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Stone fall

Grottendieck Poltergeist – Stone-thrower Strikes in Jungles of Sumatra

Stone fallThis activity was common in the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia, in the early 1900s. The Society for Psychical Research was involved and documented it in its journal.

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Stone-throwing poltergeist phenomena cases date back, at least, to 530 CE when it was recorded that Deacon Helpidium, King Theodoric of the Ostrogoths’ physician, was besieged by stones constantly pelting his roof.

Nature of Stone-throwers Like Grottendieck

Psychokinesis, PK, the ability of the mind to affect matter, is the cause of poltergeist activity. The “pure-bred” stone-thrower’s action is limited to hurling rocks, which may go through the air very slowly, move at odd angles or both.

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Usually the rocks will pelt only the building’s exterior; however, there have been cases of merely indoor attacks and of both.

Poltergeist agents can be entity, EAP, or human, HAP. There are documented cases of both being stone-throwing poltergeists.

Grottendieck Poltergeist Antics

In September 1903, W. G. Grottendieck was a Dutch engineer working on assignment for an oil company in Sumatra. When he returned to the camp after a trek through the jungle, he discovered a co-worker was in his quarters, so he opted to stay in a new house that had been built on bamboo poles. The roof was made of overlapping dried kadjang leaves.

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W. G. put his mosquito netting and sleeping bag on the wooden floor and fell asleep. Around 1 AM, he became dimly aware that something fell near his head. A few minutes later, he was wide awake, aware that objects were falling beside him.

W. G. saw small black stones. He turned up his kerosene lamp and saw they seemed to be falling through the roof. There appeared to be no holes in the thatching. He went to the next room and woke his servant boy, a Maylay-Pelambang coolie.

Thinking someone was playing a prank, he told the boy to go outside to find the joker. The coolie found no one, but the stones kept falling. W. G. told the boy to search the kitchen, then tried to catch the stones that moved slowly in a curved manner and failed. The boy returned. No one was in the kitchen.

W. G. fired five shots from his Mauser to scare the prankster. Stones kept falling. The boy was frightened, saying it was Satan’s work. He fled from the hut. After he left, the stones stopped falling. W. G. touched some and found them to be warm.

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The next morning, he noticed the stones fell within a radius of less than three feet and appeared to fall through one kadjang leaf. W. G. thought they were from a meteor shower and re-examined the roof. There were no holes.

British Society for Psychical Research Correspondence – Grottendieck

The cessation of falling stones after the boy left suggested he was an HAP. W. G.later discounted this theory because stones fell while the boy was sleeping. W. G. had been a skeptic in matters parapsychological, but began to ponder.

His sister died three months previously. He wondered if there was a connection with the stones. Whatever his conclusion was, he didn’t share. SPR member and psychical researcher Frank Podmore averred either W. G. was hallucinating or the boy was the stone thrower.

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Other SPR members refuted this. Another member, living in Singapore, suggested the stones were fruit seeds dropped by bats who flew into the house and hung from rafters while they ate.

The case remains unsolved.

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Jake Carter

Jake Carter is a researcher and a prolific writer who has been fascinated by science and the unexplained since childhood. He is always eager to share his findings and insights with the readers of, a website he created in 2013.