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Case No. 8 | Landstejn Castle (2014)

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It is the afternoon of 9 June when the investigative groups, the Paranormal Team and V.T.P.J., documented by the FTV Prima crew, descend on the castle. After signing the contract with the castellan, followed by a briefing and a tour of the mansion, the preparation of the equipment begins, which is deployed throughout the castle grounds for several hours. Pavel Charvát is in charge of this part and its most physically demanding part consists in transporting the heavy car battery to the top of the highest Landstejn tower.

The sun is slowly going down and we have a lot of work to do in order to keep up with the time even with 12 people.


The history of Landštejn and the reason for our visit

Landštejn was probably founded by Přemysl Otakar I in 1222 (the first written mention dates back to 1231) and one of the reasons for its construction was to protect the nearby trade route (leading from Italy through Austria further north), for which the Landštejn family collected tolls.

From 1315 Landštejn belonged to William of Landštejn. He promised his daughter Margaret to Henry II of Hradec. Both Margaret and Henry found a liking for each other, but Henry II wanted to take a regular share of the toll as a dowry and therefore changed the trade route, which no longer led past Landštejn Castle, but conveniently through Henry II's land. William did not take kindly to this presumption. This antagonised the two families, and for the next four years the War of the South Bohemian Roses broke out. In it, many lives were lost, but also the marriages of both fiancés. Although Margaret begged for reconciliation, William was adamant and refused to marry. It was not until Mr. Buzek from Lásenice promised to help Markéta, who was to lead Markéta to her beloved Henry. However, the plan was betrayed and Buzek of Lásenice was thrown into the hunger cell at Landštejn as a punishment, where he apparently died.

Up to this point it is a story built on factual events. Beyond that, however, we have only a legend that tells us what was to happen next. Wilhelm was so angered by his daughter's planned escape that he resorted to the harshest punishment and decided to bury poor Margaret in the vast Landštejn underground as punishment. From that time on, Margaret was to appear as a white figure and wander around the castle to remind everyone of her unfortunate fate.

Whether Margaret ended up walled up in the prison dungeons of Landštejn (they did exist, as written accounts of them have survived) or was put into a monastery, one thing is clear: from then on Margaret, daughter of William of Landštejn, no longer appears in history, nor is there any further objective information about her.

The War of the Roses cost William himself a great deal. Not only did he lose his daughter, but he was eventually mortally wounded in battle and died in 1356. Legend has it that for the death of his daughter, he is said to appear between the castle walls on stormy nights and ask for forgiveness.


Shortly before the investigation began. 

In parallel with the deployment of the equipment, interviews and footage for a forthcoming short documentary on the investigation are already being filmed.

As the setting sun turns the castle walls golden, we sit in the castle's undercroft and listen to the engaging narration of the former castellan, Jiřina Mládková. She has been inseparably connected with the local castle for several decades and treats the whole place as a living place with its own energy, mind and moods. Whenever she felt that the castle did not want her presence, she respected its decision and preferred to leave the place, because the experience reminded her of various accidents and the resulting injuries sustained by visitors who made silly jokes about the place.


Every castle was a source of myth at the time of its construction. And time has been a great boon to these myths. Landštejn is no exception and although it has been uninhabitable for many centuries, the myths still survive.

The sun is slowly sinking behind the horizon and nature is taking over the darkness. All equipment is switched on, safety training is carried out for the last time, and under the direction of Milan Pribyl, the teams are divided into investigating teams. There are four of them and each will be moving around a different part of the castle.


The filming this time is in charge of Tomáš Bastl, who independently of the FTV Prima crew takes the camera and documents the course of the night research. The other teams also take video footage, but with the aim of capturing possible paranormal phenomena. In addition, they also carry a ghost meter and a dictaphone. In addition to this equipment, some groups also have a PSB7, also known as a Ghost Box. It is basically a device that monitors radio frequencies in tenths of a second increments. The Paranormal Team does not have this device in its equipment, nor does it accept the results recorded with it as evidence. The voice audible from this device is a voice that has a rational explanation in the radio signal, which is overwhelmed by radio stations in addition to noise. Thus, although the instrument merely passes over the various frequencies, there remains a valid argument that their origin may be of a non-paranormal nature, despite the many times interesting content. And it is important to the Paranormal team that what is paranormal also has such an origin, not just content.

