BK asks: “Strange occurrences have been happening in my home for some time now – objects moving around and sometimes falling off shelves for no reason. I’m beginning to suspect poltergeist activity and am wondering what this is, and if it’s possible for a dead relative to be responsible for it?”
Poltergeist activity is a form of demonic infestation that usually occurs when someone in the home has been dabbling in the occult, such as playing with Ouija boards or practicing magic spells.
The name poltergeist comes from the German “Polter geist” which means a mischievous devil.
Although these infestations are widely believed to be harmless and involving only the movement of objects, some manifestations can be extremely violent.
For instance, Father Herbert Thurston (1856-1939) wrote a book documenting over 20 years of investigation into poltergeist activity, much of which he personally witnessed.
Fr. Thurston recounts some stories where invisible hands caught people by the throat and would have succeeded in strangling them had someone not intervened.
In one particular case, a young boy named Indridi was assailed by a spirit named “Jon” who claimed to be a recent suicide. Jon would drag Indridi out of bed at night with such violence that he often sustained injuries to his body.
Two observers from the town were present to witness this one night and said the attack began with the spirit tossing a pair of boots at the lamp, breaking it. The boy was then dragged head first through the door and along the floor into the outer room in spite of his clutching with all his might at everything he could catch hold of.
In another case, poltergeist activity was taking place in a house in a small Austrian village. It started with just the mysterious pelting of stones against the roof and windows but gradually intensified to the point of breaking all the windows in the house. Eventually, the infestation moved inside the house and chaos quickly ensured.
He describes: “Spoons, dishes, saucepans, fire-irons and almost every moveable object were seen to fly about us as if endowed with life . . . almost every breakable thing in the kitchen had been destroyed.”
The family was in terror for their lives. They set a crucifix with two lighted candles on the table and commenced to pray. “The candlesticks were thrown violently to the ground but the crucifix was not touched.”
The cook finally had enough of the wreckage and cursed the spirit.
Fr. Thurston writes: “But the words had hardly escaped her lips with a sharp hissing sound was heard in the air, followed by the frightened cry of the girl who fled with both hands to her head.”
She was later found to have a deep cut on her head that was swollen and bleeding.
That these incidents are related to demonic activity may also be born out by the peculiar and tragic events that occurred during and after the filming of the original Poltergeist movie in 1982. In what is now being referred to as the “Poltergeist Curse,” four members of the cast died during and after the filming.
For example, the film’s star, Heather O’Rourke, the six year-old girl who played Carol Ann Freeling, the child who was abducted by the poltergeists in the movie, died in 1988 of an intestinal blockage that was misdiagnosed as Crohn’s Disease. In 1982, Dominique Dunn, who played Carol Ann’s older sister, Dana, in the movie, was murdered by her ex-partner.
Two other cast members died under less suspicious circumstances. Julian Beck, who played the evil preacher Kane in the movie, died of stomach cancer shortly after the second installment of the movie was released, and Will Sampson, who played Taylor, the Indian shaman, died after undergoing a heart-lung transplant.
Although no one really knows who or what was behind this strange string of deaths, if you are experiencing poltergeist activity in your home, this should be taken seriously and not passed off as the revenge of a dead relative. A priest should be contacted immediately.
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