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Explaining that "weird" cut in poltergeist. read the missing scene.


Why Is There A Strange Cut In The 1982 Horror Classic, Poltergeist?

poltergeist cafe prank

I DEFINITELY remember this scene being longer, and I have ALWAYS remembered, and wondered what happened. I saw it in Massachusetts the weekend it came out as a kid. I also seem to remember Diane describing the sensation in some sort of vaguely sexual way. Something like... Remember the night when you first did (fill in the blanks) to me? It felt like that. That was the reason I always remembered it, because as a kid, I thought it was very naughty. Who knows, maybe I', nuts regarding the conversation, but I totally remember the scene differently.

Sorry, this is the collective unconsious talking. This movie has NEVER been released with the scene you speak of. I saw the original theatrical print (more than once) and it's exactly the same as it was on video and as it is now. It is the same in 70mm and 35mm. It has never, I repeat never been released in its entirety. Not only that, this Pizza hut bullshit being the reason for the cut is nonsence. They would have cut the one line. And this is nonsense anyway as Pizza Hut would have no grounds to sue MGM for saying they hated Pizza Hut. It's called freedom of speech!!

Actually you are WRONG anonymous. I watched it with the Pizza hut line on tape years ago!! You are anonymous because youre embarrased..thats a shame for you.

Lynsey is RIGHT

I also remember this scene in its entirety. Although I was only 4 when it premiered, I know I've seen it because I remember thinking (after Steven says he hates Pizza Hut), "I love Pizza Hut! (I still do actually). This weird "I've seen the scene, but it doesn't exist in any buyable format. But I know I've seen it!" It's "haunted" me for years. It's like the Mandela effect at play. I believe it will always linger in the cemetery of my mind of lost thoughts with no origin point. They just wander about asking, "do you know the answer?" I'm actually watching Poltergeist while I type this, which doesn't help.

No you don't!! Sorry but you don't know what you're talking about. It's highly unlikely that you would remember such a trivial scene that you saw nearly 40 years later and remember it how it was. You are experiences what hypnotists call 'the collective unconsious', which is where you hear something so many times, you actually think you saw remember watching it that way. Think that's bullshit? Trust me it isn't. I have seen 2 different 35mm prints and a 70mm print, which were the first copies they made at the time of release and guess what? Both are exactly the same as the versions I saw on Betamax, VHS and DVD. Not to mention the BD and TV screenings.

I have a copy of a print WITH the scene in it, Anonymous. But I love your both high and mighty-ness flowing forth. And look at your definition of collective unconscious (and spelling) is not only wrong it's a poor definition. If we go by your definition: Lynsey heard it so many times...(heard WHAT so many times) that she thinks she saw remember watching....huh? lol. Here's another thing ANONYMOUS.... Just because you saw two supposedly original prints....means just that... you saw two original prints. THat's all it means. I've seen Psycho about 8 times. Six of those times was a standard viewing. Once it had a slightly different ending. And the only time I saw it in 35 it had a completely different staircase shot. Guess what... can't find it in ANY description anywhere. Talked to two different people who saw the same print, the same night, separately... They saw the same thing. COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS: (in Jungian psychology) is a term introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung to represent a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware) common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. This has very ver little to do with what you are talking about, Anonymous. All things are possible...especially considering how finite our minds are.

This is 2022. If the scene existed someone would have posted it in some form to YouTube (and under "fair use" it couldn't have been taken down.)

After the kitchen scene the omitted scenes are from in their bedroom - smoking pot again - and they were discussing it and were wondering if the same thing happened to the neighbors. So after they get a little high they go next door and ask the neighbor. Which explains why Steven was laughing a bit.

That would make a lit of sense!

I remember that scene and the scene after that explains the weird cut. After the kitchen scene they are in their bedroom discussing what happened in the kitchen. They are getting high again and wondered if the neighbors are having the same issues. After they get high they go next door, Steven laughs a bit which makes more sense now since they just smoked. I can only assume there may have been a bit of an uproar from viewers maybe about the amount of illegal drugs being used and they are parents. Just a guess.

He didn't want the R rating. The movie has a PG rating. PG 13 wasn't around yet.

I to remember that scene. I was 12 when I saw this film at least 4 times. I was interested because I lived in a haunted house, laugh if you must but it's true. Nothing like the movie, but still. I remember that whole scene and then going to the neighbor's. To bad Steven Spielberg doesn't clean up and add to like he did with ET.

Something also missing is the scene where Robbie looks under the bed and the clown and also when his braces unravel and wrap around his face and all over the bathroom.

The "braces" scene was from the second sequel.

I don't understand why such a chunk was taken out when only a couple of lines mentioned Pizza Hut. They could easily have edited those lines out and kept the full scene in.

Exactly, that is precisely my point as to why this whole Pizza Hut bullshit explanation (which has been hanging around the internet for over 20 years now) does not explain why you would cut two scenes (kitcen and porch) together, right slam bang in the middle of two different conversations. Anyone who thinks this is the reason is a complete moron. Like you say, you would simply cut the one line, it's really not that hard. Do people really think that Speilberg and Hooper would allow such a hack cut in the middle of their film if it wasn't inentional. When I meet Speilberg this is the first thing I will ask him. Mind you it wouldn't surprise me if he started this ridiculous urban myth to begin with.

Sorry if this sounds all pervy but I recently got the Blu-Ray of Poltergeist and noticed that the ending scene where Dana shows up right before the house gets sucked into the void seems to have been censored or digitally edited? The hormonal teenager me from 1982 seems to remember a freshly hick'ed, braless Dana's shirt being more noticeably "see-thru" when she screams "whats happening !?!" . The Blu-Ray version looks digitally "fixed" or censored. Anyone with a VHS copy care to verify ...along with the missing pot scene mentioned above?

"They could have easily" is working under the assumption the film is still in the editing process. The entire point of this article is to explain that editing had already finished and Poltergeist was right on the verge of being shipped to movie theaters. This is exactly the kind of quality you get when you literally do not have the time to do the work properly and anybody familiar with editing large budget movies will tell you the same.

I grew up watching the complete movie in it’s entirety. I saw it at my house. The reason my story is different is that I watched it on a early pay satellite service called On TV. The clown scene terrified me. I couldn’t look under my bed for years. I don’t know why they were able to air the unedited version but that’s the version I grew up with.

In fact, I actually remember the "rough cut" (I know, it's too early in the morning for a mediocre pun!) between the two scenes as being incredibly "jumpy" when as a 10-year-old sitting at the Orange Mall cheap Saturday matinee double feature (with, if I remember correctly, one of the Superman sequels). Apparently, the original hired cutter who made that last-minute excision did a horrible job and the product of his work, an edit which on the big screen in Summer '82 looked as though the actual celluloid itself was getting mangled in the projector for a split-second, ended up on every extant theatre copy (at least in Orange, CA). It also SOUNDED like a bad cut: I don't know how to describe it except as the cinematic equivalent of a "clank". At any rate, it made the fact that this was an edited scene, and a poorly edited one at that, pretty darn OBVIOUS.

I grew up in the late 90s and absolutely loved Poltergeist growing up. I always thought it was fun to be scared, I guess you can say it was my first real horror movie. I did notice that weird cut when I was around 9 years old and thought our TVs and DVD players were broken for doing this weird cut. Thank you for sharing this I have always been so curious as to why this happened. However I do wish they could do a re- release of the movie with this scene in its entirety or at least put it as a deleted scene on DVDs.

Yup, I remember the pizza hut comments, I just watched the movie again now with my daughter and noticed this change, along with no "God is in his holy temple " scene

That's in poltergeist 2

So why hasn't the filmmakers ever been adressed about this cut? Can't seem to find anything online. This is 40 years ago this year. There must be something.

I don't want to contradict anyone, but when I saw the film again years later on television, I was shocked to see that several scenes had been cut for the purposes of the schedule (like reducing the film to 105 minutes instead of 114; a common practice in Canadian television broadcasting). In my memory (I saw the film on VHS in a French dub, in the early days of video tape, probably 1983; video clubs didn't exist yet), they had trimmed a fairly effective scene in which we see the worried skepticism of the father after seeing his daughter slip on the kitchen floor. Steve Freeling was looking with obvious concern and denial for the source of this phenomenon, a magnet, the neighbor's remote control? So after seeing the film again on TV (this is the late 1990s) I was so shocked that I even wrote a review on a French-speaking site referring to the Pizza Hut scene. I would like to point out that I had never heard that this scene had been cut and that, all media included. Was I the victim of some kind of twisted Mandela effect, or is there a French VHS dubbing of the mentioned scene somewhere?

