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  • Writer's pictureCat Ward

PRIESTLY POLTERGEISTS..WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT?

Updated: Aug 6, 2023


Every once in a while, I like to re-read old pieces I have written- I find sometimes some of my thinking around some of the topics I had covered have altered. Not a radical shift, though, more a slight shift in my views, sometimes in the form of disagreeing with my earlier opinions.

I find this whole process somewhat cathartic in a way, as I did hold some uncertainty on certain things, and re-examining those helps me to clarify my thinking where there had previously some indicisiveness. I recently re-read an old piece I wrote a while ago, one called "Poltergeists of the Past", and found some interesting bits and pieces from within government and academic circles about religious eliefs regarding the paranormal and ghosts, too- you can find them here: https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/document/cia-rdp96-00792r000700350006-7, and here https://www.jstor.org/stable/1388010), and found myself with new thoughts on PK phenomena, specifically surrounding the type which has reportedly affected religious figures and saints in the past.

It has long been voiced, by religious folk and atheists alike, that the topic of sex within the clergy is a somewhat of a thorn in the side of the clergy. The religious community has received some extremely well-deserved bad publicity, and I too feel this is deserved, for when we examine the number of reports of paedophilia and child abuse that seem to stretch all the way to the upper levels of the Vatican, as well as reports from educational institutes and orphanages, what we find is appalling and sickening.

This is not the direction I wish to take you in today, dear readers, as I am uncertain about any links between paedophilia, abuse and historical poltergeists affecting religious figures, and I would not slander any who don't deserve it, as I feel it's often people's religious faith that maintains them..after all "whatever gets you through the night, it's alright" , as a certain Beatle once wrote, and so long as people's beliefs don't harm anything or anybody, that's fine by me!

When one stops to consider the subject of religious poltergeists, it could apply to a large range of different religions, and their ideas on the topic do make a truly interesting read.

I have discovered that Episcopalians rank lower on the paranormal belief scale than Lutherans,I also feel PK may be discussed in roundabout ways in the religions of Buddhism (there are lots of demonic, violent type entities in asian folklore), too. To add further to my list, PK could also apply in Hebrew religion, as in the Jewish Golem (a large humanoid figure made out of clay which, if given life by its' creator, can become a physically violent guardian), the widely-discussed "Dybbuk", and also its kinder twin, the "Ibbus", said to intervene in people's lives in a positive way). Then for extra interest, perhaps the "Djinn" from Islamic folklore could be thrown into the mix, too!

I believe I also mentioned an example of an ancient Egyptian poltergeist in my previous piece on the topic..something about an Egyptian man complaining that the poltergeist manifested by his dead wife kept messing up his house!

In his book "Poltergeist over England, the famed researcher Harry Price writes:

"We have evidence from papyri and other remains, covering a period of 4000 years, that the ancient Egyptians believed in, and were afraid of ghosts.."

"..G.C.C. Maspero, in his 'Etudes de Mythologie..Egyptiennes' (Paris, 1893), mentions a papyrus fragment which is a letter written by an ancient scribe 'To the Instructed Khou of Dame Onkhari', his own dead wife, the Khou being her spirit. He complains to his wife that her spirit is assailing him and that 'disturbances' have occurred in his home: clearly a Poltergeist case. He tells her to stop it!"

There could also perhaps be a link in our own Australian Indigenous cultural beliefs, when we think about the practice of "pointing the bone", and this could apply to other religions which have similar practices, such as Voodoo as well. I have joked in the past that I must have been a Catholic in a past life, or perhaps a Buddhist, as I feel guilty if I so much as step on an insect or break a piece off a plant, or can't help an animal in distress!

But I digress. We're here to discuss the sexual aspect of religious poltergeists, and not Golems or Dybbuks! These don't appear to be the manifestations of a sexually- frustrated minds, which is what brings me to the point behind this whole article.

Sexual frustration or guilt, or both, are emotions I feel may be the foundation of religious PK, whether they be about the individual's desires, feelings, or orientations. Even the case of the Fox sisters (founders of the Spiritualism movement) may have had a certain aspect of sexual frustration, as poltergeist activity has often been linked to puberty and adolescence, as have many other cases in the history of Psychical Research.

To summarise the matter, there have been poltergeists reported since the early days of mankind, and in a variety of different religions. I do recall reading that Cleopatra invented the first vibrator..you can Google it if you wish, but how she did it is a fact even ever-curious me wishes I didn't know.. Whatever you do, though, don't try it at home, people! Just one last thought, folks, and that comes in the form of a line from a famous 80's pop song- "Sex is natural, sex is good, not everybody does it, but everybody should"!

Enjoy sex, dear readers- you may just avoid poltergeists!

-Cat


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