NOT many years ago a very rough mountain lane led from Tarenz to Imst, which was called the G’stoag; the post-road now runs over this spot, and still bears the same name.
The tailor, Anton Gurschler, of Strad, once returned home from Grieseck, near Tarenz, where he had been to visit his sweetheart. It was getting on for the ghost hour, and as he arrived near the smith’s shop, called Hoada-Schmiede, near G’stoag, he ran up against a little chapel, which is consecrated to the holy Vitus, and, having hurt himself in the violence of the shock, he was very angry, and began to swear, for he wanted to know who had pushed him so savagely. At that moment a carriage with lights drove up, and in it were sitting some women, whom the tailor immediately recognized perfectly well. They stopped the carriage, alighted, and offered to dance with him, and turned him round and round, without his being able to resist them. Then, as they released him, one of them whispered in his ear, “If you say one word about this, you had better look out for yourself;” and then they drove off like a flash of lightning. The tailor was stupefied with amazement, and, in his anger, he recounted to his friends at home all that had befallen him, in which, however, he did very wrong, for he grew thin and ill, and went out at last like the spark of a candle.
To another man, a shoemaker of Tarenz, whose name was Jennewein Lambach, happened the following circumstance:--He was on his way to the castle of Starkenberg, close by his village, and on passing by the church, he neither stopped a moment, nor crossed himself, as it is the custom in the country to do. It was yet dark, for the shoemaker had got up earlier than he was aware of; all at once he heard the sounds of magnificent music, to which he listened for a long time with delighted ears, and then, to his astonishment, he heard the church clock strike midnight. He shuddered with fright, for he knew that something must be wrong, and hurried on as fast as his legs would carry him to Starkenberg, where he was engaged to work; but as there he could find no peace of mind, on account of his strange accident, he returned home again in the afternoon. While he was sitting drinking a glass of wine with the innkeeper Marrand, of Tarenz, a woman of the village entered the room, and said to him mockingly, “The music last night must have pleased you very much, for you listened like a stupid.” The shoemaker was struck dumb and could not reply, for it came to his mind that what he had heard in the preceding night had been hags’ music, and that that very same woman had been amongst the number of the witches. From that time he shunned the creature as much as possible, but never told any one what had happened to him on that eventful evening. He then bought himself an alarm clock, which he set up close to his bed, so that he never went again too early to his work, and thus by his silence he no doubt escaped the dreadful fate of the poor tailor.