Your Daily NEL: New English Library

Cheap and Nasty Seventies Horror Pulp

Colin Wilson – Poltergeist!

Posted by demonik on June 9, 2009

Colin Wilson – Poltergeist!  A Study In Destructive Haunting (New English Library, 1982)


“including the Black Monk of Pontefract!”


On a Thursday in June 1966, at 30 East Drive, Pontefract, Yorks:

Sudden gusts of icy wind blew through the house slamming doors and windows. (Outside it was dry and warm.)

A fine rain of white dust filled the living-room while pools of water formed on the kitchen floor – and reappeared when mopped up.

(The plaster work was in good order and a Water Board official checked that there were no leaks or burst pipes.)

Tea and sugar were scattered over work surfaces. Vibrations rattled the crockery cupboard. A wardrobe lurched across a bedroom floor while an indoor plant leaped with a crash upstairs from hall to landing.

A true story, witnessed by the family, by neighbours and by friends. And in many ways a typical one. A poltergeist.

Colin Wilson’s interest in the occult and the paranormal has taken him into an area that can seem oddly domestic. Poltergeists seem not to do real harm and often make their presence known in quite normal surroundings. There is a sense of mischief rather than sheer evil in their tricks.

But it is the almost everyday nature of their activities that makes them both disturbing and fascinating. Detailed and wide-ranging. Poltergeist! is a treasure trove of things that do, literally, go bump in the night as well as a well-thought-out attempt at an explanation. It is compulsive reading.

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