I had never seen this extended scene on my VHS, DVD or when I saw this in theatres back in 1982. But I was always suspicious that there was more there because of the abruptness of the cut. The pizza hut reason is very interesting. Something I had never known about. But maybe another reason for the cut was because of showing a child (Carol-Anne) slamming into a wall to the point of damaging it might have been deemed too shocking for audiences. That certainly would have scared me seeing that for the first time.

This movie played constantly on HBO in the 80's. My grandfather had the movie on RCA VideoDisc. One of those two formats had the extra footage. I can quote half the movie from 40 years ago, and I absolutely remember it. I just watched it again on Netflix for the first time in ages and the bad cut was obvious. I was looking for explanations when I found this page.

Also the insect bites came from nowhere im sure years ago it was in the film where the bugs started, now just one pic of bugs on wall left.

I 100% remember seeing the 'missing scene' when I first watched this movie!! I'm 46yr old and watched this with my family when I was a kid. I reside in the UK where I was born (just for reference). I'm rewatching this movie and I'm completely shocked that there's a big chunk of the movie 'missing'!

I have the 1st UK homevideo release of POLTERGEIST from April 1983 on MGM (even has the 'Cast Card'). I need to re-watch that tape and look for that scene shortly after the half-hour mark of the film. I've watched the 1983 UK tape before . . . but it's been several years and I can't remember offhand if the 'I Hate Pizza Hut' line is in there or not. I hope to find out soon! I have recently hooked up my multi-standard VCR (I live in the U.S. so I need one to play PALs).

I don't remember the scene as such, but i do remember it being longer, and certainly don;t remember the stupid cut. Reading back through the quotes, I do remeber something about the smoking a J, then visiting the neighbour, so it is out there somewhere. Someone Anonymous posted here they have the cut scene. I ask them to post it to you tube so we can see it again!

Lynsey is absolutely 10000% right. Great memory Lynsey. That reply from anonymous is anonymous because he or she is too embarrassed and very wrong and knows it.

Actually it IS edited, and not ripped out weirdly. I also watched the original with the pizza hut line. So the anonymous one replying to Lynsey is the one who is wrong. The edited one is currently on YouTube! Lol.

Who didn't like Pizza Hut in the 80s??

The cut still doesn't make sense. Why cut 60 seconds of a scene and ruin part of the film when all they had to do was cut out 3 words? They could have literally just cut the "I hate Pizza Hut" and start at the "Where's dinner" line? If that wasn't possible (for whatever reason), then just cut to Diane's next line. It seems like some studio executive cut the film with a pair of scissors, taped the two halves together and sent it out to theaters. Even an amateur editor starting their first day on the job could have done a much better job.

FIX IT! Use AI and redo the entire scene. Just leave out Pizza Hut or just the “Hut” part. Get other actors but use AI to give them the appearance of the original actors.

It is possible that an uncut version got out there and was quickly replaced after being discovered. This movie was released back in the day where they physically printed copies of the movie and shipped the massive roles of film to theaters around the country. Just because someone saw one cut of the original movie proves nothing about what someone else saw. The fact that this was such a rough cut at the last minute increases the chances that some people out there saw the uncut scene.

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Five reasons why London’s most famous poltergeist case is a hoax

Psychology professor (and expert sceptic) Chris French gets to the bottom of the Enfield Poltergeist, the ‘real-life’ haunting that inspired ‘The Conjuring 2’

Amityville. Salem. Enfield? Funny goings-on in a council house in the late 1970s put the north London suburb on the map of the world’s most haunted towns. It all started in 1977, when single mum Peggy Hodgson heard a loud thud. Upstairs she found her daughters Janet, 11, and Margaret, 13, with a chest of drawers in the middle of their bedroom. The girls swore it moved of its own accord.

That was the first instance of ‘poltergeist activity’ in the semi. Terrifying real-life possession? Or wind-up? We spoke to professor Chris French, a psychologist based at Goldsmiths, University of London. Chris heads up the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit – which basically translates as ‘the psychology of weird shit’, he says. His team investigate everything from alien abduction claims to poltergeist cases. They’re coming from a sceptical perspective, trying to explain events in non-paranormal terms. We asked London’s very own ghostbuster why he thinks The Enfield Poltergeist is hoax.

1. The two sisters at the centre of the case admitted to hoaxing some of the ‘poltergeist’ activity 

Chris French: ‘The girls admitted they faked stuff. Of course, people who believe them say: “Well, they might have faked some of it, but some of it must be real.” Believers tend to think: We’re too clever to be hoaxed by schoolgirls. But just because you didn’t figure out how something was done doesn’t mean it was impossible to do. Conjurers have been doing it for centuries.’

2. A classic photo of 11-year-old Janet levitating above her bed could easily be Janet jumping

‘There is lots of evidence to suggest she’s not hovering in mid-air. People have reproduced that image at home, jumping up and down on a bed. This case isn’t strong, but it’s a good story.’

3. The spirit of an old man, Bill, who possessed Janet, was obsessed with periods

‘When Janet was supposedly possessed by spirit of an old man, he took a lot of interest in menstruation. That’s not something you expect an old man to be interested in. But a young girl? Well yes. There are so many question marks hanging over the case.’

4. Eyewitnesses are notoriously unreliable. Witnesses in the Enfield Poltergeist case included a policewoman who swore she saw a chair move across a room

‘We’ve researched the unreliability of eyewitnesses. We’ve been able to show the power of suggestion in experiments in controlled conditions. To give you one example, we carried out a study where we showed people a video of an alleged psychic (he was a conjurer) doing a spot of psycho-kinetic metal bending – the stuff that made Uri Geller famous. After bending the key by sleight of hand, he puts the key back on the desk and says: “If you look closely you see it’s still bending.” Typically, 40 percent of people report that it carries on bending. Conjurers have known about this stuff for centuries. Psychologists are coming to it a bit late in the day.’

5. It wouldn’t be the first case of a schoolgirl prank that got out of hand

‘I strongly suspect it was Janet and her sister behind it. There are other cases where schoolgirl pranks have got out of hand. What essentially starts as a trick grows and grows. Outside people get involved and it’s very difficult to backtrack. So my money would be on the girls. There were investigations by people who were convinced that the girls were doing all these things themselves, that it was attention-seeking behaviour.’

Read our review of 'The Conjuring 2'

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This Video Of A Ghost Haunting A High School Will Legit Give You Nightmares

poltergeist cafe prank

‘Tis the season for all things spooky, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that this little tidbit is currently making the rounds: A video of an alleged ghost at a high school in the Republic of Ireland has gone viral, giving us another maybe-real, maybe-not supernatural story to obsess over ( Dear David who? ). Captured by security cameras at Deerpark CBS in Cork, the footage shows an unseen force wreaking havoc on the hallways at about three o’clock in the morning on Oct. 1; the school subsequently posted it their YouTube channel and Facebook page , and, well… the rest, as they say , am I right?

According to its website, Deerpark CBS is the oldest school on Cork’s south side; however, although it was founded in 1828 on Sullivan’s Quay, its secondary school section was moved to Deerpark in 1968. Either way, there’s a lot of history at work here — which, of course, is just adding fuel to the proverbial ghostly fire. Old places just lend themselves to ghost stories so well, don't they?

For what it's worth, if Deerpark is, in fact, dealing with an actual ghost , I think it's likely a poltergeist — a variety of spirit known for its propensity for violently interacting with furniture and other objects (and people). The ghost that flings chairs across the room and scratches or bites people who happen to be present at the time? That’s usually a poltergeist. Indeed, the term itself derives from the German words “poltern,” a verb meaning “to knock” or “to make noise,” and “geist,” a noun meaning “spirit” or “ghost” — that is, a poltergeist is literally a noisy ghost .

The Deerpark video itself isn’t long — it clocks in at a mere one minute and 41 seconds — but in that space of time, four odd occurrences can be seen: First, at about the 13-second mark, a door at the end of the hallway opens and shuts with great force:

Then, at around the 34-second mark, a set of lockers begins rocking back and forth:

At the 58-second mark, another locker’s door flies open, causing papers to spill out:

And at the 1:23-mark, the “Caution: Wet Floor” sign displayed on the floor appears to throw itself across the hall:

Check out the full video here:

So: Is it a ghost, or is it a hoax? The teachers of Deerpark CBS are baffled. “If it’s a prank, we don’t know how it was done ,” headteacher Aaron Wolfe told UNILAD. “Motion sensors were set off at this time — that’s how it was caught.” What’s more, said Wolfe, other teachers have complained about this area of the school — which, by the way, is right outside the Religion Room— being extremely cold.

