Creaking floors and bizarre apparitions turn up in old buildings. People in an old New England inn hear a young girl dancing upstairs, while patrons at a country & western bar in Kentucky are assaulted by characters who seem to emerge from a dark and violent past. The Unexplained: Poltergeist, from A&E, seeks to explain what could be causing these strange phenomena. Interviews with people who have encountered apparitions or have heard the strange sounds in empty rooms appear totally credible, yet psychologists suggest that the witnesses may be imagining more than they actually have seen or heard. The video takes a balanced and open-minded approach, letting the witnesses, ghost-hunters, and skeptics speak for themselves. As one would expect from A&E, the production values are excellent, and the material is presented in a highly professional manner. Still, there's no denying that some of the subject matter is extremely creepy. Are murder victims haunting old buildings and harassing today's inhabitants? If you don't mind the hair on the back of your neck standing up, you can watch and be the judge. --Robert J. McNamara

Genre: Horror
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
From a dimension beyond the living, a terror to scare you to death.
They're here.
It knows what scares you.
Some things have to be believed to be seen.
The first real ghost story.
[from trailer] The house looks just like the one next to it, and the one next to that, and the one next to that. A young couple live in it, with their three children... and something more.
[from trailer] Now Steven Spielberg crosses a frightening new threshold, into a world within our own.
[from trailer] Its form is revealed. Its focus is clear. And the games are over.
[from TV spot] Don't adjust the television set. Your reception's fine. But in their new suburban home, the Freeling family has tuned into something beyond our world.
[from TV spot] All across the country, by 4am, TV screens go blank. The late night show is over. The Freeling home is different. Although nothing is on, something is there.
[from TV spot] You'll never look at your television set the same way again.

Dr. Lesh:
Some people believe that when you die, your soul goes to heaven.

When Grandpa was dying, I looked at him in the hospital bed. And I was watching. But I didn't see anything go up out of him.

Well, his soul is invisible, Robbie. You couldn't see it.

But how come Grandpa isn't there on television with Carol Anne?

Dr. Lesh:
Some people believe that when people die, there's a wonderful light -- as bright as the sun. But it doesn't hurt to look into it. All the answers to all the questions that you ever want to know are inside that light. And when you walk to it, you become a part of it forever. (beat) And then, some people die but they -- don't know that they've gone.

They think they're still alive?

Dr. Lesh:
Yes. Maybe they didn't want to die. Maybe they weren't ready. Maybe they hadn't lived fully yet or they'd lived a long, long time and they still wanted more life. They resist going into that light, however hard the light wants them. They just -- hang around. Watch TV, watch their friends grow up -- feeling unhappy and jealous and those feelings are bad. They hurt. (beat) And then, some people just get lost on the way to the light, and they need someone to guide them to it.

So some people get angry and throw things around - like in my bedroom?

Dr. Lesh:
Yes. Just like in school. Like -- some kids are nice to you, some kids are mean.

I got beat up once by three kids. They took my lunch money. Maybe they got hit by a truck and they're upstairs right now!

I'd give my strongest feeling. The point of origin is in the child's closet upstairs.

Yes, I believe that too.

Honey, are you gonna be strong for me and for your daughter? I can do absolutely nothing without your faith in this world and your love for the children.

I will, believe me I will.

And will you do anything I ask, even if it comes contrary to your beliefs as a human being and a Christian?

Yes, I promise, please.

There is no death. There is only a transition to a different sphere of consciousness. Carol Anne is not like those she's with. She's a living presence in their spiritual, earth-bound plane. They're attracted to the one thing about her that's different from themselves. Her life-force - it is very strong. It gives off its own illumination. It is a light that implies life and memory of love and home and earthly pleasures, something they desperately desire but can't have anymore. Right now, she's the closest thing to that, and that is a terrible distraction from the real light that has finally come for them. Do you understand me?These souls who for whatever reason are not at rest are also not aware that they have passed on. They're not part of consciousness as we know it. They're in a perpetual dream state, a nightmare from which they cannot wake. Inside this spectral light is salvation - a window to the next plane. They must pass through this membrane with friends who are waiting to guide them to new destinies. Carol Anne must help them cross over, and she will only hear her mother's voice. Now, hold onto your selves. There's one more thing - a terrible presence is in there with her. So much rage, so much betrayal. I've never sensed anything like it. I don't know what hovers over this house, but it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world and take your daughter away from you. It keeps Carol Anne very close to it and away from the spectral light. It lies to her. It says things only a child can understand. He's been using her to restrain the others. To her, it simply is another child. To us, it is the Beast. Now let's go get your daughter.

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