Sixteenth Century Ghosts: Mud Biting Poltergiests

In our second account of sixteenth-century documented poltergeists, we find ourselves in Erfurt, 1581 (now East Germany). This account focuses on a local farmer in the area, who was awoken one night with his family to a noise so great they thought they were being robbed! Both that night and the next, when they invited friends and relatives to join them, they were assaulted with random lumps of clay and mud?

Interestingly, the accounts speak of the family purposefully bringing into the house a lump of mud. The family watched in awe as bites would appear on the mud, and ultimately the mud was thrown at them! The poltergeist then graduated to stones, which according to accounts weighed between 1/2 to ten pounds. One man had his big toe split from a thrown stone.



The documentation of this case was due in part to many spectators from a local market walking by the house and directly witnessing objects being thrown about. The local priest and others ultimately performed two exorcisms on the house, but phenomena persisted in the home for several months after. It was ultimately a third and elaborate (several day) exorcism that finally coincided with the end of the disturbances.



Submitted by: Brian Laythe



Gauld, A., & Cornell, A.D. (1979). Poltergeists. London, England: Routledge & Kegan Paul.


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