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Case No. 15 | Josefov underground (2016)

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The Josefov underground is one of the largest underground complexes in our territory. The intricate maze-like network of passages is so deep underground that even a mobile signal cannot penetrate here and if you don't have light, the only friend here will be eternal darkness. Low, damp ceilings covered with plant roots. Lots of branches, cold and silence. This is how we can describe the place where we went in July 2016 to research paranormal phenomena.

Let's be clear first of all that the research in the Josefov underground was in many ways different from our other investigations. We tried new methods of working on it and there were far more people present at the research than at any time in our history. All with the aim that this would be reflected in the issues we investigated.

Will we see more phenomena? Won't some of the impartial observers stand up to the investigation? And especially.... someone gets lost in the maze of corridors?

These questions were on our minds before the investigation began, and with them in mind, we began deploying our equipment around the underground.


Who's supposed to be haunting this place

We did not choose the Josefov underground by chance. Thanks to periodicals such as Enigma, there are messages circulating around the Bohemian Basin that the executed Ignác Pábil haunts the place of eternal darkness. His story is twofold, and it's up to you which one you choose.

Ignác Pábil was supposed to be one of the leaders in the creation of the Josefov underground. He was in charge of the timber work and was said to be very well paid. But this did not please his rivals, who set an ambush for him in the form of the plans for the fortress, which were to be found in his possession and for which he was condemned to lose his throat.

The second version makes Ignatius Pabil the real villain, for it differs precisely in the fact that he wanted to steal the plans in question but failed. The punishment for that was the beheading.


First phase of research - measurement of EMF fields in natural environment

The measurement of the electromagnetic field and its deviations with dedicated instruments is crucial for us. In essence, we can uncover a number of rational causes (such as poorly shielded electricity) that cause some individuals to experience negative emotions here.

We walk through the underground, which is partly electrified. The vast majority, however, contains no signs of power lines.

By taking detailed measurements, we find that the part of the corridors that are electrified is no different from the part of the corridors that are not electrified. We do observe a fluctuation in this field for the iron bars, but these are so small that they do not affect human cognitive processes.

But what surprises us in the underground are the bats. Well, we counted on them, but their numbers are shocking in places. After a long walk, when we reach somewhere beyond the maps of the Josefov underground, half a dozen of these animals come flying out of a hole in the wall. A world of eternal darkness, where life itself exists, we tell ourselves.

At the end of the first phase of our research, we know that the Josefov underground does not appear mysterious from an electromagnetic point of view. All the readings taken here are within the normal range, and as long as you don't have your cell phones on during the trip, you should also be able to record these factual readings.


Second phase of the research - sound measurements

Around midnight we go underground again. Amplified by a parabolic sound amplifier.

According to some theories, it is possible to record voices on electronic devices that we are unable to hear with our ears. Hence the word "electronic". These voices may give answers that something we can't rationally explain exists. These recorded phenomena are then called EVP - Electronic Voice Phenomena.

The disadvantage of tape recorders and parabolic amplifiers is that they distort certain sounds, such as the rubbing of a jacket against the body, into forms that can remind us of a voice when we listen to them. On the other hand, years ago we recorded one of the best EVP voices on a dictaphone in an abandoned room, objectively confirmed as "Help".

 A parabolic amplifier not only can play these sounds in electronic form live to the listener. It can also amplify them automatically, up to six times. So we can hear as well as a dog.

So we follow the damp corridors of Josefov Fortress and try to measure something with this device.

Near the place where Pábil was supposed to be buried, we hear a sound on the device that resembles a human voice of a few syllables. However, a deeper analysis of this phenomenon does not confirm the existence of an EVP, as it was probably a rational sound produced by one of the investigators.

Other possible sound phenomena have already been ruled out as rational on the spot, and therefore, with the parabolic amplifier, we have no evidence of haunting taking place at the time of our investigation. So far, all is calm, which does not bode well for any irrational danger, even subjectively. These feelings are confirmed by the other investigators who participated in the research.


Third phase of the research - group division and research in total darkness

So far, we have been going underground in groups of five to six people. Since no one objectively or subjectively senses danger during these parts of the research, we decide to split the group into several parts and go to different parts of the corridors. Does this help for some interesting results in the investigation?

Paranormal phenomena are often not objectively observed, but subjectively experienced. Perhaps the belief that in the network of corridors the people concerned will face possible dangers themselves will yield some interesting testimony.

And on this point we are indeed experiencing success. A research member and external collaborator of our association feels a knock on her leg through her clothes in one of the dust rooms, even though her only colleague is on the other side of the room.

Michalea V. is one of the researchers who is currently taking a scientific approach to paranormal research. She didn't expect to experience anything mysterious after a long night. Her surprise and experience described on camera was therefore an interesting testimony without objective evidence. And for that reason it cannot affect the final verdict described below.

The night is slowly coming to an end and we are starting to pack our equipment. Everything is going well, we are looking forward to a short sleep. The clock reads after four in the morning. We retire to our makeshift beds and the next few days begin a detailed analysis that will take several months. We then base our final verdict on the results of this time and place bounded investigation.



In the course of our research in the Josefov underground, we have not observed any valid or otherwise objective data that would confirm that paranormal or other mysterious activity that has no rational explanation should be occurring here. This is not to say that it is not present, but we have failed to record or otherwise objectively record it at the time of our investigation. That is, on the night of July 23rd, 2016 to July 24th, 2016.


by Ondřej Bezouška
Proofreader: Kateřina Běhanová


Videos from the investigation

  • in Czech, without English subtitles