When Paranormal Investigators Tony Cornell and Alan Gauld documented 500 poltergeist-type cases back in the late 1970s they found that most involved rapping noises, often described as knocks and thumps for which no source could be found.
The paranormal activity had started without warning, the two Andrews girls in bed one night heard a curious tapping noise coming from somewhere in the room. This happened on several consecutive nights. The raps seemed to coming from within the wall, at first the girls thought the noise was coming from the house next door. Soon they began to realize that the noise was responding to them, even when they whispered questions so quietly that no one outside the room could possibly hear.
The girls started to communicate with it, by asking questions and getting it to knock once for yes, two for no, and three for don't know. For more complex queries it would rap out the letter of the alphabet (five knocks for E, 13 for M, etc).
The Andrews family from Andover, Hampshire, in 1974, invited Paranormal Investigator Barrie G. Colvin to their home. Mr Colvin later said he was prevented by the family from publishing more than an outline at the time. Ten years later they were still unwilling to have the results of the investigation publicised but now that more than 30 years have elapsed, and the family has moved from the area, there is no longer an issue about this, and he has written it up in the SPR Journal, using pseudonyms.
Mr Colvin made a total of nine visits to the property over a ten week period. As well as interviewing the family about the origins of the case he had plenty of opportunity to hear the raps himself and establish that they were not the result of trickery or other visible cause. The focus of the activity seemed to have been Theresa, the younger of the two girls aged 12. Colvin also established to his own satisfaction that the source had intelligence of a sort, calling itself Eric Waters, although it did not seem to have provided any coherent information beyond that.
A medium that Mr Andrews had previously invited to the property had claimed the noises were being made by a young boy whose body was buried under the floorboards. Further investigation by the family failed to turn up anyone of that name who had lived in the area.
Colvin attempted a small experiment, persuading 'Eric' to transfer the noises from the wall of the room to the headboard of Theresa's bed. Mrs Andrews asked Eric, to knock on the headboard. This was followed by a very soft tap which was heard by all Mrs Andrews her Husband and Mr Colvin. Mrs Andrews repeated the request and the raps were progressively louder on the headboard.
The Andrews family seem to have been rather ambivalent about the case, enjoying the novelty of communicating with an unseen entity, but becoming frightened when the knocks and raps turned into loud banging's, especially when they went on for hours and deprived them of sleep. By Colvin's last visit the phenomena seemed to have faded out. While the family treated Eric as a deceased spirit, Colvin's view was that the case fitted the pattern of repressed emotion in the living, although there was no outward sign of this, the family being apparently happy and stable.
A medium that Mr Andrews had invited to the property had claimed the noises were being made by a young boy whose body was buried under the floorboards. Further investigation by the family failed to turn up anyone of that name who had lived in the area.