Like almost any location in the world, the United Kingdom has multiple haunted buildings with strange tales connected to them. Most often these locations appear visually as disturbing and unsettling as their ghostly accounts. The United Kingdom also has many accounts of poltergeist activity, the vast majority of which have taken place in otherwise unremarkably normal and outwardly peaceful properties.
Indeed, some of the most harrowing events – some of which stretch over years instead of weeks or months – take place in otherwise unassuming locations. What’s more, many of these unsettling incidents begin without warning and with no explanation, leaving those who experience as perplexed as they are scared and frightened.
As we will examine, these types of encounters can be found across the decades and from all parts of the United Kingdom. And they look set to keep happening for the foreseeable future, with many encounters on record in the twenty-first century.
- 1 A Long And Varied History Of Spooks And Manifestations
- 2 The Encounters Of Virginia Campbell And The Sauchie Poltergeist
- 3 The Battersea Poltergeist – Bizarre Events Stretched Over A Decade
- 4 The Byron Street Poltergeist
- 5 Activity Still Taking Place In The Twenty-First Century
- 6 Poltergeist Activity From Further Back In Time
- 7 Just What Is Poltergeist Activity
A Long And Varied History Of Spooks And Manifestations
We have examined several poltergeist cases before. Such well-known incidents as the Black Monk of East Drive, for example. And as intriguing as these accounts undoubtedly are, they are a small mountain of cases of poltergeist activity and manifestations on record throughout the United Kingdom. And while we certainly can’t document each and every one of them here, we will look at some of the most intriguing cases on record.
The fact is, though, there will be many incidents of poltergeist activity – much like UFO sightings and claims of alien abduction – that will undoubtedly go unreported. And the reasons for this are very much the same as in UFO circles – a fear of being mocked, ridiculed, or even for being accused of making the whole thing up.
Indeed, it is perhaps very likely that many more people find themselves at the mercy of a poltergeist than most might imagine. Perhaps they dismiss this activity which might then cause it to cease through a simple lack of attention. Or perhaps they suffer in silence until the strange noises and moving furniture stop. There are many such cases in the public arena, though, where we can turn our attention.
Perhaps a case we should examine first, though, occurred north of the English border in Sauchie, Scotland, and is without a doubt one of the most unique poltergeist cases on record.
The Encounters Of Virginia Campbell And The Sauchie Poltergeist
Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing and distressing cases of poltergeist activity occurred in Sauchie in Scotland in November 1960 and involved an 11-year-old girl named Virginia Campbell. 
The strange events began rolling on the evening of 22nd November when an unnerving “thunking” noise began to sound out throughout the house. At first, the members of the household presumed it was Virginia, perhaps bouncing a ball on her bedroom floor. However, the following day things escalated dramatically.
As Virginia’s older brother, Thomas Campbell, and his wife were in the living room going about their usual business, a large, heavy sideboard moved away from the wall – enough so there was a visible gap behind it before moving back again. And this time, the blame could not be laid at the feet of Virginia, who was in sight, near the sideboard but clearly not touching it. To say those who witnessed the incident were unnerved somewhat would be an understatement.
The strange encounters would continue later that evening. Virginia was in bed in the room she shared with her niece, Margaret, when a loud knocking sound began around them. By this point, all of those in the house were frightened beyond any fright they had experienced before, and certainly didn’t know how to confront these strange happenings. It would be one of their neighbors who contacted Reverend T W Lund to come to the family’s aid.
Dealing With Something From Another Realm Of Existence
Reverend Lund would attend the property and immediately begin investigating. He initially thought that Virginia was making the knocking sound unintentionally, with her movements in the bed knocking the headboard against the wall. However, after telling her to sleep further down in the bed so she was not near it, the strange knocks still continued. Later that evening, Reverend Lund would witness much more than strange knocks.
Still in the bedroom, Lund witnessed a large chest raise itself from the floor and move through the air a short distance. It remained there for a moment or two before traveling back to its original position. A short time later, the menacing knocking continued.
The strange events continued into the following day. An apparent hand out of nowhere had moved Virginia’s pillow as her head rested on it. What’s more, later on in the day while Dr. Nesbit examined Virginia, he noted bizarre movement on the pillow, as if a hand was causing a ripple in the material. When Reverend Lund returned in the evening the bizarre knocking sounds began again, as did the movement of the chest.
