Sixteenth Century Poltergeists: A British Poltergeist

To wrap up our trio of sixteenth-century poltergeists, we turn to North Aston, in the county of Oxford in 1591. The Lee family, of no previous misdeeds of note, is shocked to suddenly find stones appearing and falling within their house! This represents one of the earliest cases of object teleportation (objects moving through solid walls or ceilings) on record. Stones, of course, were also thrown around the house.

These events occurred long enough that the Lees apparently moved in with the local Vicar and abandoned the house. As with our previous cases, various townsfolk would visit the location, and ask questions or favors of the spirit, of which it would sometimes comply. The poltergeist resorted to other common behaviors, such as removing bed sheets, making footsteps, and opening windows and doors.

Unlike the other two cases, this poltergeist occurrence stopped on its own. No Vicar or Priest interceded on behalf of the house. Yet, before the spirit ceased the local Sherrif reported seeing drops of blood appear on the table. Other townsfolk reported apparitions of disfigured or distorted dogs in the house.

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Gauld, A., & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Eusapia Palladino: Rascal Medium

Although not as famous as D.D. Home, Eusapia Palladino was certainly more controversial as a medium. Born in 1854, Eusapia came from a common family. Unlike D.D. Home, she was not formally educated and had a very mischievous air about her. Also unlike Home, Eusapia was not above trickery and was caught in fraud in several instances. As a result, her mediumistic feats were often ignored or spurned by experts and investigators.

However, Braude makes the case that a thorough investigation of Palladino shows several instances of genuine anomalous phenomena under very stringent conditions. Later controlled investigations of Palladino appeared to produce paranormal phenomena with no investigated instances of trickery.

 

 

Paladino despite thorough searching, hands and feet being held, and immediate investigation of her phenomena; a. levitated furniture and tables, b. produced human feeling hands through a curtain, c. herself floated, and d. could untie knots without touching the fabric or rope. Was this trickery or genuine phenomena? Braude suggests that Paladino was genuine in many cases, but would engage in trickery if she could get away with it, or was treated rudely by others.

My question to you, thoughtful readers, is this. Is one sign of trickery enough to dismiss all other paranormal claims? Comments welcome.

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference

Braude S. (1997). The limits of influence. Psychokinesis and the philosophy of science. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

Sixteenth Century Ghosts: Mud Biting Poltergiests

In our second account of sixteenth-century documented poltergeists, we find ourselves in Erfurt, 1581 (now East Germany). This account focuses on a local farmer in the area, who was awoken one night with his family to a noise so great they thought they were being robbed! Both that night and the next, when they invited friends and relatives to join them, they were assaulted with random lumps of clay and mud?

Interestingly, the accounts speak of the family purposefully bringing into the house a lump of mud. The family watched in awe as bites would appear on the mud, and ultimately the mud was thrown at them! The poltergeist then graduated to stones, which according to accounts weighed between 1/2 to ten pounds. One man had his big toe split from a thrown stone.

 

 

The documentation of this case was due in part to many spectators from a local market walking by the house and directly witnessing objects being thrown about. The local priest and others ultimately performed two exorcisms on the house, but phenomena persisted in the home for several months after. It was ultimately a third and elaborate (several day) exorcism that finally coincided with the end of the disturbances.

 
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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

 

Reference:

Gauld, A., & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

 

ISRAE and Paranormal Facts

Hello Readers.

We hope that you are enjoying our research summaries. We here at the institute are trying to make Paranormal Facts enjoyable summaries of hard to get to literature.

We just wanted to send a quick reminder that we at the Institute can use your help and support. Our desire to spread legitimate resources for paranormal experiences only happens with your kind and generous donations. If you’re a fan of the paranormal and want to see more research done, then we hope you will consider us as a good place for your generosity.

We’re still working on the finishing touches for our free parapsychology class. But rest assured that we should have the class up and running in the next 60 days. We hope you’ll find the time to take advantage of the course.

