• SUPPORT THE SHOW AND ENJOY A PREMIUM PARACAST EXPERIENCE! Welcome to The Paracast+! For a low subscription fee, you will receive access to an ad-free version of The Paracast, the exclusive After The Paracast podcast, featuring color commentary, exclusive interviews, plus show transcripts, the new Paracast+ Video Channel, Classic Episodes and Special Features categories! We now offer lifetime memberships! You can subscribe via this direct link:
    https://www.theparacast.com/plus/

    The Official Paracast Store is back! Check out our latest lineup of customized stuff at: The Official Paracast Store!

    Subscribe to The Paracast Newsletter!

Lindley Street Poltergeist

Merchandise that’s just out of this world!

Wade

FeralNormal master
[QUOTE="Polterwurst, post: 204480, member:]In the Lindley Street case, the parents said that events would occur when the girl wasn't even in the house. And it's very obvious that they were not very keen to have their things rearranged, smashed and broken and that they suffered very much from it.
As for the "focus person", the girl seems to have been quite violently attacked herself. I don't see how she would want that to happen.

....and maybe we should move this to a more fitting thread. :oops:[/QUOTE]

At the risk of getting all psychological about it...because I'm certainly not qualified to psychoanalize anyone...i thought that that this theory of potential self abuse was a staple of poltergeist events.

TBH Polter, I don't know a lot about the Lindley Street case. I'll have to look into it because now I'm curious about the relationship between the parents and the girl as far as there being any unsolved family issues, any recommendations on your part are welcome. i'm curious what these possessions that you mentioned consisted of. In other words were the girl's possessions molested or the parents or both and I wonder if the girl would be aware of her parents attachment to them.

I remember when I was a young pre-ad punk and I was in a conflict with my parents for some "unjust":( reason. My stuffed toys and later on G.I. Joes would suffer the brunt of my wrath. I don't recall taking out any of my frustrations on my parents things but I probably would of done so if I thought I could get away with it but I'm sure it would have resulted in a well deserved ass kicking.

It was my understanding that a common theme in these cases are that the victims are troubled and usually have a low esteem of themselves and thus could bring the poltergeist events on themselves, there's certainly precedence for that in day to day life, (i mean self-hate/abuse) toss that aspect in with a little bit of unharnessed PK and you have a potential poltergeist event.

As far as events happening when the initial victim is around, could this not be latent energy ?
 
Last edited:

Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
... I'm currently half way through the book The World's Most Haunted House by Bill Hall. If his extremely well-documented account is to be believed, there is no way the girl Maria could have been responsible for all of the weird poltergeist events witnessed by many police, firemen, family friends and investigators. I am planning on contacting Hall about being on the show—possibly w/ Paul Eno, who also investigated the 1974-75 case.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
I have listened to a few of Paul ' s appearances here and there. If i recall his feelings are that these attacks are being perpetrated by sentient agenda driven entities he calls parasites (almost djinn like apparently) that feeds off our anguish, a theme that is fairly common.

I remember one case he mentioned that he was involved in regarded a parasite that was wearing...wait for it...a checked/plaid shirt.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
And while I don't want to derail this thread into a guest suggestion I would very much enjoy hearing Paul on the show again. I think he's one of the most even tempered pragmatic guests you guys have had on
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
At the risk of getting all psychological about it...because I'm certainly not qualified to psychoanalize anyone...i thought that that this theory of potential self abuse was a staple of poltergeist events.

[...]

It was my understanding that a common theme in these cases are that the victims are troubled and usually have a low esteem of themselves and thus could bring the poltergeist events on themselves, there's certainly precedence for that in day to day life, (i mean self-hate/abuse) toss that aspect in with a little bit of unharnessed PK and you have a potential poltergeist event.

As far as events happening when the initial victim is around, could this not be latent energy ?
I guess, the word "focus person" kind of implies that not only do these persons (often but not always adolescent kids) have to be around for the events to happen, but that the "force", wherever it comes from, is directed at them. But in some of the cases I've read about (mainly in William Roll's book "The Poltergeist") there don't seem to have been any "attacks" on the focus person. In the most (in)famous Poltergeist case here in Germany, for example, the "Rosenheim case", the "focus person" Annemarie was never attacked either, as far as I know.