Similar events were witnessed by other witnesses also. One friend of the family claimed that he saw the clear indention of a person’s head appear on a pillow that had previously been puffed out. He also reported hearing strange scratching noises as well as the repeated knocking.
It was at this stage that Reverend Lund determined that they were dealing with something from another realm of existence. He would state that “people scoff about stories of ghosts and spooks, but they have not studied the subject”. He would further offer that they had “examples of well-known phenomena” in connection with the events.
Despite Lund’s words, though, the Church of Scotland didn’t comment on the case, and no exorcism took place. A prayer service was held in the house a short time later, however, during which several members of the church witnessed increasingly loud banging that began as they recited the Lord’s Prayer.
A Case Of A Poltergeist Following Someone
After remaining home from school (Craigbank Primary School) for a couple of days, when Virginia returned on 25th November, the events became even more unsettling. During a lesson of reading and writing, Virginia’s teacher, Miss Steward, looked on in puzzlement as Virginia struggled to hold a desk lid from opening as if being pulled at by invisible hands. The more she looked the more she realized that the girl was having clear difficulty in preventing the lid from rising. Not long after this, things turned even stranger.
As another student stood and approached Miss Stewart, their unoccupied desk began to rise into the air of its own accord before settling back down again. The teacher approached the desk and inspected it quickly. There was nothing there to indicate any kind of hoax or prank.
It was clear to those in the know regarding the bizarre events in the Campbell household that whatever was behind them, it had left the family home and followed Virginia to her school.
When Virginia returned home, the unnerving events continued, many of which were witnessed by various people. However, the events escalated even further just before midnight on the 26th of November. It was noted that Virginia had appeared to take on a “trance-like” state at some point during the evening. At around 11:30 pm she began to call out. When Reverend Lund entered the room he witnessed the young girl was swinging her fists into the air and was clearly distressed. Then, she fell into a strange sleep.
By now, the press had an interest in the story, and more and more people became aware of the menacing events that had been taking place.
One of the witnesses would speak to the Alloa Advertiser several days after the trance-like incident. He would state that Virginia was “not responsible” for the episodes that had been taking place, adding that “an outside agent” was to blame. He would further offer that Virginia had been given tranquilizers on several occasions to settle her. Even during this time, the events continued, which they surely wouldn’t if she was responsible.
Of most concern to those involved, the mysterious events showed no signs of stopping.
“Beyond All Possibility” That The Case Was A Hoax!
On the 28th of November further activity was reported, once more while Virginia was at school. On this occasion, while she was standing at Miss Stewart’s desk, the blackboard pointer suddenly began to shake and move until it fell to the floor. At the same time, Miss Stewart placed her hands on the table and realized it was physically vibrating. Several moments later, the table began to move by itself.
The ominous occurrences continued in yet another location later that same day while Virginia was at a relative’s house when the now-familiar knocking coming from the walls began a short time after she arrived there.
The following evening, things turned even more disturbing. Virginia once more went into a bizarre trance and began calling for her dog, as well as one of her friends, her voice having a strange quality to it. At the same time, she would thrash about on the bed, as if in pain or in a fit of rage. Her responses were also unlike how she would normally speak to people.
Although the events appeared to suddenly cease for several days, Virginia’s story had now become of interest to the national media, and their home became the focus of reporters, paranormal investigators, as well as general onlookers. They would ultimately withdraw from public view.
The incidents continued a little more sporadically for the rest of the year and into the opening weeks of 1961. However, they soon appeared to have ceased for good.
One of those who witnessed and investigated the events close-up, Dr. Owen, would write of them in the book, Can We Explain the Poltergeist? He would ultimately conclude that the case could not simply be dismissed as a hoax pointing out that there were multiple witnesses to the spooky goings-on. It was, he would state, “beyond all possibility” that all of these witnesses could have been tricked or even have imagined the incidents.
A Truly Unique Case
Paranormal investigator, researcher, and author, Malcolm Robinson began reexamining the case in 1987.  He would initially abandon his investigation, in part due to Virginia’s aunt not wishing to speak of the events. However, several years later in 1994, he returned to the bizarre happenings of November 1960.
Robinson has written of the events and speaks regularly to live audiences.
Of the detail that the otherworldly presence appeared to follow Virginia to her school as opposed to only being present within the confines of the home, Robinson would state in Supernatural Magazine that this “rare for any Poltergeist event”, noting that while it is not unheard of, it is certainly not the within the normal parameters of a standard poltergeist case. In short, this alone made the Sauchie Poltergeist case unique.
