SHARE
COPY LINK

OFFBEAT

French pranksters replace holy water with alcohol

Tourists visiting a church in the picturesque French town of Chateau-Chalon were surprised to discover that local pranksters had replaced the fonts' holy water with alcohol, the local tourism office said on Friday.

French pranksters replace holy water with alcohol
Don't worry, there was no baby in the font at the time. Photo:
A dozen tourists sniffed out the telltale signs of eau-de-vie, a clear fruit brandy, when they visited the church in Jura, eastern France, at the end of August.
 
“I made the sign of the cross and it smelt like eau-de-vie. Is this a local tradition?” the tourists asked officials at the nearby visitor centre.
 
The enquiries prompted the authorities to carry out an impromptu investigation. 
 
“A litre of brandy had been poured into both of the fonts, you really smelt the alcohol when you walked into the church,” local tourism official Pauline Fisseau said.
 
The church is not regularly used for mass and the fonts are usually empty. The two fonts were immediately drained and cleaned before being filled with more traditional holy water ahead of a festival the following day.
 
The identity of the pranksters and their intentions remains unknown.
 
Village mayor Christian Vuillaume said it was “clearly a joke”.
 
“It made me laugh,” he said. “I think the people who did it had a sense of humour and wanted to break with tradition,” he said.
 
“But I don't think everyone was amused.”

CHRISTMAS

Congregation suffers carbon monoxide poisoning at French Christmas mass

Twenty-one people were hospitalised in northern France, two in a serious condition, after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning during Christmas mass, emergency services said Wednesday.

Congregation suffers carbon monoxide poisoning at French Christmas mass
Photo: PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

Emergency personnel were sent to the church in the Oise department after several people complained of headaches during the religious ceremony on Christmas eve.

The church was evacuated to a nearby community hall where 72 people were treated.

Of those, 19 were brought to nearby hospitals and two, with more severe symptoms, to specialist centres where one was placed in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber.

Local emergency official Nicolas Mougin said carbon monoxide levels up to 350 parts per million (ppm) were measured inside the church.

The cause of the poisoning has not been determined but investigators were looking into a gas heater.

The local mayor has ordered the church closed.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odourless, invisible gas produced when burning fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane or natural gas.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission's website states that exposure to sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm can lead to disorientation, unconsciousness and even death.

SHOW COMMENTS