The term, compounded from the German poltern, to knock', and geist, spirit', is the apparent manifestation of an imperceptible but noisy, disruptive or destructive entity.
It could be said that Poltergeists are a variety of invisible entities which manifest in an unruly and disturbing manner, often involving unexplained noises, the moving or throwing of objects, vile smells, strange shrieks, as well as such curious phenomena as apports.
While some occurrences may appear to involve actual spirits or ghosts, the disturbances may also derive from subconscious psychokinesis on the part of an individual.
Poltergeist phenomena have been reported around the world throughout history. Before the 19th century, these occurrences were blamed on the Devil, demons and witches.
In the 1930s the psychologist and psychic researcher Nandor Fodor suggested the theory that poltergeist disturbances were caused not by spirits but by individuals suffering intense repressed anger, sexual frustration, and hostility.
This psychological dysfunction theory has been supported by other research indicating that in a significant number of reported disturbances, the agent was a child or teenager possibly unconsciously unleashing hostility without fear of punishment.
Psychological profiles of agents show that mental and emotional stress, personality disorders, phobias, obsessive behavior and schizophrenia are linked to supposed poltergeist phenomena, and in some cases psychotherapy has eliminated the poltergeist disturbances.
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Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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