Psychic Phenomenon and History Psychokinesis or Telekinesis Part 2

About the psychic phenomenon clairvoyance also known as psychokinesis or telekinesis, history and cases of the gift.



W. G. Roll, mentioned before in connection with the Miami case, is a former research associate of Dr. Rhine. He has applied insight developed in the study of psychokinesis to a new understanding of poltergeist phenomena. These happenings got their name from the German word Poltergeist, which means "noisy ghost." The term was used as early as the 16th century, and people have long believed that such disturbances were caused by mischievous or angry ghosts to show their presence and upset the living.

Roll and other specialists, however, see close links between poltergeist and psychokinetic phenomena; to them, the mind of a living person appears to cause these physical phenomena in an elusive, unconscious manner. This human puzzle has attracted psychologists, including the late Dr. Nandor Fodor, a psychoanalyst-parapsychologist who was among those to attribute poltergeist phenomena to strong but unconscious hostilities of adolescents against parents and society generally. This view, which Roll and other researchers partly share, regards poltergeist phenomena as caused by a physical extension of a psychological condition (anger, frustration, aggression). The difference between poltergeist phenomena-including such events as the Miami case-and laboratory PK is that the spontaneous phenomena are the result of unconscious forces, while the lab experiments are based on the conscious will of the subject.


Probably the most ingenious method of combining a spontaneous event with quantitative evaluation has been developed by Dr. Gertrude R. Schmeidler, Dept. of Psychology, the City College of the City University of New York. She was approached in 1965 by a friend, a fellow resident in New York's Westchester County, who said to her, " I think my house is haunted. Are you interested?" For more than two years, the friend said, her family had sensed the presence in their house of a ghostlike male personality, meek in character, 45 years old or older.

Such a haunting implies a physical presence of sorts, possibly caused by the mind or minds of discarnate or living people. It is therefore in the psychokinesis category. Dr. Schmeidler decided to investigate this case. The ghost had been observed by three members of the family-her friend, her friend's daughter, and her friend's son. Her husband had never seen or felt the presence of the ghost. Dr. Schmeidler brought several people known to be particularly sensitive to psychic forces (you could call them mediums) into the house and checked their impressions against each other and against those of the family members.

To do this properly, Schmeidler had a draftsman make a floor plan of the building's cellar and three floors. Mother, daughter, and son each marked one copy of the floor plan, placing an X at each place where they had seen or felt the ghost. Where the ghost had been observed frequently, the X was drawn in red; where he had been seen only once, or rarely, the marking was in blue.

The floor plans were divided into 326 units, about half an inch square, so that the sensitives could mark areas where they felt the presence of an entity. Each sensitive was given a schematized floor plan. The sensitive was accompanied by an experimenter, and the person's comments as she or he made the rounds of the building and marked the squares were tape-recorded. To get a common denominator for terms with which the sensitives described the ghost's personality, Dr. Schmeidler used Gough's Adjective Check List, a list of descriptive terms devised by Dr. H. G. Gough to establish word associations.

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