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Observations placeholder

Laubscher, B J F - Constable laGrange was hit over the head with a broom while no one was anywhere near him



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

B J Laubscher – Where Mystery dwells

In July 1957 an African man complained to the police at Nigel that there was a "thing" in his house causing chaos and running wild. Constables C. la Grange and C. L. van Tonder went to the farm Bultfontein two miles from Nigel to investigate the matter of the complaint.

When they entered the African's house Constable laGrange was hit over the head with a broom while no one was anywhere near him. Constable van Tonder and a newspaper reporter and a photographer herded the members of the family into one room and shut the doors which were well secured. Ten minutes later the bedding was lying outside the house on the ground and in one room in which there was no one a mattress had caught fire.

The constables reported to their seniors and so Sergeant Deysel went to conduct an investigation, and he also was confronted by things being thrown about by invisible means. After this the Station Commander Head Constable H. C. Erasmus together with the Public Prosecutor Mr. J. Havenga and a Mr. C. F. Pretorius a miller, went to see what light they could throw on the ghostly phenomena.

When they arrived there was a fair crowd of curious people.

The Head Constable again herded the family, including a daughter of fourteen, into one room and he placed a cordon of police and other white spectators around the house. They sat and waited for something to happen. A man sitting next to the Head Constable gave it as his opinion that the only remedy was to take a sjambok and hit the air in all directions. He was still busy describing what should be done when some invisible being hit him a blow which staggered him. He immediately accused the Head Constable who denied all knowledge or intention of such a deed.

After this blow was struck, things began to move in earnest.

Mr. Havenga was hit against the head with a spoonful of porridge and the miller Mr. Pretorius was hit against the head with a plate full of porridge. Head Constable Erasmus was amused at this and remarked to the miller that the ghost did not care for his flour.

Hardly had the words left him when some invisible being hit him five blows on the head. A tray on a table began to dance and a bicycle in a corner fell over but its back wheel was spinning at speed. In another room a cupboard with crockery, and a fairly heavy one was lifted off its stand and placed in a leaning position against the wall.

Another eye-witness Mr. Pat Smith of Nigel was sitting on his haunches puffing at his pipe when the pipe was jerked out of his mouth and later found in a shoe under a bed. Then a chair came sailing through the room and hit the mirror of a wardrobe and smashed it. A bottle came towards the Head Constable, brushed against his head and then smashed itself against the wall.

The family of the house hardly ever had any sleep. I do not know how it all ended, but Mr. Sadie mentioned that Professor M. Valkhoff, the Chairman of the South African Association for Psychic Research said in a press statement that he suspected the fourteen-year old girl who lived in the house as the cause of the phenomena.

The source of the experience

African tribal

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items


Activities and commonsteps



Extreme emotion