"Poltergeist agent" is probably misleading, too, because it's not really proven that these persons actively (subconsciously) cause the events.

Although most parapsychologists who believe that Poltergeists cases are real and not all fraudulent (there are ultra-sceptic parapsychologists, too), are of the opinion that it might be the focus person or Poltergeist agent doing it with psychokinesis, to objects, to other people or even to themselves, this is still nothing but a theory which has its opponents even among the parapsychologists themselves. The main other theory being that it's discarnate consciousness (ghosts).

As always, everyone involved in the study of these things has his pet theory. The Lindley Street is a good example: the Warrens of course said "demons", Paul Eno, starting out from that same assumption, today has his "multiverse parasites", parapsychologists have RSPK or ghosts. The only agreement among the researchers is about what it could not have been: a hoax.

There is a short mention that some psychics said that it was the deceased son who was causing the events, but the parents obviously didn't want to hear that (although there is one sentence in the book, allegedly uttered by the mother when she was angry at Marcia, which seems to indicate that she was thinking about it). Paul Eno doesn't consider that a possibility (he thinks he has been in contact with something very physical, and it wasn't even alone) and Bill Hall obviously doesn't either, because it' not discussed in the book.

I'll have to look into it because now I'm curious about the relationship between the parents and the girl as far as there being any unsolved family issues, any recommendations on your part are welcome.
You should read The World's Most Haunted House by Bill Hall for the details of the case. It's really comprehensive and has appendices with the original statements of any witnesses and researchers.

The main thing to know, though, is that the child in question, Marcia, was adopted. Although Hall writes (probably citing statements of the parents and neighbours) that she was happy and content to be with her foster parents, I have the feeling that there was some tension going on. She is described as a lonely child, with no friends. The mother, who had lost a son before, was overprotective and seems to have watched her every step. And the house they lived in was quite small, so there probably wasn't much space for privacy.

Sadly, the girl left her foster parents as soon as she turned 18, and apparently never returned. Although at the time of the events, she seems to have enjoyed the attention of the policemen etc., she later obviously hated it if people connected her to the case, so that may have been her main reason for going away. The parents had tried to sell the house and move, but no one would buy it, so they stayed and I guess she just couldn't stand to live there and be "the Poltergeist girl" any more. There doesn't seem to have been bad feelings and resentment before the Poltergeist events, though, rather on the contrary.

i'm curious what these possessions that you mentioned consisted of. In other words were the girl's possessions molested or the parents or both and I wonder if the girl would be aware of her parents attachment to them
As far as I know from reading the book, it was mainly the parent's (or the family's) things that got moved, thrown, levitated or broken, only occasionally a bureau or desk in the girl's possession is mentioned (no toys as far as I remember). Other than that, tables, chairs, pictures, crosses, dishes, clothing, TVs and fridges etc. got the brunt of the activity. A chair seems to have levitated and turned around with Marcia in it, clothes got thrown onto her, a rod fell on her head, and she got slammed into a wall. There seem to have been no attacks on other people, if I remember correctly.

Btw., the TV sets which got thrown over and moved quite a lot are somewhat of an argument against the "child hoaxed it all" theory. Why would a child endanger and possibly destroy the main means of distraction in such a small and otherwise not very exciting household?

... I'm currently half way through the book The World's Most Haunted House by Bill Hall. If his extremely well-documented account is to be believed, there is no way the girl Maria could have been responsible for all of the weird poltergeist events witnessed by many police, firemen, family friends and investigators. I am planning on contacting Hall about being on the show—possibly w/ Paul Eno, who also investigated the 1974-75 case.
That would be really damn awesome. :cool: If you get Eno on, though, be prepared to stop him from getting ahead of himself from time to time. He has his theories and he can talk about them a mile a minute. But he's got lots of first-hand experience (30 years +), so there oviously is that to talk about.
 
