Mystery of Czech haunted house explained

Exploding light-bulbs, burnt electricity sockets and broken glass in a family home in Strašice near Prague had experts scratching their heads these past three months. Now it seems the mystery’s been solved. The “paranormal” occurrences – which made national headlines – were reportedly the work of the family’s 12-year-old son.

In English, the name of the Czech village of Strašice, outside of Prague, translates loosely as Spooksville and for many until now that name had been remarkably apt. Bizarre occurrences at a home belonging to the Mráček family were a daily occurrence since September: everything from fried power sockets to broken glass in the aquarium – occurrences seemingly without human intervention, that had everyone from power utility experts to geologists scratching their heads. Numerous scientific tests were run, the house was cut off from the power grid, yet the so-called haunting continued, and still no plausible explanation was found.

Until now. On Wednesday the Czech news agency reported that the occurrences were apparently, at least in part, the work of the family’s 12-year-old son, who is said to have admitted his involvement to the police. The boy had already come under suspicion earlier, and now many will be wondering how he pulled off the stunts. At the same time, he has reportedly taken responsibility for only some of the incidents - not all – telling the police that he had only wanted to attract more publicity so that authorities would have no choice but to look into unusual phenomena already occurring at the house.

But many point to the fact that events for example ceased when the boy was absent for longer periods.

If indeed the occurrences – which made national headlines – were the result of a hoax, the son will not face any legal repercussions; damages never exceeded 5,000 crowns. At the same time, not everyone is convinced that the 12-year-old could have been solely responsible: a regional representative of the ČEZ power utility told the Czech news agency, for example, that no evidence of any kind of self-combustible material had been found on any of the sockets, adding the company would continue to look into the case. The ČVUT technical university, meanwhile, will also reportedly study the unusual Strašice home.