## Wednesday, November 04, 2009

### Haunted house in Strašice

Just twenty miles East of Pilsen, your humble correspondent's hometown, and 7 miles North of the cancelled U.S. missile defence radar site, you will find a village called Strašice (Rokycany District: map).

The name of the village may be translated as Spookyville. :-)

And in this aptly named village, you will find the Mráčeks [Mrah-Czech], a family whose house has been tormented by electrical ghosts and their paranormal activity. ;-)

Power outlets, towels, curtains, and even police ribbons keep on igniting spontaneously; windows, thermometers, and light bulbs at the ceiling suddenly explode - sixty times a day, they claim. ;-) The water in the aquarium suddenly boils, too. The poor turtle was dead and looked like being microwaved.

Even professionals from ČEZ, the dominant local electric utility, claim to have seen spontaneous ignitions with their own eyes, and maybe even when the house was disconnected from the grid. See:
Prague Monitor (English)
iDNES (Czech)
iDNES (English, automatic transl.)
Scientific experts from various bodies, especially physicists such as Dr Luděk Pekárek from Sisyfos [Sisyphus], the Czech scientific skeptic society, argue that the inhabitants have made it up while Ms Jitka Lenková, the spokeswoman of the Psychotronics and UFO Club, believes that the house suffers from a poltergeist.

Tests performed by ČEZ, the electric utility, helped to amplify the mystery because they concluded that Mráčeks' house is the "most electrically grounded building in the world." :-)

Czechs are atheists but a poll at Radio Impuls shows that 92% of the Czechs think that "there can exist unexplainable energies". You may see that even though atheism may look scientific to many people, it can't protect you from poltergeists. ;-)

Well, the phenomena may look unexplainable until they're explained, of course. :-)

Who or what has ignited this tower and all the plastic bags?

Electricity controls most phenomena around us. The electricity in the grid is the most important one to consider while exotic kinds of ball lightnings and similar phenomena, while possible, are much less likely. Nevertheless, I think it is much more likely that the mysteries have been designed by the Mráček family and some of their collaborators, together with many gullible people around.

However, I would probably refuse the offer to make far-reaching comments for the media because this is a story that hasn't yet been fully resolved. The physicists from the Sisyfos society inevitably look like narrow-minded materialist sourballs when they offer their wisdom, without knowing what has exactly happened.

Well, the Sisyfos guy is almost certainly right, too: the best available explanation is that someone used a flammable liquid and ignited or broke all these things. Note that the power outlets were only burning on the external side. But explain it to those 92% of the Czechs! Not too surprisingly, the Sisyfos guys were not allowed to enter the haunted house in Spookyville. :-)

Let me admit that the poltergeist has a sense of humor if he or she chose Spookyville for his or her dissertation. He is also afraid of the cameras because once TV NOVA has installed 7 camcorders to the house, the number of anomalous events per day dropped from 60 to 0. ;-) The ČEZ spokesman, whose company has sent many people over there, finds the evidence of an unusual activity overwhelming and he talks about "high frequency phenomena" as the most likely explanation.

In March 2006, similar phenomena took place in Bobrová, another village. The best explanation that the locals may offer in 2009 is that a poltergeist incarnated into a boy who lived in the house. Italian patriots may be happy that the same effects took place in Canneto di Caronia, Sicily.

The Czech media are literally full of self-declared experts i.e. crackpots. For example, one of them told the media that the Sun is near the maximum [sic] of the solar activity right now and the star is throwing a lot of ionized matter to the house in Spookyville. ;-)

And what about this particular poltergeist? ;-) At an iDNES.cz poll, at least 40% of the viewers agree that an inhabitant of the house is behind the phenomena.

What do you think about this haunted house of horrors? Is there a poltergeist over there? Can you describe the physics of the high-frequency electric phenomena? Were the poltergeists created during the fire of hundreds of fridges in this village in October 2008? Another fire occurred there one week ago. Or was the strange effect activated during the Strašice Ammunition Depot Illegal Party two weeks ago?

Or is the army that has owned the forests near the village for decades responsible for the events? Has the Pentagon already begun to build the missile defense system before Obama buried it? Or are these phenomena consequences of the LHC because Spookyville lies on the straight line from the collider, as some readers of the Czech newspapers have suggested? :-)

Update: Young Firefighter

It turned out that a few months ago, little boy Jiří Mraček was participating in a firefighter competition, Young Rescue Worker 2009. He also has some experience from the biological olympiad (district level). Unlike his hysterical parents, he's doing very well. ;-)