THE FOLLOWING IS NOT ONLY AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF, BUT ALSO A TRUE STORY OF POLTERGEIST ACTIVITY IN A FAMOUS MANSION IN ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA (Published in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1969):
The Griggs mansion was built in 1883 and named after its original owner, a businessman named Chauncey Griggs. Incredibly well kept the mansion still has its original stained glass windows and wood paneled walls.
The house was lived in by its first owner for only four years before he moved west. Perhaps he set the theme of the house as it stayed as a private residence until 1939, but non of the people who moved in stayed for more than a few years.
In 1939 the mansion was turned into an art school for the next 25 years until it became a private residence again.
The house went on sale in 2009 for an asking price of $1.8 million, A fair price for a house of such a size but over the next 3 years the price dropped to $1.1 million. A huge drop for such a property, maybe this is due to the house being known as one of the most haunted i all of Minnesota.
Today the house remains as a private residence.
The Griggs mansion has been known to be haunted for some time. The earliest documented investigation of paranormal activity at the mansion dates back to 1969 when of group of journalists from the St Paul pioneer press stayed in the house to see if there were any truth to the tales. There stay was cut short when they fled the mansion at 4am, running from the fourth floor and straight out the house.
As for the fourth floor this is known to be one of the most active spots in the building. A maid is thought to have killed herself by hanging in one of the bedrooms. Her identity and reasons for doing so are unknown, but activity from her has been witnessed by many. Muffled crying noises from empty rooms on the floor and people feeling unwell when they pass by the bedroom doors are thought to be caused by the unhappy maid.
Another hot spot is the library, where the gardener of the house, Charles Wade, loved to read. Noises or rustling and pages being turned have come from this room when no one was inside.
The total amount of individual spirits that may be at the house is unknown as different visitors and owners have reported experiencing different activity. A psychic who was brought to the house claimed she had picked up the spirit of a civil war officer, who perhaps could be the original owner of the house Chauncey Griggs who served as an officer in the army, although no one has reported seeing any apparitions of him.
Speaking of apparitions, one that has has been particularly scary is that of a tall man, dressed in a black suit with a top hat. He has visited various guests in their rooms and been seen standing silently before fading from sight.
As for other paranormal activity at the mansion you can only imagine what goes on hear, or maybe what doesn’t go on here. As with many haunted places they always seem to share certain activity, such as seeing shadows and the feeling of being touched or someone brushing past when no one is there. This place seems to have them all, from one witness to another all kinds of tales have come from this place. Is it haunted though? Seems so, at least that’s what a number of very scared visitors to house would believe.”
Poltergeists: Noisy Spirits
A poltergeist is perhaps the best-known — and most feared — type of ghost. It is a spirit that is said to harass and torment its victims. This harassment typically includes minor but mysterious and disturbing events such as loud sounds, moving furniture, sheets and covers being pulled off beds, small objects inexplicably falling off shelves, stones rising off the ground and being hurled at people, and so on.
Of course, discussing different categories of ghosts is like discussing different breeds of dragons or races of leprechauns: it’s all made up, so there are as many types as you can dream of. Nevertheless, people all over the world believe in ghosts and spirits, and a 2005 Gallup poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses — and nearly half believe in ghosts.
No one knows for certain what ghosts are, or if they even exist; some believe that they are spirits of the dead who for whatever reason get “lost” on their way to the afterworld; others think that ghosts are the souls of people whose deaths were violent or premature.
I am posting the following information as a reference posting for readers who have questions as to what constitutes a poltergeist. It is taken from Wikipedia and by clicking on any of the references offered by Wikipedia (in red) the reader can be taken instantly to further information about and information on, poltergeists:
|Poltergeist: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Artist conception of poltergeist activity claimed by Therese Selles, a 15-year-old domestic servant of the Todescini family at Cheragas, Algeria. From the French magazine La Vie Mysterieuse in 1911.
In folklore and parapsychology, a poltergeist (German for “noisy ghost”) is a type ofghost or other supernatural entity which is responsible for physical disturbances, such as loud noises and objects being moved or destroyed. They are purportedly capable ofpinching, biting, hitting, and tripping people. Most accounts of poltergeists describe the movement or levitation of objects such as furniture and cutlery, or noises such as knocking on doors.
