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A Brief History of Mystery

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The topic of this article is a brief introduction to the history of the mystery field.


First, let's talk about what mysticism is and who is a mystery writer.  Mystery is the science of dealing with something that cannot be rationally explained. In the category of mystery we could also include, for example, ufology or parapsychology. A mystery researcher is a researcher who tries to map and explain the seemingly unexplainable in various ways.


Mr. Charles Fort is most often referred to as the founder of mysteryology. During his fifty-eight year long life he managed to accumulate tens of thousands of descriptions of paranormal phenomena, but he preferred to look for mysteries in newspapers and magazines rather than personally participate in solving possible paranormal phenomena. But he was always very skeptical about his method of investigation, believing that science and technology were continuing to evolve and that what was unexplainable in his day might be quite natural and normal in a few years. One of his most famous cases is undoubtedly the mystery of the "falling frogs and stones". Incidentally, the last such phenomenon was recorded in 2005 in northern Serbia.

According to scientific theories based on practical research, this phenomenon occurs rationally, most often during tornadoes that form over the water surface. These suck in water and aquatic animals, as well as, for example, stones and sand from the shallows. This can then be catapulted by the wind for kilometres, where it then falls into, for example, populated areas.



Another and certainly more well-known mystery couple are Ed and Lorraine Warren. Together, they founded the New England Society for Psychic Research in 1952, laying the foundation for paranormal research in the United States. In their lifetime they solved over 10,000 cases - Ed through the scientific method, Lorraine through her visions. Their cases are now world famous thanks to the film adaptation. You'll recall the movie "Captive of the Demons", featuring the Anabell doll. Today, the doll should be safely stored in a display case in the Warrens' house, without being tampered with in any way, where a priest regularly visits to say a prayer that supposedly keeps the creature at peace. However, if we compare photographs of the toy taken by various visitors to the museum, we find that the doll is handled very frequently and we can therefore consider this mystery an information bubble (unless the doll tends to move on its own).


Ed and Lorraine Warren are also associated with the famous Hodgson family case. Here a poltergeister was said to have attacked their young daughter Janet (11 years old) and Margaret (14 years old) between 1977 and 1979. Furniture was said to have been moved around the house and demonic voices echoed through the rooms. 

The events were picked up by the media, who popularized the house and the family and what was supposed to be happening to them so much that they became a literal mecca for paranormal investigators.

Unfortunately, both Ed and Lorraine only investigated the case for a short time - one day. In doing so, they joined the ranks of other mystery solvers, but the credit for solving it does not go to them.


After the investigation was completed, the skeptics themselves took up the case, leaving literally every shred of evidence in their wake. They uncovered a camouflaged trampoline in a picture of levitation. At the demonic voices, they sprouted the voice of one of the girls, and the by-then-familiar criticism of Ed Warren was leveled at him, focusing on his exaggeration and distortion of lived events. The imaginary end to the Hodgons family case was then made by Janet Hodgons herself. The latter, as an adult, admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail that her sister had fabricated and staged "two per cent" of the paranormal activity. She wanted to point out that while there was indeed manipulation, there was indeed real supernatural activity behind it all, which, of course, skeptics just wouldn't accept anymore because of the two percent hoax. 

Mysterology slowly crept into our country from the 1990s onwards, and the leading figures in the spread of mystery theories were Ludvík Souček, Věnceslav Patrovský and Arnošt Vašíček.


Ludvík Souček was very fond of popularizing his theories of mystery in books for young people. During his military service in North Korea, he was to participate in medical experiments on American prisoners of war. His death itself is one big mystery. To this day, there are two different versions of his death. One of them, and the more intriguing one, is that he was murdered by KGB agents because his last and mysteriously lost work, THE QUIETING OF THE LIGHT, was to bring some shocking revelations. The second version is quite simple. Mr. Soucek died of a heart attack due to his excess weight, of which he had already suffered several in the past.

A man named Věnceslav Patrovský was a classmate and perhaps a friend of Mr. Soucek. As already mentioned, he was interested in mystery and ufology.


PhDr. Arnošt Vašíček, a man who has travelled the world in search of mysteries, where he has, among other things, looked for confirmation of extraterrestrial civilizations on Earth. He himself attempted to translate the Devil's Bible, which was probably written at the beginning of the 13th century in the monastery in Podlažice near Chrudim. 

The skeptical view of mysteries is in charge of the Czech Skeptics Club SISYFOS. Their critical thinking, use of cold logic and science should be a motivation and example to most clubs moving in the world of the paranormal. It was founded in 1995 and currently has about eighteen members. Its aim is to disseminate and defend the results of contemporary science and to prevent fraudulent, ineffective and dangerous methods of alternative medicine and healers.

Thanks to the availability of technology, there are several groups dealing with the paranormal in our area today. The methods of conducting such investigations vary, and only time will tell whether they are on the right track or not.

However, if you are interested in the topic of paranormal research and the groups in our territory investigating these phenomena, read the related article, Division of Mystery Research Societies.


Authot: Michala Valešková 
Correction: Ondřej Bezouška