Monday, September 10, 2018

A Third Castle Ghost Story Heard on the Rhine

Today we share a third castle ghost story heard on the River Rhine. To read the first two, scroll down to the previous posts. 

Ehrenfels Castle, Rhine River
Photo by Mary Vee

There is a legend told about the archbishop who owned two buildings. A castle, the Ehrenfels Castle 

Mauseturn built on an island
in Rhine River
Photo by Mary Vee

and the Mauseturm (Mouse Tower). The castle stood high on a hill across the river from the tower.

There once was a very evil archbishop who had a castle built on a high hill on the eastern banks overlooking the Rhine River. The castle was called Ehrenfels. He forced ever ship sailing the river to pay tolls before being allowed to sail past his castle. To deal with the crew who refused to pay, the archbishop had a tower built on a small island across the river. There he stationed archers and commanded them to fire upon the crew of any ship refusing to pay.

Ehrenfels castle ruins, Rhine River,
photo by Mary Vee
Long about the end of the first century, a terrible famine rage through the area. By this time, the archbishop had accumulated and stored a vast amount of grain in his barns. The citizens begged the archbishop for food. He raised the price of grain so that only the rich could afford to buy any. 

The workers of the castle and the poor from the village around begged again. When he refused to feed them, they gathered together and planned a revolt.

The archbishop heard about the citizen's plan and devised a cruel idea. "My people, go to the empty barn and wait there. I will bring you food so that you may fill your stomachs."

The people rejoiced and cheered for the archbishop. The healthy helped the sick up the hill to the barn where they entered and sat waiting for the food. Their stomachs growled. Parents told their children of the coming food and to patiently wait.

The archbishop and his servants walked up the hill to the barn. He heard the people laughing and singing on the inside, joyfully awaiting their food. "Barricade the doors," he ordered. The servants did as ordered.

"Light the barn," the archbishop ordered.

Again, the servants obeyed.

The peasants inside rushed for the doors. They banged and cried to be released while the archbishop stood and watched. He said to his servants standing nearby, "Listen to the mice squeak."

The archbishop returned to his castle (Ehrenfeld) and walked through the gate. Due to the hour, the gate was closed for the evening. The archbishop walked the corridor toward his chamber. As he did, a horde of mice crawled out from the walls. Thousands poured into the corridor. They surrounded the archbishop biting him until he ran. "Quick, ready my boat!"

The island where the Mauseturn is located in
the Rhine River, Mary Vee across the river
to the right, out of view of this photo, is the
Ehrenfeld Castle.

His servants prepared his boat and pushed off as his last foot leaped inside. The archbishop prayed the mice could not swim. Many could not and drowned. Still, thousands poured into the river following the boat. The servants oared using all their strength under the bellows of the archbishop. They crossed the river to the island tower where he'd stationed archers. "Leave at once," he ordered them.

The tower was sealed and sleeping quarters set up for archbishop on the top floor. 

The mice remained determined in their goal even though many drowned in the continued pursuit. They chewed on the tower doors, eating a hole through the wood. In mass, they crawled up the tower stairs to the top floor where they found the archbishop's bed suspended in the air. They crawled up the walls across to the ropes and down to the archbishop's bed where they enveloped him and ate him alive.

Although this is a Rhine River legend, this sort of story reminds me of Grimms Fairy Tales. Stories that drive home a point in a very sharp way. Have you read any of the Grimms Brother's tales?

This post has been brought to you by the one word, GhostStoryOnThe RiverRhine


quietspirit said...

This is intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Vee Writer said...

It was one of my favorite's too.