schloss schoeneck
schloss schoeneck

Legend: The Child in the Shadow

Druden are small ghosts who, in popular belief, search for a victim every night in order to sit on his or her chest

This is how nightmares were explained in former times, and there's also a local legend telling about a Drude. Once the mistress of Schöneck Castle near Issengo in the Val Pusteria was expecting a child, but night after night she woke up plagued by nightmares: A Drude in the shape of a bird gave her son a whirl at the head, a bewitched sign. His father had died in the war and Scharhart, as the legend goes, grew up to be a violent young man plagued by nightmares.

But he always saw a glimmer of light in his dreams. A wise woman he asked for advice told him that Druden come into a room through slits of light and haunt people that way: If this place is closed, the Drude is trapped. So Scharhart laid in wait and really, one night he was able to capture a Drude, who turned out to be a little girl at dawn. Now she had to serve him, and could destroy any animal or enemy of Scharhart at his request: He won in the battle, he was successful in the hunt. Only with female beings the spell failed.

Scharhart fell in love with an already betrothed woman, Marhild von Haydeshausen, and defeated her father, her bridegroom and her brother in a duel. People began to rumour that Scharhart possessed witchcraft powers and the Drude, horrified by his careless actions, left him. A duel was demanded: Scharhart had to defend himself in a pit, his left arm tied behind his back, until evening against Marhild, armed with his sack with stone. Marhild won, and when evening fell, only the pit with the dead Scharhart in the shadow remained...

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