Poltergeist Case: The Truth About the Terrifying Story That Inspired ‘Phenomena’

Phenomena, the new movie on Netflix, portrays some of the paranormal experiences of the Hepta Group in Spain.

Gabriela Castillo

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Spain had its own Warrens, but instead of being a couple, it’s a group of women dedicated to investigating paranormal cases. We can learn more about them in Phenomena.

The new horror comedy on Netflix, directed by Carlos Therón, is inspired by one of the phenomena that marked the trajectory of the Hepta Group, founded by Father José María Pilón in the late 80s. It’s still solving cases to this day.

Sagrario, Paz, and Gloria are the names that Sol Blanco-Soler, Piedad Cavero, and Paloma Navarrete respectively appear as in the movie, members of this parapsychological association created by the priest, who claimed to have special abilities to locate strange energies.

The Hepta Group is described on its website as “a team formed by professionals from different disciplines dedicated to field investigation of the paranormal phenomenon. Each one has professions and activities unrelated to parapsychology, but they are all united by enthusiasm for these phenomena. The contribution of their knowledge, rich and complementary, helps to make the resolution of cases easier and more profitable. Their experience of more than twenty years justifies their good reputation not only in Spain but also in the international arena.”

Currently, only two of the four members remain. The priest passed away in 1987, and Paloma Navarrete in 2022.

Las fenomenas grupo hepta pelicula - poltergeist case: the truth about the terrifying story that inspired ‘phenomena'

The Story Behind the Poltergeist Case That Inspired Phenomena

This movie is inspired by two paranormal cases that occurred in an antique shop called ‘El Baúl del Monje,’ which is shown as ‘Almoneda del Temple’ in the film.

El Baúl del Monje was one of the most important cases in Madrid. The shop was located on Calle Marqués de Monasterio. Prior to the intervention of the Hepta Group, this place already hid a dark history: a lawyer died from smoke inhalation caused by a cigarette that wasn’t properly put out and resulted in a fire.

After this, it became a property to sell antique objects. In 1998, the place seemed to have a life of its own. It all started when a key shot out of its lock without explanation, and a glass of water exploded into a thousand pieces on the table.

The owners heard mysterious noises, perceived movements, and suddenly, the head of a terracotta ram appeared inexplicably in different places in the shop.

Las fenomenas caso real pelicula - poltergeist case: the truth about the terrifying story that inspired ‘phenomena'

Out of desperation and fear, they threw it away, but it appeared in the middle of the hallway of the shop the next morning. The Hepta Group attributed it to the ghost of the lawyer who remained in a portal that had become a channel through which objects passed.

However, the hypothesis changed. The community investigating these cases found out that the shop owner had been involved in poltergeist phenomena (paranormal activities where there are movements, displacements, levitation of objects, knocks, sounds, and other inexplicable things) not only in this place but also in gatherings and his previous job.

Finally, El Baúl del Monje disappeared and remained unresolved because the owner, who barely revealed details of what was happening to him, took the secret of this famous case that inspired Phenomena to the grave.

Story originally written in Spanish by Nayeli Párraga in Cultura Colectiva.