In the tiny village of Canneto di Caronia in the province of Messina in Sicily 12 houses had to be evacuated after a spate of bizarre fires left investigators
baffled. The trouble first started around the middle of January 2004. Electrical appliances such as televisions, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners would just burst into flames for no
apparent reason. Even mattresses and chairs have caught fire in a series of extraordinary incidents that authorities say are entirely with precedent in this area.
The phenomenon became so bad that some locals fled the village entirely rather than face the uncertainty of life with its constant threat of more fires that
spring up without warning. Remarkably the fires became so frequent that the area fire brigade took up permanent
residence in the village.
Dispersal of electricity.
Canneto which is a pretty little village of 150 people has since been the subject of intense investigation. At first experts believed that the cause of the fires
was a dispersal of electricity into the surrounding area. As a precaution the electricity supply was turned off but all to no avail. Even appliances not connected to the mains would suddenly
burst into flames and locals were desperate for answers. Some believed that the proximity of an electrified railway was to blame but when the power was turned off the strange happenings still
showed no signs of abating.
At this stage panicked residents began to fear the phenomenon could only be of supernatural origin and planned to call for a priest to exorcise the evil spirits
involved. Experts however reject the idea of supernatural involvement insisting that eventually a rational answer will be found even if so far they have no idea what this could be.
Investigations to discover anomalous variations in the electro magnetic field around Canneto have so far proved negative. Other planned tests involve seismic and geological probing though
once again preliminary results show nothing that would account for such a large number of inexplicable fires in just one small locality.
End of the matter?
Eventually after one whole month of uncertainty the fires that terrorised the inhabitants of this tiny Sicilian village at last began to disappear. However at
the time of writing -12 th February 2004 - no one in Canneto is daring to hope that this will be the last of the matter.
The reality is that spontaneous fires afflicting mechanical devices are not altogether unique. There have been many other well documented instances though these
have largely been attributed to single houses and for a whole village to be affected is rare if not unknown. In many of the other instances the phenomenon was blamed on poltergeists and was
accompanied by loud banging and flying objects. Cases were habitually centred around young children who - according to psychic investigators - were the channel for these strange forces.
House burnt in North West England.
In a recent case in England a house in Lancaster was badly damaged by fire after a potato chip fryer suddenly set itself ablaze. Previous to this the family of
the house who were rescued by fire fighters reported disturbances to most electrical appliances. The television would suddenly switch channels and even turn itself on when not connected to
the mains. A large number of other disturbances made it difficult to work any device powered by electricity.
It may yet turn out that here as in many other cases such as Canneto there is some rational scientific explanation behind these bizarre accounts. In paranormal
circles however such things have long been known and documented. It proves that for all our knowledge there are many things in this world that still continue to defy our best attempts to
See our special feature on the mystery of ley lines
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