It is perhaps interesting to note that many of the details contained within the above case are also present in the incidents we highlighted at the beginning – the East Drive….. – and, as we shall see as we move on, these details also surface in other cases. Might we take from this, then, that rather than being random incidents there is some kind of “structure” to these mysterious manifestations and hauntings? And we should keep in mind, that these details surface in the many poltergeist cases that occur around the world.
The knocking on the walls and pushing over of objects would appear to be standard. As are the opening of doors and flipping over of furniture. And as we shall see, these details are present in another well-known case.
We will turn our attention to another intriguing and largely credible poltergeist case that unfolded in Battersea in South London.
The short video below examines the case a little further.
The Battersea Poltergeist – Bizarre Events Stretched Over A Decade
Perhaps what immediately makes the Battersea Poltergeist case stand out from others is the fact the events took place over a 12-year period.  What’s more, the incidents were even the subject of a live television broadcast and were even discussed by politicians in the House of Commons.
The events began in January 1956 when 15-year-old Shirley Hitchings awoke to find a bizarre silver key on her pillow.  She showed the key to her parents, Wally and Kitty, as well as her grandmother, Ethel, and her adopted brother, John, but none of them could recall seeing it before. She tried it in all of the locks in the house, none of which it fit.
However, later that night, things became altogether more ominous. As she lay in bed loud banging began in the house, so loud that they appeared to make the walls vibrate reminding all of them of the days of the Blitz in the Second World War. Shirley would recall during a podcast interview decades later that “the whole house shook like it was an air raid”. Even more alarming, were the “claw-like” scratching sounds that appeared to come from inside cupboards and wardrobes, as well the house lights which flashed on and off of their own accord.
The commotion was so bad that the Hitchings’ neighbors even came around to complain, believing that someone in the house was responsible for the sudden noise. Shirley would recall years later that “it was as if the noises came from the bowels of the earth”.
The sounds and disturbances would continue until the early hours of the morning before they eventually stopped. Incidentally, the key mysteriously vanished a short time after these events. What its significance might have been or just what the connection to the events was, remains unknown. This, though, was just the beginning of the life-changing events of the Hitchings family.
Daily Otherworldly Happenings
The bizarre events would begin to happen on a nightly basis, including truly unsettling incidents that would see Shirley being physically dragged from her bed and sometimes even being made to “levitate” in midair. Even more alarming still, fires would appear in various parts of the house, with no clue as to how they had started. Several scrawled writings were discovered on walls around the home and some of their personal items would even go missing for several days at a time before suddenly reappearing. On occasion, these strange and perplexing events would unfold during the daylight hours.
During this time, the Hitchings would contact various people to inspect the building in an attempt to get to the bottom of what could possibly be causing the problem, hoping against hope that a rational explanation could be found and then dealt with. They even contacted the police on several occasions, but no answer was forthcoming. In little time, the goings-on was of interest to the national newspapers. Despite the interest, though, the incidents continued to occur, their cause a complete mystery.
As the months and years went on, the family almost took it upon themselves to discover who, or what might be behind these truly strange disturbances, researching as much as they could about the property as well as the subject of paranormal activity and even how to communicate with such spirits from the other side.
Activity Increases In Intensity
The family would eventually nickname the apparent orchestrator of these unsettling incidents Donald. This was an attempt to humanize their tormentor. However, as the activity continued, it increased in severity. For example, pots and pans would be flung from one side of the room to the other. Some of these were seemingly aimed at members of the family and they would “speed up so you’d have to duck”.
Shirly would even recall such incidents as a pair of slippers that walked across the room by themselves, or the piano playing even though no one was anywhere near it. On one particularly horrifying occasion, Shirley had to be physically pulled by her family against an invisible grip that was seemingly attempting to drag her away.
Shirley would recall how she “thought I was going mad” at the time, and that her grandmother even believed she was “possessed by the devil”.
As the events continued to unfold, the interest only increased, with many reporters and members of the public alike gathering outside of their seemingly unassuming London home. One of those who took an interest was paranormal investigator, Harold Chibbett (Chib). He would investigate the bizarre events and work closely with the family in getting to the bottom of just what was taking place. He was quick to determine that the Hitchings family were seemingly at the mercy of a poltergeist. And, as we mentioned above, he also highlights how teenagers (more often than not, girls) were the focus of such activity.
