Poltergeist subtype #27b: Leaky ghost

While most poltergeists, or “noisy ghosts” will make loud noises or rearrange objects, the leaky ghost or “undichtgeist” is much more devious and mischievous. It will loosen pipe fittings, tamper with faucets and drains, clog gutters, and generally attempt to introduce as many leaks and stoppages as possible. The ideal state for a pipe in a house haunted by a undichtgeist is steadily dripping, and the ideal state for a drain is backed-up and slow.

Obviously, this is a problem in most circumstances, but the leaky ghost can also be quite cunning and time its devious behavior to coincide with natural events. This can lead to the cascade failure of major plumbing systems; the infamous incident where the Clark Building in New York City had a total plumbing system failure after the heavy rains of April 1988 is perhaps the most infamous.

While plumbers can fix most problems caused by a undichtgeist, and they can be kept at bay with a strongly-presented piece of plumbing apparel like a pipe wrench, exorcising them is much trickier. One strategy is to shut off all water to a building for a period of 3-4 weeks–the leaky ghost will become bored if there is nothing to tamper and scheme with and may move on. It is also possible to flush the system with holy water, though this requires an expensive ordained plumber. At $5-22 per holy gallon (hGal) depending on the market, this is an extremely pricy option for larger homes. Ordinary exorcisms typically do not work, and have been known to cause the leaky ghost to begin haunting the exorcist’s home church instead.

The origins of the undichtgeist are not well understood. Some hold that they are the spirits of dead plumbers, but that claim does not hold up to scrutiny thanks to their abhorrence of plumbing tools. They may be a gestalt formed from the spirits of many drowned beings, which explains their emergence in poorly maintained areas and sensitivity to holy water but not exorcism. Most authorities do not believe the old wives’ tale that they are from haunted buried cisterns, though, and haunted cistern purification services are usually a scam.

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