Additionally, Principal Kevin Barry isn’t sure whether they’ve actually captured supernatural activity on camera or whether it’s a “very well-designed prank,” according to Express. For what it’s worth, Barry noted that “it’s a very old building, going back a number of years, and it’s got a lot of history”; he continued, “People in old buildings are always hearing noises and strange sounds, but this is the first time we’ve actually caught something. We’d often come across papers strewn about but we were never able to say what it was, we just assumed it was pupils that were doing it.” Barry also said that none of the school’s other motion-activated cameras leading to that area had been triggered: “Because we have motion-sensor detectors now, we should have been able to detect other people coming towards that area on the other cameras, and we haven’t been able to,” he said.

However, I feel I should probably also point out that the kinds of events seen in this video are incredibly easy to fake. Here’s an example of how it could be done:

I’ve pointed to this video by Duck of Truth a few other times recently — namely when discussing the pet cam footage from the Dear David story — but I think it’s worth drawing attention to again. As Duck of Truth’s video demonstrates, it’s quite simple to rig simple remote-controlled devices that can be triggered offscreen to make things like lockers shake and doors open and close; additionally, the “Wet Floor” sign could simply have been the result of a firmly-tugged wire and some careful editing.

Also, the Deerpark footage seems to be fortuitously timed; the school is currently gearing up for an event it’s running called Fearpark (I see what you did there, Deerpark CBS!) — which, according to the Facebook page for last year’s edition of the event , is a combination haunted house/Halloween party. Kevin Barry even gave the event a plug when speaking to “We can’t explain the footage, but we invite people to make up their own minds on Sunday, 29th Oct. — we are holding an event at the school called ‘Fearpark,’ ” he said.

Personally, I think the signs point to the video being a hoax that was concocted as part of one of two possible scenarios: Either it’s a prank carried off by some enterprising and tech-savvy students without the help of any adults at the school, or it’s a collaboration between the students and faculty meant to drum up interest in Fearpark. I don’t mean to rain on anyone’s parade; on the contrary! Indeed, I applaud the school — whether we’ve got its students to thank for this delightfully spooky littler diversion, its faculty, or both — for what looks like a well-executed way to promote their planned Halloween festivities.

If it does turn out to be a poltergeist, though, I’ll definitely eat my words.

Check out the entire 'What's Up, Boo?' series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

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Pranksters Media

Terrifying ‘Poltergeist’ Prank Will Chill You To The Bone!

Do you remember Tobe Hooper and Steven Speilberg’s classic 1982 horror movie Poltergeist? A terrifying tale of a child sucked into a television set after a gruesome haunting… Well, it’s been remade with the ever-excellent Sam Rockwell and hits theaters May 22.

To celebrate the release, The crazy Brazilian show The Silvio Santos Program have made one of their patented extreme scare pranks. The victims this time? Unsuspecting babysitters who are about to witness a poltergeist up close and personal!

The prank’s from Brazil, so it’s in Portuguese. Our advice? Click the ‘CC’ icon on the bottom right of the video and you’ll bring up the subtitles… Enjoy!

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A new restaurant from one of L.A.’s wildest chefs opens inside a video game arcade

Dishes of game hen, the surf and turf and Thai Caesar salad arranged on a table

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The chef behind L.A.’s wild, irreverent, lines-around-the-block pasta pop-up Estrano Things is opening a new restaurant inside the beloved Echo Park arcade and bar Button Mash. Diego Argoti ran a series of collaborative pop-ups in the space last fall. His latest — Poltergeist — is meant to be a departure from his popular pasta-focused alleyway appearances.

A roasted game hen is suspended above pickled papaya and raddichio.

“The heart and the feeling of it is definitely there,” said Argoti, who also had worked at Bestia and Bavel. “The style of whatever people are calling it — chaos cooking or fusion or my troll-y mashups of different things I see on TikTok or that I want to cook or things I grew up with — it’s me. It’s very Asian-Italian, kind of a play on ’90s fusion.”

Poltergeist launches Friday and is meant to feel slightly more sophisticated than the one-off but still thoughtfully devised noodle dishes eaten out of disposable bowls on the street; this menu is built to last, but still built to play with format and flavor. The menu is grouped into small, medium and large plates to encourage sharing and sampling, with options such as honey walnut shrimp that involves a horchata-inspired take on panna cotta, while the Caesar leans Thai with ample lemongrass and puffed rice “croutons.” There’s game hen stuffed with chicken-gizzard dirty rice; panang lamb neck; vegan green curry bucatini with pistachio gremolata; and an off-menu dish of lamb chops with fried prawn heads, sautéed morning glory and mint tapioca — Argoti’s take on surf and turf — to round out the larger plates. He’s taking over the space and hoping to make noise doing it: a culinary poltergeist filling the dining room half of Button Mash beginning this weekend.

The Poltergeist menu will be available at the dine-in tables and booths of the space, while Argoti’s existing bar menu (with options such as a chile crisp burger, ricotta gnocchi, and Korean fried cauliflower) will still be available throughout the rest, as well as during the day on weekends, prior to Poltergeist dinner service. This marks a new culinary beginning for Button Mash, which closed with an uncertain future during the pandemic. Its previous kitchen tenants include Starry Kitchen (a former L.A. Times 101 list honoree ) as well as a more recent stint from Tacos 1986 , but co-owner Jordan Weiss says Poltergeist feels like a return to the format and weirdness that Button Mash does best.

The Thai Ceasar salad at Poltergeist.

“This is a place that was conceived foremost as a restaurant, and was designed this way, with a real dining room,” he said. “I think it’s something we kind of got away from. We wanted people to be here and be excited here, and [Argoti’s pop-ups] were a friendly reminder that people like weird stuff here. That’s what works here.”

Argoti still plans on popping up as Estrano Things in the future, but starting this week he’s haunting the arcade. Poltergeist will be open Sunday and Tuesday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.

The Sticky Rice Game Hen dish is photographed by Chef Diego Argoti.

1391 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 250-9903,

Arroz and Fun

This month the family behind Eagle Rock’s Chifa and Arcadia’s new Monarch opened a third restaurant, this time a Lincoln Heights cafe that marries Asian and Latin flavor in the former Gamboge space. “If you look at the history of Chinese and Latin immigrants, they kind of all connected in Northeast L.A., so we wanted to celebrate,” said co-owner Rica Leon. “And I’m Chinese Peruvian; we wanted to bring that whole culture together.” The Leon family relocated from Peru to East L.A. in 1977; they riff on Chinese and Peruvian flavor at Chifa and modern Cantonese and Taiwanese dishes at Monarch, but at Arroz and Fun — translating to “rice and noodles” — they offer a more casual menu with breakfast options such as savory oatmeal with mushroom, and egg-and-cheese sandwiches on sweet-savory pineapple buns (spam or bacon optional).

The lunch menu includes kabocha congee, pollo guisado, cold sesame noodle bowls and salpicon salad, with the food program helmed by Monarch and Chifa chef — and Rica Leon’s husband — John Liu. Their son, Jarod Wang, oversees the cafe, while his girlfriend, Gardi Rosales, roasts coffee under her label Cipota Coffee and fashions drinks such as espresso with lychee purée and tamarind. The cafe also serves small-batch loose-leaf Chinese teas from Tea Drunk, and Taiwanese beer. Arroz and Fun is open Tuesday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; plans for extended days and hours of operation, as well as evening service with beer and wine, are in the works.

1822 N. Broadway, Los Angeles,

An overhead view of a tray with tea and a smoked chicken rice bowl topped by an egg yolk

Bang Bang Noodles

One of the Eastside’s most popular street food pop-ups now has a bricks-and-mortar stall in Culver City. Chef Robert Lee began slapping, pulling and boiling his handmade biang biang noodles on the sidewalks of Highland Park in 2019, offering the traditional noodle bowls and other specialties of the Shaanxi province, made here with a bit of showmanship. He and his brother, owner Nelson Lee, expanded the operation with a pop-up downtown as well, but this month landed a space within Citizen Public Market food hall. “Street vending is super difficult because I have to constantly set up, break down and take it home and clean it, and somehow bring it back,” the chef said. “This whole process of having things set up and stationary was the dream to make everybody’s life easier and better.”

Having a permanent cook station has meant the capabilities for new items, too, such as mala-tinged, collaborative dumplings that Robert Lee makes with their mother, who is also responsible for Bang Bang’s various noodle sauces; and a seasonal agua fresca that adds Asian fruit to the Latin staple. In the future, the chef hopes to add Taiwanese beef rolls to the Culver menu as well. The downtown location is currently closed, serving more as a central prep kitchen for the team, and the Highland Park pop-ups are on pause. A return to the Eastside, ideally with a bricks-and-mortar location, is planned. Bang Bang Noodles is now open on the ground floor of Citizen Public Market on Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.

