AT BRIXEN still stands the magnificent ancestral castle of the Lords von Lachmüller--one of the most ancient families of the Tyrolian nobility. In the old picture gallery of this deserted mansion, the ghost of one of the knights whose portraits still hang there, wanders about.
During the time of the French invasion in 1797, a French officer was quartered in the castle with several soldiers. On account of the numerous family of the proprietor, there were but a few small chambers vacant in the building, and as the officer was not contented with the room which had been allotted to him, he roughly demanded one larger and with finer site. But there was only the picture gallery left, in which the officer took up his abode, laughing and sneering at the warnings given him by the host that the corridor was said to be haunted. The strong-headed fellow took every precaution to guard himself against either natural or supernatural apparition, and after he had ordered a strong trooper to lie down close beside him, he went to sleep devoid of any fear.
But, as he awoke at midnight, he saw a knight in full attire standing before him, who regarded him most ferociously. The officer shouted at him, but, as he stood his ground and paid no heed, he transfixed the form with his long sharp sword, which lay unsheathed beside him. At this instant, the apparition stretched out his arms, seized the officer, and hugged him so closely and long, that he lost his breath.
The trooper awoke late in the morning, and, on finding his master dying, he summoned all the inhabitants of the castle, to whom the officer, who came to himself again, recounted in a feeble voice what had happened to him, and pointed out one of the ancestral portraits as the being who had appeared before his bed and hugged him so fearfully. Two hours afterwards he died.