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Ghosts of the Castle of Völlenberg, The

ABOVE the village of Götzens, on the route to Arams, are to be seen the ruins of two towers, once belonging to a castle of vast importance, and which are called Völlenberg and Liebenberg. Two noble races used formerly to reside in this castle, which has quite disappeared, with the exception of the towers above named; it is from these families that the towers derived their names. The celebrated Minnesinger Oswald von Wolkenstein, of whom we have already spoken in the preceding legend, was for a long time prisoner at Völlenberg.

               The legend goes that the spirits of the former inhabitants are still wandering about in those two towers; at certain times at midnight the ruins become alive, and lords and ladies, in long sweeping dresses, followed by liveried servants of the olden style, pass up and down the ruinous stone staircases. Their heads are empty skulls, and they sit down in the great castle hall, where they try in vain to drink out of large goblets; being, however, unable to taste the beautiful wine with which they are brimming over, they dash the goblets against the walls and smash them into fragments.

               So it happens also with their unholy feast, which is laid out most temptingly before them on the tables; for as one of them approaches the dish upon which he has set his mind, it falls to the ground as dust and ashes. Then the wretched spirits endeavour to enjoy themselves with singing and dancing; but their bones rattle so terribly, and their companions are so frozen and stiff, that their song becomes a Miserere.

               This is their punishment for all their former intemperance and evil-doings, and this terrible scene is only brought to a close by the ringing of the morning Angelus.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Ghosts of the Castle of Völlenberg, The
Tale Author/Editor: Günther, Comtesse Marie A. von
Book Title: Tales and Legends of the Tyrol
Book Author/Editor: Günther, Comtesse Marie A. von
Publisher: Chapman and Hall
Publication City: London
Year of Publication: 1874
Country of Origin: Austria
Classification: unclassified

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