It was shortly after this dark diagnosis that the Hitchings family decided to look at having an exorcism performed.
Allegations of “Black Magic And Witchcraft!”
The person chosen to perform the exorcism was Harry Hanks, a friend of Wally and a part-time medium. However, the attempt to cast out whatever force was in the Hitchings’ home the police attended the property claiming they had received reports of “black magic and witchcraft”. In an even more bizarre turn, the incident and, in turn, the strange events were even discussed in the House of Commons, during which the MP from Hanks’ constituency pulled few punches asking for an apology from the police for their actions.
Undeterred, the family continued to work with Chib in order to break the cycle of fear that was permeating all who lived at the residence. He would use “letter cards” so as to have the entity tap when the correct letters were pointed to in order to “speak” to them. Amazingly, this appeared to work, with communication of sorts taking place over several weeks.
The family learned that the entity was a Frenchman and he claimed to be “scared”. Even stranger, following these successful attempts at communication the family began to discover scrawled messages on the walls, one of which stated “Viva France”.
Chib would leave notepaper in the room where Donald appeared to have a particularly strong presence each night. The following mornings he would find multiple notes, some of which were no more than scrawl but some that contained very direct messages.
Then, the situation took an even stranger turn – followed by a particularly dark period of the haunting.
The “Lost Dauphin” Of Louis XVI And Marie Antoinette
As the communication through the messages continued, “Donald” claimed to be Louis Charles, the “lost dauphin” of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who would have been heir to the throne of France following the execution of his parents during the French Revolution. What’s more, there has been much debate as to just what happened to the 10-year-old boy.
Many would have dismissed the claims. However, when details given to Chib by the apparent boy were later verified (such as the names of his bodyguards, for example) they had to be taken a little more seriously.
Things certain took a serious turn by March 1956, with Donald beginning to make nothing short of demands such as the style she had her hair, even going as far as to threaten to set the house on fire if his requests were not met. When Shirley’s father locked away all of the matches that were in the house fires would start simply out of nowhere. One particularly nasty evening saw Wally receive a nasty burn while attempting to put out one of these fires. When they looked at the burn mark later, it appeared very much to be in the shape of a claw.
Another nasty episode saw Shirley’s grandmother, Ethel, receive a push from invisible hands in an attempt to force her down the stairs. Perhaps the incident that, albeit indirectly, proved fatal occurred in October 1956, and also involved Ethel. She was sitting in the room when a strange voice rang out with a distinct Irish accent. Ethel immediately recognized it as her mother’s, even speaking back to it. It was an incident that she seemingly never recovered from. She would have a stroke several days later and pass away a short time after that.
Another Case Of A Poltergeist Leaving The Home
Ultimately, the events would continue right through until 1968, with the family doing their best to simply live with it as best they could. However, the events still had some twists and turns to take.
Much like the Sauchie Poltergeist, the events in Battersea would ultimately not be confined to the Hitchings’ home. When Shirley obtained a part-time job as a seamstress Donald seemingly followed her there. Several pairs of scissors would eventually go missing and she was accused of stealing them forcing her to reveal that she was the girl who had the poltergeist at her house. She was ultimately let go from her position. Even when the family moved home in 1964 in an attempt to distance themselves from Donald he simply made the trip with them. Furthermore, the last message received from Donald in 1968 came while Shirley was living in her own house with her husband. This last communication essentially said he was leaving them alone and he remained true to his word.
There was, though, one final twist to the already bizarre events. In 1980, Shirley was a craft fair, having given little thought to Donald for some time. A medium approached her and said that “a little boy in fancy dress – blue satin” was following her, even describing him as having “red hair”. The description matched the likeness of Louis Charles exactly.
As we might imagine, despite the seemingly overwhelming evidence of events taking place involving entities from the other side, many still question the authenticity of the apparent hauntings, usually looking to such things as sleep deprivation and hallucinations due to intense fear. Some even question whether Shirley or other members of the family might have been responsible for the scrawled messages. It is up to each of us to decide for ourselves. However, the fact that many of the details can be found in numerous other alleged Poltergeist cases should perhaps prompt us to treat it with a serious mind if nothing more.
