The maniacal laughter and horrific screaming began on 27 September 1934 in a Spanish apartment’s kitchen stove in Zaragoza. The Palzón family were initially convinced it was a neighbour trying to prank them, although there was no motive. The laughing and talking continued and the family were forced to consider that perhaps this was more than a childish hoax…
Word spread around the town and soon masses of people waited in the street trying to hear the voice, which was growing in confidence every day. Citizens began calling the voice the ‘Duende of Zaragoza’. Duende roughly translates to goblin, and it quickly began to live up to its cocky reputation.
The voice turned its sinister attention to the family’s young maid, Pascuala Alcocer, calling out to her. With no solution in sight, the police opened an investigation and began looking for the prankster. They found no one.
The voice began having conversations with people, including the following: “Do you want money?”
‘Do you want a job?’
‘Man, then what do you want?’
‘I am not a man.’
To see whether or not someone had managed to hide in the chimney, and therefore terrorise the family, a skilled mason was called to take measurements. When he was about to measure the chimney the voice called out ‘You need not worry, it measures just six inches.’ The voice was proved correct, and the mason left the building looking very pale.
With no solution in site, and with the police unable to find out what was making the noises, doctors, psychologists and priests were bought in. Scotland Yard even planned to take a trip over to Spain. Alcocer was accused of ‘unconscious ventriloquism’ and that appeared to appease most.
And then, as suddenly as it began, the voice went quiet. Relief spread among the family and the local magistrate strived to restore logic and order. Normality seemed to have returned… but not for long.
Two days later a voice roared from the stove: ‘Cowards, cowards, cowards, here I am!’
The family had had enough, and left. The police came back in and were continuously taunted and threatened by the menacing voice that claimed: ‘I am coming, I am coming.’
While nothing ever came, and the building eventually went back to normal, residents of the apartment today still claim to hear ghostly sounds.
Now, as much as we love a good horror story (and tenuous links), we don’t want you taking any chances with a haunted stove. So to celebrate Halloween and eradicate any stove goblins (and creosote), we will throw in a free packet Sorcerer Flue and Chimney Cleaner solid fuel fire purchased.
Suitable for use on all fires, boilers or stoves that burn wood and multifuel, Sorcerer breaks down tar and creosote build-up and makes sweeping easier and more effective. Place the packet on a low fire with an empty ashtray, sit back and watch the magic happen.