Monday, December 23, 2013

The First Ghosthunt? The Drummer of Tedworth Case

You can barely swing a dead cat these days (not that I advocate that,) without hitting a ghost hunter, but paranormal researchers go back in history well before our more “enlightened” time.

Perhaps the first recorded ghost hunter and paranormal researcher’s exploits were published in 1668 under the title Sadducismus Triumphatus. In it, Joseph Glanvill, a clergyman, describes poltergeist activity related to a drum confiscated from a musician during a legal case. The plaintiff in the case received the drum as part of his settlement (or to punish the drummer) and began to report typical poltergeist activity including drumming, moving objects and unexplained noises. Much like the Amityville case of our day, the Drummer of Tedworth case became well publicized amongst citizens of the British Isles.

Glanvill examined the case, and indeed witnessed activity himself. He ruled that the drum was haunted, although others from that time believed the drums owner had used witchcraft to put a curse on the drum so that it would wreck-havoc in the new owners home.

Other investigators cropped up to look at the case and it was later believed this activity was a hoax and that the home owner had people knocking on walls outside while ghost hunters were inside. Of course, they didn't have all the bells and whistles modern day ghost hunters have, so it’s hard to blame them for their possible misdiagnosis.

Real or false, paranormal activity has intrigued and challenged men’s intellect since early days and the fascination continues. Perhaps Glanvill broke ground for all of us fascinated with the mysteries of this world and the next.

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