Veteran paranormal researcher John Fraser’s latest book Poltergeist! explores this most controversial type of hauntings. Guest writer BETH DARLINGTON reviews the book.
“In this book, Fraser examines past and present research into poltergeist phenomena, looking at the evidence so far and whether the phenomena can really be proven.”
Poltergeists! is a book I found hard to put down. John Fraser certainly writes for the level of paranormal enthusiasts who have had some experience. But the way it’s written means many would also be able to pick it up and gain so much.
The first thing that took me about this book was the suggestion of anomalistic psychology being bias. I, personally in my initial reading of this style of research, have never seen it as biased. I have always been drawn to its more plausible approach to possible paranormal phenomena before contemplating a paranormal answer. But Fraser makes a great point in the book by saying that it’s “making the assumption that ‘ghost-like’ experiences are likely to have psychological explanations” means you are already viewing a situation with a conclusion in mind. Which doesn’t make for a level-headed paranormal investigator at all.
As you are taken through Fraser’s encounters and experiences. as well as those of others he’s worked along side with, he raises some brilliant points about paranormal experiences for those who’ve witnesses possible poltergeist activity.
Such as one example being, legal cases in courts of law traditionally use witness testimonies to gradually build a case. But when it comes to witnesses of possible paranormal phenomena, why aren’t these people treated the same way (apart from the possible heavy penalty of an impending court ruling)? Why isn’t the information from these witness “testimonies” substantial enough?
Investigating the phenomena
John Fraser goes on to mention many well-known and lesser-known poltergeist cases. I do like his approach to the difficulty of investigating such phenomena too. Poltergeists are rare at best and often phenomena may appear to be active for a few weeks… maybe months at best. By the time the right people are contacted and “ready on the scene” it can very well have stopped or the phenomena so weak, it’s hard to find any type of evidence.
And yet he gives some great examples to the possibility of what common poltergeist phenomena could be.
Another point that Fraser raises is that poltergeist activity is often thought to be centred around a person. I personally have felt that is the case with many experiences. But in this book, he gives that point a good nudge to suggest maybe that it isn’t and could potentially be about a location and why that could be the case.
Could poltergeists be hidden under different tales of folklore? Would that even be possible and what tales of the past could they be? Did primitive superstition explain what could have actually been poltergeist phenomena with tales of folklore? Is it at all possible that the types of phenomena which may have been what western society determines as poltergeists today be something folklore explained hundreds of years ago.
Do we all have the possible ability for poltergeist phenomena?
Was poltergeist phenomena always there? In human primitive years there was the need to survive, could the phenomena have been around thousands of years ago in aid of this?
As Fraser speculates, could this possible “ancient power” been dulled with consciousness and oncoming civilisation. In one study of brain patters in Canada with a particular individual displaying possible poltergeist phenomena, it appeared to be in the area of the brain considered the oldest part. Could it really be considered a gift if it was readily available thousands of years ago?
Is there a message in the phenomena?
Fraser broaches on the subject from time to time about “why would ‘spirit’ act like this?” If an entity was to be so active yet spontaneous, what is the message? Is there one at all? And are we either interpreting it wrongly. I have often thought of this very questioning while investigating with a particular medium years ago. What is the message in poltergeist activity? And why?
And what about the frauds?
Fraser also looks at the subject of faking since its been weaved all through many paranormal subjects with poltergeists being one of them. Elements of famous cases such as the Amityville Horror house and the Enfield Poltergeist have often raised even some of the basic inconsistencies from witness testimonies to the facts at the time (or is it a case of just being a “misinterpretation of paranormal events”).
Fraser delves into other topics such as JJOTS (Just One Of Those Things) being a possible type of poltergeist phenomena as well as PK (Psychokinesis). I was also impressed that he devotes a whole chapter on ethics and his thoughts on how to investigate this spontaneous phenomenon.
Fraser’s fabulous dry humour is sprinkled all through the book. His investigative mind often pulls away the facts from witness testimony – which appears to be a strong skill Fraser has and a great example of how any paranormal investigators mind should work.
I thoroughly liked Fraser’s interpretation of paranormal investigating. It’s like fishing – you are there for the experience. If you catch something great, if not, then that’s just the way it is.
Fraser clearly raises some great points in this book that can’t be ignored. It will challenge you to look at the cause of poltergeist activity from all different area’s worth exploring. And hopefully start your own research into this type of intense phenomena.
A limited number of advanced copies are available for sale (and hopefully review) by emailing John Fraser at [email protected] – applicable to UK-based ‘Spooky Isles’ readers only.