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Observations placeholder

Anne-Marie Schaberl and the exploding light bulbs



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Mysteries - Colin Wilson

Anne-Marie Schaberl, was a bored and dissatisfied girl in her late teens. She started to work for the lawyer, Sigmund Adam, as soon as she left school in October 1965. His office was in the Konigstrasse, in the small town of Rosenheirn, south-west of Munich.

Two years later, in November 1967, Adam's lighting system began to go wrong. Strip lights kept failing, and a specially installed meter revealed that there were sudden inexplicable surges of current. The Stadtwerke - the local lighting company-investigated and decided that there must be something wrong with the power lines. But when they tried running a cable direct frorn the office to the generator, the lights continued to explode.

Adam decided to install his own generator out in the yard and changed all the strip lights to ordinary bulbs; it made no difference. Moreover, when an ordinary voltmeter was tested by connecting it to a 1.5 volt battery, it registered three volts. That was a physical - or electrical -impossibility. When Adam received his telephone bill, it was many times bigger than usual. The telephone company installed a device to register every number that was dialled, and in this way they discovered that someone was dialling the speaking clock for hours on end. This also failed to make sense; it took at least seventeen seconds to get through to the speaking clock, and the monitoring device revealed that it was being dialled four, five, even six times a minute. Someone-or something-must be getting straight through to the relays.

The affair was talked about all over the town, and a reporter came to investigate. As he was leaving the office, a bulb fell out of its socket and almost hit hirn on the head. His story about 'the Rosenheirn spook' was taken up by the national press. It came to the ears of Professor Hans Bender, in his lnstitute of Paranormal Research at Freiburg.

It was Bender's young assistant who realised that Anne-Marie was probably behind the disturbances. He noticed that as she walked along the corridor, the overhead lights began to swing back and forth.  Further investigation soon showed that the surges of current occurred only when she was in the office.

Now, the poltergeist began to rnanifest itself in a rnore normal manner. Pictures turned on the wall, lights swung-sometimes changing direction in mid-course-and a heavy filing cabinet was moved
away from a wall.

Anne-Marie was given leave of absence to go to Bender's Institute.

Bender found her in many ways typical of the personality that causes poltergeist phenomena. She was tense, mistrustful, aggressive and unhappy. She had been brought up in the country, and she hated the town. Her family background had been difficult; her parents were Catholics and her father was a rigid disciplinarian. And now, although she was engaged, her emotional life was thoroughly unsatisfactory.

Yet at first, the tests revealed no kind of psychic ability. It was not until Bender began to question her about a painful illness-a year spent in plaster with a tubercular hip-that she became deeply disturbed. Bender switched to ESP tests and was amazed by her scores.

She showed remarkable telepathic abilities.

As soon as Anne-Marie walked back into Adam's office, the equipment began to go wrong. Understandably, he decided to dispense with her services. She got another office job and the same thing happened there. At about this time, her engagement was broken off.

Her fiance was fond of bowling and used to take her to a Catholic youth club where the scoring, pin-setting and return of the balls were all controlled electronically. As soon as Anne-Marie walked in, the board began to register random scores and the pin-setting equipment went mad. Her fiance was not amused and ended the engagement. She took a job in a mill; but when a man was killed in an accident with the machinery, people began to avoid her. She decided to leave.

Eventually she married someone else, moved to a house on the outskirts of Rosenheim and had three children.  The poltergeist activity ceased.

The source of the experience

Ordinary person

Concepts, symbols and science items




Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Psychological trauma