How many beers should one drink after nine years spent in a basement awaiting the end of the world? Apparently the answer is five.
At least, that’s how many brews a 25-year-old Dutch man recently ordered and drank at a pub in Ruinerwold before telling staff that he’d escaped from a remote farmhouse where he and his five brothers and sisters, aged 18 to 25, had been held.
Chris Westerbeek, the owner of the pub, told local media that the man looked unkempt and confused. “He revealed he had run away and needed help,” said Westerbeek. “Then we called the police."
The BBC reports that when local law enforcement went to the home on a remote farm, they found a hidden staircase leading to a locked room where the family was being kept. A 58-year-old handyman called Josef B, who was living with the siblings, was arrested after failing to cooperate with the investigation. It’s not clear if he is related to them.
Neighbors say they had only ever seen the older man on the farm. The siblings were allegedly entirely self-sufficient, living off of the farm’s vegetable garden and few animals. Dutch media reports they had no idea that there were other people in the world.
An investigation is ongoing.