Last edited:

Wade

FeralNormal master
... I'm currently half way through the book The World's Most Haunted House by Bill Hall. If his extremely well-documented account is to be believed, there is no way the girl Maria could have been responsible for all of the weird poltergeist events witnessed by many police, firemen, family friends and investigators. I am planning on contacting Hall about being on the show—possibly w/ Paul Eno, who also investigated the 1974-75 case.
i seem to remember that you felt you had an near encounter with a malignant entity in some basement as a camera person, was that not at the nefarious sallie house?
 

Christopher O'Brien

Back in the Saddle Aginn
Staff member
i seem to remember that you felt you had an near encounter with a malignant entity in some basement as a camera person, was that not at the nefarious sallie house?
Yes, it was... truly spooky place w/ a veneer of evil/negativity, or whatever nastiness you want to call it.
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
Very interesting information and good points made, @Polterwurst. Does the Hall book provide any information about the son and the cause of his death? How old was he when he died, and what was his relationship with his parents, if that's known? Also, is this a British case or an American one? Thanks.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Very interesting information and good points made, @Polterwurst. Does the Hall book provide any information about the son and the cause of his death? How old was he when he died, and what was his relationship with his parents, if that's known? Also, is this a British case or an American one? Thanks.
Thanks for your interest.

The boy had cerebral palsy, and the parents cared for him night and day. As far as it's possible, they seem to have had a good and happy relationship. He must have been around 5 or 6 when he died in september 1967 after suddenly developping a high fever.

Feeling the need for a child in their home, the parents decided to adopt Marcia about half a year later. The mother had had a tumor removed and wouldn't be able to have another child.

The most violent phase of the case took place around 1974 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, although there seem to have been events like knocking sounds on the walls and doors years before that. Interestingly, the book states that these sounds tended to start around november each year (the boy's birth month). Halloween pranksters were suspected but no reason for the sounds could ever be found.

I guess you can imagine by now what my own "pet theory" is here. With recent mediumship research saying that in many cases psychics do get things right they couldn't actually know, I think that the psychics claiming a ghost or spirit (of whomever) was responsible, might not have been that far off.

But there are many witness reports and researcher's conclusions that would contradict that. I've just listened to a "Behind the Paranormal" show in which Paul Eno is openly dismissing the "ghost" theory. And, well, he was there, I wasn't.

EDIT: there are sound recordings of the "Poltergeist" available here. But they don't seem to play. Maybe it's because of my using Firefox or maybe you have to buy the book on the site (I got my kindle version from amazon). Does it play for anyone else?

And yes, I'm a bit suspicious about the merchandising, too, but as Gene often says, there's no money in paranormal books, so I guess I can't blame Mr Hall for trying to get the most money possible out of it. His research is absolutely thorough and he has gone to quite some lenght to document every aspect of the case, and I guess good work should pay off.
 
Last edited:

Constance

Paranormal Adept
I guess you can imagine by now what my own "pet theory" is here. With recent mediumship research saying that in many cases psychics do get things right they couldn't actually know, I think that the psychics claiming a ghost or spirit (of whomever) was responsible, might not have been that far off.
Thanks for all that information. I'm in agreement with your hypothesis in the above paragraph. Extensive research with mediums is being pursued (has for a number of years) at the Windbridge Institute in Arizona (taking over from a research program long underway at the University of Arizona). They are testing mediums in various ways too complex to summarize. I'll verify the link to their website and post it for you here in case you are interested in this research.
 

Jeremiah Dugger

Skilled Investigator
Has anyone read Colin Wilson's books, "Poltergeist" or his "Mammoth Book of the Super Natural", where he develops the 95% = troubled teenager theory and delves into the 'psychometry' concept as a possible theory for remaining 5-ish% of unexplainable activity?
 

Constance

Paranormal Adept
The boy had cerebral palsy, and the parents cared for him night and day. As far as it's possible, they seem to have had a good and happy relationship. He must have been around 5 or 6 when he died in september 1967 after suddenly developping a high fever.
My gut feeling is that the 'poltergeist(s)' signalling their presence in that emotionally stressed home, that daily communal effort to make the best of a heart-breaking situation, were expressing their own felt reactions of grief and distress at the tragedy of it all.
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
Has anyone read Colin Wilson's books, "Poltergeist" or his "Mammoth Book of the Super Natural", where he develops the 95% = troubled teenager theory and delves into the 'psychometry' concept as a possible theory for remaining 5-ish% of unexplainable activity?
Thanks for bringing this to my attention and a belated welcome to you.
 

