A stone throwing poltergeist is terrorising the residents of Sohatu, a small village around forty kilometres south-east of Bucharest. Romania has a long tradition of stone-throwing poltergeists; in Fortean Times 363 (February 2018) I described a similar outbreak in the town of Naipu.
The Sohatu case, which has continued for well over a week, was first covered by Romania TV on 4 August. As clearly terrified residents told the RTV reporter, they first thought the rock throwing was simply local children, but after nine days they have still been not able to locate the culprits.
The local mayor, Dumitru Gregory, remains skeptical, telling another reporter that a belief in spirits did not belong in the 21st century and that the reports came from only a few houses inhabited by Roma villagers. He was convinced the rock throwing was simply the work of mischievous children.
A full translation of the Romania TV piece is below.
Reporter: Welcome. The people from the town Sohatu, Calarasi county are desperate, because for a few nights, according to what they say, there are ghosts which haunt them and they can’t sleep, also the children are scared of what is happening here.
Reporter: I have next to me the locals. I would like them to tell us about what is happening. You, as I understood, you live right next to the haunted house?
Local: Yes madam, my house is there, a few metal parts, by me it always starts on the metal parts [of my house].
Reporter: Is it a certain time in the night when the craziness starts?
Local: It starts from 12 in the night, 11:30-12:00 until 04:00 in the morning, it doesn’t leave us alone.
Reporter: Tell me exactly, what’s happening, what actually starts?
Local: It throws stones all night long, it doesn’t leave us alone a little bit, not even half an hour. It doesn’t let us sleep and it throws stones.
Reporter: But have you had courage to go outside in one night, have you seen somebody, have you called, I don’t know, the police, the authorities?
Local: I called the police, it threw stones also in the police presence, the police car was parked on the street.
Local 2: At 11:30, I live here, across the street and I heard their screams and the noises which come from the stones threw on the police car.
Reporter: Their screams, who are “they”?
Local 2: They screamed when they heard the stones coming on the house, it threw stones on the house. The scared people, yes, people who live here. And they also have a small child, the woman who was here before with the child, she came outside of the house screaming. Because I live here, I also woke up and I came here to stay with them until 03.30, because of the noises and stones throwing. It stopped, then came again, and we struggled like this one entire week.
Reporter: This happens for one week? There were no such problems before?
Local 2: There was no problem before, madam. Why should we say that it was?
Reporter: And what is your guess? What do you believe it actually happens?
Local 2: I don’t know what to guess or what to say, I thought that children were outside. We keep observing and running around and we don’t catch anything, we can’t see anything at all. When we are here, we hear the stones throwing here, when we go on the other street, the sound is there and we can’t see anything at all. So from 10:30 in the night until 03:00 in the morning we run and we can’t see anything.
Reporter: Everything happens always and it doesn’t matter how many people are gathered?
Local: It doesn’t matter, we still hear the stones-throwing sound, all this way. Last night we were with two police officers and the same, there were stones-throwing, the police officers were running.
Reporter: But tell me, nobody was hit by these stones?
Local: It doesn’t hit us, just the houses. I think nobody would have the courage to hit so many people with stones. Also the police, they went in with lanterns, with their guns and couldn’t see anything, and we kept hearing the stones-throwing sound. Who has the guts to do something like this to us?
Reporter: Ok, let’s say that there can be some unusual things going on. Have you spoken with a priest?
Local: We spoke with [the priest] he came with incense and others things in the houses, around here, and all for nothing. So if the police runs around and they can’t find anything but they hear the sounds too, then we talk about something haunted.
Reporter: When you say the police runs after “it”, what do you mean?
Local: When it threw stones on a house, the police ran there to that house. They could see the stones, but nothing else.
Local: Tell me, how many police officers came here until now?
Reporter: And weren’t they scared of all what’s going on?
Local: They were changing their hats, in order to protect their heads. You can imagine, they were also scared.
Reporter: I was just talking with the other locals, have you tried to speak with a local priest?
Local: I spoke with the priest today.
Reporter: Yes, and what he told you?
Local: He told me, he can’t believe what’s happening.
Local: Have you invited him here, to do some prayers or church service, at least to act according to what the elderly say?
Local: Yes, well I took some incense, we came here with all the people, we said prayers.