The collegiate group V.T.P.J. has a different view. Their view is supported by their experience with PSB7 and the compelling content communicated therein is supported by published evidence [see the video from Bohnice]. Miroslav Pribyl also says: "We support the Ghost box because it has proven itself in official and unofficial missions. For example: one anonymous case of an investigation with a friend who contacted his deceased brother and to the letter the information given matched. He went from skeptic to believer. Among other things, this device is used by other world famous paranormal investigation groups."


Beginning of the investigation

The investigation begins. The four triplets are going all over the place as instructed by Milan and myself.

The weather that night is cloudless. No strong wind blows, only a cold breeze caresses our faces at the top of the tallest tower. But even the night temperatures do not drop below 18 degrees Celsius.


The first problems that the chief engineer has to deal with after the start are related to the poor signal of some of the installed stationary cameras. We are also annoyed by the lighting in the basement, which switches on a motion sensor and we can't find the sockets to turn it off.

With Milan Pribyl and Tomáš Bastl behind the camera, we set off around midnight to the castle tower. Me with an amplifier connected to a dictaphone, Milan with a K2 ghostmeter, EMF meter and also a dictaphone. We climb up the wooden stairs inside the tower.

On the lower floors I notice a technical problem with the amplifier. Or rather, it's not amplifying. It takes me about a minute to find the fault and get it working properly. However, another resonance problem follows. It takes me another minute to get the instrument adjusted and resume my planned survey. From later, preliminary evaluation of the material at the castle, we find that an unknown voice has recorded itself at that moment. Milan Pribyl explains:

"I played the recording for myself into my headphones and heard something like 'I am Vilém', I played this sentence about six times, then I gave it to my colleague (Ondřej) to listen to. I deliberately didn't tell him what I was hearing. He took his headphones and listened to it. Then he rolled his eyes and said: 'I AM THE WILL.' There were seven of us and the probability of another sentence was zero. We also traced this EVP on a dictaphone with an external parabolic microphone. We were overwhelmingly happy, which kept us awake for the rest of the night. Upon arriving home, I immediately sat down to the recording, thinking I would find it and cut it out. A colleague did the same. What caught us both by surprise, however, was that the EVP lines 'I am William' simply disappeared from both recorders. No one knows why."

After arriving at the Landstejn Tower, Milan, Tom and I meet Michaela Palečková and Věra Říhová, who are conducting research there. We exchange information and learn that all the time their K2 ghostmeter was unresponsive and the recorder was out of power. Subsequently, Milan Pribyl confirms their words on camera when the K2 ghostmeter flashes.

At first, the K2 ghostmeter appears to respond to Milan's words. When he commands, "Flash!" it flashes. When he says, "Can you stop blinking now?!" the LEDs really do stop glowing. However, from a certain point and at a certain height, this device literally starts to light up all the diodes from green to red (meaning strong EMF radiation dangerous to health). After a short research we find out that this radiation is caused by the mobile antenna on the tower of Landstejn, installed here a few years ago.

The electromagnetic field emanating from the antenna after about 30 minutes makes Milan Pribyl sick to his stomach and gives him a headache. He later testifies to this: "On the tower itself I felt fine during the day. At night, it turned into a feeling I rarely experience. There was a strong electromagnetic field. Some people are known to be more sensitive in this field. They experience fainting, dizziness, headaches and stomach upset. I'm one of those people. In fact, my colleague Ondra can confirm my condition. I've only been in the tower twice at night. I have not noticed these conditions in the daytime."

At the same time, the antenna on the tower invalidates all the material taken on the K2 ghostmeter, because the element of a possible paranormal origin, which is now completely rational, disappears.

As the night progresses, the only interesting recordings are made near the chapel. Again, these are not paranormal manifestations, but wiring, as the instruments record constant readings that correspond to them.

