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What's the difference between a ghost and a poltergeist?

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Isn't a poltergeist just a ghost that moves things? Can I get a definition/summary?

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Community Member

well sometimes all a plotergeist is is just energy of someone who has died.

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I think a ghost is the spirit left behind, sometimes it's just an apparition, sometimes just a sensation or feeling.
A poltergeist is energy that can possess other objects, and make inanimate objects do things.

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there isn't a difference really, poltergeist is a German. Poltern means to make noise and geist means ghost. so a poltergeist is a spirit that moves things around and makes noise. So a ghost is just a spirit.

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Community Member

a ghost is someone (or their energy/memory, depending) that hangs around after they're dead.
a poltergeist can be one of TWO things.
a ghost that moves/interferes with physical stuff,
or a living person who has a telekinetic gift that's out of control. usually because they don't realize they have it. most common in pre-teen girls.

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To us paranormal investigators, they are completely different.
A ghost would be either an actual presence of a deceased humans spirit, or a residual energy, where there is not presence, just a replay of some past event imprinted on the environment.
A Poltergeist, which translated literally means "noisy spirit", usually isn't a spirit at all, but a very much living person that is in turmoil causing physical manifestations of haunting-like activity.
The amount of activity is usually much more than a typical haunting, and can even be violent.
If there is a true presence involved (other than the living person) it's typically a non-human entity. Not necessarily a demon, but something that never was, or will be, human.
Hope that helps.

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