Local: This girl always makes fun of them, she says “it’s a person, it’s not a ghost, they are not haunted by anything.” She needs to talk with the city hall, to contact them, she doesn’t need to stay on the streets with that child until 2:00 in the night.
Reporter: So the lady with the child is too scared to stay inside, so she goes outside?
Local: Yes, she stays with the child on the street.
Reporter: Tell me, madam, what happened to you?
Local: I am scared to stay with the little one inside the house since one year and a half, because ”it” throws stones, really bad.
Reporter: You want to say that the police officer took a hit from the stone and he didn’t do anything?
Local: He put the hat on his head. He could’ve called the higher authorities, to help people get over this.
Reporter: Look, a police officer came. Let’s see what happens.
Local: That lady stays outside all the night with the child. This is not nice at all. If somebody wants to make fun of them, they should mind their own business. It’s just a child, his father died, poor thing.
Reporter: So actually the problem is that the sounds take place just in this area.
Local: Yes, just here. I heard the stones also… Two days ago, I slept with the window open, here near the road is my house, and all the night I heard the voice of a woman from here, Madam Ionita. So all the night that woman was outside, that she scared me in my sleep. All the night that woman screamed and cried, because she can’t stay in the house anymore. She has also a sick husband.
Reporter: Let’s see, the police is also here. Let’s see if the police officer has something to tell us. The police left?
Reporter: Come and show me this area, let’s see. Come on.
Reporter: It broke your windows?
Local: Yes, madam. Look. Look, it destroyed here also the metal parts of the house.
Local: It passed one entire week, since we have these sounds. Every night, it throws stones on the houses. By us, it throws almost every night. And it throws also by neighbours.
Reporter: Did something like this ever happened before?
Local: No, never in my life. I’m 62 years old and I’ve never seen something like this. We sleep always first at 04:00 in the morning, until the sounds stop. At 04:00 o clock, madam, everybody goes to sleep. Have you heard? It started. It’s by the neighbour. It started again.
Local: On my house, there are many bricks and stones.
Reporter: So you’ve found stones on your house?
Local: Yes, let’s go and see them. It also pushes the door. There are only old bricks thrown on my house. For this woman, it destroyed her chimney and it throws with bricks from the chimney. She can’t sleep, also her child, she takes the child and goes on the street. Yesterday, the police car was parked on the street and some big bricks came on their car.
Reporter: So you tell me the police car is damaged?
Local: No, it’s not damaged, but there were very big bricks near the [not clear]
Local: Madam, here is ”a village without dogs”. The mayor just sits home and meanwhile, look what happens here. He never came here to see what happens. We invited him here, he never came. The priest answered, but the mayor doesn’t want to answer his phone.
Reporter: Who, the mayor?
Local: Yes, the mayor. At least he should come here and look, because the Roma people chose him as a mayor.
Local: It started again and it will go on until tomorrow morning at 03:00.
Reporter: And every night, since last week, all of the locals come out on the streets?
Local: Yes. Everybody stays like this, every night until morning at 03:00, even if some have to go to work, even if some don’t, we are all on the streets.
Reporter: Aren’t you scared to leave your children alone in the house?
Local: Of course we are, we feel bad for them, but what can we do? It’s going on like this, 8 or 9 nights ago it started, always, always, always. Let’s say it’s a joke, we laugh about it one night, two nights, but 9 nights to continue like this? Nine nights with these sounds on people’s houses. One man put some metal parts on his house, now they are destroyed.
Reporter: A very tense situation here in Sohatu, the people feel desperate, they don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, there are two groups of people. First one believes there might be some children from town, who just want to make fun of the people, of some locals who live alone and are also sick, and the other group believes indeed that there are some ghosts haunting them and want to hurt them. What will happen from now on and if the authorities will take measures, we will try to find out.
UPDATE: December 2018.
In a message to the Cropster, Bucharest based paranormal investigative group Asociatia Pentru Studiul Fenomenelor Aerospatiale Neidentificate (ASFAN) said they had investigated the case on-site and were confident the events were the work of local children. They had spent a night with the police in Sohatu, equipped with reflectors and detectors and no stones were thrown. The group felt the presence of the police had deterred the culprits.