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Pete the friendly Poltergeist


Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
Originally, I wanted to post this story (about "Pete the Polt") in the Lindley Street Poltergeist thread to substantiate my claim that not all "Poltergeist" type cases center around adolescent girls or teens and have dark or demonic undertones.

But then I found this documentary about it which I think deserves its own discussion thread. Not only are the witness statments quite baffling and (at least to me) very convincing, but the whole programme seems to be remarkable in that it's not done in the usual dull sensationalist and "let's make it dark and scary" style. Just don't let yourself be deceived by the silly title picture the uploader put in, the documentary itself isn't like that at all.


This is an alleged Poltergeist case that happened in the 1990s in and around a lawnmower repair shop in Cardiff. It was investigated for the (british) Society of Psychical Research and pronounced genuine by the late psychologist David Fontana.

As a Poltergeist case, it's totally atypical. The only child involved is the alleged ghost of a boy and the persons it happened around, the employees and owners of the shop, were grown up and elderly people. There seem to have been no interpersonal tensions or psychological problems at all and the events were concentrated on the place rather than a particular person, although "Pete" seemed to have liked one of the witnesses especially and is said to have followed him home.

I guess one could ask why this is called a Poltergeist case at all instead of a haunting. IMO, the distinction between these phenomena isn't as clear as it seems to be, though. Many elements are the same, especially the rapping sounds, the interactivity and the small things being "thrown" around. The question is, I guess, if this case really went down the way the witnesses say, why don't things like that happen all the time all over the world? Why does there so often seem to have to be a troubled teen around for things to happen, when this case seems to have none of these requirements at all?

EDIT: here is an earlier documentary about the case (from the "Strange but true" series). This one was made not too long after the events allegedly occured. I guess it's interesting to compare the witness statements.

 
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Constance

Paranormal Adept
The question is, I guess, if this case really went down the way the witnesses say, why don't things like that happen all the time all over the world? Why does there so often seem to have to be a troubled teen around for things to happen, when this case seems to have none of these requirements at all?
That is an interesting question. One hypothesis entertained by paranormalists and psychical researchers is that the more open and accessible subconsciousness of children including adolescents enables discarnates to use them as mediums for expression. It seems clear that what is expressed in poltergeist events is unreconciled emotion, a condition reasonably taken to be shared by both earth-bound discarnates and children experiencing significant psychological stress. Given that the events you refer to in this post seem to have occurred in the absence of an embodied child, it's possible that one of the adults present at that location had the requisite subconscious openness and accessibility but provided no outward sign of it to other adults present, including the researchers.

One recent poltergeist case researched by the SPR in the UK was ultimately put down to poltergeist activity connected with an adult woman who worked in the establishment. The activity, if I recall correctly, only occurred when she was present in the offices, and it was powerful activity.

Does this represent a slur against femininity? Hardly. Women have always been and continue to be more capable of feeling and empathy, able to sustain emotions rather than to ignore them. This capability can only be seen as a detriment or a personal short-coming in a world still dominated by masculinist ideology. Children too are naturally emotional. The problems arise when their emotions are suppressed beyond endurance and reason by adults who are not suited for child rearing.[/QUOTE]
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
One recent poltergeist case researched by the SPR in the UK was ultimately put down to poltergeist activity connected with an adult woman who worked in the establishment. The activity, if I recall correctly, only occurred when she was present in the offices, and it was powerful activity.

Does this represent a slur against femininity? Hardly. Women have always been and continue to be more capable of feeling and empathy, able to sustain emotions rather than to ignore them. This capability can only be seen as a detriment or a personal short-coming in a world still dominated by masculinist ideology. Children too are naturally emotional. The problems arise when their emotions are suppressed beyond endurance and reason by adults who are not suited for child rearing.
In one article from the SPR site the ratio was 95% female to 5%male when it comes to the gender of poltergeist foci. If you invert that number you have a ratio very close to defining who is in jail in North America: 90% male to 10% female incarceration. I don't really have any conclusions here except to say that I can see how poltergeists like Pete are responding in some way to human stressors, and may even originate from the conciousness of indivduals experiencing unique conflicts and tensions. There is a sociological feature to violence in society where men are more explicit, external and willing to physically participate in high risk and violent activities. Women internalize more and I wonder what psychical effects if any may result from this unique feature of gender and how that may get magnified by the incredible alteration in brain chemistry that puberty brings forward - the seemingly prime target of poltergeist focus.

Fred, from Poltergeist Pete, appears to be a really nice guy and the direct centre of attention, but who knows what the backstory is. While the idea of the ghost as a distinct past life, sill present in the future, is the accepted paradigm I can't help but feel the answers to hauntings of all kinds, including the effects produced from mediumship, responsive geists like Pete, and those rocks that keep falling on roofs are all about the human at the centre of the action. Without the human there is no paranormal effects and then the likely scenario for me is that the human is the source and origin of these unique phenomenon. Why they appear to be also tied to specific buildings, and may even follow people to new residences, may also speak to the person as both focus and origin.

Here's a rather lengthy debate about the reality of the ghost on earth. It's excellent for the number of cases it details and also covers a lot of discussion around the Cardiff Poltergeist along with many other cases Polterwurst brought up in the Lindley Street thread:
Formal debate: "Existence of ghosts & apparitions" : Debates • Rational Skepticism Forum
 
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