They have traditionally been described as troublesome spirits who haunt a particular person instead of a specific location. Such alleged poltergeist manifestations have been reported in many cultures and countries including the United States, India‚ Japan, Brazil, Australia, and most European nations. Early accounts date back to the 1st century.
The word poltergeist came from the German language words poltern (“to make sound” and “to rumble”) and Geist (“ghost” and “spirit”), and the term itself translates as “noisy ghost”, “rumble-ghost” or a “loud spirit”.
Many claimed poltergeist events have proved on investigation to be pranks. Skeptic Joe Nickell says that claimed poltergeist incidents typically originate from “an individual who is motivated to cause mischief”. According to Nickell:
Poltergeist activity has often been believed to be the work of malicious spirits. According to Allan Kardec, the founder of Spiritism, poltergeists are manifestations of disembodied spirits of low level, belonging to the sixth class of the third order. They are believed to be closely associated with the elements (fire, air, water, earth).
- Drummer of Tedworth (1662)
- Islandmagee witch trial (1710-1711)
- Epworth Rectory (1716–1717)
- Sampford Peverell (1810-1811)
- Bell Witch of Tennessee (1817–1872)
- Angelique Cottin (ca. 1846)
- Great Amherst Mystery (1878–1879)
- Caledonia Mills (1899-1922)
- Gef the Talking Mongoose (1931)
- Borley Rectory (1937) investigated by Harry Price who called it “the most haunted house in England”.
- Thornton Heath poltergeist (1938)
- Robbie Mannheim (1949), claimed to be demonically possessed after using a Ouija board.
- Seaford poltergeist (1958)
- Matthew Manning (1960s–1970s)
- The Black Monk of Pontefract (1960s–1970s)
- Rosenheim Poltergeist (1967) investigated by Hans Bender who claimed that a law firm located in Rosenheim in southern Germany experienced disruption of electricity and telephone lines, swinging lamps, and the rotation of a framed picture caused by a 19-year-old secretary who he alleged called “a typical poltergeist.”
- The Enfield Poltergeist (1977)
- The Thornton Road poltergeist of Birmingham (1981)
- Tina Resch (1984)
- The Canneto di Caronia fires poltergeist (2004–5)
- “The Stone-Throwing Spook of Little Dixie” (1995)
Folklore is the body of expressive culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations like Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. For folklore is not taught in a formal school curriculum or studied in the fine arts. Instead these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folkloristics.
To fully understand folklore, it is helpful to clarify its component parts: the terms folk and lore. It is well-documented that the term was coined in 1846 by the Englishman William Thoms. He fabricated it to replace the contemporary terminology of “popular antiquities” or “popular literature”. The second half of the compound word, lore, proves easier to define as its meaning has stayed relatively stable over the last two centuries. Coming from Old English lār ‘instruction,’ and with German and Dutch cognates, it is the knowledge and traditions of a particular group, frequently passed along by word of mouth.
The concept of folk proves somewhat more elusive. When Thoms first created this term, folk applied only to rural, frequently poor, frequently illiterate peasants. A more modern definition of folk is a social group which includes two or more persons with common traits, who express their shared identity through distinctive traditions. “Folk is a flexible concept which can refer to a nation as in American folklore or to a single family.“ This expanded social definition of folk supports a broader view of the material, i.e. the lore, considered to be folklore artifacts. These now include all “things people make with words (verbal lore), things they make with their hands (material lore), and things they make with their actions (customary lore)”. Folklore is no longer circumscribed as being chronologically old or obsolete. The folklorist studies the traditional artifacts of a social group and how they are transmitted.
Transmission is a vital part of the folklore process. Without communicating these beliefs and customs within the group over space and time, they would become cultural shards relegated to cultural archaeologists. For folklore is also a verb. These folk artifacts continue to be passed along informally, as a rule anonymously and always in multiple variants. The folk group is not individualistic, it is community-based and nurtures its lore in community. “As new groups emerge, new folklore is created… surfers, motorcyclists, computer programmers”. In direct contrast to high culture, where any single work of a named artist is protected by copyright law, folklore is a function of shared identity within the social group.