Before we examine several spooky poltergeist cases from modern times, we will turn our attention to a town further north of London in Cheshire four years before the events in Battersea, and another unexplainable and unsettling account.
The short video below explores this case further.
The Byron Street Poltergeist
In August 1952 in Runcorn in Cheshire in the north of England, 17-year-old John Glynn Jones lived with his family on Bryon Street when life-altering events began.  John lived with his sister, Eileen Glynn, as well as their grandfather, Sam Jones, and his sister-in-law, Lucy Jones, as well as a lodger (a middle-aged woman who was not named in the newspaper articles at the time).
On this particular August evening, the small house was particularly overcrowded due to a visit from Lucy’s son and his wife. With multiple people sleeping in the same room due to a lack of space, the events began as the household settled down to sleep when strange noises began to come from inside the dressing table. These noises persisted for some time, growing increasingly louder and so becoming all the more unnerving. Those in the room soon left refusing to go back in until the noises stopped, which they eventually did. Almost as soon as they returned, however, it began again.
The following evening was much the same, only this time, the dressing table moved of its own accord several feet away from the wall. Members of the household began to suspect John of pulling some kind of prank on them. However, when he was “restrained” by members of the family so as to demonstrate he couldn’t move and the disturbances continued they accepted he was not to blame.
The events continued, with the family even notifying the police in the hope that they might be able to find a rational explanation. They too suspected John to be behind the strange activity and attempted to discreetly prove so. However, when three police officers were physically thrown from the top of a chest upon which they were sitting, they realized that they were dealing with something completely out of the ordinary, to say the least.
A Case Of Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis
As the weeks went on, more and more strange activity was witnessed – and was done so by multiple different people. This included furniture moving by itself, crockery being thrown to the floor and smashing, as well as personal items being snatched and thrown across the room.
The incidents even received the attention of the newspapers – local and national, including The Guardian. The attention from The Guardian, in particular, resulted in many readers writing to the newspaper offering advice for the family, with many claiming they were dealing with a demonic poltergeist, with some even suggesting the events could result in possession. This attention resulted in many onlookers and other interested parties arriving at the property and keeping watch outside.
A medium was even contacted by the family in the hope they might be able to help. However, when they attempted to conduct a séance frenzied activity began all around the room as if the presence was very much against it.
Reverend W H Stevens – a member of the Society for Psychical Research – also took an interest in the case. And he would come up with a rather interesting take on the situation. As opposed to the strange activity being a poltergeist case, he would offer that John was unintentionally causing the manifestations through “repressed energy” – it was essentially a case of Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis.
Regardless of whether Stevens was correct in his conclusion, the activity continued as the weeks went on. However, some people began to notice that the activity only happened when the lights went out, stopping as soon as they came on. Whether this was another form of tormenting on the entity’s part is perhaps open to debate, but some people again began to wonder if someone in the household was pulling the strings of this latest activity.
One particular evening, several of John’s friends would agree to spend several nights in the house, one of whom was 18-year-old Thomas Barrow, who was on leave from the army. Once more, as soon the lights were turned out, activity would begin. Perhaps more alarming of all was the huge chest that it completely overturned leaving it in several pieces.
Barrow would recall later that he was “amazed at the destruction of such a solidly built piece of furniture”. He would continue that he “received a piece of timber in the middle of the back” which almost knocked him down the stairs. Perhaps more importantly, there was no evidence that John – or anyone else – was behind the destruction of the chest. Incidentally, Barrow would state in the press that he believed the incidents were paranormal in nature.
An explanation was never found for the bizarre incidents on Bryon Street. They did, however, settle down in time, and John was able to live a normal, quiet life.
Check out the short video below on the case.
Activity Still Taking Place In The Twenty-First Century
If we turn our attention to the research of Michael Clarkson and the book In the book The Poltergeist Phenomenon: An In-Depth Investigation Into Floating Beds, Smashing Glass, and Other Unexplained Disturbances we can see that these poltergeist cases are continuing to happen in our contemporary times.
For example, in London in 2000, a 7-year-old appeared to be the center of bizarre knocking noises in his family’s home. When researchers Maurice Grosse and Mary Rose Barrington investigated the case they determined that the young boy was not consciously behind the incidents, rather there was a build-up of “psychic tension” that they suggested was connected to his mother’s recent divorce and her struggle with alcoholism. The investigators would continue to council the pair, and after around three months the activity stopped. Due to the sensitive nature of the case, few further details are available.
