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Case No. 7 | Houska Castle (2014)


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It is April 8, 2014. For several hours now, seven people have been driving together in one car to a place that is the dream of most paranormal investigators in the Czech Republic. To the famous castle from the middle of the 13th century, with the name: Houska.

The investigation at Houska Castle (which today is more of a castle mansion than a medieval castle) is the second major collaboration between two teams: the V.T.P.J. led by Milan and Miroslav Pribyl and the Paranormal team. This investigation will be different from the Pacov investigation in that more people will be present, much more technology will be involved, and it will take place from dusk to dawn.

In addition to the two investigation teams, FTV Prima will also be present, and is planning three reports on this investigation. Two for the ftv evening news and one for the show: Through the eyes of Josef Klima.


History without paranormal phenomena

Houska is located in a historically busy place, the Ralská hills in northern Bohemia, which according to legend was inhabited by the mythical Pšovan family in the times of Great Moravia. Even before the castle itself, there was supposed to be a fortress on its site, which was built in the 9th century by Slavibor, the father of St. Ludmila (source: Kosmova kronika).

This fortress was to be named after Slavibor's son Housky (or Haussek or Housek).

Factual information mentioning the castle of Houska dates back to 1316, when this settlement is mentioned as the property of Hynek of Dubá. He is probably the eldest son of Hynek Berka of Dubá, who is credited with building the castle in the time of Přemysl Otakar II.

This dating of the castle's foundation can be confirmed by the nearby Bezděz, which was built in the same construction works. From this we can date the possible foundation of Houska Castle to the middle of the 13th century, probably around 1265.


Houska itself has undergone many changes and innovations over time. After the Hussite battles swept through the Bohemian kingdom in the 15th century, architects had to respond to a new threat that directly threatened the existence of the castle complexes. That threat was gunpowder. Many castles had their outer fortifications expanded to withstand cannonballs. The castles appeared even larger and more massive from then on.

Houska was then bought by the noble family of Hrzán of Harasov. At that time the Hrzāns were probably still a lordly family (the lowest noble rank) and shortly afterwards they started to rebuild the whole Houska. The Renaissance was coming to Europe at that time. For many castles, and among them Houska, it marked the end of the castle as we know it. At the end of the 16th century, the mansion was still being rebuilt into a Renaissance castle and in the mid-17th century the early Gothic square tower was demolished.

After the roofs were lowered in the 19th century, Houska was bought by Josef Šimonek. A Czech industrialist who made a fortune in the 1890s by expanding Škoda's enterprises abroad. In 1924, he bought Houska and after extensive renovations turned it into a representative family residence.

During World War II, Houska functioned as a warehouse for confiscated Jewish property and during the communist era Spolana Neratovice used it as a night sanatorium for its employees.

Today Houska serves as a tourist attraction. However, this mansion is famous for completely different reasons.

Although it is difficult to find suitable objective sources for these dark stories, it is certain that Houska hides many secrets behind all its present beauty. The research that the Paranormal team & V.T.P.J. decided to conduct went towards these mysteries to peek under the surface of the myths and try to unravel the threads of the stories.

Is the paranormal really happening on the House? Or does everything have a rational basis?

We enter the famous mansion in an unbiased and objective manner. Few places have as many terrifying tales as Houska. Will we experience anything here at night? Or will there be an investigation similar to the one at Christlhof?


Preparation and first inspection

A total of eleven people walk through the Houska area. The aim of this first survey is to map the terrain, safety training and, of course, how the place under investigation feels emotionally. From the latter point we then reflect that the interior of the castle does not feel depressing even in places that should feel depressing (e.g. dungeons, hell).

From this first inspection, the appropriate placement of the technology was decided. Infrared cameras, motion detectors, laser nets and EMF meters find their use in pre-selected locations, while the famous chapel will have one visitor throughout the night, FTV Prima reporter Jaroslav Mareš.


Legend of the chapel on Houska

The chapel on Houska is one of the most mysterious sites. It is interesting not only from a historical point of view, but also has something to offer mystery researchers. Objectively, at least the painting of a left-handed (half man, half animal) archer, which, according to the local guide, is the only painting of its kind in the world. The left hand does not mean anything positive in its meaning. At least at the time it was painted.

The entire stone room is permeated with moisture, except for one area: the floor, where a passageway leading to hell is said to be walled up.

Legend has it that, before it was walled up, convicts were lowered to their deaths into this chasm to find out what was actually in the depths. It was promised that the death penalty would be abolished. The condemned man determined to descend into the hole, and the rope had not even reached its end when a pleading cry began to come from the pit. The convict was pulled back. Everyone was shocked as the prisoner's hair turned white with terror. Subsequently, the convict died within a few days.

A sort of stopper was then built over the aforementioned breach, over which a chapel was built to guard the entrance to hell.


Beginning of the investigation

Mr. Jaroslav Mareš is left inside the chapel with a baby monitor, we divide into groups and after all the equipment has been put into operation and the lights turned off, we set off on our first patrols.

But the first problems don't take long. The batteries of our radios are quickly running out and the baby monitor in Mr. Mareš's chapel is irregularly missing sound. As we'll find out later, Houska will be giving the technicians rather than us investigators a hard time.

Outside, a cold wind is blowing, creating an eerie melusine in the less insulated parts of the building. From Houska's kitchen there are rattling noises here and there, but the chief technician Pavel Charvát explains them rationally. These sometimes more, sometimes less loud bangs are caused by the turned-off ventilation, which the wind outside plays with. So we close the kitchen door and then the doors to all the other rooms. Firstly, to record the sound on a dictaphone, but also in case a door opens on its own, so that we can more easily know that a natural origin has been ruled out.

