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OFFBEAT

Family ‘hit by flying chairs’ in haunted house

A spooked family from a village in northern France were reportedly hospitalized after being hit by ‘flying chairs’ at their home, which they claim is haunted. Housing authorities in the area have agreed to move them elsewhere.

Family 'hit by flying chairs' in haunted house
A real flying chair. Photo: Peter Merholz

When it comes to paranormal activities, a freaked out French family living in a supposed haunted house in the French village of Mentque-Nortbécourt, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, claim to have seen it all.

They’ve witnessed oranges floating across the room, violent attacks by soap trays and earlier this month members of the spooked family were hospitalized after being hit by flying chairs, the regional Voix du Nord newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the local newspaper the family have reported that the strange happenings have been going on since last July. To prove they were not going mad they have brought in others from the village, including the mayor, to witness the events.

“It’s becoming dangerous,” the mother told France 3 television. “My friend had to go to hospital this week after getting hit in the head by stones. It’s serious.”

Paramedics were called earlier this month after one member of the family said he was hit by a flying chair in his face and a soap tray on the back.

The local diocese has sent in an exorcist to try to banish any troublemaking evil spirits that may reside in the home, local television reported.

The ghostly goings-on have become so bad that the family have pleaded with authorities to move them to a new home.

According to the Voix du Nord, the family were first given temporary lodging in a campsite, but now have no fixed accommodation. The local council in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region have told the father they are taking care of their case.

The strange happenings in Mentque-Nortbécourt have grabbed the attention of the media in France, with TF1 television asking whether it’s a case of “paranormal phenomenon or a just a village joke”.

Although numerous people have lived at the home in recent years, it seems none of them reported any flying chairs.

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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