Father and six kids hid in cellar for nine years, waiting for the end of days

Father and six kids hid in cellar for nine years, waiting for the end of days

Updated 16/10/2019 with new info

Broadcaster RTV Drenthe has just reported that the police in Drenthe have found a family hiding in the cellar of their farm in Ruinerwold, a village of around 4.000 people, waiting for the end of the world.

Confused man

The family was discovered after Chris Westerbeek, owner of local bar Café de Kastelein, contacted the police when a confused 25-year old man visited his bar twice on Sunday. “He looked around, bewildered,” Westerbeek told Dagblad van het Noorden. “This man looked unkept, had long tangled hair and said he needed help and had never been to school.”

RTV Drenthe reports that the man said the family has not been outside for at least nine years. 

Boarded-up farm

After being contacted by Westerbeek, the police went to the man’s house, a seemingly abandoned and boarded-up farm, and discovered a secret staircase leading down to a cellar. Inside, they found the man’s father and his five other children, aged between 18 and 25 years. The father was found in bed, as it appears he had a stroke years before. The mother died before the family moved to the farm.

It seems the family was able to stay off the grid, as they were completely self-sufficient; they kept a vegetable garden, a goat and a few geese. During a press conference, the mayor stated that some of the children were never registered at the municipality.

A 58-year old handyman from Austria, Josef B., rented the property where the family was hidden. He has been arrested. 

Many questions

For now, the police have taken the family to a holiday park. Investigations are ongoing and the area around the farm has been closed off. “There are many unanswered questions,” says Politie Drenthe.

Manja van Kesteren


Manja van Kesteren

Manja studied English and Creative & Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton in the UK. She is passionate about books, arts and crafts, Netflix, metal music, cheese, and her...

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Manthony 07:16 | 17 October 2019

Aww. I wish the police would take me to a holiday park sometime.