Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"Angry Ghosts" from Edcon Publishing

Something you will read about: "poltergeist", a spirit or ghost that makes its presence known by tapping, slamming doors or making other noises which are unexplainable.

Do ghosts really exist - or are they products and extensions of the imagination?

Ginnie Camp, an intelligent and calm eleven year-old girl, was visiting her aunt and uncle in Scotland one autumn. On a dreary evening in late November she became involved in some very disturbing events. Ginnie was in bed, but not yet asleep, when a series of loud knocks echoed through her bedroom. The rest of the family heard them and rushed into the room to see what was happening. However, no one could determine the cause of the knocking. Ginnie's aunt telephoned the next door neighbors and the minister of the church.

The minister hurried over and while he waited on the porch for someone to let him into the house, he heard the mysterious knocking. Upstairs he found everyone listening fearfully to the strange sounds. They seemed to be coming from the head of Ginnie's bed. The minister searched carefully and disproved the idea that someone in the room was secretly causing the knocking.

Then, without warning, a linen chest, which weighed over fifty pounds, dislodged itself from its place in the corner, slowly rose two inches in the air and floated several feet forward. The minister put his hand on the floating chest and felt that it was vibrating gently. Quietly, it settled back down to the floor. To add to this hectic scene, the knockings turned into sawing and scraping sounds.

Events like these went on each night for a week in Ginnie's bedroom. Sometimes a pillow or the blanket dislodged itself from its usual place and moved around without anyone touching it. Two local doctors visited the room with a tape recorder and recorded the various disturbing sounds, but they, too, could not explain what caused them. But this wasn't the end of the hectic experience for Ginnie. One afternoon, after she had returned to school, the teacher happened to glance up from her desk and was shocked to see an empty desk right behind Ginnie rise up a few Inches and move out of place. The teacher inspected the desk with great care and found no strings, wires or ropes attached which could have caused it to move.

The following day, Ginnie was standing next to the teacher's desk getting help with an arithmetic problem, when one end of the desk lifted up and slowly spun halfway around, vibrating gently as it turned. By the end of another week, Ginnie's strange spiritual experiences stopped completely.

What sort of events was poor Ginnie going through? She experienced what is known as a Poltergeist, a German word which means noisy ghost. People have known about poltergeists for hundreds of years. Usually a poltergeist involves loud noises, floating objects, objects thrown hard enough to break on impact and sometimes objects exploding for no reason. Normally poltergeists don't last very long, a few days or at the most a few weeks. Many times they center around persons, usually young, from the ages of nine to thirty.

Poltergeists have the reputation of being humorous, spiritual beings similar to elves, goblins and fairies. As in Ginnie's case, they are mostly loud and annoying. In some cases, however, they aren't a bit funny, but are "angry" and destructive.

For instance, in a German city, the owner of a china shop hired a young man to work for him. Very shortly after, cups, saucers, and dishes began mysteriously shattering while still on the shelves. Many hundreds of dollars worth of china broke before one investigator figured that a poltergeist was related to the young worker. When the young man changed jobs, the dishes on the shelves stopped breaking. Had the young man broken them while no one was watching? The investigator disproved this by keeping a close watch on the youth all the time.

There was also the case of Maryann, a young girl of nineteen, who worked in a lawyer's office but didn't like her job at all. As if this weren't enough to upset her, her boyfriend broke off their engagement for a very odd reason. Eight times in a row they had gone on dates to the bowling alley and each time they hadn't bowled because Maryann's presence fouled up the automatic pinsetters so much that they wouldn't operate. Whenever Maryann left the alley, the pinsetters worked fine.

After the broken engagement, Maryann's apparent impact on electricity started to affect the lights in the lawyer's office. They shorted out or blinked on and off without any apparent reason. When the repairmen came, they couldn't understand why there was such a tremendous load on the wires. They installed an extra generator in the office building but even that didn't solve the problem. At the same time,the telephones began registering calls that no one had ever made.

A professor from a German university came to investigate and he brought a TV camera and recorder. He was able to videotape a heavy painting on the wall which kept turning back and forth. Just as at the bowling alley, everything returned to normal whenever Maryann wasn't in the office.

In other incidents where poltergeists were involved, houses burst into flames or started shooting out jets of water, and the repairmen couldn't find anything wrong with the electric wires or the water pipes.

For centuries, interested investigators of spiritual events have tried to explain what causes these poltergeists. Of course, different investigators have arrived at different conclusions.
There are some knowledgeable investigators who do not believe in any such things as ghosts, spirits or poltergeists. They claim that all such things are frauds or magical tricks performed by the persons involved. It is contrary to common logic, they say, for spirits without bodies to pick up objects and throw them around or to create any kind of noise.

Other investigators, who have personally witnessed poltergeists and have seen floating objects and heard the noises, claim that they do indeed exist. Some of the poltergeists, they admit, could be caused by fraud or tricks but not all of them. These investigators do not agree among themselves on what causes poltergeists. Some of these believers claim that the poltergeists are caused by dead spirits. These spirits are angry because they are trapped here on the earth for some reason and they show their anger by creating noises, throwing things and even interfering with electricity. These believers also state that the angry spirits can often be stopped by ministers performing certain religious ceremonies.

The majority of the believing investigators argue that the idea that spirits cause poltergeists was disproved long ago. This group feels that the answer lies in the human mind itself. Even with all the great things that modern science has achieved, it has yet to understand the full force of the human mind. Could some minds have an impact on things they come in contact with? These investigators think that some angry or upset people, without realizing it, might be able to interfere with electricity or move objects. Exactly how they do this, no one is sure. For now, poltergeists are mysteries without final solutions. Investigators in areas of spiritual phenomena are dealing objectively with the new discoveries, hoping someday to solve the mystery of poltergeists and put them to rest forever.

Comprehension Check

1. The unusual events occurred in Ginnie's ________
a. bedroom.
b. living room.
c. backyard.
d. playroom.

2. Ginnie's aunt called _______
a. the police and fire departments.
b. the neighbors and the minister.
c. the police and the neighbors.
d. her lawyer and the neighbors.

3. According to this selection, Ginnie _______
a. was a strange person.
b. believed in ghosts.
c. liked mysterious things.
d. was a victim of unexplainable events.

4. The second puzzling thing to happen to Ginnie was that _______
a. she heard mysterious noises.
b. a desk spun around.
c. a linen chest dislodged itself.
d. pillows moved by themselves.

5. The author's purpose for writing this story was to _______
a. show us that some people are truly strange.
b. add a vocabulary word to our knowledge.
c. tell about several unusual occurrences.
d. prove ghosts really do exist in our world.

6. According to the author, poltergeists ________
a. are generally friendly, although unusual.
b. are helpful to people and our society.
c. are dangerous and vicious.
d. may center around ordinary people.

7. Maryann's boyfriend broke their engagement because ______
a. she wanted to become a lawyer.
b. she tried to frighten him.
c. strange things happened when she was around.
d. Maryann was a better bowler.

8. When people with poltergeists leave a room, _______
a. things turn sideways.
b. things go back to normal.
c. strange noises occur.
d. things break down.

9. Another name for this selection could be _______
a. "The History of Ghosts."
b. "Poltergeists Around Us."
c. "Interesting Facts About Germany."
d. "Why Do Poltergeists Annoy People?"

10. This selection is mainly about _____
a. searching for new ideas.
b. understanding facts.
c. puzzling events.
d. efforts of investigators.

Poltergeist activity recorded on camera:

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