9355 Culver Blvd., Suite J, Culver City,

Taco Bell Cantina

The first L.A.-area location of Taco Bell’s alcohol-serving cantina is now open in Hollywood, filling a space that once housed Old Hollywood-beloved Pickwick Books in the 1930s. Themed to its 1920s architecture, L.A.’s Taco Bell Cantina features a faux movie theater marquee inside, along with other trappings — such as Taco Bell-inspired movie posters — of a Hollywood theme. The food menu mirrors that of every Taco Bell, but from behind the six-seat bar, it will serve slushies in a rotation of flavors that can feature whiskey, rum, tequila or vodka beginning the first week of March. A small “taco shop” stand at the front of the restaurant, near the touchscreen ordering systems, will sell merchandise from the brand. Taco Bell Cantina is open in Hollywood from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily.

6741 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles,

An interior of Taco Bell Cantina; to the left, over the bar, is a faux movie theater marquee, illuminated by rows of bulbs.

Re: Her returns

L.A.’s women-forward food fest is back in March with 10 days of events, cooking classes and special menus. From March 3-12 the Re: Her fest — from the eponymous L.A.-founded, national nonprofit — will amplify female chefs and women-owned restaurants across the region through a range of events such as a Molly Baz dinner at Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne’s Caldo Verde (March 3); a full day of hands-on cooking classes through Impastiamo, where chefs such as Friends and Family’s Roxana Jullapat will share tricks of pie making and other dishes (March 4); a five-course fundraiser at Rossoblu cooked by female chefs from Hatchet Hall, Guerrilla Tacos, Love & Salt and Rossoblu (March 8); and a Smorgasburg takeover, wherein the nonprofit’s members, guest chefs and retailers will set up booths at the weekly outdoor food fair (March 5).

Various locations,

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Stephanie Breijo is a reporter for the Food section and the author of its weekly news column. Previously, she served as the restaurants and bars editor for Time Out Los Angeles, and prior to that, the award-winning food editor of Richmond magazine in Richmond, Va. Born and primarily raised in Los Angeles, she believes L.A. to be the finest food city in the country and might be biased on that count but doesn’t believe she’s wrong.

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Universiteit Leiden

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Marlisa den Hartog

Marlisa den Hartog

Assistant Professor

Poltergeist pranks: More tales about the supernatural in medieval Italy

Poltergeist pranks: More tales about the supernatural in medieval Italy

April 19, 2019 • Cultural History • 7 min read

In this blog post we will look into a number of clever, but often cruel, practical jokes in which gullible victims, through a mix of staging and theatre, are made to believe that a ghost or demon is after them.

Medieval Italian literature is full of stories about the supernatural. In a previous blog post , we already came across an Edgar Allen Poe-esk gothic horror tale about a white lady, a comical tale about the ghost of a hangman, and a strange tale about a corpse, a priest, and a monkey. In these ghost stories, none of the walking dead or demons are real. Without exception, those people who (sometimes literally) shit themselves out of fear, are the victims of practical jokes devised by others for a wide range of motives.

“Could these be ghosts?”

Our first ghost story is a classic poltergeist tale, with invisible laughter and objects flying across the room. It can be found in Pietro Aretino’s masterpiece of satire, I Ragionamenti . This book is full of stories about courtesans using all kinds of tricks and pranks to cheat their customers. In one of them, a courtesan has grown very tired of one of her admirers, a merchant, and comes up with a cunning plan to scare him away. Having invited him to spend the night, she orders her maid to hide under the bed and make it seem like there is a ghost inside the room.

They dined and went to bed; and soon after they had put out the candle, indeed just as they were closing their eyes in the first sleep, lo and behold, a brick was thrown into the room and smashed everything. The courtesan clung to the merchant and moaned: “Oh my God!” Meanwhile the blanket was pulled off the bed and they were left almost completely naked; and as they pulled it back, a fusillade of laughs and cackles burst out. The merchant, hanging on by his teeth, whispered to her: “Could these be ghosts?”

The courtesan, pleased with his credulousness, then tells him a fable about a former suitor who hanged himself out of love for her. His jealous ghost now hunts her bedroom every time she allows another man to sleep with her. Upon hearing this, the merchant is terrified, and the next morning he orders the entire house to be blessed and exorcised from top to bottom with holy water and crosses. He also pays a priest to say Mass for the lover’s soul, in another attempt at expelling the ghost – according to the Catholic religion, ghosts were the lost souls of the dead who were trapped in Purgatory and could find relief through prayer. In the end, the trick does not have the desired effect: the idea that the ex-lovers’ ghost has turned his wrath on him, only further convinces the merchant in his delusion that the courtesan must really love him.

poltergeist cafe prank

Early 20th century illustrations of ghost stories. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The tale of the poltergeist priest

In a number of other stories, the poltergeist prank is taken even further. Victims are made to believe that their house is haunted, and apart from scary sounds and objects flying across the room as though moved by some invisible force, the pranksters dress up to look like actual ghosts or demons, with long white robes or a type of “devil’s costume”. Apart from these clothes, the pranksters are described as wearing horrifying masks, with artificial fire and smoke coming out of the mouths, eyes and horns. These masks seem to bear a close resemblance to those worn by theatrical actors. In the popular medieval mystery plays that represented stories from the Bible, masks were used to bring to life devils, demons, dragons, and personifications of the seven deadly sins. These masks could be ingeniously constructed to belch fire and smoke from hidden compartments.

Sometimes, the mask-bearers of the novella stories simply want to make a fool out of a credulous friend who is terrified of ghosts. At other times, this phobia is put to good use when a husband who is scared of the dark is terrorized to such an extent that he locks himself inside his bedroom – leaving his wife and her secret lover to do as they please. Once even, as is often the case with poltergeist-stories, the motive of the prankster has to do with the house itself. In a story by Matteo Bandello, a priest is very fond of the house of his neighbor. When he is unable to persuade this man to sell the house, he comes up with a clever scheme.

He had a devil’s dress made at Paris, after the most horrible and frightful fashion possible, and a mask set with two horns and so misshapen and hideous, so menacing and appalling of aspect, that it would have frightened the boldest and most assured man in all of France. With this disguise, he one night clad himself as a devil and filling his horns with artificial fire, made his way by roof into his neighbor’s house.

The priest then startles the entire house with his noises, throwing furniture around and howling. When the inhabitants finally find the courage to go up to the attic and see the monster breathing fire and smoke, they are sure that they have seen the devil. The neighbor and his household are terrified by the spectacle, and when word spreads around the town, many stories were told to explain the matter. Some said that the hauntings were caused by the death of a woman who had hung herself in the attic. Others said that it was the fault of a dead brother of the master of the house, who had never fulfilled his vows to go on a pilgrimage. When even the efforts of a friar sprinkling the entire house with holy water are to no avail, the poor man is finally forced to sell the house for half the value to the only one who is still interested in buying it – the priest.

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Top: Modern devil/demon helmet. Source: MaxPixel. Bottom: Detail of Satan from Hans Memling's Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation (c. 1485). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

A student prank gone wrong

Another tale by Matteo Bandello has an even more tragic ending for the credulous victim of a poltergeist prank. In this story, three students prank another student who is head-over-heels in love with a woman who does not love him back. His “friends” convince him that, in order to force this woman into loving him, he has to use a very particular, rather morbid, type of love magic. First, the student must enter the grave of a dead man who has just been buried. He has to embrace the dead man’s body, kiss it on the lips, and ask his forgiveness. Afterwards, he must pull out three of the dead man’s teeth, two from the upper and one from the lower jaw, and two of his fingernails. The students convince him that once he has given them these items, they will take care of the rest. They will collect the other objects needed for the ritual, such as “virgin parchment inscribed with characters in bat’s blood”, and will then pound everything together and bury it. The moment his beloved will walk by the place where they have buried the objects, she will immediately be under his spell and declare her love for him. The unfortunate student, seeing no other option to cure his lovesick heart, agrees to do as they say. That same night he goes to the church and lowers himself into the grave to steal some teeth and finger nails. This is the moment the pranksters had been waiting for. One of them had already hidden himself down in the grave, dressed as a demon, and was ready to give the student the fright of his life:

This feigned demon, who had in his mouth I know not what, something resembling a nut full of artificial fire, sent forth a tongue of flame, and then another, and another one at once, and clutched the student in his arms, after which the latter, who was already more dead than alive, suffocated with extreme fear and died in his arms.

Shocked by how the joke had escalated and worried about retributions, the students quickly hide the dead body of their “friend” and flee from the city – determined never to use these types of pranks again.

