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Parapsychology – Poltergeists

5. The Battersea Poltergeist

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the story of the Battersea poltergeist, focusing in particular on: (i) the story of the Battersea poltergeist, originating at 63 Wycliffe road with the Hitchings family, in 1956; (ii) the increase in intensity of the poltergeist activity over time; (iii) the media tip off, which led to a wave of media attention on the house and the story; (iv) each of the family members’ differing responses, interpretations and scepticism toward the poltergeist activities; (v) the involvement of Harold Chibbett as an investigator on the case; (vi) communication between the family and the poltergeist, named Donald, via written letters and knocking methods; (vii) the duration and intensity of this case, with near daily phenomena over the course of twelve years.


In this course, Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University) explores poltergeists. In the first lecture, we think about how to define a poltergeist and the characteristics of its activities. In the second lecture, we think about a history of recorded poltergeist cases, starting in the first century. In the third lecture, we think about some alternative, paranormal theories of poltergeists. Next, we think about the story of the Enfield poltergeist and the diversity of witnesses of its activity. In the fifth lecture, we think about the story of the Battersea poltergeist and its unprecedented twelve year duration of activity. In the sixth and final lecture, we think about some key research into poltergeist activity.


Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor of education and research and head of the School of Human and Social Sciences at Buckinghamshire New University. Professor O’Keeffe’s research interests include investigative psychology and parapsychology, and has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities. Some of Professor O’Keeffe’s recent publications include 'Things That Go Bump In The Literature: An Environmental Appraisal of 'Haunted Houses'' (2020) and 'Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Investigating the impact of victim-preference for level of engagement' (2014).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, July 20). Parapsychology – Poltergeists - The Battersea Poltergeist [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, C. "Parapsychology – Poltergeists – The Battersea Poltergeist." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 20 Jul 2022,

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