A poltergeist is a magical creature created from rampant and uncontrolled emotion — not a ghost, but an “indestructible spirit of chaos” (JKR). Poltergeists manifest themselves by moving or throwing objects around the place where such emotions are found. Poltergeists are often found where there are children or teens due to their chaotic emotional states. Hogwarts, as home to hundreds of magical teenagers, has a particularly troublesome poltergeist named Peeves.
Poltergeist comes from German, with 'polter' translated as 'causing a disturbance,' and 'geist' meaning 'ghost,' so it is literally a ghost that causes a disturbance.
Accounts of poltergeists can be found in many different cultures and countries and date back as far as the 1st century. However, psychic researchers have attributed most reported incidents to be hoaxes, often perpetrated by adolescents (Wikipedia).
From the Web
"Poltergeist" on the Harry Potter Wiki
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