Having identified folk artifacts, the professional folklorist strives to understand the significance of these beliefs, customs and objects for the group. For these cultural units would not be passed along unless they had some continued relevance within the group. That meaning can however shift and morph. So Halloween of the 21st century is not the All Hallows’ Eve of the Middle Ages, and even gives rise to its own set of urban legends independent of the historical celebration. The cleansing rituals of Orthodox Judaism were originally good public health in a land with little water; now these customs signify identification as an Orthodox Jew. Compare this to brushing your teeth, also transmitted within a group, which remains a practical hygiene and health issue and does not rise to the level of a group-defining tradition. For tradition is initially remembered behavior. Once it loses its practical purpose, there is no reason for further transmission unless it has been imbued with meaning beyond the initial practicality of the action. This meaning is at the core of folkloristics, the study of folklore.
With an increasingly theoretical sophistication of the social sciences, it has become evident that folklore is a naturally occurring and necessary component of any social group, it is indeed all around us. It does not have to be old or antiquated. It continues to be created, transmitted and in any group is used to differentiate between “us” and “them”.
POLTERGEISTS by Nandor Fodor
|Born||13 May 1895
|Died||17 May 1964 (aged 69)
|Organization||National Laboratory of Psychical Research
Society for Psychical Research
The Ghost Club
Fodor was born in Beregszász, Hungary. He received a doctorate in law from the Royal Hungarian University of Science in Budapest. He moved to New York to work as a journalist and to Britain in 1929 where he worked for a newspaper company.
Fodor was one of the leading authorities on poltergeists, haunting and paranormal phenomena usually associated with mediumship. Fodor, who was at one time Sigmund Freud‘s associate, wrote on subjects like prenatal development and dream interpretation, but is credited mostly for his magnum opus, Encyclopedia of Psychic Science, first published in 1934.Fodor was the London correspondent for the American Society for Psychical Research (1935-1939).He worked as an editor for the Psychoanalytic Review and was a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.
Fodor in the 1930s embraced paranormal phenomena but by the 1940s took a break from his previous work and advocated a psychoanalytic approach to psychic phenomena. He published skeptical newspaper articles on mediumship, which caused an opposition from spiritualists.
Among the subjects he closely studied was the case of Gef the talking mongoose.
Fodor pioneered the theory that poltergeists are external manifestations of conflicts within the subconscious mind rather than autonomous entities with minds of their own. He proposed that poltergeist disturbances are caused by human agents suffering from some form of emotional stress or tension and compared reports of poltergeist activity to hysterical conversion symptoms resulting from emotional tension of the subject.
In 1938, Fodor investigated the Thornton Heath poltergeist case that involved Mrs. Forbes. According to Rosemary Guiley “Fodor asserted that the psychosis was an episodic mental disturbance of schizophrenic character, and that Mrs. Forbes’ unconscious mind was responsible for the activities finally determined to be fraudulent. Fodor eventually identified the cause as sexual trauma that had occurred in Mrs. Forbes’s childhood, and had been repressed.” Because he was skeptical of the case, Fodor was heavily criticized by spiritualists and was dismissed from his post at the International Institute for Psychical Research. The spiritualist Arthur Findlay, the founder of institute did not approve of his research and resigned. Fodor was attacked in the Spiritualist newspaper, Psychic News which he sued for libel.
Fodor published two scientific papers on poltergeist phenomena, The Psychoanalytic Approach to the Problems of Occultism (1945) and The Poltergeist, Psychoanalyzed (1948). “The poltergeist is not a ghost. It is a bundle of projected repressions,” he stated. With the psychical researcher Hereward Carrington Fodor co-authored Haunted People: Story of the Poltergeist down the Centuries (1951), the book which received positive reviews.
The psychologist Robert Baker and the skeptical investigator Joe Nickell wrote in most cases Fodor discovered that ghosts are “pure inventions of the hauntee’s subconscious” and praised Fodor’s book The Haunted Mind as vastly entertaining. However, Fodor’s belief that some poltergeist phenomena could be explained by psychokinesis has drawn criticism. Henry Gordon has stated that parapsychologists such as Fodor and William G. Roll took a speculative approach to the poltergeist subject, ignoring the rational explanation of deception in favour for a belief in the paranormal.