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Paranormal Research No. 3 - Pohádka (17-18.8.2013)

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Investigation of paranormal activity

Place: the Christlhof (Pohádka farm)
Night: 17.-18.8.2013
Equipment: ghostmeter K-2, thermometer, cameras, mono recorder, stereo recorder, EMF meter, UV flashlight, pendulum, camera.

p8170870.jpgOur expedition to the Pohádka farm in August 2013, brought many things. The greatest insight, however, is that where myths exist, the reality is often quite different. 

It's the afternoon of the twenty-fourth of August, and after a long day we approach the hotel near where the infamous serial killer Roubal lived. The Pension U spálené kočky is already waiting for us together with its owners. Meanwhile, we weave our way through the hills of Šumava and enjoy the beautiful panorama that only Šumava itself can offer.

We drive into the village of Horní Němčice, where a beautiful family house is in front of us, also functioning as a cheap accommodation for visitors to this magical region. We receive a warm welcome. Not even ten minutes have passed when the owners of the guesthouse ask us about our work. So we talk about our purpose for the trip and soon learn that they knew the last owner of the Christlhof (Pohádka) personally. From this point on, the denial of one piece of information after another, so much written about on the internet and in the press, actually begins.

According to the data that can be traced, the original inhabitants of Christlhof were the Pangerl family. This is indeed true. According to articles and information available electronically, these inhabitants died out over time until the farm was abandoned and bought by Roubal. Even in the Pangerl's time, paranormal activity was supposed to have taken place at the Fairy Tale (this is what an article in the tabloid Blesk reports, for example), during which several members of the family went insane and a murder took place.

But what is the truth behind many of the myths? In Horní Němčice we are trying to get closer to it. According to the local settlers, the Pangerl family lived an orderly life at Christlhof. They never reported anything about any paranormal activity, and I have not even found any objective documents according to which any madness or, God forbid, murder actually occurred on the farm (even before Roubal). I can't even support the myth of the murdered witch with evidence. What can be confirmed, however, is the fact that the Pangerls did not die on the estate. In 1947, they were forced to move away from what was then Czechoslovakia by Benes' decrees. This is therefore the truth at least on this point.


Let us now leave the ancient past behind and move closer to the present. To the early 1990s, the twentieth century. The Iron Curtain had already fallen and the entire Czechoslovak Federal State was still living in the pink haze of the Velvet Revolution. Everyone interprets democracy in their own way. Into this atmosphere, into this fairy-tale environment comes a man named Ivan Roubal. What are the current articles about him, which deal either with him or with the Pohádka itself?

We can often read that this was a man who was a member of the Jehovah's Witnesses sect, who had no problems with the law (until he moved to Pohádka) and wanted to raise deer on the farm itself, which was not allowed, so he started raising Chinese pigs and then named Christlhof as Pohádka. He treated the animals badly, but reportedly had no problems with the locals.

During our conversation with the owners of the Burnt Lentils, we were told that Roubal never bought Christlhof, but moved into it illegally. So there were already problems with this person from the beginning. He really wanted to breed deer and was not allowed to do so, so he started breeding smaller Chinese pigs. His horse wandered around the surrounding villages, in a state of disrepair, and at least the locals tried to look after it. As for the Czech name "Pohádka", it was no great surprise that the farm had that name long before Roubal moved in.


p8170838.jpgAfter settling in, a short rest and final preparations, we finally hit the road. We still let the owner explain the route, which will not be pleasant for a car, but we set off cheerfully and with great expectations.

The closer we get to the Christlhof, the more beautiful the view opens up. A Pohádka (translated as fairy tale) is an apt simile for what the landscape has to offer.  The opposite of a fairy tale is the journey itself. The locals do take care of it, but we still feel like kids wanting to ride a tricycle up Everest.

