“You stay around here, you get hit by a lot of stuff.”
—Mrs. Charles Daughtery, to a police officer who had been struck in the leg by a flying “poltergeist object” in her home in
It’s quite abnormal for the paranormal to come to investigators, and yet that is what happened in the fall of 2007 in
According to Constable Batuksinh Darbar, an unseen force terrorized the police station for more than a month, overturning furniture, moving chairs, and even assaulting police officers. “It pushed police officials off tables and chairs,” Darbar said. “Some police officials even complained of chest pain in the middle of the night. They felt as if someone had jumped on their chests. Then there were others who felt someone was strangling them.”1
Usually confident and skeptical police were even timid about working inside the station, where the poltergeist was said to wreak most of its havoc. “Almost all the cops working in the night shift noticed strange activity inside the police station. We were all so scared that we decided to park ourselves near the entrance after sundown,” Darbar said. Some of the officers prayed to Meldi Mata, a Hindu goddess, when entering the station.2
Strangely, the poltergeist seemed to target police officers sitting on tables and chairs.
A team of paranormal investigators did some limited investigating and theorized that it was the work of a female poltergeist, perhaps the ghost of a girl who had died while working in a mill that had been on the site of the police station. A religious tantric, similar to an exorcist, was summoned to perform some rituals at the station, and the poltergeist activity gradually ceased. But questions remained whether the genesis was really a spirit related to someone in the building or an elaborate prank.
—Police testifying to invisible ghosts and poltergeists? Afraid of poltergeists? What is going on here? Actually, although this story is unusual, it is not unheard of. In fact, at least 51 police officers around the world—in 17 cases since 1952—claim to have seen poltergeist activity up close. More than a dozen of them were assaulted by what they said was a poltergeist, butnone were seriously injured, and no one was charged. One officer even pulled a gun on an “unseen force.” Although there is no scientific proof that poltergeists exist, the eyewitness accounts of these officers, taken from published reports and from interviews I conducted, seem compelling. Gathering scientific proof is difficult because of the fleeting nature of poltergeists’ alleged existence—by the time a family suspects that they may have something paranormal on their hands, it is often too late for anyone to study it, or the family may suppress it for fear of appearing crazy.
But if we go simply by eyewitness accounts of first-line responders, the police officers, even some skeptics may start to suspect there is something paranormal at work here; at least something that science cannot digest. Generally, police tend to be solid witnesses, trained and experienced in focusing when something is happening fast. As witnesses, they should be more accurate than the average person because they are trained to be observant, tend to be skeptical, and are sometimes cynical when a trickster is potentially at work. And if they are wrong about such a contentious subject, they have much to lose in credibility among their peers as well as the general public.
Having been a police reporter for daily newspapers for 13 years, I tend to listen when police officers speak. I think I know how to read them and how to interpret what they say. In this book, we have at least 51 cops who believe they saw—and had the courage to report to their superiors—what they believed to be poltergeist, or at least unexplained activity, right in front of their eyes.
Examples to be fully examined later this book include:
· In a middle-class home on
· In a Miami warehouse in 1967, police officers, newspaper reporters, television crews, and insurance agents claimed they saw cowbells, ashtrays, key chains, and rubber daggers fly or fall off shelves, sometimes at unusual angles, and always while a 19-year-old shipping clerk was nearby.
· An entire shift of police officers said they believed in poltergeists after watching furniture move strangely around an 11-year-old boy in his apartment in 1970 in St. Catharines, Ontario.
· In 1974 in the home of a factory worker in
· In a house in
· Also in
· In the
As well as police officers, teachers, doctors, and parapsychologists are often good witnesses. Examples of these that will be studied later on in this book include:
· At her home in
· Late in the 19th century in
· There are numerous accounts of parapsychologists claiming to see poltergeist activity. Dr. William Roll, then at Duke University, and psychology student/paranormal researcher John P. Stump say they both saw amazing occurrences at a home in Olive Hill, Kentucky, in 1968, while in the presence of a 12-year-old boy.
Of course, most scientists will not accept eyewitness accounts or anecdotal evidence as proof that poltergeists exist. Why should they? People sometimes can be fooled, or can hallucinate.
Although it is hard to prove that poltergeists are part of our universe, a respected scientist, Professor Robert Jahn, Dean Emeritus of the
One piece of evidence that poltergeists may exist is the fact that cases around the world share many common features (such as moving objects, rappings, and youthful agents), despite the fact that they are reported independently of each other.
The Poltergeist Phenomenon by Michael Clarkson has just released into stores this week. Look for a copy at your favorite bookstore.