kastelruth schlernhexe
kastelruth schlernhexe

Legend: The Sciliar Witches

The Sciliar Witches were, and sometimes still are, held responsible for the storms in the Alpe di Siusi area.

The Sciliar is a mountain massif whose highest point is called Petz. It is said to have always been the meeting place of the feared Sciliar Witches (Schlernhexen, in German), who met here and were up to mischief, and according to legend still do so today. They also haunted individual people, such as Hansel, who had his small farm at the foot of Mt. Sciliar and lived there with his wife.

One day, his wife saw a black shadow and dark clouds in the sky when she went to get water at the fountain. This was accompanied by an ominous growling. She rushed back into the house, alarmed Hansel who knew what to do: He wanted to attack the weather witch with a rifle with consecrated ammunition and shot into the sky. A deafening scream could be heard, and the weather witch fell to the ground near the threshing floor, dead. Hansel, however, was so affected by the terrible sight that he fainted and needed several years to recover from it.

In the Alpe di Siusi area today there are numerous places and sites that remind of the Sciliar Witches, such as the "Witches' Springs" Adventure Trail directly on the high plateau and the so-called Witches' Benches, formations of rock and stone, on Mt. Bullaccia. Both are popular excursion destinations for young and old...

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