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Danse macabre with the dead emerging from their graves. Late 15th century German print. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

© Marlisa den Hartog and Leiden Medievalists Blog, 2019. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Marlisa den Hartog and Leiden Medievalists Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

  • Renaissance
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Poltergeist: The Chilling True Story That Inspired The 1982 Horror Classic

A still from Poltergeist

In Tobe Hooper's "Poltergeist," five-year-old Carol Anne (Heather O'Rourke), the youngest in the Freeling family, points at the television static and participates in an inexplicable conversation with the screen. Carol Anne repeats this ritual the next night and ominously declares, "They're he-e-e-re" — this proclamation marks the beginning of the end for the Freelings, who are targeted and torn apart by the supernatural chaos that grips their home. The poltergeist activity that the Freelings endure ranges from benign to macabre, where things start off with bent or broken kitchenware and escalate to a sentient tree attempting to devour one or more family members.

From the perspective of spirit lore, poltergeists are known to be raucous entities who enjoy messing with furniture or pulling off mischievous pranks to annoy homeowners. In "Poltergeist," Hooper imbues these spirits with deeply malicious intent, where they prey on pure life forces and ambush innocents when they least expect it. While Hooper's taut direction and Steven Spielberg's gripping story helped elevate "Poltergeist" into a genuinely unnerving tale about a haunting, the true story that inspired the film feels even more surreal when one considers the account of Lucille Hermann, who had to contend with some severe poltergeist activity in her home in 1958.

Speaking to HuffPost , Hermann recounted her personal experience with poltergeists — which the 1982 film allegedly loosely drew from to cement its premise — and went into considerable detail about the haunting in a 2012 documentary titled "Real Fear: The Truth Behind the Movies." The documentary aimed at highlighting real-life paranormal experiences that inspired massive horror franchises like "Silent Hill" and "Amityville Horror," and Hermann happened to be one of many who contributed. Let's look into her story to try and understand what makes "Poltergeist" so viscerally frightening. 

An unforgettable experience

Hermann kicked off the interview by stating that she had never seen the 1982 film, as she "had [her] own nightmare" to deal with over the years. Recounting the events of February 3, 1958, Hermann explained how her mother had called her father, James, after she and her brother, Jimmy, heard popping sounds emanating from various points in the house:

"All of a sudden, you'd hear this loud noise, like a popping bottle sound, and you'd look around and find a bottle that was 12 feet away from where it was supposed to be and all the contents were missing and the bottle was hot to the touch."

As this event seemed harmless, James decided to stay calm and tried to figure out whether this was a prank by teenagers who lived nearby. However, the next day, the family saw bottles move inexplicably through the air, and even after the police were called, these poppings increased and began to increase in intensity. Scientific reasons, such as electronic disturbances and the like were allegedly ruled out, and a priest was brought in to bless the home soon after. 

An article in Life Magazine popularized the news of the haunting, attracting attention from conspiracy theorists and paranormal experts, who wrote letters to the Hermanns and offered their take on what might have been occurring. A parapsychologist approached them and deduced that the hauntings might have something to do with the presence of their children (who are believed to attract such entities) and the activities ceased after the hauntings were studied and recorded by this expert and his colleagues. While there are no clear answers about what happened, the Hermann incident allowed the word "poltergeist" to bask under a spotlight that was both unnerving and intriguing at the same time.

How did Poltergeist shape its terrifying core?

While Hermann's personal experience is creepy (and surely distressing for a family who had just moved in), the events that plagued the cast and crew of "Poltergeist" are decidedly unnerving for various reasons. Innumerable written investigations have been conducted about the apparent "curse" that clung to the filming process — whether these speculations are true is a matter of perspective, and it is best to approach this with a grain of salt. However, what truly makes "Poltergeist" so fascinating is its commitment to elevating a fairly-harmless spirit lore into something that actively breaks the sanctity associated with family units and the utopia of suburban living .

The film also delves deeper into parapsychology, lending some credit to the notion of the afterlife through the words of Tangina Barrons (Zelda May Rubinstein), who explains that death is not a finality, but a transference to a different sphere of consciousness. The poltergeists who are hell-bent on harassing the Freelings are spirits trapped in limbo, attracted to the life force of adolescents as it grants them some sort of power. There are layers of dubious psychosexuality to parse here, which only intensifies the sense of uncomfortable dread after Carol Anne goes missing in the film. As the home television remains a portal of communication even after this point, our tense relationship with technology takes on a more macabre meaning.

Almost 40 years later, "Poltergeist" still manages to feel frightening enough, even without the chilling real-life context that Hermann provides above. However, Hermann's tale adds to the unsettling feeling of being perceived in one's own home and jolted out of one's comfort zone in a way that evades satisfactory explanation. After all, some mysteries are best left unsolved.

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The Rundown   Los Angeles

Poltergeist Is Echo Park’s Most Unhinged New Hit (In A Good Way)

By Kelly Dobkin May 1, 2023

Poltergeist at Button Mash

4.7 · Fusion · $$

Chef Diego Argoti is breathing new life into beloved Echo Park barcade Button Mash with Poltergeist , a small plates-driven concept that’s anything but formulaic. Known for his viral pop-up, Estrano, which took a delightfully chaotic approach to combining flavors and techniques, Argoti doesn’t particularly like to be pinned down in one place (or even inside of a kitchen, for that matter). 

But when friends and Button Mash co-owners Jordan Weiss and Gabe Fowlkes asked him to come in-house, Argoti saw it as an opportunity to lay down roots and create something unique. In doing so, the project has taken on deep personal significance for him, as he confronts old ghosts and creates a new kitchen culture that’s a far cry from his haunted past.

Here are five things you need to know before dining at Poltergeist.

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1. It might be in an arcade, but that doesn’t mean burgers and fries. 

Since opening in 2015, Echo Park’s Button Mash has been a neighborhood go-to for offbeat beers and delicious food. It previously housed beloved pan-Asian concept Starry Kitchen, helmed by husband-and-wife team Nguyen and Thi Tran. Button Mash was closed for the majority of the pandemic, since its all-indoor concept was not particularly conducive to social distancing. It reopened last summer with food from popular chainlet Tacos 1986, but the partnership didn’t last long. 

In the fall of 2022, Argoti and Button Mash teamed up to host a month-long series of rotating pop-ups, including Estrano. The group soon recognized the need for a more permanent restaurant concept, and asked him to come on full-time. The chef tossed around various ideas, including a Middle Eastern concept, but decided to go in another direction: “Honestly, they kind of gave me free rein and I wanted to do something crazy,” he tells us. “I’m always going to want to do something that makes a ruckus and pushes boundaries.” He spent December and January fleshing out the concept for Poltergeist before officially kicking it off in late February.


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2. This restaurant is the first brick-and-mortar venture for the ever-roving chef. 

A stalwart of top tier L.A. restaurant kitchens for nearly a decade, Argoti struck out on his own during the pandemic with his viral street-pasta concept, Estrano. Launched in 2021, Estrano popped up everywhere from an alley behind Silver Lake’s Cafe Tropical, to the backyard behind Club Tee Gee in Atwater, to the lawns of Echo Park. When presented with the opportunity to go in-house, Argoti’s feelings were mixed. “I didn’t want to be in the kitchen anymore. To be honest, there’s a part of me that still doesn’t. I’m very happy with what I have and what I’m doing. But I don’t want to work in a ‘normal’ kitchen. We created Poltergeist to be different.”

Despite his past — which includes punk rock band stints, volatile restaurant kitchens, drug use, and family trauma — Argoti refuses to let any negativity from that past life seep into Poltergeist’s DNA. “It’s kind of like a halfway house for chefs,” says Argoti. “Everyone is welcome.” In many ways, Poltergeist is a growth experience for Argoti, learning to be comfortable in the kitchen, with himself, and in his relationship with others. “The most important thing to me now,” he says, “is my staff and my team.”

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3. The menu’s influences span the globe as well as the chef’s own culinary past.

Separated into small, medium, and large plates, the menu’s influences run the gamut: Mediterranean, Italian, American, Southeast Asian, Latin American, and European flavors meld together in unexpected fashion. You’ll find a mapo tofu stuffed cabbage, a green curry bucatino, a Thai Caesar salad. Poltergeist is both a playful dedication and a simultaneous middle finger to ‘90s fusion cuisine.

For Argoti, it’s all about taking artistic risks using a familiar canvas. Poltergeist’s menu uses a template of crowd-pleasing items such as a Caesar salad, burrata, and Parker House rolls as jumping off points. “This menu is all about taking risks with simple things,” Argoti says. “Each dish is based on something people have had before: a bucatini, a long noodle, ravioli — but doing it in a completely new way.” 

