Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Stone Throwing Poltergeists

Helpidius was the personal physician of the Gothic monarch Theodoric the Great in the 510s. For several months one summer his home in Rome became famous for the “flying stones” which cascaded down on to its roof from unseen origins.

In 858 a farmer near Bingen, Germany, found himself hit by stones thrown by unseen hands whenever he went outside. He believed that a demon was attacking him and a priest was sent from Mainz to get rid of the assailant. As the priest began the ceremony an avalanche of stones struck him from behind. He fled.

On 29 November 1591 the Oxfordshire home of the Lee family was subjected to a barrage of stones. The rocks varied in size from a small pebble up to 22 pounds in weight. Each stone arrived in identical fashion, falling to the floor with a thud as if dropped from ceiling height. There were, however, no holes in the ceilings and nobody in sight who could have thrown the stones. After this initial barrage, stones continued to appear from nowhere inside the house off and on for some weeks. Days might pass without a stone being seen, then a dozen would appear all at once. The eldest son, 22 year old George, died in May 1592 after which the stones stopped appearing.

On 11 June 1685 a poltergeist, called a demon at the time, began an assault on the home of George Walton in Portsmouth, New England. A shower of several hundred pebbles began falling on to the roof of the house with a loud rattling sound. The family went outside to find themselves deluged by stones. Several people were hit by the falling stones, but they suffered no injury as the stones bounced off harmlessly. The pebbles seemed to be appearing out of thin air several feet above the house. The stone shower stopped, but repeated itself a few days later, and continued to manifest itself several times until about November, when the attacks ceased. 

In 1935 a poltergeist attacking a house in Eland Road, in the Battersea area of London, began by throwing small pieces of coal on to the roof of a conservatory. It then threw some pennies, followed by more coal and some stones. Over the coming weeks it is estimated that more than 500 stones and bits of coal appeared apparently from nowhere.

A variation on throwing stones was shown by the famous Bell Witch. This poltergeist took to throwing sticks and cut logs. The pieces of wood usually came flying out of a thicket beside the road that led to the Bell Farm and were thrown at anyone walking or riding along the road.

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