Copyright Tracy DeVore

Many people never heard the word poltergeist before the 1982 release of the movie “Poltergeist” (co-produced by Steven Spielberg). Following that and even to this day, people will still use the terms “ghost” and “poltergeist” interchangeably.

Though there are some definite similarities (the main one being they both belong to the spirit world), there are many differences.

Poltergeist is a German word, meaning noisy (polter) spirit (geist). It is called this because it tends to cause disturbances and likes to make its presence known, such as by slamming doors or moving objects. One might not always “see” a poltergeist, but will almost always “hear” it. On the other hand, a ghost presence tends to be more elusive and rarely disturbs its surroundings. One might never “hear” a ghost, but will only catch glimpses of it manifesting, usually in a mist or fog.

A poltergeist might physically touch a person, thereby making its presence nearly impossible to deny. You might only be aware of a ghost because of a sudden whiff of perfume or pipe tobacco.

Ghosts are deceased spirits of humans or sometimes pets and are most often trapped in the houses they lived or died in or another place of comfort or violence that occurred in their lives. Poltergeists are sometimes linked to demons, though some theorize poltergeist energy is unintentionally created by people as a result of severe physical or psychological trauma. Poltergeists are commonly linked to a person or people or even an object.

Ghosts tend to remain unchangeable and appear in places familiar to the person in life and generally remain there, while poltergeists seem to be free to journey anywhere and gain strength by gathering energy from various sources.

While ghosts aren’t physically violent as a rule and cause more mental anguish than anything else, poltergeists can become dangerous to the living, capable of inflicting physical harm.

If you suspect you have poltergeist activity, seek help from a local church leader or paranormal investigation group. If it is determined that the entity is attached to an object, the object will need to be cleansed and disposed of. At the very least, a cleansing of your home will need to be conducted and the entity encouraged to move along.

Do not attempt to confront a malevolent entity on your own or try to ignore it because you’re worried people won’t believe you. There are many groups and organizations at your disposal willing to assist.

  1. I’ve experienced both! This is an excellent explanation of each. Isn’t it typical of poltergeists to be involved if an adolescent is around? Not always the case, of course, but very common. Look forward to reading future posts!

  2. You’re absolutely right, Deborah, poltergeists do seem to “feed” off that energy of youth, and adolescents are just oozing with it! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. We hope you’ll subscribe! 🙂

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