A story on St. Lucia News Online (SNO) about paranormal activity at houses in Bisee, Castries and Massade, Gros Islet has attracted the attention of an Australia-based writer, who has been investigating similar reports over the past four years in Asia and Australia.
Paul Cropper, who is currently completing a book on Australian poltergeist cases, contacted SNO two days after the story broke.
Cropper has been investigating paranormal activity since the mid-1970s. He has co-authored Out of the Shadows – Mystery Animals of Australia (1994) and The Yowie (2006) with Tony Healy.
“I am very interested in other poltergeist cases globally, and I was interested to come across your article on the mysterious incidents at Castries,” Cropper wrote via email.
In the May 29 story, a Guyanese family was forced to flee their unfinished three-bedroom house by what they described as a “black male figure”.
Scratching and tapping sounds, doors opening and closing, household objects moving and disappearing, and appliances burning, were some of the activities reported by Paullet Adolphus, who lived in the Castries home with her boyfriend and two children. Some of the activities continue at their new home in Gros Islet, and Adolphus believes her 16-year-old son is possessed by the spirit.
In a follow-up interview, Cropper told SNO that the activities at the Castries and Gros Islet homes may be caused by a poltergeist. He is planning to interview members of the family and further investigations may include a trip to St. Lucia.
“The story, as described, has many of the hallmarks of a poltergeist. The strange sounds, the objects being moved around mysteriously, the strange fires, people being struck by invisible hands, the scratching and tapping sounds have all been reported in other cases – such as the Jamaica case,” Cropper explained.
The author does not believe that demons are involved in the St. Lucia case.
According to Cropper’s website, poltergeistfile.com, the word poltergeist originated in the early 19th century from German words “poltern” to knock and “geist” meaning spirit. According to the Cambridge Dictionary Online, poltergeists are generally viewed as a spirit or force that moves furniture and throws objects around in a house, the website states.
“Most researchers believe that these cases are more likely linked, in some way we do not yet understand, to the people involved rather than any outside power. Poltergeist cases tend to be linked to people, while hauntings tend to be linked to places. Poltergeists are also more active and physical, and rather short-term, while hauntings can stretch over decades,” he told SNO. “In my experience, most poltergeist cases simply end after a few weeks. A few last longer, but they are (thankfully) rather rare.”
Cropper said he has experienced paranormal activity first-hand. In 1998, he and Healy witnessed the actions of the Humpty Doo poltergeist in Australia.
“Over the course of four days in a house near Darwin, I observed objects being thrown around without being able to determine who was throwing them. I am now working on a book on the subject,” he said.
“I keep an eye on reports globally via Google. I am interested in poltergeists as they have been reported for centuries, but no one has yet come up with a testable explanation for what is causing them.
“It is certainly wise to be skeptical, and in many cases there are rational explanations that don’t involve anything paranormal, however, in my view, there is a reasonable percentage of cases that cannot be explained,” he said.
Cropper investigated an incident that occurred in Jamaica last year where fire ignited in a house on several occasions and stones rained from the ceiling.
Regarding the St. Lucia case, Cropper said: “It is difficult to come to any firm conclusions without talking to the people involved, both investigators – like yourself – and the family, but the case does seem to have some of the hallmarks of a poltergeist incident.”
Below are explanations from various sources on the World Wide Web as to the differences between a ghost, poltergeist and a demon.
FROM SINNERSTAR (Yahoo Answers)
A ghost – the soul of a deceased person. Sometimes able to move objects and make sounds like a poltergeist, but not a poltergeist.
Poltergeist – paranormal activity involving loud sounds and the disturbing of objects (as in, objects moving across the room, bottle caps popping off, etc.) While some people think poltergeists are ghosts, they are generally considered by paranormal researchers to be paranormal activity caused by someone in the home. Usually, a teenager or young adult who is stressed is subconsciously causing the activity is the current theory.
Demon – supernatural being of evil. The demon was never a person and didn’t die, it’s a being on a different plane than ours. Depending on what religion you’re looking at, demons can do any number of things, including stuff similar to poltergeist activity, possession, eating of souls, etc.
FROM KATE (Yahoo answers)
Ghost: a spirit, of human or animal origin. Some are residual (like a recording in a certain place), while others can cognitively interact with the present world.
Demon: a spirit that can (sometimes) create a physical manifestation of itself, though intent ranges from mild annoyance to extreme malevolence and threats to one’s safety, mentally and physically.
Poltergeist: literally translated from German, a noisy spirit. They are largely thought to be the manifestations of strong emotion in an area, especially if there is a teen/young adult present in the house/immediate area. Usually creates problems for the family/people involved.
Supernatural implies it’s not normal and non-existent, not real. There are many accounts of all three. There are other types of spirits that are not human or animal in origin, usually considered nature spirits, which each have their own unique attributes.