According to the director of the Psychical Research Foundation William G. Roll there are a few characteristics of Poltergeist
cases that are helpful to remember. He says that poltergeists are usually:
Personal, But also in some ways local; the movements of objects sometimes seem goal directed and shows unusual trajectories,
and occasionally objects are reported to penetrate walls and other physical objects without damage. A surprisingly large proportion
is associated with ostensibly paranormal visions and voices, as well as with raps and other means of intelligible communication.
The incidents often convince witnesses that spirit entities are responsible and exorcisms and related rites are frequently
attempted but seem ineffective. On the other hand, the incidents are likely to terminate if the central person or other members
of the household move away.
Another common feature is that a good number of poltergeist agents suffer from some sort of psychological or neurological
problem that should be ferreted out; there is also the problem of a stressful situation. Adolescents due to the stress of
adolescence seem to be cited as poltergeist agents. Due largely it is said given to the stress of puberty. In many situations
the poltergeist agents are unaware that they are causing the incidents. In some cases, the phenomenon comes to a halt when
it is realized and accepted by the agent that they are the cause.
Hauntings on the other hand seem to be centered in one place, rather than connected with any one person as with the poltergeist.
While poltergeist cases run usually a few days to weeks. The events of a haunting seem to go on for years and years. Hauntings
are independent of the people in the location, rarely including the movement of objects. Polls and surveys have indicated
that a sixth to a tenth of the population has had an apparitional encounter.