Another case highlighted by Clarkson occurred four years later in Carlisle when 34-year-old Carol Tuttle took her 9-year-old daughter and fled the house after a barrage of chilling incidents, including moving furniture and items being thrown threw the air. One of her neighbors agreed to enter the property in order to retrieve her pet cats. He was skeptical when he entered the property, but the two glasses that were flung at him from nowhere soon wiped such skepticism away. Many others who entered the property also witnessed the same remarkable incidents.
The following year in 2005, a young couple and their 3-year-old son were subject to a similar assault of moving furniture, strange sounds, and thrown items. The incident was investigated by Mike Hallowell and Darren Ritson, who would eventually write the book The South Shields Poltergeist: One Family’s Fight Against An Invisible Intruder. They would ultimately conclude that the entity was an evil spirit and even managed to capture several bizarre moments on film.
Not only are these poltergeist cases continuing to occur today, they have been going on for decades, and it is to some of the cases from further back in history that we will turn our attention to next.
Poltergeist Activity From Further Back In Time
Of course, poltergeist activity – if we accept it to be genuine for a moment – will unlikely not be a modern phenomenon and will have surely happened for as long as humans have been alive. However, documentation of such accounts becomes less and less the further back we go. There are, though, some from the more distant past that we can turn our attention to here.
For example, as far back as 1666 in Wiltshire, England, there are hints of a possible poltergeist incident in what is known today as Zouch Manor. At the time, Reverend Joseph Glanvill lived in a house on the estate and became aware of two young girls who occupied another room in the property who complained of hearing bizarre noises and even of objects flying through the air of their own accord. Although some, including Glanvill, at first suspected the girls themselves to be the source of this mischievous behavior, his investigation would find otherwise and it was suspected to be some kind of phantom or spirit. In his documents, Glanvill noted that he could find “no trick, contrivance, or common cause to explain it”.
What is perhaps interesting about the above account is that many modern cases of poltergeist activity tend to revolve around a certain child or set of children. That the focus of the apparent disturbances in Zouch Manor were “two young girls” perhaps lends it a touch of credibility, resonating as it does with modern findings.
As the twentieth century unfolded, however, and with a combination of increased interest in such matters as well overall better record-keeping, more and more incidents can be discovered.
The Tragic Events On Ferrestone Road
According to an article in the 18th February edition of the Aberdeen Journal, a house in Ferrestone Road in Horrsey, London was to be “investigated immediately by the Society for Psychical Research”.  The person who lived at the house, Mr. Frost, initially believed that many of the strange happenings were “due to the powers of Gordon Parker”, who was his 12-year-old nephew. However, one morning when the youngster was not in the house, all manner of bizarre activity began as furniture and ornaments were thrown across various rooms around the house seemingly with invisible hands.
By the time Mr. Frost looked to paranormal investigators for answers, the house was… with “windows and pictures and crockery broken”, as well as huge marks on the walls made from pieces of coal that have been thrown hard against them. One neighbor even told of having a large piece of coal thrown at her leg from out of nowhere. One particularly harrowing occasion featured young Gordon, who had been sent into the kitchen while Mr. Frost spoke to a journalist (Mr. Millard). However, only moments later a large clattering crash came from the kitchen. When they went to see what had happened, “the boy was crouching frightened in the corner” of the room, a pile of trays strewn across the floor. As we shall, Gordon would ultimately suffer the most at the hands of this entity from the other side.
One of those who took an interest in the case was Reverend A L Chandler, who would claim to the Western Gazette newspaper that it was his opinion that “the boy is a medium” before adding that “his mother dies in the house about a year ago and must, I imagine, be trying to communicate something to the family”. He would also reveal that one particular evening after Gordon and his brother had gone to bed, they each claimed to have seen their mother, “dressed in red”, at the bottom of their bed, which then began to rise from the floor and remained suspended for several moments.
Perhaps adding credence to this theory, Mr. Frost agreed that he believed “it is the spirit of my sister”, elaborating that “she tried to tell us something before she died, but passed away before she could make us understand”.
Despite the brief interest in the incident, the story would fade from public interest and events appeared to be settling down. However, by the start of April, things had taken a tragic turn.
