Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Rosenheim Poltergeist Arrives

The poltergeist that struck the office of a Bavarian lawyer in 1967 was to take this ability to mess about with modern devices to a new level.

As so often, the Rosenheim visitation began fairly quietly. Herr Adam realised that something was wrong at his offices at 13 Konigstrasse in the spring when several telephone calls were cut off. Then the phones began to ring when nobody was calling. Herr Adam called in the engineers when all the phones rang at once, but the lines were all dead. Working in the office at the time were Herr Adam, a manager named Johannes Englehard, two clerks  - Gustel Huber and Anne-Marie Schneider - and a part time junior named Frau Bielmeier,

First on the scene was an engineer from Siemens, who had installed the office equipment. He found nothing wrong, but the malfunctions continued. The engineer returned and again found nothing wrong, but he replaced all the telephonic equipment. When the new equipment malfunctioned as well, Siemens suggested that the fault might be with the external Post Office lines. The Post Office could find nothing wrong either, but as the problems continued they not only replaced the external lines and the Siemen’s equipment but also installed a meter that could record all calls made in or out, together with the times they were made.

On 5 October the meter sprang into life recording an outgoing call even though nobody in the office was on the phone at the time. Two weeks later the same thing happened again. On this second occasion a Dr Schmidt was visiting the office and signed his account of the event for Herr Adam to show the Post Office.

The Post Office then produced the log of calls recorded by the meter over the previous 5 weeks. This showed hundreds of call made to numbers that Herr Adam and his staff denied making. In particular there were 600 calls to 0119, the speaking clock. The Post Office declared that all the calls recorded were genuine, had been dialled from the Adams office and presented Herr Adams with a huge bill. Herr Adams was furious. He studied the list of calls and found that on 20 October 1967 the speaking clock had been dialled 46 times in just 15 minutes. Given the mechanical dialling mechanism of the phones in the office, dialling 0119 would take 17 seconds, so it was physically impossible for anyone to dial the clock so often in such a short time. The Post Office refused to listen and demanded payment of the bill.

Herr Adam refused. The Post Office took away all the phones except one that had a lock on it, with only Herr Adam having a key. The mystery calls continued to be made. But the strange manifestations soon escalated.

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