Followers of Estrano can expect two familiar items: the broccoli beef ravioli (short rib-filled ravioli cooked in brown butter and dark soy sauce served with a single stalk of broccolini) and honey walnut prawns (head-on, deep-fried New Caledonian prawns served with horchata panna cotta, encircled by a crispy rice salad alongside a puddle of celery root mayo).

Also on the menu are hat tips to the ghosts of Argoti’s past, in dishes such as the grilled dorade, served atop green malawach (a flaky Yemenite bread), an ode to his time at Bavel. The Panang lamb neck is a reference to the lamb neck shawarma at Bavel, but done instead with a saffron bao that you’ll fill with persimmon amba, pickled shiitakes, brusselkraut, and pomegranate molasses along with the meat. 

Panang lamb neck at Poltergeist.

4. Drinks focus on unique, affordable natural wines.

What Button Mash did for craft beers, Poltergeist hopes to do for natural wines, leaning heavily into Eastern Europe. “Button Mash became a place where you get the weirdest beers, and we want to do that with wine, but in a way that’s not pretentious and pretty affordable and fun,” says Argoti. Note: no cocktails, just beer and wine on the menu here.

“We’ve had a better-than-it-needed-to-be wine list since the beginning,” says Button Mash co-owner Jordan Weiss. “When we reopened last April, prior to having Diego involved, I noticed people were buying more wine. I took that as an opportunity. When we went back to full service dining, I figured we would take it a step further.”

For the first time ever, that means by-the-bottle wine options. “I just wanted to have stuff on there that was fun and approachable but also things that you’ve never heard of that are well-priced,” says Weiss of the selections.

5. Don’t skip out on the equally inventive desserts.

D on’t miss the tres leches carrot cake, which feels like the ultimate mashup — purple carrot sponge cake, Bavarian cream cheese, and carrot top tapioca, served with a Thai iced tea sorbet. (Believe it or not, it works.) You’ll also find a banana split made with parsnip horchata, coconut ube, celeriac beer, and green plantain brittle; and a lemon bar made with taro gelée, avocado gelato, shortbread, and Meyer lemons. It’s a fitting end to a wildly creative meal that pushes all the right buttons. 

Kelly Dobkin is an L.A.-based writer/editor and former New Yorker. She has contributed to Bon Appétit, Grub Street, Michelin, Here Magazine, and is a former editor at Thrillist, Zagat, and Eater. Follow her on  Instagram  and  Twitter . Follow  Resy , too.

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Eight things you need to know about poltergeists – just in time for Halloween

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Reader in Applied Cognitive Psychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Cognitive and Parapsychology, Manchester Metropolitan University

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Halloween is the time of year when interest in the paranormal peaks and people celebrate all things supernatural. Of particular fascination are stories and tales of ghosts and ghouls and poltergists .

The term poltergeist comes from the combining of two German words : poltern (crash) and geist (spirit or ghost). So in other words, a noisy or unruly ghost or spirit. Although less common than traditional hauntings, reports of poltergeist activity dates back to the first century. In modern times the phenomenon has generated several major films and television programmes .

So with this in mind, here are the eight most important things you should know about poltergeists.

1. Parapsychologists can’t agree on what they are

Some parapsychologists view poltergeists as a type of ghost or supernatural entity which are responsible for psychological and physical disturbance. Others believe that such activity originates from “unknown energy” associated with a living person or a location. Sceptics, on the other hand, prefer mundane explanations such as attention seeking, pranks and trickery.

2. Poltergeists tend to prefer women to men

A person-focused poltergeist tends to (but not always) involve a female adolescent who is suffering from emotional turmoil when the activity begins . That said however, not all so called “focal agents” are teenagers. Indeed, William G. Roll , a pioneer in poltergeist research, found the age of people reporting experiences of poltergeist activity ranged from eight to 78 years.

3. Some of the best poltergeists are thought to be fakes

In 1967, at a lawyer’s office in Rosenheim, Germany strange things started to happen in the presence of the 19 year-old secretary Annemarie Schaberl. Paintings and overhead light fittings started swinging, while fluorescent tubes unscrewed themselves and massive spikes in electrical activity occurred. The speaking clock was also called multiple times per minute and furniture was moved. The police, utility company officials, physicists and parapsychologist Hans Bender investigated without explanation. But many believe it was a fake – all due to hidden nylon threads – especially given that the incidents stopped when Schaberl left the firm in early 1968.

4. Poltergeists like to mess with your stuff

Poltergeist activity typically starts with minor isolated incidents . This could include unexplained sounds or familiar objects such as your keys or your phone moving from their usual place. But while poltergeist activity is typically short-lived – manifestations typically lasting around five months – some cases have persisted for several years.

The Chilliwack poltergeist in Canada, for example was active for only two months between 1951 to 1952. During this time the Poltergeist produced loud and violent hammerings on walls accompanied by occasional flying objects. The Brother Doli Case, on the other hand, included a range of phenomena – stains, carvings of images and Welsh words, generally of a religious nature – and these persisted for several years.

5. Experts are still undecided about the Enfield poltergeist

One of the most famous poltergeist cases to happen in the UK involved the Hodgson Family , and their newly occupied council house in Enfield, North London. Between 1977 and 1979 it was the scene of demonic voices, objects moving without explanation, levitation and strange noises. Events focused on the two teenage daughters Margaret and Janet.

Several reliable witnesses observed phenomena – these witnesses included a police constable, a press photographer and investigators from the Society for Psychical. While investigators did discover some evidence of pranks and fakery , it was believed that many of the poltergeist incidents were genuine.

6. Some believe that emotional stress can cause activity

Some ghost hunters and paranormals propose that poltergeists are actually the emotions of troubled individuals – built up during times of stress. This theory, known as Spontaneous Recurring Psychokinesis suggests that this built-up stress then unconsciously projects outwards in the form of mental energy, which effects the physical environment and produces the phenomena attributed to poltergeists. But there is little evidence to support this notion.

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7. Others believe they are spirits of the dead

Many people believe that spirits of the dead are responsible for poltergeist activity. This is said to be because people who experience them perceive an underlying intelligence and meaningful communication with an otherworldly being. This view proposes that a disembodied consciousness – or soul – survives bodily death . But again, there also isn’t any compelling scientific evidence to support this view either.

8. But sceptics put a lot of it down to misinterpretation

Misinterpretation is most likely to occur when people believe a place is haunted and they are looking for evidence to confirm this. In this way, a lot of poltergeist activity can actually be attributed to inaccurate perception of natural phenomenon. Take the case of the women haunted by a ticking clock, it was actually discovered that the noise was created by a tiny insect . Other cases such as “ the curse of the spinning Egyptian ” – an Egyptian statue in a Manchester museum appeared to turn itself during the day – have equally been explained by physical factors such as minor seismic activity, underground streams and even rainfall patterns.

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Sylvio Martins

June 6, 2023

If you've ever watched weird performance art, you know what it's like to be amused, confused, and slightly on edge all at once. That's the emotional cocktail you're served at Poltergeist. This cross-cultural fusion restaurant lives inside Button Mash , a retro Echo Park barcade where Eastside bros with mullets flex their bachelor's degree in craft beer. And in many ways, Poltergeist feels like a social experiment: a place where the food can be so messily experimental that it's divisive (which maybe is a turn-on if you're into rebellious types). But if you're simply looking for a delicious meal—one with zero unpleasant surprises that leave you questioning your choices—you probably won't be as charmed. 

Poltergeist image

A pre-dinner note: get comfortable with the sound of pinball machines verberating through your skull, because—as stated—you're dining in an arcade. Tiny skeletons pole dance from lampshades, there are cute demonic cartoons on your napkin, and your cutlery is the same shade of iridescent purple as Kelly Osbourne's hair. And whether or not you look back fondly on your pubescent Hot Topic phase, Poltergeist's offbeat goth-core aesthetic is easy to like. It's fun without feeling gimmicky and an exciting change of pace, especially if the most interesting thing about the last restaurant you visited was the fancy soap in the bathroom.

Ordering from Poltergeist's pastiche of a menu can feel like spinning a giant mystery prize wheel —and what you land on will likely drastically shape your opinion of this place. Much like trying to meditate to Swedish death metal, there's zero chill here: every dish screams in your face with bright colors, loud flavors, and combinations that vary from unexpectedly delicious to downright head-scratching. You'll see clear pasta skills from the chef's Bestia days in the bucatino coated in spicy, fluorescent green curry, and the lemongrass-y Thai caesar might be the most interesting frisée has ever looked. But then there's the rest of the menu, where everything is potentially great but unevenly seasoned, or just straight-up unpleasant, like a "banana split" with pop rocks and what the menu calls: "unique" "seasonal" "flavors." (Maybe you will be a fan of the celeriac root beer ice cream. We were not.)

