Things that go bump in the night – Olive Hill, KY’s noisy historical ghost


The word poltergeist comes from the German language and means, literally, noisy ghost. It’s an apt term for the phenomenon. Whereas traditional ghosts might move silently along the ramparts of a castle or down the hallway of an old home, where they can be seen reliving certain moments of their lives with little noise or other interaction with their environment, poltergeists let the inhabitants know when they are there.

Not only are poltergeists noisy, causing crashes and bangs and moving items about, they’re more likely to be heard and experienced than seen. In fact, some paranormal researchers don’t consider poltergeist activity to be hauntings at all, at least not in the traditional sense of being the spirit of a deceased entity.

Instead they class poltergeist activity as a form of psychokinesis, or the moving of objects without physically touching them. When famed psychic Uri Geller claimed to be bending spoons with nothing more than the power of his mind, this was an example of psychokinesis. 

(I shared this story with a regional history blog for the Halloween season. You can read the rest on Appalachian History

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