Dutch police found a father and six adult children hidden in the basement of a remote farmhouse where they had reportedly spent years "waiting for the end of time," officials said Tuesday.

They discovered a man, believed to be the father of the family, and his children aged between 18 and 25 near the village of Ruinerwold in the northern province of Drenthe.

Local media said the family was found after one of the sons went to a nearby pub in a confused state, drank five beers, and then asked for help, saying he had not been outside for nine years.

Police in Drenthe confirmed that a 58-year-old man had been arrested and was under investigation after refusing to co-operate.

dutch family discovered in farm basement 'waiting for the end of time'

"Yesterday someone reported to us [that they were] worried about the living conditions of people in a house in Buitenhuizerweg in #Ruinerwold," they wrote in a tweet. "We went there."

"We still have many unanswered questions," they said, adding that all scenarios were open and their investigation was fully underway.

The farmhouse and the surrounding grounds were cordoned off.

dutch family discovered in farm basement 'waiting for the end of time'

It was unclear how long the family had been in the basement or what had happened to the children's mother, although the mayor said she had died some time ago. Some reports suggested the 58-year-old had suffered a stroke and had been confined to his bed.

There is no confirmation of the relation between the people or description or the conditions they were found in, but they have been brought to a safe location.

The investigation is ongoing.