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Communicating with the Dead (Original)

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Author Topic: Communicating with the Dead (Original)  (Read 4339 times)
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« Reply #195 on: January 19, 2008, 03:35:28 pm »


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   posted 07-22-2005 08:36 AM                       
The Bell-Witch seems to have many of the ear marks of poltergeist activity case rather than a haunting.

"Into the Unknown"
Readers Digest

"The word poltergeist comes from German and means "racketing ghost" of "noisy spirit."
It describes disturbances that erupt spontaneously in a household- inexplicable rapping noises, pots and pans that fly through the air, pictures crash to the floor. Through the ages poltegeist activity usually has been attributed to the devil or some malevolent-and noisy-spirit. Since such eruptions typically center on a single living individual, however, some parapsychologists now believe that poltergeist activity is actually an involuntary, or unconscious, form of teleknesis."

Also I may add that they usually involve adolescents also those just entering puberty

"Into the Unknown"
Readers Digest
pg 180-181

The ordeal of the Bell family has been the focus of much study and speculation over the years as an especially rich and complex instance of paranormal activity. For one thing, as Fanck Smyth pointed out "it seems certain that the principle phenomenon did take place," and indeed, they were witnessed by dozens of observers, including may outside the family who were presumably of objective opinions. The witch was extensively "interviewed" by a commitee of god fearing neighbors, and both Betsy and John Bell the primary victims, were examined by the family doctor, who could find no natural cause for their suffering. Betsy was for a while suspected of ventriloquism, but after one occasion when the doctor placed his hand over her mouth while the voice was speaking, the suspician was dropped. In the world of the Bells, a remote rural corner of the bible belt in the early 19th century, there could be but three explanations for the Bell Witch: it had to be a fraud, the devil or a ghost. The consensus of the community was that the Bell Witch was some sort of combination of the last two, an evil visitation against which they had no defense.

In the post-Freudian world in which we live, the most plausible explanation for the disaster that overtook the Bells may well be that suggested by psychoanalyst Nandor Fodor in a book entitled "haunted people." In his study of the Bell case, Fodor noted that the symptoms manifested by Betsy-swooning, fainting, dizzy spells-are those ordinarily expeienced by someone entering a trance, in other words, someone who is leaving her conscious self behind. And he observed that John Bell's ailments-nervous tic, inability to eat or speak, withdrawal from all normal contacts and activity-are commonly associated in modern psychiatric theory with severe feelings of quilt.

Fodor further recalled that the behavior of the witch was capricious, adolescent, human, and that while the witch was almost uniformly malicious, it did act in a kind manner toward one person in the family, the mother, Lucy Bell.

After analyzing these and other elements in the case, Fodor came to a fascinating, if highly speculative, conclusion that the Bell Witch was the expression,possibably through the power of the mind, of Betsy Bell's intense hatred for her father. Such hatred, Fodor theorized, might have been engendered by sexual advances made by the father or by some form of incestuous relationship between the father and daughter. As a result, according to Fodor, Betsy was incapable of dealing with her emotions consciously, and when stirred by the attentions of two suitors, Betsy's personality split into-the split including perhaps, "the girl in the green dress" swinging from the oak tree. Part of her personality then proceeded to attack her father.

Of course, Fodor's version of the original Bell Witch is only psychological conjecture offered a century and a half after the fact, there being no possibility of proving his theory. The subject of ghosts is no easier to resolve. It may be, as many believe that ghosts are simply the distillation into familiar forms of our deepest wishes and fears; they maybe hallucinations, pure and simple they maybe waking dreams; the may be serendipitous electrical reactions; or they maybe the visibl edge of a phenomenon as yet beyond the range of human comprehension. After all, when one realizes how dim an understanding most people have of recently explained phenomenon, such as radio and television waves, it is not difficult to believe the universe may harbor additional secrets as well.

In the end, it matters little to those who have seen ghosts whether others believe in them or not. For those who have seen them, ghostts just are. Long after Robert Graves let it be known that he had seen the ghost of young Private Challoner, he was asked to elaborate on the likelyhood of such an event. His response to the question was at once unexcited and provocative.

"I think," he wrote , "that one should accept ghosts very much as one accepts fire-a more common but equally mysterious phenomenon. What is fire? It is not really an element, not a principle of motion, not a living creature-not even a disease, though a house can catch it from its neighbors. It is an event rather than a thing or a creature. Ghost's similarly, seem to be events rather than things or creatures."

[ 07-22-2005, 08:43 AM: Message edited by: unknown ]

several species of small furry animals gathered together and grooving with a pict in a cave

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"That which does not kill us, makes us stronger."
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