A boggart is a type of Bogey hobgoblin that has poltergeist habits. Although it can be helpful and sociable with some people, the boggart most often is mischievous, annoying and frightening. Without making a visual appearance, it makes itself known by playing tricks on people, such as pulling off their bedclothes. Sometimes boggart acts are accompanied by terrible noises or laughter. Boggarts can also be nasty and mean, and have been known to scratch, punch and pinch people, and even snatch and carry them away. They inhabit a house, churchyard, or field, or live in another body, such as that of a cat or dog. In some cases, Exorcism successfully puts an end to their activities. In parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, England, threats of being thrown into a “boggart-hole” have been used to keep unruly children in line. Many old English houses reputedly have their resident boggart, some of which are believed to be the ghosts of former residents. Boggarts are said to be frightened of automobiles, thus accounting for their rare appearances in the modern world. FURTHER READING : Haining, Peter. Dictionary of Ghosts. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1984. Leach, Maria, and Jerome Fried, eds. Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1979.

Taken from : The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Paperback – September 1, 2007