‘Poltergeist’ (2015) is a remake of the horror film (1982) with the same title. It is a ‘reborn’ film with similar premises and the same problem. What or rather who is a poltergeist? ‘Poltergeists’ refer to (mostly) unseen but very restless ghost beings, who are particularly ferocious. They are the ones who lash out with noisy, violent and even destructive thrashings. Sounds somewhat like displeased and untamed yaksas and raksasas of the ghost realm in Buddhist terms?
If it offers any consolation due to familiarity, poltergeists were humans in their past lives too, simply with the horror of their three poisons (of greed, hatred and delusion) carried over and magnified in expression. The true horror is always the truly unseen, the unrecognised. No, am not talking about the ghosts themselves here, but the phantoms of the devious three poisons haunting us. They can lurk on undetected in our minds, causing actual rebirths as malevolent spirits with unresolved issues!
Disturbing paranormal activity is but ‘normal’ unenlightened behaviour. The key to exorcism is to counsel for purging of the three poisons, especially intense attachment and aversion from delusion (alternative names of the poisons). These ills are more or less universal for all beings still trapped in the rounds of rebirth. Another ‘consolation’ is that unseen beings can only mess with our minds when we are already susceptible to our own inner demons (of the poisons). To spiritually lead frightful ghosts ‘into the light’ means guiding them to release themselves from their angry grudges. May this be a step towards their enlightenment!