The Rosenheim Poltergeist was a case of paranormal occurrences in a German town that defied natural explanation. Some of the phenomena seemed to be directed by a disembodied “intelligence.”
The case began in November 1967 in a law office in the Bavarian town of Rosenheim. Phenomena were primarily electrical and electronic: neon ceiling lights repeatedly went out; fuses blew without apparent cause; developing fluid in a copy machine spilled several times of its own accord; and numerous problems erupted with the telephone equipment. Four telephones rang simultaneously, calls were cut short, and bills rose precipitously. In addition, sharp banging noises were heard.
The case was investigated by HANS BENDER of the Institut für Grenzgebiete der Psychologie and others. Electronic monitoring equipment was installed, and large deflections in the power supply were measured in conjunction with the phenomena. Furthermore, these deflections occurred only during office hours.
The phenomena themselves seemed to be associated with a human focal point, a 19-year-old employee, Anna S. Whenever she walked down the hall, light fixtures would begin to swing behind her and light bulbs that were turned off would explode. Phenomena decreased the farther away she was. The investigators recorded the swinging light fixtures and banging noises on a video recorder.
After the investigation began, a new phenomenon arose: the movement and rotation of pictures hanging on the walls. In some cases, the pictures rotated 360 degrees or fell off their hooks. One was videotaped rotating 320 degrees. A test apparatus attached to the telephone revealed that the time announcement number was dialed four or five times a minute by invisible means; on some days, the number was dialed 40 to 50 times in a row. Employees denied doing the dialing.
More interesting was that at the same time, four dialings of a nine-digit Munich number were registered simultaneously. According to Bender, the psychokinesis (PK) required to do this would involve a mechanical influence upon certain springs at millisecond time intervals, which would require sophisticated technical knowledge. The investigators concluded that
• the phenomena defied explanation in terms of theoretical physics;
• the phenomena seemed to be the result of non-periodic, short duration forces;
• the phenomena, especially the telephone incidents, did not seem to involve pure electrodynamic effects;
• the phenomena included both simple and complex events; and
• the movements, especially involving the telephone, seemed to be performed by “intelligently controlled forces that have a tendency to evade investigation.”
- Bender, Hans. “An Investigation of ‘Poltergeist’ Occurrences.” Proceedings—Parapsychological Association 5: 31–33. Durham, N.C.: Parapsychological Association, 1968.
- Karger, F., and G. Zicha. “Physical Investigation of Psychokinetic Phenomena in Rosenheim, Germany, 1967.”
- Proceedings—Parapsychological Association 5: 33–35. Durham, N.C.: Parapsychological Association, 1968.