After an arduous journey of only a few kilometres, we reached the edge of the field. And here, at the very beginning, we witness the most terrifying experience of the whole day. We meet local hunters who threaten us with a 20,000 CZK fine for parking in a protected area. Thank goodness the people here are good, so we are lucky from hell and after a long conversation we conclude the whole situation with a promise of maximum silence while we work. With our stuff we then head to the abandoned building.

The setting sun reveals a crumbling house, to which we have to wade through water and tall grass. Although it is a fairly deserted place, we immediately meet a group of adventurers who have also come out here. The whole Šumava and the Pohádka loses its fairy tale touch at that moment. The beautiful images of a deserted piece of land take over and we feel more like we are in a city suburb. However, the situation soon changes again, the tourists leave and we are truly alone for the night at Christlhof.

The entire interior of the farmhouse shows signs of a really large tourist presence. Along with this, the famous story goes that those who spend the night here will soon die. There must have been dozens of those who slept here, and if indeed at least one group mysteriously died at some point in time, I certainly can't put the label "the curse of the Pohádka" on the activity of many tourists.

The first place where we settle down is the pigsty where Roubal apparently kept Chinese pigs. It has a low, wavy ceiling and is one of the few rooms that still has an original feel. So we unpack the equipment: the ghostmeter, the recorder and the light, and set it up so that everything can be seen on camera. Then we just wait and occasionally try to make contact. We speak Czech, English, German, but no response comes. Even our feelings don't alert us to the unknown danger. There is exactly the kind of calm that you expect from nature at night in Šumava.


After about three quarters of an hour we move to the interior of the former habitable part of the house. We put our things by the fireplace and again let the camera record all the events, as well as the tape recorder. Again, nothing happens and no feelings flow through us. We're trying to feel, but even that's getting us nowhere. It's quiet everywhere.

Just before the next move of the equipment, the camera suddenly shuts down and we have to reset the whole thing to get it to start again. After that the filming continues without any problems.

Since nothing is happening, no instruments are picking up anything, we try a slight provocation, because we expected something more from such a long journey, especially since this is supposed to be one of the most paranormally powerful places. However, as hard as we try, we don't capture anything paranormal, and we don't even have anything on the dictaphone recordings as evidence worthy of publication.

After a few hours of investigation, we pack up our equipment and lighting, quietly head to the car and drive away through the rough terrain the same way.

Although the Pohádka has been one of the quietest places we have investigated so far, we owe it an important insight for our work. There are places where paranormal activity is happening that are not known because people are afraid to go there. And there are places that are rumored to be haunted and people take their own "scare tourism" to them. I officially consider Christlhof to be one of those places.

The Pohádka is magical in its nature. A beautiful, idyllic place where waking up and looking at the peaks of the high Šumava hills must be like lying on the beach by the sea at sunset. Unfortunately, this is not how this place is known. It's known for murder, death, madness and paranormal activity. The vast majority of it is orally created by the people themselves. As with the Forest of Bor, fiction is wrapped around reality, replacing what should be seen. For what happens to the original truth when it is hidden beneath the layers of myth? When there is no one to confirm the fact, it becomes a lie. But that is another subject, which we have not come here to the Christlhof to address.

The result of the investigation:

We conducted an investigation, deployed the devices and found that it was completely quiet at least on the night we spent at the Pohádka Farm. And still, weeks after our departure, the feeling resonates within us that Christlhof is actually still quiet after the paranormal activity. The camera blackouts of visitors who come here certainly have an explanation. But we wouldn't put our hand in the fire for a paranormal origin.

The dictaphones, the camera, the ghostmeter, the EMF meter and the thermometer did not detect anything that could be considered at least mysterious. And that concludes the investigation: The Pohádka is a peaceful place worth visiting, not for the paranormal activity, but for nature itself. Nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise, you may be very disappointed.

*The authors would like to thank the owners of the guesthouse "U spálené čočky" in Horní Němčice for the accommodation and the interesting, factual interview which was beneficial for this article.