Atrocities of Carrie (2013) and Other Tricks of the Mind

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Horror Mystery and Lore

What an interesting thing the mind can be in an age where misfits enjoy stories that illuminate the horrifying nature of what lies in the depths of the human psyche. Man can be driven to madness when his mind is invaded, when his sanity is questioned, or when his morals have been corrupted, but what is hidden amongst his deepest darkest dreams, desires, and fears? How can we really know what is real and what is imagined—more importantly, do we dare pursue those instincts within to find the true power that could be concealed inside every single one of us?

Psychokinesis is a concept that is often regarded with derision, especially within the scientific community and yet it has been studied fairly extensively. It seems like the results from such experiments and theories are never released in any legitimate form, but instead further speculated upon—then again, perhaps that’s why we have gotten so many great movies in the horror genre that depict these people with larger than life abilities that potentially threaten the lives of anyone caught unable to defend themselves.

Paul Draper Bending Spoon
Paul Draper Bending a Spoon

The pure number of speculated types of psychokinesis is quite outrageous—name a type of object and there is probably a -kinesis to cover it. Of course, there are the more well-known versions of the phenomenon, such as telekinesis the ability to move objects with your mind, pyrokinesis the ability to create, control, and extinguish a fire with your mind. There are also ones that are less widely known, or even otherwise unheard of—like aerokinesis which is the supposed ability to manipulate air molecules to create wind, or similarly atmokinesis, which would enable the person to manipulate weather conditions.

These types of psychokinesis range into the absurd, so much so that there is even one for manipulating the perception of time, or manipulating time itself, which is called chronokinesis—not to say that these powers wouldn’t be absolutely stellar to have, but to say that they already exist in the world as we know it today would be leaving yourself open to mockery. All of these different types of manipulating objects solely with the power of one’s mind is reminiscent of the television show Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005) in which people belong to certain tribes in four separate kingdoms, select people within these tribes possess the power to manipulate the natural element that their tribe is known for. Not to say that it’s not a great television show—but the idea of these kinds of powers existing without anyone truly taking note of such amazing gifts renders the whole thing even more fictional in nature.

Carrie (2013)
Carrie (2013)

Fictional cases of psychokinesis are easily identified—after all, being able to control the world around you with your mind is probably the superpower that is most popularly wished for. Characters like the mutants for X-Men comic books and subsequent film franchise, as well as movies like Push (2009), Chronicle (2012), and more recently Code 8 (2019) have made us yearn for superpowers whereas darker movies like Brightburn (2019) show us exactly why most of us are pretty glad that these kind of powers aren’t up for grabs. In Brightburn (2019) we see what the world would have gotten if Superman were part of an evil race of aliens. The remake of Carrie (2013) as well as the original show exactly what would happen if the unpopular, beaten-down, and bullied girl ended up having telekinetic powers and eventually being pushed too far. Everyone has their own limit on how poorly they can be treated before they finally stand up for themselves.

An alternative theory as to why it isn’t widely known that these powers might actually exist is that any time this type of phenomenon occurs, it is typically mistaken for poltergeist activity. This theory suggests that some reports of poltergeists are not actually manifestations of the dead, but instead unconscious manifestations of a person’s psychic turmoil.

People Who Are Known For Their Psychokinetic Abilities

Despite the skepticism surrounding any possibility of psychokinetic abilities, there have been a few cases where people have been able to prove under scientific observation that they have the ability to manipulate the world around them in some way or another.

Nina Kulagina

Nina was one of the first Russian citizens to participate successfully in the research that the Soviets conducted when seeking to weaponize telekinesis. She demonstrated her abilities under controlled lab conditions by stopping a frog’s heart.

Uri Gellar

Known for his ability to bend spoons, but his authenticity is questionable as he was a performer in theatre and magic circles prior to his dynamic spoon-bending performances.

Ted Serios

Made famous for the concept of thoughtography—he alleged that he had the ability to transfer his mental images onto photographic film while under the influence; due to his problems reproducing this ability while sober, researchers debunked his claims.

