Monday, December 15, 2014

Schonwerth Christmas Tales: Part I

Many cultures believed that the changing of the seasons-Easter/spring, Halloween/fall, Christmas/New Year's/Winter Solstice, or Midsummer, were times when the veil between the spiritual world and our world was especially thin. There are many superstitions involving these holidays, some of which translated into our modern holiday traditions.
John Leech, for Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

The below tale from the collection by Franz Schonwerth is along the lines of a very creepy ghost story, which used to be more associated with Christmas (from the song "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"-"There'll be scary ghost stories/and tales of the glories/of Christmases long, long ago). There is another Schonwerth tale set at Christmas that is less morbid, on the way :)

#31: Premonitions and Predictions of Death II

"On Thunder Mountain near the town Oberviechtach there lived a tailor. He once visited the Stehr farm and worked until late on Holy Christmas Eve, while everyone else was attending Midnight Mass.
Image from here

When he was finished, he set off for home just as Midnight Mass was underway, and after he had walked for some time, a glass barrel, polished like the finest crystal glass, rolled up to his feet. He became frightened and wanted to turn around; but again the barrel rolled up to his feet.

So he decided he better continue on his way home, and the barrel always rolled along before his feet, and he saw inside of it several coffins and men beside them, all of whom he knew very well, since presently they were still alive; also, he saw himself standing beside the last coffin.

At this he was seized by such terror that he fell to the ground senseless, and people returning from Midnight Mass had to help him home. He lay down in bed feeling sick, and all of those whom he had seen through the barrel died in the same year-the last to die was the tailor."

1 comment:

  1. It's nice to know that Charles Dickens isn't the only one to associate Christmas with ghosts.