Poltergeists or Poltergeist Objects are inanimate objects that have been taken over by the Dark Presence. Most of them attack by flinging themselves at Alan Wake, but Poltergeists like earth-mowers and tractors usually try to mow Alan down.
The possessed Objects frequently appear throughout the game. At the beginning, the only Poltergeists appear as locked gates blocking the way for the player. They don't start directly attacking Alan until Episode 3: Ransom, where a number of pipes comes to life beneath a bridge.
The most common objects are oil drums, car tires, and similar. These can often be "killed" by the time they are ready to attack the first time. Sometimes Alan will also encounter machinery that will turn themselves on, but do no harm.
In some situations, you might come across huge cement pipes, or pieces of a train-wreckage. These will require more time to take down.
In several situations Alan might come across some sort of boss, these are more often than not a rather large vehicle. A poltergeist boss can be indentified by being immune to normal flashlight use, and requiring a boosted light, flares or flashbangs.
The first one, a bulldozer, appears in Episode 3: Ransom after leaving the bridge. There is also an old train found in the ghost town on the way to Mirror Peak, but it splits into two large pieces which get thrown on Alan.
In Episode 4: The Truth, Alan encounters four large pillers while escaping from Cauldron Lake Lodge. Later, the second functional vehicle appears as a combine harvester found in the Anderson Farm. There is also a tractor, but it is considered more of a mini-boss as it cannot do too much in the way of attacking and can be taken out rather easily.
In Episode 6: Departure, on the first bridge, a small crane comes to life, but is considered more of a mini-boss, as even though it attacks in various ways and is harder to kill than a regular big object, it can be taken down with two flares. A monster truck attacks Alan after leaving the bridge, but it's not necessary to defeat it. The Dark Presence throws a school bus at Alan, but it's easy to avoid it. Finally, a bulldozer will appear when Alan is making his way through a scrap-yard.
In Special 1: The Signal, the Deerfest parade truck reappears, but this time, it's thrown at Alan. Later, taken monster trucks appear as optional mini-bosses in a certain section, and the final boss of the special is a large conglomerate of televisions. After the main fight, a boat will fall into the bridge and push Alan towards a possessed gate, forcing him to dispose of the boat quickly.
- It was noted by Remedy that the Poltergeists were inspired by an engine physics glitch from the early builds of the game. The glitch caused objects to shudder and to be thrown around unpredictably, wounding the player if they made contact.
- As shown in E3 2009, Poltergeists were originally going to turn back into inanimate objects after the darkness inside them was extinguished by light, instead of disappearing.