Type of Spiritual Experience
This Pubmed paper is interesting partly because it shows the link between adolescents – ‘students’ and poltergeist activity and also the role that fear plays in the overall process.
It tends to confirm that overall it is extremely heightened overall emotion that is at play here without being too specific as to which emotion is the main cause. But, the researchers found that once poltergeist activity takes place as a result of the already heightened emotion, the fear so generated feeds into the cycle, making it worse and thus increasing the chances of it happening again.
A description of the experience
J Nerv Ment Dis. 1999 Mar;187(3):159-66. - The role of fear in delusions of the paranormal - Lange R, Houran J; University of Illinois at Springfield, 62777-0001, USA.
Based on an extended process model derived from attribution theory, we hypothesized that pervasive and persistent delusions of the paranormal are characterized by the existence of a positive (self-reinforcing), rather than a negative (self-correcting), feedback loop involving paranormal beliefs, fears, and experiences, as moderated by gender and tolerance of ambiguity.
A cross-cultural sample of "international" students who reported poltergeist-like experiences showing high fear of the paranormal was identified.
As in earlier research, path analysis showed statistically significant and positive effects of belief on experience and/or fear on belief. However, paranormal experience now had a positive effect on fear as well. Thus, as predicted, increased fear removes the option of neutralizing ambiguous events by labeling them as "paranormal."
Although female subjects showed significantly greater fear of the paranormal than male subjects, there is no evidence that the nature of the delusional process is gender specific.