An article in the 3rd April edition of the Sunday Mail claimed that the bizarre activity had “caused the death” of Mr. Frost’s five-year-old niece, Muriel Parker. In the article, Mr. Frost states that there was “not the slightest doubt that Muriel’s death was caused by the strange happenings in the house”. He would further state how the “manifestations started again” around two weeks previously following the return of his two sons. He would reveal that “chairs were thrown about and pieced of coal (were) hurled against the walls”.
Muriel became increasingly nervous and stressed and fell ill several days later. The article declares that the cause of her death of meningitis, but Mr. Frost offered that the doctor had also said that “nerve strain had accelerated (her) death”.
Mr. Frost offered that he could see no alternative but for the entire family to move away to a new home. Whether they did or not is not known.
The video below examines the case a little further.
Strange Activity At “The Forge”
Only five years later, in February 1926 strange and bizarre events were recorded in Finchampstead in some thatched cottages known as “The Forge”.  There, a wheelwright and carpenter, George Goswell lived with wife and two teenage daughters. Their time there had been serene and peaceful for 15 years. Then, without any warning or reason, things changed drastically.
Tables would move by themselves, and the chairs would even perform “somersaults” in the air. A bath that contained numerous tins was picked up into the air and overturned, spilling its contents everywhere. Even when members of the house placed their bicycles upright they would soon “fall” to the ground, clearly pushed by an unseen entity. Objects would frequently be thrown across the room as if by invisible hands, and bedclothes were tugged at.
One particularly alarming incident occurred when George was building a wall at the property. He would place the bricks and mortar together and turned his back to reach for another brick. When he turned back to the wall the bricks and mortar had been cleanly removed.
Several interested parties looked to investigate the strange happenings. However, by the time this interest focused on the events they had begun to slow and eventually ceased. One such person was Professor S Ward, who claimed the events were clearly a “mild case of (a) poltergeist” continuing that “the kind of force brought into play to bring about such happenings is unknown to any science of which we are possessed”.
The events, brief as they were, remain unexplained.
Just What Is Poltergeist Activity
It is clear, then, that poltergeist activity has been taking place in the United Kingdom – much like many other places around the world – for some time. And we might ask how many other cases go back even further but that were not investigated or recorded as poltergeist activity.
As we have also highlighted, most of these cases share the exact same details. Incidents usually begin with loud knocks or scratching sounds and quickly develop into furniture moving by themselves and of objects being thrown through the air as if by invisible hands.
Although it is certainly not a detail that surfaces all the time, we have seen several examples of the entity actually breaking out of the confines of the family home and, essentially, following the focus of their attention to various places, including when they have moved home.
The activity almost always focuses on a young or teenage child, with some researchers suggesting an unintentional build-up of psychic energy contributes somehow to these bizarre manifestations.
In extreme cases, some people suffer physical harm at the hands of these spooky tormentors, and in even more rare cases, what we would understand as demonic possession occurs.
Poltergeist activity – like all other areas of the paranormal and the unexplained – is an area that should we one day understand it more, there is a real chance that understanding will shine a light on other areas and fields of interest.
The videos below feature paranormal investigator, Malcolm Robinson speaking extensively about the Sauchie Poltergeist case.
|↑1||The Poltergeist Phenomenon: An In-Depth Investigation Into Floating Beds, Smashing Glass, and Other Unexplained Disturbances, Michael Clarkson, ISBN 9781601 631473 (page 263-274)|
|↑2||Paranormal expert to tell story of spooky Sauchie poltergeist that left family terrified, Chris Marzellaq, The Daily Record, November 16th, 2021 https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/paranormal-expert-tell-story-spooky-25473640|
|↑3||The Story of The Battersea Poltergeist, BBC Radio 4 https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4b8PlyxgjRft0T7b0Sjjj3B/the-story-of-the-battersea-poltergeist|
|↑4||‘I was terrorised by the Battersea Poltergeist’, Jo Macfarlane, Daily Mail, October 31st, 2021 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-10120493/I-terrorised-Battersea-Poltergeist.html|
|↑5||The Runcorn poltergeist – a strange twist, Cheshire Magazine http://www.cc-publishing.co.uk/Archives/twist.html|
|↑6||Haunted House Mystery (newspaper archives), Strange Company http://strangeco.blogspot.com/2014/06/newspaper-clipping-of-day_25.html|
|↑7||Finchampstead Poltergeist, Royal Berkshire History, David Nash Ford http://www.berkshirehistory.com/legends/finchampstead_ghost.html|
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