Why do I always choose to read books that I cannot put down on nights when I desperately need sleep? Unleashed: Of Poltergeists and Murder reads like a Dan Brown thriller, only it chills you deep to the bone because it is a real story about something that cannot be explained.
This gripping, and terrifying, account of the best documented case of poltergeist activity on record centers on a 14-year-old girl named Tina Resch, struggling to overcome her anger and bitterness after being abandoned by her mother and emotionally and physically abused by her adoptive parents. Beginning in spring of 1984, during one of history’s most powerful electromagnetic sun storms, strange things began happening in Tina’s Ohio home. Objects would fly across the room; furniture overturn and move, glasses shatter, phones and electrical outlets go haywire, all by themselves. The activity seemed to be centered on the young girl, and soon her distraught adoptive parents called for help, bringing in ministers to perform exorcisms, psychics, etc. But nothing worked. Nothing stopped the strange forces at play in the Resch household.
Enter author William Roll, who came to investigate with his assistant, Kelly, and ended up documenting and witnessing dozens of strange occurrences. Roll also interviewed the family members and others who had also witnessed the events, and soon the family was in the media, and the onslaught of publicity began to do just as much damage as the poltergeist activity itself, which was threatening to tear apart the Resch family.
The book chronicles in breathtaking detail the events and phenomena, including photographs taken by assisting journalists, and eventually, Roll takes Tina to be tested at various formal laboratories for telekinetic abilities, and finds that her gift for chaos and havoc follows her everywhere. As he and other professionals learn more about Tina’s tragic past, they begin to understand more her ability to turn her despair and anger into observable energy.
Ultimately, Tina’s ability to move objects with her mind comes down to hard science, and it takes a physicist with an interest in the paranormal to finally come up with the best conclusion to date, one involving the use of electromagnetic energy and the zero point energy field. This theory has been echoed by other physicists who claim it could explain poltergeist activity, and makes for intriguing further research and study.
The story takes a heart-breaking turn when, as an adult, Tina is no better able to cope with life’s difficulties, and she ends up married to an abuser, divorced and left with a child named Amber, all in her late teens. As a teenage mom with little if any family or economical support, Tina makes some bad choices, including one that ends up in the death of her three-year-old daughter. The little girl is murdered, but not by Tina, although a brutal and misogynist court system treats her as if she killed the child herself. This stuff will have you weeping and raging with anger at the same time, for not only was Tina a victim of a total lack of love in her own life, but now she was being jailed for something she did not do. That this is a true story is the most shocking of all.
Ultimately, this is not really a story about poltergeist activity as much as it is a story of a young girl struggling to make sense of her life, and lashing out at everything and everyone that has hurt her. That her lashing out transcended the usual physical boundaries of energy and matter is awesome and fascinating. That she never found the love she deserved and hungered for is truly tragic.
Warning. You will read this book in one sitting. It is just too fascinating to stop once you start.