Matthew Manning

Claimed an ability to affect electrical and mechanical devices, and had an aptitude for automatic writing.

Tibetan Buddha Statue Meditation
Photography by RKTKN

Tibetan Monks

In Tibet, there are monks that are known to have the ability to raise their body temperatures through the power of meditation, possibly the most plausible of all of the phenomenons attributed to psychokinesis, as it relates to the mind’s control over the body. Monks would sit in temperatures of approximately 40˚ Fahrenheit in a meditative state using g Tum-mo Yoga techniques, then have wet ice-cold sheets draped over them. They would be able to raise their body temperature so effectively that in most cases steam would rise from their bodies and the sheets would be dried within about an hour.

Movies that Illustrate the Darker Side of the Psychokinetic Powers

The True Abilities of a Poltergeist

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore

The Mysterious History of the Poltergeist

Poltergeist reaching for the clown doll
Artwork by Mary Farnstrom

Poltergeists are often connected with ghosts, and while it’s true that ghosts can be poltergeists, poltergeists are not always ghosts. Categorized by their noisy nature, their ability to move objects, as well as various other physical disturbances. The term poltergeist comes from the German language, poltern, “to knock,” and geist, “spirit,” and in England the poltergeist is often synonymous with the boggart. These mischievous and often malevolent spirits date back to ancient Rome, as well as medieval Germany, China, Wales, and they continue to be reported from elsewhere in the world to this day. These impish spirits have not changed much over the year in how they present, except for taking into account the evolution of technology. In ancient reports, the reports showed that would throw rocks, dirt, and other objects, cause loud noises, knocking, strange lights, and unexplainable shrieks, as well as physical and sexual assaults that would leave their victims shaken. Modern reports have included lightbulbs spinning in their sockets and telephones repeatedly dialing the same number.

Physical assaults—scratching, spitting, biting, pinching, punching and sexual molestation—usually only appear in a small number of cases, but they are still consistently prevalent among cases over the years. Overall, the activity doesn’t just peter out, it stops as suddenly as it starts, but the length of time the victims are affected varies so widely that the end is never predictable. Whether the victim ends up suffering for a few hours, a few months, or a few years, it is never a permanent affliction. One intriguing aspect of poltergeist infestations is the fact that the activity is usually centralized around a single individual, or “agent”.

Researching the Poltergeist Phenomenon

The phenomenon of poltergeists has been researched in-depth at a scientific level since the late 1970s by parapsychologists and they have come up with several theories as possible explanations. Alan Gauld and A.D. Cornell, English researchers of the time collected the data from 500 separate instances of poltergeists dating back from the 1800s. Among the characteristics that these cases had in common, about two-thirds of all cases included small objects moving from their original location.  Over half of the cases showed that the poltergeists were most active at night, and many individual incidents lasted longer than a year. Some other disturbing coincidences were that quite a few cases were focused around females under the age of twenty.

Before the 19th century, poltergeist activity was blamed primarily on the paranormal—spirits, witches, demons, and most often the Devil. At the turn of the century, however, a large spiritualism movement began, where mediums would routinely allow themselves to become temporarily possessed as a conduit to those who have passed. There were several researchers who began to investigate the idea of unconscious psychokinesis, alluding to the idea that the individual that the activity centralized around, was, in fact, the cause of it all. This isn’t to say that they were being accused of faking the activity, but more likely causing it without their own knowledge and although this theory began to be explored in the 1930s, it is still considered fairly controversial in nature. It’s important to take into consideration that the majority of these reports were recorded between 1840 and 1920 before the phenomenon came under the scrutiny of modern scientific research.

