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Questions for Author William H. Hall — World's Most Haunted House


Gene Steinberg

Forum Super Hero
Staff member
On the evening of November 20th, we'll be recording an interview with William J. Hall about this incredible poltergeist experience.

According to the publisher of Hall's book, ""What may be the most notorious and most terrifying poltergeist haunting of recent decades, the Bridgeport poltergeist was seen and heard by thousands of people on one unforgettable day in 1974. One of the local youngsters, William J. Hall, remembers every detail. Hall grew up to become a magician and a well-known investigator of the paranormal and the unexplained, writing a syndicated column on those subjects for many years in Connecticut newspapers. Now Hall returns to his past to share never-before reported interviews of the first responders and other witnesses, and previously unrevealed documents and reports, in a journalistic new book, "The World’s Most Haunted House: The True Story of the Bridgeport Poltergeist on Lindley Street." Return to 1974 and feel the Lindley Street experience from the inside."
 

junius

Skilled Investigator
I would be interested to know if any scientific tests were carried out inside the house, for example for mould, fungi or any other bacteria growth on the walls or furniture, along the same lines if tests were carried out for Radon Gas? . How does this case compare with other reports of mass hysteria? What similarities are there between it and say the dancing plague of 1518?
 

Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
1. In so called poltergeist & possession stories there is often a very confused young girl who is having to endure the extreme attitudes and beliefs of adults working against her. What role do you think Marcia's aboriginal identity and her adoptive mother's strict Catholicism, along with the priest who studied the occult and claimed evil was at work in the home, have to play in this case? Was she just responding to the sudden cultural conflict she was placed in due to her adoption into a home with strong religious values?

2. What do you make of the story that Lorraine Warren was witnessed scalding herself with hot tap water prior to claiming she was burned by the demon in the house?

3. Marcia was always described as knowing in advance what was going to happen in the house next and was even seen attempting to move some objects in the house. When you consider this, the ventriloquism on the cat, the ethnic slurs directed towards european cultures and her admissions for being responsible for all that took place, why should we think that an actual evil presence was at work when all clues point back to Marcia?

4. What do you think about some of the similarities between this case and the story of Gef from the isle of man?
 

BobinDC

Paranormal Novice
Were any of the people who experienced the poltergeist activity tested for epilepsy or other neurological disorders? A team of researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland recently analyzed the brains of 12 patients with neurological disorders who had experienced some sort of paranormal experience involving an “apparition.” The majority of the patients were epileptic. MRI scans revealed that on a neurological level, three regions in the patients’ brains had significant interferences: the insular cortex, parietal-frontal cortex, and the temporo-parietal cortex.
 

Polterwurst

Paranormal Adept
First off all, my forum nickname is not intended to ridicule the subject of poltergeists. I just thought it was funny how these words from my mother tongue have become "technical terms" in English.

Secondly, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed on The Paracast and for the time, effort and thorough research you put into the book. The witness reports you made available are absolutely astounding. Although I was a little suspicious at first, because the book title reminded me of sensational TV entertainment shows with little to no valuable information, I now think the book is a valuable resource for serious research into poltergeists.

In another interview, I have heard you say that you started out as a skeptic. So, were you convinced by the original "explanation", that the girl had been hoaxing it?
- At what point did you decide there was no way this could be the full picture?

I guess it's obvious that the "talking cat" was a collaboration of Marcia fooling around and the press making fun of the whole subject. What else do you think can be reduced to the girl actually hoaxing events, and why?

Of the original witnesses, who were you able to speak to personally?
- How did they react to your "digging up" the old story after so many years?
- Did you get to talk to any of the policemen who actually saw things seemingly move and lift off the ground on their own?

Between the Warren's "demon" explanation, Paul Eno's "multiverse parasites" and the parapsychologists' "RSPK by the focus person", which theory do you think has the most potential to really explain what was going on?

- Do you have a theory of your own as to what might cause genuine poltergeist events?

