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Observations placeholder

Manning, Matthew - The Link - 01 How it all began



Type of Spiritual Experience


"At the time the poltergeist phenomena was occurring I was due to sit the Common Entrance Examination which would determine which school I was to go to after I had left preparatory school, and I was very tense. I believe that this may have been a contributory factor to the outbreak of the phenomenon in the first place, and that because of the tension I felt, I was generating "energy" which was helping to cause the poltergeist activity. [MM]"

A description of the experience

The Link – Matthew Manning

It all started on the morning of 18th February, 1967, early on a grey Saturday morning, when my family witnessed for the first time phenomena that began suddenly for no apparent reason, and appeared to cease just as suddenly at Easter that year.

We were occupying at that time a recently-built detached house, and had lived there for seven years. Being a reasonably modern house it had an open style and contained several ground to ceiling windows.

Our house ran to a predictable and orderly routine; but suddenly this was no longer the case. Overnight the pattern of living was disrupted.

My father used to begin his day by opening up the grate of the all-night burning fire at 7 a.m., to add fuel-to-it. Afterwards he would go back upstairs to the bathroom and come down to the living room at about 7.20 a.m.

He did so on 18th February, a Saturday. Lying on its side, on the floor, he discovered a silver tankard that was usually kept on a wooden shelf 4 1/2 feet from the floor. He was surprised to find that it was not damaged, even though directly beneath the shelf was a cupboard; the tankard would have had to have hit this if it had fallen of its own accord.

My younger brother and sister and myself were all questioned about this at breakfast. No one accepted responsibility for the tankard and all denied any knowledge of it.

Naturally enough we immediately thought that we had been burgled during the night. This idea was soon dispelled when 'we found that no other objects were missing. It would not have been easy for a burglar to have broken in at night, anyway, without the risk of waking someone. The event was forgotten.

On the following Wednesday morning, my father found the tankard again lying on its side on the floor, under identical circumstances.

Once again each member of the family pleaded innocence; jokingly we all accused one another, although we knew that my father was always the first to come downstairs and enter the room; in fact he woke up the rest of us each day.

We were by now a little curious and puzzled as to the cause of the tankard's apparently inexplicable movement. There was no reason for it: the shelf was of well seasoned, planed and polished wood, and was perfectly horizontal. We kept no pets that could have displaced it, and the shelf was not sited near any fireplace or flue.

The tankard was surrounded that night by a ring of sprinkled talc, placed there, unknown to myself or my brother and sister, by my parents. If the tankard subsequently slid horizontally towards the edge of the shelf and the floor, the powder would provide evidence of this by being disturbed.

The powder ring was still intact when the tankard was found on the floor the next morning. It must, therefore, have risen vertically and then horizontally to achieve such a position without disturbing the powder. Furthermore, this piece of amateur detective work seemed to have encouraged the person who moved the tankard.

My mother, glancing at the table, laid the night before for breakfast noticed a large flower-filled vase had been placed on the mat where we normally put the teapot. The vase had been moved from the opposite end of the room, some twenty feet, without spilling any of the water. I then found an old pottery dog conspicuously repositioned above the fireplace, having moved five feet from its position on a nearby shelf.

It was now that for the first time we suspected that some freakish happenings were taking place; our feelings were mixed. We did not know whether to laugh or cry. We had no idea what might happen next, or what counter-action we could take, as it was totally outside our field of experience. Obviously none of us had ever encountered such happenings before, and although it was amusing in its impishness, it frightened us because we were not acquainted with it, and were unaware of its limits and purpose. We could not understand why this should suddenly happen; there seemed no discernible cause.

The source of the experience

Manning, Matthew

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps





Being a child
Brain damage