The Bingen Demon: A 9th Century Poltergeist

Poltergeist and ghostly activity have been a part of the human experience since we lost the tails and fell from the trees. However, that activity would not always be understood from a parapsychological viewpoint. The first known report of an attack by a poltergeist comes from a time when terrible dragons ruled the skies and demons roamed the land. The era known as the dark ages were truly dark and frightening.

By 858 CE, the Roman Empire, in all it’s glory, had been dead for centuries; literacy and learning were things of the past. It was during this time that an early written account emerged of a farmer who suffered at the hands of a malicious entity in Bingen on Rhine, Bavaria.

The farmer, whose name has been lost to history, first reported strange activity to a local seminary of Carolingian monks. At first, the farmer thought perhaps what was occurring were just pranks. He suspected his children at first and then moved on to other kids in the village. The farmer was known as a curmudgeonous old man who was anything but nice to his neighbors.

As time passed, the activity on his farm went from being good natured pranks to something that seemed almost diabolical. To the farmer, he believed that he was under attack by a demon. Maybe, even the devil himself.

The farmer, armed with his suspicions, reported to the monks that the phenomena started off as knocking on the walls. A knocking that kept him and his family up at night. As the activity progressed, stones of every size rained down on his roof, flew in through the windows and struck him. The farmer was convinced he was the victim of a witch’s curse when his crops mysteriously caught fire and turned to ash. Following the fire, his cows dried up and the other animals died from a mysterious wasting away. Whatever this entity was, clearly meant to break the farmer and destroy his life.

What comes next may have been a reason for the poltergeist activity and why it focused it’s destructive force on the farmer. Somehow it came to light that the farmer may have been molesting his own children, as well as other children in the village. Some researchers believe one of the victims fixed him with the evil eye, a malicious curse at the time. Or, one of the children was experiencing puberty at the time and they released a powerful psychic force that targeted the farmer. Either way, the farmer got what he had coming to him.

Whatever the case may be, nothing is known beyond what has been passed down for nearly 12 centuries. No one knows what the outcome was. It was alleged the monks attempted an exorcism but it failed and the farmer either died or was run out of town. Apart from that, the history is as dark as the era it came from.

About Rick Hale 106 Articles
Rick Hale became interested in anomalous phenomenon at an early age after encountering an apparition in his grandparent's home. Rick is the author of "The Geek's Guide To The Strange and Unusual: Poltergeists, Ghost and Demons," and "Behold! Shocking True Tales Off Terror...And Some Other Spooky Stuff." Rick has been published in Haunted Times Magazine, Paranormal Underground Magazine, The Supernatural Magazine, and Legends Magazine. Rick appeared in Ghost Tapes 2 and Ghost Tapes: The Series found at

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