous cases throughout the years. The first reported account was thought to be in 1661 in the 'Drummer of Tedworth' which I have written about previously. In more modern-day society, the Enfield haunting is also controversial yet probably one of the most popular cases of supposed poltergeist activity known all over the world.  

So here are some books to read on this highly debated and fascinating subject!  I have a copy of all of these!

Poltergeist! A New Investigation Into Destructive Haunting: Including "The Cage - Witches Prison" St Osyth by John Fraser

There are few factual books written about poltergeist phenomena, John's Fraser's Poltergeist! A New Investigation Into Destructive Haunting fills that void, advancing and updating Colin Wilson's work Poltergeist!, this study's namesake from over 38 years ago. Fraser takes readers on a journey from the Borley Rectory to the Isle of Man, and grounds his readers in an historical overview of 'Poltergeist phenomena'. He examines where such events overlap with other paranormal investigations of 'apparitional' ghosts. What do they have in common, what do they differ? To answer this, Fraser looks to new research on paranormal events, never before published in book form. Fraser contends, perhaps controversially, that ghost sightings are and always will be ambiguous and near-impossible to prove, that only Poltergeist phenomena can be empirically verified.

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Released in 2020, this is a comprehensive and well-researched study in the phenomena associated with poltergeists.  Many in the paranormal field will recommend this book and for good reason.  If you can only get one book on poltergeists, this is the one to start with!

The Enfield Poltergeist Tapes: One of the most disturbing cases in history. What really happened? by  Dr Melvyn J Willin

Do not buy this book if you want to read a biased account of the famous Enfield Poltergeist Case from 1977 through to 1978. There are many other choices you could make which will either try to convince you of the genuineness of the phenomena produced or its fraudulent origins according to the interpretation of the authors concerned. I do not mind whether you have a wide-open mind or a totally shut one, since I shall not be trying to convince you one way or the other.

Do buy this book if you want to know what really happened! I have listened and transcribed all of the several hundred audio tapes that were made by Maurice Grosse and Guy Playfair during their investigation of the alleged poltergeist case that took place in Enfield some 40 years ago and I shall present, in chronological order, what occurred. It will then be your decision as to whether you believe the phenomena came from spirit entities; psychic forces; mistaken interpretations; hallucinations; naughty children or any other source you might wish to present. I shall strive very hard not to be influenced by what I have read, however intelligent it might be, and instead rely on my ears to describe what was happening via the tapes.

I shall leave out the many hours of general conversation that took place between the parties concerned since I do not believe that the reader will be particularly interested in the weather; special offers in the local supermarket; or what happened in Coronation Street ... except, of course, when any of these discussions may have been pertinent to the phenomena. I shall include some of the more humorous occurrences since the events occasionally demanded this. Perhaps some light relief from the sometimes all-pervading chaos. Because of their age some of the audio tapes were corrupted beyond recognition and at other times the sound quality was poor. I have therefore had to listen very carefully to unravel the indistinct voices especially when people were often talking at the same time or were not specifically identified by name. There is substantial screaming at times which was difficult to distinguish between the children concerned, so I may have attributed the wrong name to a 'screamer' at times...sorry, but I've tried to get it right! The language used is extremely crude, abusive and explicit at times, so the reader should be aware that parts of the book should be 'X' rated, as films used to be in bygone days.

If all this hasn't put you off then read on and prepare to possibly find out what happened in Enfield from 31, August 1977 onwards.

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One of the most well known and famous cases of poltergeist activity is that of the Enfield haunting.  It was the basis of many documentaries, television series and even inspired one of the conjuring movies.  There is a lot of debate over how genuine accounts were and people wanting to know what really happened.  Well, this is the insight you have been waiting for.  What I love about this book is that it is true to the approach that I myself take with my writing.  The reader is presented with all of the information and it is left up to them to make up their mind.  If you are more into famous cases and even just want to get a new perspective on this famous case, you will enjoy this book.

On the Track of the Poltergeist by D. Scott Rogo

There is no mystery greater than that posed by the poltergeist. The "noisy ghosts" of legend and folklore represent some of the most complex phenomena known to-but generally ignored by-science. Psychological research indicates that poltergeists focus on unhappy families who tend to repress and sublimate massive amounts of inner aggression and anger. This anger tends to build within the mind of one of the family members until it explodes outward in the form of the poltergeist. But is that the whole answer? On the Track of the Poltergeist is D. Scott Rogo's autobiographical account of his search to witness and document these rare phenomena. Backed by this experience and research, he is able to present a critical reevaluation of what we think we know about the poltergeist. Rogo also explains how to respond when confronted with a poltergeist outbreak and how to carry out field investigations of the phenomenon. D. Scott Rogo (1950-1990) was one of the most widely respected writer-journalists covering the field of parapsychology, as well as an active scientific investigator. Educated at the University of Cincinnati and San Fernando Valley State College, Rogo held a unique position in parapsychology and made many contributions to the field that deserve recognition. He served as a visiting researcher at the Psychical Research Foundation, then in Durham, North Carolina, and at the Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics of the Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. He published papers on ESP in referred parapsychological journals and was active in field investigations of hauntings and poltergeists. Rogo was also a leading authority on the history of psychical research; the breadth of his historical knowledge of the field was unsurpassed. Over the course of more than two-dozen published books, Rogo sought to broaden the range of topics worthy of paranormal research.

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I personally love this book as I do of most of Rogo's books.  It has first-hand accounts as well as some solid theories with a focus on looking at PK as a theory from a person who was a parapsychologist.  Published in the 1980's it is considered to be a classic when it comes to books about Poltergeists.

The End of Borley Rectory by Harry Price 

Famous paranormal investigator Harry Price is most well known for his work with the Borley Rectory which was dubbed as 'England's most haunted house'.  Part of the reason behind this was due to the reported poltergeist phenomena.  Here is the link to a free copy that you can read online via the public domain.  https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.76278/page/n7/mode/2up

Modern Poltergeists

There is no shortage to the number of books available that are based on poltergeists.  While the Enfield haunting remains one of the most historically well-known poltergeist cases, you don't tend to hear so much about these types of cases, especially in a mainstream media way like Enfield and even the Borely Rectory.  The closest modern-day poltergeist reports that many in the paranormal field may be aware of is that of Keith Linder in what is dubbed as the Bothell Hell House.  What is interesting about this case is that Keith has been open to peer review within the field contacting reputable paranormal organizations all over the world to study his claims.  He has written 3 books about the accounts as well as providing reports and findings from different organizations including the Australian Institute of Parapsychology Research while delving into theories over why or what is causing this reported poltergeist activity.  These books are self-published and can at times be difficult to read but certainly well worth it if you have an interest in accounts from real people.  This is about as recent as you can get in terms of high profile poltergeist cases with some interesting findings and theories.  Keith has appeared on numerous podcasts to discuss his case and you may even remember his appearance on Ghost Adventures - Demons in Seattle which is mentioned in the first book.  Keith has recently sent me a copy of his latest book only just released: Poltergeist - The Night Side of Physics which I am yet to start, but after reading the other 2, I am looking forward to seeing what the next installment has to offer.  I'm including here as well links to book reviews posted by members of the Society for Psychical Research which can provide some more details and background information as to what to expect.

The Bothell Hell House: Poltergeist of Washington State (2nd Ed.)

Attachments: Poltergeist of Washington State Part 2, by Keith Linder

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I could probably sit here all day recommending books on this topic, so I am going to hand it over to you know to tell me what are your favourite books about poltergeists?

 

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