On April 21, 2010, in Time & Space, by James
The year was 1901 and Signor Mauro Pansini, a building contractor, and his family moved into a home near the town hall of Ruvo in Apulia. The house was old and needed work, but Signor Pansini had the skills to improve it. Little did he and his family know, but the move was to start off a series of improbable and mysterious events.
Within days of moving in, strange things started happening. At first items would move around, seemingly without anyone in the family touching them. Quickly, however, the situation got worse. Articles were inexplicably thrown around the house and they discovered that even their crockery had been broken!
Signor Pansini had two sons – Alfredo and Paolo. unfortunately the poltergeist was not content with destroying their possessions, but decided to take an interest in the young Alfredo – then only seven years old.
One evening, Alfredo was at home. Suddenly he fell into a trance-like state and began to speak and recite in French, Latin and Greek – language that he did not know or understand. His family were shocked at this turn of events. Over the coming weeks, this episode would repeat itself. Finally in desperation, Signor Pansini sent Alfredo off to a local seminary. The strangeness immediately stopped.
The peace and quiet continued for three years and the Pansini’s felt that perhaps the poltergeist had been exorcised by sending young Alfredo to the church school. In 1904, they decided that it was time for Alfredo to come home again, after all, there were no reports of weirdness at the seminary and their house had been silent all this time. This was an error of judgement.
Alfredo, now ten years old, returned home and before long a new series of strangeness started to manifest, but this time it also inolved his younger brother, the eight year old Paolo.
One wet morning, the boys and their father decided to sail paper boats in the gutter outside their home. Signor Pansini went inside, after making it clear that they should return home in 30 minutes. Thirty minutes later, there was no sign of the boys. Signor Pannsini searched the neighbourhood but found nothing. He was quite annoyed at their attitude.
As he returned home in a foul mood, he heard the telephone ringing. He quickly went in and answered it. The voice at the other end said that it was Father Vennetti at the Capuchin Convent, at Malfatti, thirty miles away. He claimed that the boys were there with him.
How could the boys have travelled over thirty miles in less than half an hour? But when Signor Pansini arrived at the Convent, there they were waiting for him in the reception hall. According to the monks, the boys arrived mysteriously and were in a deep hypnotic state.
Signor Pansini took the boys home and told them to stay in their room for the rest of the day. After seeing them to bed, he closed the door behind him. A few minutes later he decided to check on them. They had vanished out of a closed room!
At that same moment, 15 miles away, Signor Pansini’s brother heard a knock on his door. When he opened the door he found his nephews on the doorstep looking dazed and not knowing where they were. Once again they had moved through space, beyond the technology of the day.
This, however, was not the end of their bizarre trips. A later account tells of a fisherman sitting in his boat repairing nets. Suddenly and without warning, the Pansini brothers ‘flopped’ into his boat in the Mediterranean harbor.
Their parents were deeply troubled and called on the Bishop of Bitonto for help. Intrigued by the story, the Bishop visited the family home and was ushered into the living room. Mrs Pansini called the two boys and began telling the Bishop of the problems and strangeness that had been happening to the family. Suddenly and without warning, the two boys vanished from the room in front of the Bishop. They had ‘travelled’ again!
Some time later, Alfredo began to exhibit other abilities whilst in trance. He would answer mental questions through automatic writing. When people questioned the spirit, it mentioned that it was responsible for the teleportation and it was done by de-materialising their bodies.
No-one could explain the strange phenomena. Italian scientists who studied the case suggested that the boys moved around when in trance, but forgot about it when they awoke. This does not, however, explain the distances travelled. nmeither does it explain the what the various witnesses swear they saw, or the lack of witnesses seeing the boys ‘on the road’.
Whatever caused this to happen will be forever consigned to the folder labelled ‘Unexplained’!