Oakenwulf

Paranormal Maven
I have listened to a few of Paul ' s appearances here and there. If i recall his feelings are that these attacks are being perpetrated by sentient agenda driven entities he calls parasites (almost djinn like apparently) that feeds off our anguish, a theme that is fairly common.

I remember one case he mentioned that he was involved in regarded a parasite that was wearing...wait for it...a checked/plaid shirt.
I hope the Djinn dont hear you call them parasites or well read.....
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Has anyone read Colin Wilson's books, "Poltergeist" or his "Mammoth Book of the Super Natural", where he develops the 95% = troubled teenager theory and delves into the 'psychometry' concept as a possible theory for remaining 5-ish% of unexplainable activity?
Neither. But I'll check them out, thanks.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
(moved from question thread here)

Combined with the girl's history, her conflict with the strict Catholicism that stood directly opposite her own culture along with her admission of being responsible for it all, this singular question speaks to the heart of this story and of the many stories involving young troubled women who are seen as the focus of poltergeist or demonic activity. Often they are exorcised by their parents and family friend priests - I wonder if those 'next steps' prompted her to cease and desist. I'm sure the reason why she disappeared and has not been heard from since is to leave this part of her life behind. Not all are so lucky to leave without getting incarcerated or killed as has been seen in the history of such cases.
Meaning what exactly? That she hoaxed it all because she hated her foster parents, and that's why she left them as soon as she could? Sorry, but that's pure conjecture on your part. Mr Hall's says in his book that she was a quiet and content child, not unhappy or angry and that she seemed to like the Goodins. Although they were catholics, Mrs Goodin was of native american origin herself. Marcia would of course have missed her family (there seems to have been a strong connection to her grandfather especially), but that doesn't mean she would just turn down everything the Goodins had to offer and make their lives hell on earth. Besides, how would she do all that in such a confined space, without being spotted right away, at the latest by the policemen who said they saw things happen which they couldn't explain in terms of anybody of the people around manipulating them?

I could claim with the same fervor you are showing here (maybe stemming from own experiences?) that she turned her back on the Goodins and her whole foster home town because she was angry that everyone was content that the whole thing died down after the official police explanation and that no one ever spoke out to defend her against these accusations, which most of the people directly involved knew exactly had only been true in one or two cases, but not with the genuine events. That's one thing which the witness statements (sometimes made after the official "hoax" explanation) in Mr Hall's book make very clear.

But I won't claim anything, because I wasn't there. Maybe she was very angry (and hiding itvery well) and maybe she was incredibly deceptive and more cunning than the best stage magician. Or maybe there were demons or multiversal parasites at work. I can't say. That's why I'm asking my questions in the question thread.
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
It's simply a premise that's been repeated many times over in the literature: female figure, often teen, is experiencing some inner tension and they respond with inventing Gef, demonic possession, poltergeist activity, starting fires, moving furniture, throwing voices and so the list goes on. The same statement is always made, "there's no way that she could be responsible for it all." But then these statements of incredible feats are often pieces of embellishment themselves, or lack a degree of real documentation.

What's also interesting, as we know from the literature, that it's never the place that is the issue, it's always about the individual. It's not a haunting at all, as pointed out earlier, but an issue concerning the young woman involved. To what extent are these mental health issues vs. unhealthy family dynamics is difficult to tell. But ultimately Gef disappears, or the child is exorcised with the help of family priests, or the child is witnessed starting the fire with matches, or is in fact seen physically moving the objects while she thinks no one is looking. So often the young individual always seems to know what's going to happen ahead of time. In this case all the elements are there for that brief flash of fame and flame around a disturbed young person who obviously has no interest in being in this family whatsoever, which tells you a lot. Combined with the fact that she was witnessed moving objects and the European insults that are being hurled about there's a much more practical narrative that's inside this story.

