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The Source:

Wenceslas Hagec von Libotschan (also known as Vaclav Hajek z Libocan):
"Böhmische Chronik vom Ursprung der Böhmen, von Ihrer Herzogen und Könige, Graven, Adels und Geschlechter Ankunft, von Ubung des Götzendiensts und Aberglaubens, dessen Abschaffung und Bekehrung zum Christentum, von den Ritterliche Ubungen, Turniren und Kämpfen in dem Land, von innerlich und ausländischen Kriegen, von Aufrichtung Uralter Kirchen, Bisthümer, Stifftern der Hohen Schul, von Befestigungen des Lands, der Städte, Schlösser und Dörfer, von Metall und Bergwerken auch Salzbrunnen, von denen Privilegien und Antiquitäten in Geist und Weltlichen Sachen, von guter Ordnung, Münz, Land, Wald und Feldmaas, Kram und ander Gewicht, Ellen und Getreid-maas, von seltzamen Trachten in der Kleidung, von Natur-wundern, Landstrassen, und was sich sonsten in Geistlichen und Weltlichen Händeln, diese Kron betreffend, zugetragen."
Balthasar Joachim Endler, Nürnberg, 1697

The Case:

Rather than making a fool of myself by trying to translate the Bohemian or the Latin version of this book that dates back to 1541, I have gone easy on myself and used this German translation from 1697. I will limit my efforts to giving you a short version of the first part of the story, and then continue with the long version of the most interesting parts.

This happened in the year of 1345 in a town called Levin. There lived a potter called Duchaz, who had a wife called Brodka that practiced all kinds of devilish sorcery. The priest warned her with the result that she continued doing them in secret. One day, after dabbling with her spectres, she mysteriously died. She was refused a Christian burial and ended up being buried at the crossroads. Soon she returned from the grave and was seen in the fields and in town. Sometimes she looked like an animal, other times she looked just like she did when she was still alive. She frightened everyone and also killed quite a few people.

Now let me quote Mr. Hagec:

"Die Nachbarn des Städtleins und die Bauern aus den umliegenden Dörffern vereinigten sich, liessen sie durch einen hierzu tüchtigen Mann ausgraben. Als solches geschehen konten alle beywesende Leute sehen daß sie des Schleiers, so sie auf dem Kopffe gehabt, die Helffte in sich hinein gefressen, derselbe ihr aus dem Halse ganz blutig herausgezogen worden. Man ließ ihr zwischen die Brust einen eychenen Pfahl schlagen, bald floß ihr das Blut aus dem Leibe, nicht anders als aus einem Rinde, daß sich Männiglichen verwunderte und ward also wieder verscharret."

Nach kurzer Zeit ließ sie sich wiederum sehen, viel mehr als zuvor, erschreckte und tödtete die Menschen, und welchen sie umgebracht auf deme sprang sie mit Füssen herum.

"Derowegen wurde sie durch denselben vorigen Mann wiederum aufgehackt und befunden daß sie den Pfahl welchen man ihr in den Leib geschlagen gehabt ausgezogen und in Händen gehalten. Nach diesem ließ man sie heraus ziehen und samt den Pfahl verbrennen und die Asche samt der Erden in das Grab schütten und also verscharren. Von der Zeit an nahm dieses Ubel ein Ende. Nichts weniger hat man an dem Ort wo man sie verbrannt etliche Tage einen Zwirbel-Wind gesehen."

Which more or less translates into this:

The people from the town and the farmers from the villages around it united and had a strong man dig her up. When this was done, everyone there could see that she had eaten half of the veil that she had on her head. It was torn from her throat and it was covered in blood. They had an oak stake hammered between her breasts, and soon the blood was flowing from her body, like it does from a cow. People were astonished. And the grave was closed again.

After a short while she was seen again and she frightened and killed people even more than before. And if she had killed someone she jumped around upon them.

Therfore she was dug up again by the same man, and it was found that she had pulled out the stake that had been put through her body, and was holding it in her hands. After this she was pulled from the grave and cremated together with the stake. The ashes were thrown into the grave together with the earth. From this moment on the evil stopped. But still, at the place where she had been cremated a whirlwind was seen for several days.

The Date:

We are told that these things happened in 1345.

The Place:

Levin can be found about 60 km North of Prague.

Possible Follow-Up:

You can find this story retold by many writers, like Montague Summers and dozens of others. I used to have the version by Erasmus Francisci on this page. But now that I have found the earlier version from Hagec's "Böhmischen Chronic", I have replaced it by this one. Find yourself a copy of Hagec's "Böhmischen Chronic". It has been translated into various languages.

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

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