Poltergeists in History and Modern Culture

The Amityville Haunting

Ron DeFeo Jr., the infamous murderer of Amityville still lives and he continues to serve his six 25-year life sentences in the New York Correctional Facility; his initial story consisted of him claiming to hear voices that were convincing him to kill his entire family, but then his story changed, multiple times since. While DeFeo now claims that he didn’t murder his entire family, the details have gotten so fuzzy over the years that it’s still incredibly difficult to tell if this was an actual case of possession—which later resulted in poltergeist activity for the Lutz family—or if the entire thing was a hoax propagated by the Lutz family. It’s widely theorized by skeptics that the Lutz family intended to cash-in on the mass murder committed by DeFeo, due to a problematic financial and legal condition so they could take advantage of the publicity. It makes sense to take the view of the skeptic, it’s never a good idea to accept anything on blind faith, but much of the evidence and first-hand accounts disagree with the skeptic’s point of view.

Why do we believe them? Well, even though it’s been proven that lie detector tests are not infallible, George and Kathy Lutz weren’t trained to pass them, yet they did so to prove their innocence and ended up passing. There are also claims that George Lutz had a history of dabbling in the occult, we’re not so sure where we fall on this matter—this could mean that either Lutz was incredibly familiar with the symptoms of a poltergeist haunting, or it means that he was more open psychologically to the idea and the poltergeist took hold. The entire family apparently experienced foreign odors, cold spots in certain areas of the house, and reported a slime that would randomly ooze out of the walls and keyholes. One tidbit that could be an embellishment, was the allegation that George Lutz would wake up at 3:15 AM every morning, which was when Ron DeFeo Jr. was said to have committed the murders.

Aside from observers from outside of the Lutz family, there was the priest that was called in to bless the home, who reported having heard a voice scream to, “get out!” Due to his own personal experience, he advised the family to never sleep in that room again. The paranormal activity within the house only increased from there, with a garage door opening and closing, as well as a knife being knocked down in the kitchen by invisible forces. This all escalated even further to every member of the family except for George, who observed the phenomenon, levitating off of their respective beds. Daniel Lutz, one of the sons continues to have nightmares about this house even to this day.

The Truth Behind Amityville?

The following video addresses both skeptics and believers when it comes to the Amityville haunting, so why not hear both sides?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvXU11Kyj5E
Amityville Horror The True Story

The Ash Manor Haunting

Poltergeist as an apparition on the bed
Photography by Jrwooley6

Investigated in 1936, Dr. Nandor Fodor became incredibly popular for his controversial poltergeist theory about the Ash Manor Ghost. The actual case reports that shortly after moving into the old house, the owner, Mr. Keel and his wife began to encounter a strange apparition dressed in an Elizabethan era smock—as well as hear strange loud knocking—upon trying to confront this intruder, Mr. and Mrs. Keel found that trying to touch the apparition that their hands would go right through it. Fearing the worst for his family, Keel hired a medium, as well as various psychic investigators. This resulted in the medium suggesting that all of these happenings were the result of strained family life, a tell-tale sign of poltergeist activity. The final result of Dr. Fodor was that people, “who put themselves in an unguarded psychological position,” are likely to be more vulnerable to hauntings and poltergeist attacks.

The Enfield Haunting

In the book, This House is Haunted (2011), the account of the Enfield Haunting is given in full, which also inspired The Conjuring 2 (2016), part of the great paranormal franchise that follows the investigations of Ed and Lorraine Warren throughout the years. The Enfield case is possibly one of the most famous poltergeist hauntings ever recorded. Originating late August of 1977, in the suburb of North London, the house in Enfield was inhabited by a single mother and her four children; the initial report was of the two middle children experiencing their beds shaking violently, and shuffling sounds when the children were in their shared room. At that point, the mother Peggy, was not entirely convinced that it was actually happening.

Peggy and her two middle children were all witness to when sudden furniture movements and loud knocking with no origin began, at which time Peggy sought the help of her neighbors. Once her neighbors witnessed the knocking but had no explanation for it, the police were called in. The police were even hard-pressed to find an explanation behind the knocking and furniture movement that they ended up witnessing upon responding to the call. The Enfield case eventually subsided for a time, before being reignited a short while later lasting for a few years in total.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHPYriXhNW8
The Enfield Haunting – A Real Life Haunting (2016)

Films that feature poltergeists