SH Archive Austrian Legends. Folk Tales and Oral Traditions. A Glimpse Into The Past.

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Silvanus777
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Sylvanus777

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In my homecountry of Austria, we have a rich tradition of folk tales and legends that were, for the longest time, orally transmitted. Sadly, fewer and fewer people are paying know of or pay attention to them. Of course, we are all expected to see these as nothing more than silly old people’s tales, empty superstitions and basically only slightly over actual fairy tales (like the Brothers Grimm ones) when it comes to the percentage of truth that is said to be contained in them.

I wish to share some of the more interesting legends and old folk’s sayings that could have a bearing on our quest for unraveling a different, lost past or history. But first, please allow me to reflect a bit on the question why I find folk tales such a promising source for gathering authentic information about the past:

Except for maybe ethnologists and students of folklore, academia holds these orally transmitted sayings of our ancestors in disregard. Nobody would think of, or dare to think of even, using traditional legends, folk tales and sayings as a valid source for drawing conclusions about or gaining a better picture of our history. As you can imagine, I beg to differ on the matter. For me, these legends may very well contain more truth than one might expect, and I am of the firm opinion that oral tradition could reflect the true nature and course of history and historic events far more accurately than anything we get handed down from academia with its dogmatic orthodoxy.

Just think about it: Stories told and retold from generation to generation, in absence of distractions like TV or smartphone, cannot be centrally controlled or steered, are deeply “democratic” or “grassroots” for lack of better terms, and agenda-free. The downside of course is that they represent at least to a degree a game of telephone. Without doubt, they were constantly re-interpreted to fit new living realities throughout the generation and were suspect to the cultural influences of the time.

In the case of the Austrian folk legends, one encounters the too-be-expected superstitious coloring, and the strongest, christitan religious (specifically Roman Catholic) tint, or should I say, spin, on basically everything that is going on in majority of these stories. It’s similar to the folk tales of other traditionally catholic regions I guess. Basically the devil and his demons serve as an explanatory device for every mystifying or adverse occurrence, with “Mother of God” catholic Mary and saints being the counterpart responsible for beneficial things. I think, however, one can remove these layers and veils, which from just reading the text appear as quite obvious later additions or twists, and get to the core of the matter. “Peeling away truth’s protective layers” (as N. Armstrong recommends in an unrelated case ;-) ) can enable an open minded explorer of these texts dealing with oral traditions to gather vital clues of some hidden and lost “old world”.

And now to the main show.
Here's some of our Austrian legends that might be of interest to you.
Quick note on the Sources: The information comes mostly from the 1932 “Öberösterreichisches Sagenbuch” (Upper Austrian Book of Folk Legends) by A. Depiny. The information is not presented in single stories like "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" or similar fairy tale stories, but rather as a huge collection of anecdotes, that have been widespread among the Upper Austrian countryfolk, including some longer, more detailed accounts.

1. Families of giants as castle & church builders
The building of many (now ruined) castles and even churches is often attributed to giants in our local legends. According to these, giants were hired / employed in bringing the heavy stone blocks from nearby quarries and stacking them up on site. The church in the town of Taufkirchen in my area is said to have been built by them, and the gargantuan builders are even said to lay buried underneath it. Well not anymore after some centuries of heavy Jesuit presence and power…

In any case, the fact that these giants were seemingly remembered as very real people (or creatures?) is impressively illustrated in one particular anecdote, which I feel compelled to share in full:

“On the mountain rising above St. Konrad once lived the dynasty of the Rüepel (“Ruffians”). Of their dwellings no trace remains, however clearly one can still observe their (agricultural) fields, the Rüepel-acres on the Brandstätter mountain. On the wavy Wirtsberg mountain lies the Rüepel-graveyard. The Rüepels had their own roads, one leading up into the high forest towards Grünau, one to the south towards the Traunsee lake, One of these roads lead straight through the Holzinger family farmhouse… Their church stood near the Rüepel-acres – it had once sunken and disappeared into the ground along with a merry wedding company and nowadays there is a pond in that spot.”

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View of St. Konrad - I think the mountain in the background is the one mentioned in the story.

I find accounts like this incredibly fascinating, and it is not just one of a kind. In Tyrole they know of the savage "Löda" family of giants in a similar vein, and so on.
I really don't think the olden people would describe some purely fictional, larger than life, mythological creatures like in the above story. Now I have to say I never visited the area where these giants had supposedly lived. If I had money and power, I’d chance an excavation of this legendary giant graveyard, LOL!

(Note the sunken into the ground church of the giants!!)

2. The Wild Hunt
The Wild Hunt or the Wild Hunter and his company, as it is sometimes called, are a mysterious phenomenon of the olden days that puzzles many people fond of folklore and the past here greatly. It was described as an airborne, ghostly company of demonic riders accompanied by all kinds of ghastly animals and monsters that stormed with lightning & thundering, screaming and loud noise over the countryside in full moon nights or at special times of the year (between winter solstice and new years).

