The “Amneville’s Poltergeist” – A RSPK Case | Renaud Evrard

Renaud Evrard, professor at the University of Lorraine, analyses the Amneville recurrent spontaneous psychokinesis (RSPK or poltergeist) case, following the Model of Pragmatic Information.

During the summer in 2014, less than two kilometers from the University of Lorraine, a case featuring apparent RSPK attracted media attention in France and abroad. An old couple with a teenage nephew observed unexplained displacements and destructions of objects in several rooms of their house. Neighbors, policemen, and journalists quickly arrived and added their own testimonies which deepened the strangeness. In few months, the case was partly “solved”, not through a scientific enquiry, but by the self-accusation of the old “hysterical” woman and a trial that concluded a dismissal of all charges (“non-lieu”).

Without having the possibility to interview the protagonists themselves, despite two attempts, Evrard remained an observer of the social treatment of this paranormal story. He collected all press articles, video reports, online discussions, and informal local discussions to document the various socio-psychological reactions at the different steps of the case.

Following the Model of Pragmatic Information’s application to RSPK cases, Evrard illustrates four phases of this case: surprise, displacement, decline, and suppression. Finally, he focuses on the “suppression phase” where there is a kind of social influence to restore normality instead of the disturbing paranormality. Evrard suggests calling this action “social elusiveness” and discusses its place in parapsychology.

Presented at the “62nd Annual Convention of the Parapsychological Association” on July 4, 2019, Paris, France; program chaired by Ramses D’Leon. Download the Abstracts at

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Published on July 3, 2021