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The Source:

Karl August Barack (ed.):
"Zimmerische Chronik"
Freiburg und Tübingen, 1881

The Case

"Bei kurzen jaren ist ain schene junkfraw zu Haidelberg gestorben und begraben worden, von der sagt man, das [man] sie im grab, gleich des andern tags ires absterbens, hab heren schmatzen und schnufen, das solchs vil erlicher leut haben warhaftigclichen gehert. Wie nur ir aigner vatter das erfaren, hat er das grab öffnen und den grund erkundigen lassen, hat aber weiters nichts , dann das corpus also dodt gefunden. Man hat das grab wider zugescharret, und gleich darauf ist ain leumat und geschrai ufsgangen, das ir dise peen allain der ursach halb begegne, seitemal sie bei irem leben so rauh gegen iren liebhaber gewest und die alle, so iren zu der ehe begert, ufsgeschlagen und verachtet. Also hat der teufel hin und wider seine vasnachtleut."

Well, don't expect a word to word translation. Let's see what we can make of this ancient German:

A few years ago a beautiful young woman died and was buried in Heidelberg. It was said that the very next day sounds like chewing and sniffing were heard from her grave. And there are many honest people who have genuinely heard this. When the dead girl's father heard about this he had the grave opened to find out the cause. But they only found the dead corpse. When they closed the grave again a loud noise and screaming was heard. Most likely because she had always treated her suitors with much disrespect. So the devil had come to claim her.

The Date:

The "Zimmerische Chronik" is said to have been written between 1540 and 1566. So, for the moment, let us just put this on file as "before 1566".

The Place:

The famous, notorious according to some, town of Heidelberg, best known for its beer, wine and students, can be found somewhere to the South-East of Mannheim, along the sides of the Neckar, a river that ends up becoming part of the river Rhein.

Possible Follow-Up:

Do go find yourself a copy, any copy of the "Zimmerische Chronik". There are some interesting tales in there.

© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014

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