Other positive recordings here and there are recorded by colleagues on PSB7. In the thick stone rooms close to the ground, there is only noise. However, in higher positions near windows or outside, this instrument records more frequent phenomena. Fifty per cent are sounds of music on various radio stations (audible in tenths of a second), 30 per cent are disjointed fragments of sentences, and 20 per cent are hints of single short words of one to three syllables. In practice, working with it looks like the interviewer asks, "Is anyone present?" Then he or she pauses and listens to the noise of the machine, characterised by regular silent interruptions as different frequencies skip after tenths of a second. Sometimes the interviewer asks three or four times and he hears no hint of words. Sometimes, however, after a moment's wait, the whole investigation group hears, for example, "Yes," or "I am here," or indeed a phrase containing the syllables that make up the name: "Margaret."

FTV Prima, observing our investigations, now and then interviews us for several reports for FTV Zprávy and one for the programme "Through the Eyes of Josef Klima". These reports are recorded around the main tent in the courtyard of the castle.

The main tent is responsible for coordinating the research and providing coverage of the entire location. There was always at least one person at this location throughout the night. Most of the time, they were sitting behind a laptop monitor, watching the action recorded by stationary cameras placed around the site.

Around three o'clock in the morning I went to the tower with Pavel Charvát and Tomas Bastl. They both deploy the equipment around me and then leave the tower at my own request. I remain inside alone with a sound amplifier and a few other devices.


For the first five minutes I feel a bit of tension, which is due to the adrenaline that washed into my system by the change in the situation. However, as time goes by, its concentration in my blood decreases and so I find out the facts as objectively as possible in the next half hour. I'm asking for some kind of speech. Later, I ask if someone can touch me or push me. Everything is silent, only Milan or Miroslav Pribyl is on the radio from the main tent, asking me about various details or my mental state.

During this half an hour I don't experience anything paranormal. Even on later analysis, nothing is discovered that could be of the aforementioned origin.

Conclusion of the field research 

The sky is slowly turning blue. The investigation moves into a more relaxed phase where everyone has their eyes closed and the drivers go to bed.

My place in the tower is taken by Milan, who, with his camera and recorder, climbs to the higher floors to try his luck.

What worked at Houska - that is, narrowing the groups to one or two - did not provoke any reaction here.

In the gathering light, I climb to the top of the tower for at least the seventh time. This time not to investigate, but rather to enjoy the beauty that the time offers me. It is exactly 4:51 am, June 10, 2014, and I see the first rays of the emerging day on the horizon. From a place as magnificent, even fabulous, as Landstejn, the view is as breathtaking as it is beautiful. In my mind's eye, I think of the many generations who have lived here and have been able to see this. Did William look at the sunrise like this? His daughter Margaret? The other owners of the castle? I feel in that moment a touch of history that is as powerful from a subjective point of view as any paranormal phenomenon I have experienced in the past.

We slowly pack our things and later, accompanied by the castellan, we say goodbye, get into our cars and drive away.


Results of the investigation 

All records are being analysed over the next few weeks. There are a great many of them. The results of these do not reveal anything that we can definitely consider paranormal.

We conclude our investigation at Landstejn Castle with the verdict that we have not been able to prove any paranormal activity during our research. We are not saying that there is no paranormal activity, but none of the instruments detected it during our night stay.

Even so, we encourage adventurers to come and see the beautiful Landstejn Castle. If not for the mysteries, at least for the beautiful monument, the nature and the great people who take care of it all.

Landštejn Castle is not a horror place, as its beauty is closer to a fairy tale. Yet it is a mansion shrouded in stories like those cut out of Shakespeare's tragedies. We've come here to uncover possible paranormal phenomena. In one night, we were able to conclude our investigation with the verdict that the place was quiet. Of course, there are more of those nights... if you've encountered anything paranormal here in the past, be sure to let us know in the comments or by emailing us at paranormaltym@gmail.com.

Research Verdict: 

A peaceful, fairy-tale place


video of the investigation

  • in Czech, without English subtitles