Once we explore more clearly the vehemence that can be part of the teen hormonal experience, anxiety issues, and what could quite possibly be outright anger towards the family and resentment for the removal from one way of life displaced by a euro-catholic upbringing. That sounds much more likely than possession, or the poltergeist as evil spirit. Poltergeist as angry teen makes much more sense , and whether or not that could be expressed as paranormal activity is debatable. But whether it's the entity case or those cases in the literature that end in death, torture or incarceration we see a very disturbed individual that often has a history that we don't actually hear about; the public always seems to enter these narratives at the moment a priest enters the picture to consiider the role of Satan and his minions. Why was Marcia adopted in the first place? Does her backstory have its own trauma prior to the Goodins who may have just been scapegoats for her own need to vent? So yes she may have liked them but even that statement is an opinion of a foster parent not Marcia's.

Personally I would much rather see a complete back story in these cases that includes a look at the actual tensions in the lives of those involved, so we can approach these cases from a perspective that might validate the complex history of the young woman involved as opposed to approaching it from the western world Christian paradigm of evil spirits and demons at work for reasons unknown. That reasoning has cost many a person their lives and I wonder seriously about the value of perpetuating that paradigm over real human drama and trauma. Ultimately, without Marcia's statement about what went on it's all conjecture unless you are willing to believe her one statement that we do have, that she was responsible for it all. So who exactly is busy making things up?
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Sorry, but it's like we're not talking about the same thing here. I have no idea what "literature" you're referring to. None of the Poltergeist cases I've read of (for example in William G. Roll's "The Poltergeist") or watched documentaries about (Enfield, Rosenheim) ended in incarceration, torture or death for anybody. There were no exorcisms involved and no one was seriously hurt, maltreated or even constrained. Psychological evaluations were given of the alleged focus persons, which never showed any serious mental health issues. Quite a few Poltergeist cases did not happen around pubescent girls, but seemed to focus on young men (several cases in Roll's book, one case I know of from Germany) grown-up women or even elderly people and the place often did seem to play a role (in some cases events only seemed to happen when the "focus persons" were at their workplace, not at home or when they were going out in their free time), and even strict religious or family tensions don't seem to be a requirement.

Don't think I'm not aware of cases like Anneliese Michel. I was a happily ignorant 5-year-old when only a few hour's drive away these religious zealots were trying to "save the poor girl's soul" and killed her with their ignorance. But this is another case altogether. No exorcisms here. I don't see any resemblance.
Once we explore more clearly the vehemence that can be part of the teen hormonal experience, anxiety issues, and what could quite possibly be outright anger towards the family and resentment for the removal from one way of life displaced by a euro-catholic upbringing. That sounds much more likely than possession, or the poltergeist as evil spirit
Of course it does. If it wasn't for the credible witness reports, I too would think, well, she hoaxed it all to hurt the Goodins because she probably didn't like the cramped situation in that small house, the probably quite xenophobic neighbourhood, the overprotectiveness etc. The Exorcist movie had come out shortly before, maybe that's where she got the idea and then, everyone was just eager to accept the poltergeist story and people just allowed themselves to be fooled. It would be the most likely, rational explanation.

But I suppose you would say the same thing about the observances I made with two children seemingly remembering past lives. Every single statement, every single strange behaviour you could just deflect and explain, because the kids might have seen something on TV, been lying or just senselessly lining up words they didn't even understand. But you weren't there , Burnt, you have no idea how convincing they were, how totally unchildlike the kids sometimes behaved.

I've seen for myself that the most likely answer doesn't necessarily have to be the correct one, just because it seems the only rational thing to think. So I won't do to others as I don't want to be done to me. I won't go "it's all bunk" when there is evidence and credible witnesses speaking against it.
So who exactly is busy making things up?
I'm not making anything up. I'm asking questions. You, on the other hand, are busy just ignoring valid evidence and witness statements by very credible people. You're doing just the thing you're obviously accusing me of, bending the whole case to your agenda. Whatever that might be.

Is it because you think you have to "protect the children"? Or is it the feminist angle, that young girls have been made victims for centuries? Maybe you had a troubled family situation or religious fanaticism yourself? Well, all good and valid reasons, but guess what, in being concerned with them too much, they can in turn lead into zealousness and fanaticism, themselves.

