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>The restless dead<

Rothenberg Castle, Thuringia

When the Earls of Rothenberg were at the height of their powers they employed an old woman from the nearby village of Kelbra to bring them their food. She would carry it up to the castle each morning, sometimes returning to the village in the afternoon, sometimes in the early evening, and occasionally at midnight. If there was a full moon when she was going home, she would always meet the ghost of Sophie, Countess of Rothenberg, wandering through the woods below the castle, for she could find no rest. The old woman always asked her how she could help her and why she was so distraught, but the apparition would only beg her to make the following promise: if she should meet a tall man wearing a long black cloak and leading a fierce hound, to be sure to ask him how much longer she must still wander aboard as a restless spirit. When the old woman would later meet and ask this mysterious man, he always replied,'Just one hundred years more.'
During the nineteenh-century, a local recluse took up residence in the only tower of the castle that was not a ruin. He was said to have been mad and the villagers kept away in fear. One day, during a bitterly cold winter, a passing farm boy found his body hanging from the tower window. He must have been dead for several days, but the castle's evil reputation, and his supposed insanity, had delayed the discovery. Beneath the tower were two sets of footprints in the deep snow; those of a tall man and a great hound. Since then there have been several instances when inquisitive visitors to the old castle have 'something' that has made them flee in terror.

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