Also, we should also have the Paranormal Experience Registry up and running within the end of the month. If you have paranormal experiences to share, we could use your time and experience. Hopefully, the PER will end up being one of the largest datasets for social scientists to further understand paranormal experiences.

In closing, we hope you’ll keep reading, and stay involved. Tell your friends about us. Share Paranormal Facts with others. We’re pretty sure you won’t find what were doing anywhere else.

Safe and Happy Days,

Brian

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The Atlantic Monthly Case of 1868

The year was 1868, and Mr. H.A. Willis was a firm opponent of spiritualism; a skeptic of strong convictions. It was his accounts of Mary Carrick and the phenomena that surrounded her that made this case somewhat well known. Ms. Carrick, an Irish immigrant in Boston, Massachusets became distressed over various bells in the house ringing when she was present.

 

Subsequently, raps and knocks started occurring in the house, following Ms. Carrick from room to room. Such was her state that she would be described in modern times as having a nervous breakdown. Terrified of being sent away, Ms. Carrick would be present while chairs turned, crockery broke, and tables were lifted and moved. Mr. Willis remained unable to account for any of these events.

 

While the occurrences stopped on their own, Mr. Willis, interestingly enough, believed that the disturbances were electrical in origin (Side Note: Modern parapsychology has numerous studies associating electromagnetic fields with both psychic and haunting phenomena). He even went so far as to electrically insulate Ms. Carrick’s bed. by using glass underneath the bedposts. The knocks after that time ceased. Coincidence?

 
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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

 

Reference:

Gauld, A., & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

Sixteenth Century Poltergeists: Nuns Haunting Nuns?

Although certainly not as detailed or researched as modern paranormal investigations, older and detailed accounts of hauntings do exist. Believe it or not, some of them contain detailed information in the forms of diaries, letters, and other documents. Such are some of the cases investigated by Gauld and Cornell in their classic text. We present here the first of three cases.

 

 

Enter if you will the case of the Abby of St. Pierre in 1525. It all begins with a nun being awoken to feeling the sign of the cross on her forehead and a kiss. Upon questioning, it is believed that her encounter was the ghost of a previous nun (Alis) who had run amok from her vows and sold relics to move to the city, where she subsequently died from poverty and disease. According to the nuns, Alis identified herself to the nuns of the abbey using raps and knocks to communicate.

After being instructed by the spirit to find her body, a priest was called in for consultation and many rituals performed. Throughout the process, knocks and raps would resound from various locations in response to the priest and nuns questions. The whole event culminated in the spirit telling the nuns that her 33-year penance in purgatory had been reduced to 33 days in response to the prayers of forgiveness on Alis’s behalf.

I suppose in this case consecrated ground didn’t make much of a difference.

 
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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference:

Gauld, A., & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

 

The Amazing D.D. Home

Probably one of the most famous mediums of his time, the phenomena produced by D.D. Home is argued over to this day. Born in 1833, Home’s phenomena produced during seances drew international attention, and multiple scientists and skeptics. Despite suffering from poor health, Home produced astonishing paranormal phenomena in the late 19th century for 25 years and was never successfully debunked.

Steven Braude, an expert on the historical documentation of Home, catalogs multiple types of paranormal phenomena that strain the imagination of the skeptic. Many of these phenomena were tested by scientists of the time, but to no avail as to how the phenomena were produced. Braude even produces reprints of skeptics from the Society of Psychical Research, who are agog in their attempt to reconcile the phenomena Home produced with their own beliefs.

So, what did Home purportedly produce? Under well-lighted conditions, and often skeptical investigation, Home was reported to; a. Create raps and knocking sounds from all areas of the room, b. Levitate entire wooden tables with people on them, while others investigated under the table, c. Move entire pianos across rooms, d. Play an accordion without touching it, and others witnessed floating instruments playing music., and e. Produce complete life like hands that would touch people and then dissolve.