Although I understand why the parents especially wouldn't want to talk about it, I'm kind of surprised that the "ghost" theory isn't discussed in the book and seems to have been eliminated by everyone right from the start. While I was reading your book, I asked myself if it simply might have been the elephant in the room which everybody was tiptoing around.
- Was it maybe an unspoken fear of the Goodins that it might be their deceased son causing the events? That his discarnate consciousness was still around, had not "gone into the light", as psychic mediums often claim, and was angry at Marcia seemingly taking his place? For example, could the unexplained knocking sounds always starting in november have something to do with the boy's birthday on Halloween day?
- Do you think these kind of questions shouldn't be asked even after so many years?

In an interview with Paul Eno, you mentioned that at least one psychic medium had looked into the case and said that it was the dead son causing the outbreak.
- Do you know how credible this person would have been?
- Had other psychics been involved and come to different conclusions?
- Were they actually in the house or just writing in to give their "psychic impressions"?
- Could they have known about the son?

- In the light of the work of people like Prof. Gary Schwartz and Julie Beischel, who have conducted very thorough multiple blind studies with psychic mediums, and come to the conclusion that many of them at least some of the time objectively "gain access" to veridical information they can't know about by normal means, and of the theories of parapsychologists like Lloyd Auerbach, who thinks that discarnate consciousness is a reality, do you still think that the "discarnate consciousness" hypothesis is not to be considered?

Were the "poltergeist sound recordings" on your website (which unfortunately don't seem to play in my Firefox browser) part of the "poltergeist sound study" conducted by Dr Barrie Colvin of the SPR a few years ago? If not, maybe they could be submitted to the SPR and be analyzed accordingly?

(the study was conducted to see if these sounds, often recorded by the SPR researchers themselves, might be different from normal rapping or knocking sounds and concluded that there was a difference in that there seemed to be a sort of build-up in the material they emanated from)
Scientific evidence of poltergeist knocking? | Society for Psychical Research

Why do you think Marcia left the Goodins as soon as she turned 18, never to be heard of again?

Do you intend to do similar books on other Poltergeist cases or alleged paranormal cases (like UFOs) in general?

With witness reports like those you present in the book, and affidavits like that of the policewoman in the Enfield Poltergeist case, why is it that most people still seem to think that "there's nothing to be seen here"?
 
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Burnt State

Paranormal Adept
Why do you think Marcia left the Goodins as soon as she turned 18, never to be heard of again?
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.
 

Goggs Mackay

Administrator
Staff member
Question: William, are you familiar with any of the modern equipment popular with current paranormal investigators and if so what do you think of them?
(Talking about EMF meters, SB7 Spiritbox, Ovilus, Thermal cameras, full-spectrum cameras etc)

Question: Do you know of any credible mediums, who you think can genuinely see and hear spirits?

Question: Do you agree that the subject/idea of demons is 'in' just now - seems like there is more reporting of demonic activity at least?

Goggs
 

E. L. Wisty

Skilled Investigator
As a long-time paranormal investigator specializing in this type of case, William J. Hall is undoubtedly very familiar with the 1977 affair of the Enfield Poltergeist (which has already been mentioned by Poltwurst), and he knows how many similarities there are with the Bridgeport incident. In particular, both cases centered around very young girls in troubled families who were caught faking at least some of the phenomena, were allegedly under pressure from the adults involved to keep doing it, and were caught up in a media frenzy fed by self-appointed experts on the paranormal with very strong personal reasons to want it all to be true.

My question is, in a case like this where a child is involved, no matter how convincing the evidence of supernatural activity is thought to be, surely the child's welfare must come first? No matter what the source of the problem may be, shouldn't every effort be made to resolve it in the usual ways, with the minimum of fuss which might worsen the condition of a vulnerable child who is already very upset, before publicity-seeking religious fanatics are allowed anywhere near him or her?

Oh, and one other question. The activity at "the most haunted house in the world" seems to have been dormant since 1974, and the vast majority of it centered around a 10-year-old girl who hasn't lived there in a very long time, so it would seem that, despite the title of the book, the building itself is irrelevant. Since it's now a private house occupied by people unconnected in any way with the events of 1974, obviously Mr. Hall must have interviewed the current residents about how haunted their home is in 2014, and how happy they are about him promoting it as a supernatural tourist attraction. What was their response?
 

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