IN THE village of St. Johann, in the lower part of the valley of the Inn in the Tyrol, the following incident took place some fifty years ago.
A girl who had been jilted by her lover refused to go to a wedding to which she had been invited by her neighbours, and where there was to be music and dancing. In her grief and despair she raged and noised about at home, until the evil one in the form of a green huntsman appeared before her, and invited her to the dance. Without reflecting any longer she went with him to the wedding-feast, glad that her unfaithful suitor should no longer enjoy his triumph. The huntsman danced so fast and so well that all the guests admired him, for he sang and was the most spirited among them all. But in spite of this, every one shuddered when they looked at him, for his mien was like that of a snake, sly and venomous. The girl, however, did not care at all about it, and enjoyed herself all the evening.
On their way home the huntsman asked the girl if she would allow him to serenade her on the following evening, to which she gave a most joyful assent. On the following night, just as the church clock was striking twelve, some one knocked at the girl’s bedroom window. She opened the lattice to greet the huntsman, who now appeared before her in the devil’s most hideous form. He seized upon her and dragged her fiercely through the narrow iron bars which guarded it, so that pieces of skin and flesh remained hanging on them, and the warm blood ran in streams down the wall. He then flew off with the screaming girl through the air.
Up to the present day it has been impossible to wash or rub those blood stains away, and any one who passes through the little village of St. Johann, can see them for himself.