This list is by no means complete, but please feel free to reference the below text, which is an in-depth read of this and other mediums historical documentation. I highly recommend it.

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

Reference

Braude S. (1997). The limits of influence. Psychokinesis and the philosophy of science. Lanham, Maryland: University Press of America.

 

A Responsive Rapping Poltergeist

Barrie Colvin investigated a supposed poltergeist in Andover, Hampshire, UK in the late 70’s. This particular poltergeist was most known for its rapping (AKA knocking) in response to questions. Colvin delayed publication of this case in respect to the people dealing with the strange behaviors within their residence. The case was investigated between April and June in 1974.

 

Events centered around the Andrews family, which included both parents and six children, and appeared to focus on two teenage girls, Theresa and Maria. The communications started with raps on the wall that were heard on Good Friday by both girls. Shortly thereafter, a code system was developed. The poltergeist would spell sentences for the family members by using a knock code system (AKA, 1 knock for a, 2 knocks for b,…). The entity identified itself as Eric,

Colvin engaged in several visits to the home, and in all instances, was unable to debunk the knocking or responses to questions that Eric provided. Although many of the spirits responses were detailed, the entity could not successfully answer many personal questions about itself. However, tests were conducted and the entity could correctly answer in knocks randomly selected cards with numbers printed on them, and in some cases would successfully knock out three full sentences of information. The entity’s most haunting quote, “I am here to rest and stop my bones from rotting” (Colvin, 2008, p. 14).

 

 
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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

 

Reference: Colvin, B. (2008). The andover case: A responsive rapping poltergeist. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 72, 1-20.

Are Psychic Experiences Becoming More Common?

In 2011, Erlendur Haraldsson compared two broad surveys of psychic experiences between 1974 and 2006. Its results are somewhat striking. Despite the fact that much more of the population in Iceland had attained college degrees (6% in 1974, and 36% in 2006), more people appear to be reporting paranormal experiences.

 

 

Results in comparing these two surveys showed that men are reporting more psychic experiences than previous times (59% in 74 versus 70% in 06) and the same trend was found for women (71% in 74 versus 81% in 06).  The author notes that this may be a “Harry Potter” effect, where more people interpret their experiences as psychic than they did before due to television and movies.

In a closing note of the study, women were reported to be more likely to have an apparition experience of a deceased person than men, although the difference was small. Approximately the same amount of people still believed in Elves, spell spots, and “followers”. Finally, Icelandic data roughly matched the findings of other countries, suggesting that belief in the paranormal has in no way decreased over time.

 

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Submitted by: Brian Laythe

 

Reference: Haraldsson, E. (2011). Psychic experiences a third of a century apart: Two representative surveys in Iceland with an international comparison. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 75, 76-90.

How Do People See Auras?

 

ghost-518322__180Recent work by Carlos Alvarado summarizes several first-hand accounts of people who have seen auras. Although not commonly known, the experience of seeing an aura around a person has come in a variety of forms, both in modern accounts and throughout historical accounts. Sadly, little research work has been done on these types of paranormal experiences.

 

tarantula-nebula-1245253__340Alvarado has separated the aura experience into several categories. Many people have reported halos around the head. Others report a powerful glow that surrounds either the living or the dead. Some people experience flashes or glimmers; a series of flashes or bursts of light that are not constant. Yet other people have reported seeing beams of light coming out of people. Finally, some people report mists or cloud like energy surrounding people as an aura.

 

sunrise-1620381__340What should be evident from the case reports Alvarado collected is that sensitives and regular people often perceive auras in many different ways. There seems to be clusters of experiences that are similar, but a variety in the way people experience auras. If you happen to be one of these people, have no fear if others who report seeing auras share a different experience.

 

 

Submitted by: Brian Laythe

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Reference

Alverado, C. (2016). Research Note: The variety of aura experiences. Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 80, 223-229.