July 14, 2009
Posted: 806 GMT
(CNN) - A family in Saudi Arabia has taken a genie to court, alleging theft and harassment, according to local media.
The lawsuit filed in Shariah court accuses the genie of leaving them threatening voicemails, stealing their cell phones and hurling rocks at them when they leave their house at night, said Al-Watan newspaper.
An investigation was under way, local court officials said.
"We have to verify the truthfulness of this case despite the difficulty of doing so," Sheikh Amr Al Salmi, the head of the court, told Al-Watan. "What makes this case and complaint more interesting is that it wasn't filed by just one person. Every member of the family is part of this case."
The family, which has lived in the same house near the holy city of Medina for 15 years, said it became aware of the spirit in the past two years.
"We began hearing strange noises," the head of the family, who requested anonymity, told Al-Watan. "In the beginning, we didn't take it seriously, but after that, stranger things started happening and the children got really scared when the genie began throwing stones."
A local charity has moved the family to a temporary residence while a court investigates, the newspaper said.
In Islamic cultures, a belief in genies, or jinns, is common.
Genies not only appear in pre-Islamic fiction such as "Arabian Nights," but are also mentioned in the Quran.
Many Saudis believe invisible genies live among them and are capable of demonic possession and revenge.
Posted by: IME Producer
Welcome to the Inside the Middle East blog where CNN's journalists post news, views and video from across the region. This is also a place where you can start the discussion so please keep your comments coming. We highlight not only current news stories but also anecdotes and issues that don't always make the top of the headlines.
Read more about CNN's special reports policy
Watch the show
Inside the Middle East airs the first week of every month on the following days and times: