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THE ROSENHEIM POLTERGEIST | All About Paranormal } -->

THE ROSENHEIM POLTERGEIST

       




The Rosenheim Poltergeist is the name given to claims of a poltergeist in Rosenheim in southern Bavaria in the late 1960s by German parapsychologist Hans Bender. Bender alleged that electrical and physical disturbances in the office of the lawyer Sigmund Adam were caused by the telekinetic powers of 19-year-old secretary Annemarie Schaberl. Bender's investigation has been criticized for omitting key details and avoiding naturalistic explanations
       




In paranormal circles, the best proof of the existence of spiritual energy is undoubtedly a full manifestation of a person, animal, or even non-residual manifestations of mechanical objects such as horse drawn coaches, cars and even aeroplanes associated with what we term as `ghosts`. The secondary proof, but sadly just as elusive is that of the work of poltergeists.
       


According to Hans Bender, in the Fall of 1967 he was requested to investigate disturbances in Adam's legal offices which reportedly occurred only on weekends. It was claimed that lighting fixtures exploded, swung back and forth or had their bulbs removed, heavy office furniture was shifted, and copier fluid leaked from the office copier. 
           

Additionally, the staff denied having made a large number of outgoing calls to a correct time service that were charged to the firm's telephone company account. The electric company reported evidence of malfunctions due to substantial surges in the power system, and Bender alleges that unspecified tests were made by physicists Friedbert Karger and Gerhard Zicha who reported that "some unknown form of energy is at work." Bender claimed that a heavy filing cabinet was reported to have been pushed across the floor by an invisible force, and that a framed painting was captured on film "rotating around its hook." 
Calling her "a typical poltergeist", Bender believed that the emotional unhappiness of Annemarie Schaberl, a young secretary at the firm, was "converted into psychokinesis." He said that Schaberl told him she was frustrated with her job and distressed over a broken marriage engagement. According to Bender, the alleged poltergeist activity ceased when Schaberl left the law firm and was married


         
In April 1970 a story in the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported that co-authors Albin Neumann (Allan), Herbert Schiff, and Gert Gunther Kramer suggested in their book "Falsche Geister, echte Schwindler?" ("False spirits, real swindlers?") that the claims of unexplained disturbances initially made by Adam were fraudulent. The authors wrote that they visited Adam's law offices and discovered nylon threads attached to office fixtures such as overhead lights and wall plates that, when pulled, would cause the fixtures to move, and concluded that "the public had been tricked by tricks." Adam reportedly filed a legal injunction to stop publication of the book, which was not granted, and further hearings were scheduled in the District Court of Traunstein
       



Dutch journalist and skeptic Piet Hein Hoebens has criticized Bender's investigation claims of the Rosenheim Poltergeist, saying that "No full report of the investigations has ever been published, so we are in no position to check to what extent the parapsychologists have been successful in excluding naturalistic explanations." Hoebens wrote that Bender's accounts of his investigation show that he may not have made a rigorous enough examination of the evidence, which Hoebens deems highly questionable
            
          


The police, the electric company and others tried to find an explanation for all this for weeks until they gave up with no useful explanation. Thereafter, a team of scientists, including the renowned parapsychologist Hans Bender and two Max Planck Institute physicists began investigating the case. After installing cameras and voice recorders they were able to discover that the events only took place when 19-year-old Annemarie Schneider (a recently employed secretary) was present. Bender was able to document on video how the lights immediately started to flicker once she entered the office. It was claimed that a lampshade would swing violently when Ms Schneider walked beneath it. After questioning Ms Schneider, it was discovered that she had recently gone through a serious personal relationship trauma. It was also noted that Ms Schneider suffered from non-specific neuroses. Interestingly, once she was sent on vacation the poltergeist activity stopped. Annemarie Schneider was dismissed from the company when the events began anew after she returned. There are no records of any further poltergeist activity since then.


       


The Rosenheim Poltergeist case has become an extremely contentious issue. While some claim that it proves the existence of paranormal phenomena, critics maintain it was set up and faked, or simply an attention-seeking prank developed by the emotionally disturbed Ms Schneider. There is also no evidence on video that matches the more extreme (and, therefore, paranormal) events said to have occurred. However the police officers present and others unconnected with the company, such as Karger and Zicha from the Max Planck Institute, did give official statements claiming to have witnessed unexplained object movements, and Annemarie Schneider was never actually caught faking the phenomena.

            

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