To experience Poltergeist means weighing pros and cons. There's truly nothing like it anywhere in LA, and you can always turn a good, bad, or dizzying meal here into a fun night of drinking interesting beers and natural wine and getting way too competitive over a game of Street Fighter II. But if food is the critical factor, your tolerance for Poltergeist's quirkiness might run thin. As much as we appreciate this barcade restaurant's unique and chaotically unhinged POV, we'd rather send you to other restaurants in the area that offer something less cool but just as important: consistency.

Food Rundown

Poltergeist image

Thai Caesar Salad

This riff makes a classic caesar look like a boring pile of leaves. It's got great texture from twisty sheets of puffed rice paper and friseé lettuce, plus big pops of flavor in the dressing: salty parmesan, brininess from the smoked anchovies, and fragrant lemongrass that perfume each bite.

Poltergeist image

Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage

This bright purple dish looks like Barney laid an egg in a bowl, but the flavors mostly work—that is, until you get to the salt-bomb sauce at the bottom, which tastes like someone went wild with a bottle of soy sauce. The mixture of sweet rice, mushrooms, and tofu tucked inside is pretty nice though, even if it doesn't really suggest mapo tofu.

Poltergeist image

Octopus Burrata

Does the squid ink in this fry bread add anything besides color? No, but we get it—it looks neat. This dish is fine, but tastes like a jumbled mix of things that don't necessarily go together. The al pastor octopus is tender and spicy enough to make your lips tingle, but the cold burrata kills the fun. There's also a random potato wedge thrown in and some pickled tomatillos on the side.

Poltergeist image

Broccoli Beef Ravioli

These ravioli filled with beef short rib are so rich you don't need more than one or two pieces. Their thick, sticky sauce exists somewhere between oyster sauce, Thanksgiving gravy, and a melted jar of Marmite (which is another way of saying it's extremely salty). Grated parmesan adds more salt, and the sweet browned butter lends even more richness this dish doesn't need. Consider the pile of crispy onions the overkill cherry on top.

Poltergeist image

Green Curry Bucatino

This is the best pasta dish at Poltergeist and a clear must-order. The noodles have a great chew to them and are so long you can't tell where they begin or end. The tangy, fragrant curry clings to the pasta like a thick layer of paint. Those little piles on top? Charred sunchokes, chili paste, and crunchy pistachio gremolata—make sure to mix them in for maximum effect.

Poltergeist image

Sticky Rice Stuffed Game Hen

This gorgeous bird has glossy skin and juicy meat, but falls victim to a recurring problem: too much salt. The chicken gizzard dirty rice stuffed inside, though, is moist and smoky with spices. The other small touches on this dish, like the fried thai basil and sweet pickled papaya, are tasty, but feel like garnishes for the sake of garnishes.

Poltergeist image

Panang Lamb Neck

Like the game hen, this dish has a lot of potential: it's perfectly cooked and fall-off-the-bone tender but, once again, so salty you'll need a gulp of beer between bites. There's a mound of fresh herbs and a sweet persimmon amba that help cut through the salt, and some saffron baos to load the lamb on (the saffron is just for color). Weirdly, there seems to be no trace of panang curry in this dish.

Poltergeist image

Grilled Dorade

If you're going to get one protein for the table, make it this one. This butterflied fish is kind of a flex: it's perfectly cooked and presented beautifully with fresh herbs, a garlicky salsa verde, and a blueberry chili crisp that surprises with bursts of sweetness. The malawach on the bottom, however, is too dense and chewy. It'd make a good frisbee.

Poltergeist image

Tres Leches Carrot Cake

This dessert hybrid is more carrot cake than a moist tres leches, and its cream cheese frosting (like most things here) is offputtingly salty. The carrot top tapioca on top doesn't add anything except some color, but the out-of-place thai tea sorbet on the side was a delicious bonus.

Poltergeist image

Banana Split

Our server warned us that this dessert is divisive, but we found the opposite. In fact, our table all agreed that this might be the world's worst banana split, starting with the brittle trail mix of dried coconut, plantain chips, and pop rocks at the bottom. The ice cream in "unique" "seasonal" "flavors" (yes, that's how it's written on the menu) sounds intriguing, but the scoops of blueberry bubblegum and celeriac root beer we got tasted like those gross Jelly Belly flavors you get as a gag gift.



Photo of Poltergeist - Los Angeles, CA, US. Parker roll with Fresno butter

Popular dishes

Thai Caesar Salad

Thai Caesar Salad

Parker House Roll

Parker House Roll

Honey Walnut Prawns

Honey Walnut Prawns


Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage

Panang Lamb Neck

Panang Lamb Neck

Broccoli Beef Ravioli

Broccoli Beef Ravioli

Green Curry

Green Curry

Octopus Burrata

Octopus Burrata

Green Goddess Salad

Green Goddess Salad

Yellow Curry

Yellow Curry

Honey Nut Walnut Shrimp

Honey Nut Walnut Shrimp

Horchata Panna Cotta

Horchata Panna Cotta

Coconut Curry Chocyotes

Coconut Curry Chocyotes

Blue Masa Dumplings

Blue Masa Dumplings

Stuffed Game Hen

Stuffed Game Hen

Olive Oil Cake

Olive Oil Cake


Little Gem Salad

Grilled Dorade

Grilled Dorade

Location & Hours

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1391 Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90026

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Photo of Skeff Y.

What an amazing space and equally stunning food! Each dish is both unique and thoughtfully favored; challenging and awakening one's taste buds! Could not recommend this place more highly. Go there and enjoy a truly amazing experience.

Photo of carolyn p.

you know when you meet someone who has good energy and makes you see the world in a different way? who embodies coolness without trying too hard? that's poltergeist. can't praise the food enough. creative flavor and presentation. the bucatini which happens to be vegetarian is rich without being heavy. turns out i like spicy curry with pasta when done right. the thai caesar is an edible and visual work of art. the service was friendly and knowledgeable. it's a bit loud because it's at an arcade bar, but it makes for a fun night out.

pumpkin and squash bucatini. satisfying.

pumpkin and squash bucatini. satisfying.

thai caesar is a must

thai caesar is a must

Photo of Ross W.

What a unique place. You can play an arcade game while waiting for your food. The food is unexpected even though I had read about it. My favorite dish of the night is no doubt the Thai Caesar Salad. Love the lemongrass flavor. It's ginormous, made for 2. The Honey Walnut Prawns were tasty and interestingly came with a small horchata panna cotta. I didn't eat them together, but I welcomed the sweet. As for the Mapo Tofu Stuffed Cabbage, I liked it but it had way too much rice. The dominant ingredient should be tofu. The Orange Curry Bucatino had a good flavor and was spicy, but for the longest time, we weren't sure what we were eating. We ended the meal with a Lemon Bar. Part of it was taro, and it was accompanied by avocado gelato. However, I couldn't really taste the avocado. Overall I do recommend this restaurant. Service was excellent. The staff was friendly,especially our server Britney. She was courteous, helpful and very attentive. Parking is tricky. Their lot was full when we got there shortly after 6p on a Saturday. Street parking is hard to come by, but luck was on our side. Be prepared to seach for a parking spot.

poltergeist cafe prank

See all photos from Ross W. for Poltergeist

Photo of Delfin T.

Restaurant is in a video arcade with lots of retro-video games. Cool fun vibes. Food is imaginative in a good way. There was no bad dish but a few really stood out for us. Must haves... the Parker Roll with spicy butter, the Thai Ceasar Salad & the Walnut Prawns The dishes has a big italian and asian influence... and it worked really well together. The chef is not asian but really understood the asian flavors to incorporate them so well into the dishes he presented. One of my friend who's been there before tells us the menu has changed since he last visited. He said it was really good also the first time he ate here.

poltergeist cafe prank

I'm so happy that I was able to discover this gem of a restaurant. The food here have bold and interesting flavors. We started dinner with the Parker house roll which is the perfect mix of warm, soft bread with sweet and savory flavors. This was followed by the Thai Cesar salad which was also full of surprising but pleasant flavors (be warned, it is a big salad). Honey walnut prawns was also very well cooked although I enjoyed the prawns and walnuts more than the horchata pans cotta and crispy rice on the side. By this point we realized that we have over ordered, our server kindly helped us cancel the lamb neck as we decided to keep the pig ear pasta that was the special for the night. The pig ear pasta's flavor was a little too strong for my liking- the green sauce was overly poignant with herb and mint flavor imo. We finished the meal with the deconstructed banana boat, which was also very interesting but probably not something I would order again. I am definitely looking forward to coming back and trying their curry bucatini and the lamb neck. I hope this restaurant continues to do well and bring more interesting dishes for us to explore The restaurant is quite popular and only opens for dinner so make sure to make reservation

poltergeist cafe prank

One of my top meals of 2023, and I ate well last year!!! Came here on a double date with some vegan friends so wanted to make sure they'd have plenty of options. They ordered all the vegan dishes (there are maybe 4 or so) that I tasted, and my partner and I got some non-vegan options for ourselves. Even though I'm not a big fan of vegan dishes usually myself, their food was amazing! I especially loved the salad and the curry. Out of the non-vegan dishes, my favorites were the Parker house roll, honey walnut shrimp and the lamb entree. We played games at Button Mash after and it was a perfect night!

poltergeist cafe prank

See all photos from Mary H. for Poltergeist

Photo of Giang N.

