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The Poltergeist Effect: Key to All Paranormal?


Poltergeist Effect

Poltergeist Effect

Stephen Wagner

If a stressed individual can cause poltergeist activity, can a stressed society unconsciously create such phenomena as ghosts, UFOs, and monsters?

OF ALL PHENOMENA that are considered paranormal, poltergeist activity has been the most fascinating to me because there are physical manifestations. These are not fleeting apparitions or elusive shadow people glimpsed in one's peripheral vision, these are physical acts:

  • Objects fly from tabletops
  • Doors and cabinets slam open and shut
  • Furniture is moved or even thrown about
  • Stuff breaks and people are pushed and pinched
  • Water drips inexplicably from ceilings
  • Stones rain down from clear skies
  • Objects - apports - appear out of thin air

In addition to these, there are unexplained crashing sounds, wall pounding, music, and odors from unidentifiable sources. Not all of these things happen in every poltergeist case, but these things (and much more) do happen and have been documented in case after case for centuries. There are multiple witnesses to these events, including scientists and police officers, and many volumes have been written about them.

I have witnessed first-hand a highly stressed person who caused sparks to shoot out of wall sockets and thick glass to shatter.

While for a long time these effects were attributed to ghosts and demons, most (not all) paranormal researchers think that these amazing phenomena are not caused by the spirit world, but by the minds of the person or people involved (called agents), who are usually under some physical, emotional or psychological stress.


Think of it: the most spectacular - and arguably best documented - of all phenomena is caused by consciousness, usually working on a subconscious level. Consciousness manipulating matter. We do not yet understand how this works. Perhaps it has something to do with quantum mechanics, or perhaps some other mysterious effect we cannot yet comprehend. We don't have the mathematics for it.

Anyone who has seriously and open-mindedly investigated the phenomena, however, cannot deny that they occur. We don't yet know how to fit them into our rationalist, scientific view of the world. That is why the skeptics deny their existence: "It can't be real, therefore it isn't." But this is a very limited view of the world (and of reality), and history has shown time and again that those who deny the "impossible" ("space flight is impossible") have been proved wrong.

So, if consciousness, working on some level that we do not understand, can generate the amazing range of physical phenomena recorded in poltergeist cases, of what else is it capable?

A possible answer to that question may be that it is capable of almost anything. Perhaps it is capable of manifesting a wide array of phenomena that have proved unexplained and elusive, including:

  • Ghosts and apparitions
  • UFOs and aliens, including abductions
  • Creatures like Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and Mothman
  • Bizarre cases of missing time and slips in time
  • Miracles and religious apparitions
  • "Demonic" manifestations and possession


Perhaps all of these things that elude and frustrate researchers are not things outside of ourselves; perhaps they are generated and brought into the physical world - if only for a short time - by our own consciousness. They are all in our heads; or maybe more accurately, out of our heads (or wherever our consciousness lies).

In Tibetan Buddhism, such thought forms or creations are called "tulpas". As anthropologist Walter Evans-Wentz describes it , "The process consists of giving palpable being to a visualization, in very much the same manner as an architect gives concrete expression in three dimensions to his abstract concepts after first having given them expression in the two-dimensions of his blue-print."

The difference with the paranormal phenomena described above is that we might be creating them on an unconscious level rather than consciously. But the intention for them exists in the deepest fears and highest desires of an individual or large groups (even entire cultures) of people.

Let me emphasize that because these phenomena might be brought about by consciousness does not make them any less real. What is reality, after all, other than all that we perceive with our senses? And that reality might only be temporary, which accounts for the elusive nature of these phenomena.

It has been rightly argued that it is not helpful to explain an unexplained phenomenon by offering another unexplained phenomenon. And I suppose that's what I am doing here. But it is a way, perhaps, to think about these phenomena in a different way and to consider that they all might have a common genesis.

Next page: A Closer Look, Ghosts, UFOs and more

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