If you had read any real literature on serious Poltergeist research, you would have known that it has been and is being conducted by very credible scientists. People like Maurice Grosse, Hans Bender, William B. Roll, Gaither Pratt, Barrie Colvin. These guys are/were all very level-headed, scientific and aware of hoaxes but they all said there is more to this than meets the eye. Yes, there are hoaxed events, but that's not the answer in every case. These people have nothing whatsoever to do with occultism, religion and exorcisms. And I can't just write them off as charlatans or kooks either. So instead of just ignoring them I'm wondering what if the are right?

I ask my questions because I think that I've had strong evidence of consciousness continuing after death. And I'm wondering if there's more evidence out there. Maybe Poltergeist cases are that evidence, maybe they are all hoaxed or something else entirely. I'm not out to perpetuate some harmful myth that has caused unspeakable suffering and death for centuries because I think it's fun.
 
Last edited:

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Polterwurst, I think that some of the cases that argue for consciousness after death are quite fascinating, especially in cultures where reincarnation play a prominent role. There are some very exceptional examinations of this phenomenon that certainly cause one's jaw to drop. These are complex cases as often parents begin their own investigations prior to someone like Ian Stevenson getting on the scene to avoid contamination of the child's narrative and experience. But I have to confess the are parts of me that favour a finite number of consciousness paradigm that involves issues of karma. I could even lean towards notions of cnsciousness arising from external sources outside the body and that we human beings may just be receivers - but ufology (the former prolific poster) hammered a lot of that out of me, but not completely.

Some out of body narratives I have no real doubtful answers for. But the poltergeist/demon/evil spirit piece I have great difficulty in accepting because they seem to be too often tied to religious cultures, mental health issues or both. I have had a close friend whose wife completely decompensated. You could very easily take her experience and her visions of demons, her altered behaviors and personality disorders and call it possession, given the Catholic context of that narrative. But because of my own history with other friends who have decompensated due to schizophrenic episodes I could recognize for my friend that what his wife was experiencing was a mental health event and had nothing to do with the supernatural. However I could easily see her narrative as being rewritten as a classic case of demonic possession.

So yes, I do have some personal themes in my critique of certain paranormal areas that are about a feminist analysis, as well as children's rights and I should have expanded that to include the rights of those experiencing mental health events. These are personal in that I have great compassion for people put in helpless & oppressive situations.

Some questions concerning the literature you have read:
  • How many of these cases could likely have been mental health, specifically personality disorders or schizophrenic episodes?
  • How many cases include periphery figures who encourage alternate worldviews that colour a family's experience to consider early on in the case the role of religion or the occult?
  • How many cases involve witnesses whose own belief systems support a religious or occult worldview?
  • How many cases centre around events such as moving objects, knocking, rapping or disembodied voices and how were these verified as having points of origin outside of all other individuals in the home?
It's true, I shouldn't lump all cases into my personal critical paradigm of sexual abuse, religious trauma or mental health mislabeled as 'paranormal.' But in the prominent cases I've read about in North America those themes seem to be repeating. I have not read the German figures in the field, but I'd be curious to know the role of those other issues in my questions above in prominent cases from the investigators you cite.

Two points: I'm definitely not accusing you of anything. In the Lindley case I do see the making up of an alternate worldview that supports paranormal claims of poltergeists as the responsibility of researchers who have a thesis to prove. Often these researchers rely on a history of mediumship or even historical reports that have no real basis in truth outside of the reported tale. I would include my own favourite researcher, Jerome Clark, in that criticism. Some of his historic reports of hauntings, poltergeists etc., are very convincing, but what real proof do we have? Like the audio spectral analysis in the paper above, it all looks like great science but I have great difficulty in believing that the source of the original ' knock' does not belong to a human hand. But that's just me.

The one case I'm confused by is the British one you cited - Enfield, where beyond poltergeist activities, which were really wild, it was the constant outpouring of water in the house that had no real explanation, despite the many plumbers and county officials that stopped by to investigate. I agree that some of these cases are fun, but am very disturbed by the cases that don't end well for the kids involved, or are delaying people receiving the real care and support they need for a genuine affliction.
 

Top