Such a cool spot in Silver Lake! I really loved the Thai Caesar Salad, Parker House Rolls, & the Octopus Burrata. I wasn't a big fan of the lamb neck, but my friend loved it. The desserts were good but it had interesting flavors. The service was great and the ambiance is really laid back and fun!

poltergeist cafe prank

See all photos from Giang N. for Poltergeist

Photo of Ashley H.

Came in on a Sunday night. The place was still poppin' and very loud. I cannot complain too much though because it is in a barcade. My review is mostly based on the food. Service was positive. The food though was all too overwhelming in a negative light. Majority of the dishes had interesting visual appeal, but were too much on my tastebuds. Thai Caesar Salad - My favorite dish from the 5 dishes that we picked. Very refreshing but you really need to enjoy lemongrass which the other person that I was with didn't. My +1 also said it was too sour/salty which I could understand. Honey Walnut Prawns - Just four pieces of prawns and one walnut. They were cooked well but we didn't enjoy the paired horchata panna cotta with spicy cinnamon rice. Broccoli Beef Ravioli - No mention but nauseatingly sweet. Coconut Curry Chochyotes - Didn't think the dumplings suited this dish as all. Coconut curry was made as a paste but was so salty. I took the sauce home and intend to dilute with coconut milk. There were 3 types of mushrooms to dip into the curry fondue but 2 were soaked in a salty dark soy base sauce again.. Sticky Rice Stuffed Game Hen - The hen was cooked very well. The two of us agreed that the meat was juicy and the skin was crisp although I thought that the meat was, again, too salty. The sticky giblet rice.. again salty. There was pickled veg as a side that was super boozy and "banana" ketchup that tasted like a spicy strawberry jam. The meal ended costing $114. I was not happy with this meal experience.

poltergeist cafe prank

I went with my partners and two friends last weekend. We ordered literally one of everything on the menu plus the special and ...well, it wasn't a mistake, but it was definitely more food than we could manage. Our server was great - so enthusiastic - and the rest of the team was super supportive as well. The chef came and chatted with us, too. It was great to get his insights and perspective on how the project was going. The decor is super cute and playfully spooky. Perfect for the Halloween season. Plus you can play video games and pinball before your reservation or while you wait for a table. Small plates: - Parker House roll: so incredibly fluffy with subtle sweetness and a good amount of heat from the Fresno butter - green goddess salad: really flavorful - great plating with the layers of leaves and excellent texture with the crispy rice - Thai Caesar salad: unique with the puffed rice crouton served like a giant cracker upright on the plate, lots of subtlety with the lemongrass - honey walnut prawns: so crispy! and the walnuts were great. Wasn't as enthusiastic about the horchata panna cotta. Medium plates: - Mapo tofu stuffed cabbage: incredibly flavorful with good spice. the mushrooms were really meaty and gave this dish a ton of umami and made it pretty filling. - octopus burrata: perfectly cooked octopus, strikingly plated against the squid-ink fry bread - broccoli beef ravioli: so many ravioli full of flavor and really well-prepped broccolini, it had some interesting notes of butterscotch from the browned butter. - yellow curry bucatino: it was challenging to get the corn off of the cob as it was served, but the flavor of the curry was great and the pasta was perfectly cooked. Large plates: - coconut curry chocyotes: all of the mushrooms were so tasty. the blue masa dumplings were deceptively shaped like mushroom caps. the fondue was so tasty and plentiful. - sticky rice stuffed game hen: perfectly cooked hen with slightly was - masa fried Dorade: a gorgeous plating and my boyfriend loved it cold the following day. - Panang lamb neck: the saffron bao was beautiful and delicious. the lamb neck made great leftovers and turned into beautiful breakfast tacos - lengua (special, not on the menu) - turned into such good breakfast fried rice

poltergeist cafe prank

See all photos from Melissa M. for Poltergeist

Photo of Sabrina P.

I need to give this place 5 stars because the food, ambiance,and service were absolutely incredible. Everything was decadent, fragrant, and multilayered. Fair warning though, we did not enjoy anything about the desserts. It was actually quite jarring how unenjoyable the desserts were because the dinner was amazing in every way, wouldn't change a thing. What we ordered: Green Goddess Salad Honey Walnut Prawns Octopus Burrata Broccoli Beef Ravioli The special: which was a Lamb Ragú Pappardelle Panang Lamb Neck Desserts: Lemon Bar Squash Blossom Olive Oil Cake

poltergeist cafe prank

See all photos from Sabrina P. for Poltergeist

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TV Poltergeist Is A Great Prank To Play On Your Friends

TV Poltergeist Is A Great Prank To Play On Your Friends

Pranksters out there will certainly love the TV Poltergeist. It’s a programmable device that you can hide and have it turn the TV on and off are random intervals. You could hide it somewhere discreet, such as between the sofa cushions and aim the little LED at the TV, and have it work its magic. At $12.99 , it’s probably worth the laugh that you’d get from the prank, but don’t expect to get it back when your friends find out about it.

An important note from the seller reads: The TV Poltergeist works with MOST TVs. Not every single TV on the planet. Please be forgiving of the electronic spirits inside the TV Poltergeist.

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The Poltergeist’s Office Pranks: When Ghostly Shenanigans Haunt the Workplace

July 9, 2023 by Grump


In the mundane world of corporate offices, employees often seek a little excitement or amusement to break up the monotony. However, what if that thrill arrived unexpectedly in the form of a mischievous poltergeist? Witness the hair-raising adventures of weary office workers as they navigate the unpredictable world of ghostly pranks, turning their everyday lives into an extraordinary blend of frustration and amusement.

The Haunting Hijinks Begin

As the seemingly ordinary days at the corporate office unfold, one by one, employees start noticing something peculiar happening around them. Pens and other office supplies mysteriously vanish, only to reappear in the least expected places. An innocent cup of coffee spontaneously tips over, leaving the staff perplexed and searching for rational explanations. It is not long before the office realizes they are being haunted by a prankster beyond the realm of the living.

File Follies and Soaring Secrets

The poltergeist, ever keen on upping the ante, takes its pranks to the next level. Files and paperwork go missing, only to be found soaring through the air, seemingly guided by unseen hands. Colleagues exchange bewildered glances as they witness drawers open by themselves, scattering papers across the office. Some employees, surprisingly, find themselves at the receiving end of ink splatters, a humorous albeit frustrating reminder of the ghostly presence.

Frustration Meets Amusement

While initially, the pranks leave the staff frustrated – as deadlines wait for no ghost – the supernatural shenanigans gradually unite them in amusement. Discussions around the water cooler shift from mundane company updates to sharing anecdotes and theories about the ghostly tricks they have experienced. Laughter fills the air as employees recount their encounters with doors mysteriously closing or ghostly whispers overheard in empty conference rooms.

Paranormal Team on the Case

The management, concerned about productivity, decide to bring in a paranormal investigation team to aid in resolving the situation. Equipped with camera gear, electromagnetic detectors, and an arsenal of ghost-hunting gadgets, the team works tirelessly to uncover the source of the mischievous hauntings. Their presence piques the interest of the employees, who eagerly follow the investigators, hoping to capture definitive evidence of the poltergeist’s existence.

A Surprising Discovery

As the investigation progresses, the poltergeist’s true nature is uncovered, revealing a long-forgotten tale of a former disgruntled employee seeking revenge from beyond the grave. The discovery brings a mix of sympathy and closure for the living employees as they understand the ghost’s motivations behind the pranks, leading to an unexpected sense of camaraderie.

The haunted office has become an extraordinary workplace experience, mingling the everyday grind with supernatural phenomena. These mischievous poltergeist pranks, however frustrating they may be, serve as a reminder to the employees that even in the most mundane of settings, a touch of mystery and humor can be found. While the ghostly presence may never be fully exorcised, the staff’s newfound camaraderie and ability to embrace the absurdities of their situation allows them to continue their professional lives with a touch of whimsy and intrigue.

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