Time is passing midnight and we are getting desperate. Apart from problems with technology, we are unable to experience, see, record anything paranormal. All is quiet, even the wind outside is beginning to die down.



As the next part of the investigation begins, the pleasant warmth of the chest replaces the uncomfortable itching. So I look at the area under my shirt and notice the circumscribed and water-soaked burn. It doesn't hurt, it doesn't burn, it just itches. In private, I confront my colleague Milan with this information. We immediately rule out an allergic reaction, as I have never suffered from such an allergy before and I have worn the T-shirt in question during other research. Without a rational explanation, we photograph the burn and continue our research.

| update 2021: It was later determined that it was not a burn, but a skin allergic reaction to pollen from plants that were also present on the Houska. So this whole incident has a rational explanation. |


Three o'clock in the morning

The following events are accurately described by the CCTV footage. Me, Pavel and Milan decide to move the camera out of the piano room after the events in the globe room. We head in that direction when, after the first door is opened, both Pavel and Milan flinch; they clearly hear a woman's voice. My little girl is fully engaged in the camera at that moment and my ears do not register anything. We quickly try to repeat our last movements, but the voice or sound is not repeated. So we move on through the rooms. Milan is the first to open the door and Pavel is the last to close it behind him. Here, however, the sound of a melody is heard. It immediately tingles inside me, as it is surely the sound of a cell phone that is supposed to be turned off or set to airplane mode. Pavel, the owner of the mobile phone in question, also shivers, because it is exactly three o'clock in the morning and for some unknown reason his alarm clock has been activated and he did not set it for that time.

We try to explain this with a joke from one of us, but as we later find out, no one else has even touched Pavel's mobile. So we cannot explain how the alarm was set from seven o'clock to three o'clock and activated.

Around the same time, Mr. Mareš's heart rate monitor, which is attached to him, and also his walkie-talkies are discharged inside the chapel. At the same time, now and then he hears stronger or weaker blows on the stone floor of the chapel.

The legend of the 3 a.m. scare

People have always been attracted to mysterious and scary stories. And a whole series of legends have been and are being created about the haunting itself. One of them is the specific haunting that is supposed to take place at three o'clock in the morning. I first encountered this legend and was confronted with it by the theologians themselves.

According to it, the 3 a.m. haunting can be different from other hauntings, both in its intensity and in its degree of danger. For it is not just the alleged haunting of ghosts at this time. The third hour of the morning is also specific in that non-human entities, demons, are active. These, according to superstition, mock the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

We have not been able to confirm this theory objectively. However, our experience and conversations with people who have experienced something paranormal can serve as a partial fact. The truth is that 30 to 40% of those who have experienced a paranormal phenomenon and confided in us, directly or indirectly, mentioned that it occurred at or shortly after three o'clock in the morning. Most of the time, the phenomena were of a stronger physical nature (movement of objects, physical harm - scratching, etc.) that woke the person from sleep.

We cannot say on this basis that this is demonic activity, as we do not even have objective evidence for human paranormal activity. All we can say at this point is that this lesson is (as far as supernatural phenomena go) interesting.



Slunce svými prvními paprsky ozařuje okna hradu Housky a my po celonočním výzkumu okolo šesté hodiny ranní balíme věci.

Všechny přístroje odpojujeme a zabalujeme. I přesto nás čeká několik nemilých překvapení, které jen podtrhují technické problémy, jenž nemají v historii našeho vyšetřování obdoby. Infrakamery zaznamenávaly dění v několika místnostech Housky. Ovšem čtrnáct hodin materiálu z celé noci se neuložilo na disk, nebo došlo při zápisu k jeho fatálnímu poškození. Nezbývá nám, než se s touto smutnou zprávou vyrovnat a zbylé materiály odvést k analýze.

S díkem se loučíme se štábem FTV Primy (která později uveřejnila tři reportáže z tohoto vyšetřování) bez níž bychom se na toto místo nedostali a vyrážíme do našich domovů, vstříc odpočinku a následné analýze.

Ještě ten den, kdy jsme opustili Housku, popálenina na mé hrudi beze stopy zmizela. A tím dala pomyslnou třešničku na dort k záhadám, kterých jsme byli na tomto místě svědkem.



Although we lost a large amount of material at the House, we still have a considerable amount left to analyse. This was carried out over several weeks and was particularly successful at EVP. One fixed camera was mysteriously moved when no one was in the room. In the chapel, where the reporter was sleeping, the equipment recorded two loud bangs. And if the skin manifestation on my person and my colleague's scratching of his hand (he didn't notice it until he got home) have no rational explanation, it's worth wondering if this is a possible paranormal manifestation.



Whether we believe in the paranormal or not, we have to admit that the world around us is a complicated real entity. Not everything in it can be understood, even with today's technology, nor can we still explain everything.

On the night of April 8-9, 2014, we conducted paranormal research and captured some interesting phenomena. We cannot rationally explain these phenomena. And that is why we are preserving them for future investigators - scientists who can either come up with a rational explanation, or with completely new, substantiated theories that will prove the origin of what was recorded and therefore give an accurate name to what we now consider to be paranormal phenomena.


Result of the investigation

Paranormal activity detected on the instruments.

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Author of the article: Ondřej Bezouška
Proofreading: Laďka Stará

Members of the V.T.P.J. & Paranormal Investigation tým z.s.
Bezouška Ondřej
Charvát Pavel
Charvátová Jana
Palečková Michala
Přibyl Milan
Přibyl Miroslav
Rudošová Eva
Říhová Věra
Stará Laďka 

Members of FTV Prima
Baštecký Stanislav
Mareš Jaroslav

video of the investigation

  • in Czech, without English subtitles