13148

Fanciful artist's interpretation of the Wild Hunt. It got popularly mixed-up with the "Ride of the Valkyries" image, as popularized by Richard Wagner.

The Wild Hunt seemed to follow some very predictable patterns in its course and behavior, that leads me to think of it as some past, misunderstood aerial / electric / electromagnetic phenomenon, and on top has some very clear parallels of this modern day UFO / alien abduction phenomenon:
  • It traveled along certain pathways, a meter or more over the ground, oftentimes high up into the air and preferably spiraling around church steeples. Curiously, the old paths of the Wild Hunt are identified as our old countryside roads, called “Hohlwege” – hollowed out ways – that are cut several meters deep into hillsides here in a V-shape, with the actual roadway on the bottom. These were considered haunted up until recently, and people shunned them.
  • The people seemingly were able to somewhat modify the prescribed course the Hunt would travel along. For example one story mentions that the building of a chapel or small church prevented the Hunt from crossing through a village it terrorized previously. The ghostly company would simply turn there an go back on the way it came from.
  • The wild hunt abducts people and certain animals. They have to fly along through the air amongst the wild company, and return the next morning under amnesia, disoriented, scratched, bruised and battered. Sometimes the people or animals are found dead at very distant locations, or not at all.
  • It can strike you dead on the spot upon touch. (Descriptions sound like death by electric shock)
  • Abovementioned dangers can be avoided by dropping to the ground and staying there flat until the phenomenon has passed. Throwing oneself into one of the cart ruts in case of being surprised by it on the read is recommended. This way, the Hunt, which passes about a foot or a meter above the ground can’t hurt you.
  • Etc.
It’s really fascinating to me how all the accounts of encounters with the Wild Hunt paint a very clear picture of a natural phenomenon, rather than some wild, superstitious devil and demon, spiritual thing. I am thinking about something of electromagnetic nature, although it might be more unconventional than that (I know nothing about ether physics LOL). Electricity seems to have played an important part though. It really makes me think if this had something to do with this often theorized ancient energy grid? As an out-of-control discharge of a failing or gradually being demolished aerial electricity transmission grid maybe? With a brilliant crowd like you I don’t think I need to spell all the thouhgts that could come to mind when reading about the Wild Hunt's behavior above! :D;)

My closing note on the phenomenon though: Whatever it was, it has completely stopped and I know no reports of something similar to it within at least the last 100 years. Not even the slight haunting here or there! Ancient energy grid 100% out-of-order over here it seems! ;-)

3. Deluge Stories
In Upper Austria especially, we have many smaller and larger lakes. There is a cluster of them, the Upper Austrian Lake Country on the northern edge of the Austrian Alps.

13149

The "Salzkammergut", Upper Austrian Lake Country. South is up, north is down.

Now a plethora of deluge legends happens to exist in that area, each explaining the origin of one or another of these lakes in a very similar, interesting manner:

Once upon a time there was a fertile and lush valley, populated with towns of rich and happy people. But then there was a wicked knight, count or baron (or wizard in some of the stories) ruling over the valley who sinned gravely all the time. One time he overdid it, and God sent heavy thunderstorms while simultaneously the ground cracked open and released huge amounts of water, which flooded the whole valley. Thus, the lake was formed. Commonly, in these stories one could see the top of the church spire (or the cross thereon) or the highest castle battlements still beneath the waves for a long time afterwards, if the water was clear. Howling and moaning of the ghosts of the dead sinners – alternatively the laughing of the revelers – was heard during full moon nights. The art of embellishment in storytelling, y’know! ;)

In general, legends of places getting flooded or destroyed by water are commonplace all over Austria, not only where the lakes are. And from the way these stories are told, they don’t seem to be taking place in some far distant antiquity or primitive times. They sound as if written the period of feudalism, with knights and counts as feudal lord and their subservient peasantry. I can’t tell if the stories may have morphed and if the way the world is described in them can be taken as accurate. As they stand however, the local flood legends would indeed support a 15th century (or so) cataclysm in Europe involving flooding.

Disclaimer: It has to be duely noted, that all this could very well just be naive folkloristic adaptations and localizations of the biblical flood story as preached in church.

4. Dwarfs really just short Italian/Venetian guys?
Quoting directly from A. Depiny's "Upper Austrian Book of Folk Legends":

“Chapter 7: The Short Welshmen:

In times gone by, Italians came to the Alps, spent weeks in the mountains, collected mysterious rocks and returned to the South laden with bags. Up to the 18th century these treasure seekers were seen…”


The term “dwarfs” in Austrian legends was often used synonymously with what could be translated to English as “short Venetian men”, “short Welshmen” or even simply “the Welsh”. Don’t confuse it with today’s English language understanding of “the Welsh”. In the olden days in Germans lands it was Italians, and even ancient Romans, who were called Welsh(men)”. The 1493 (?) “Nuremberg Chronicle” calls Italy “Welshland” and Italians “Welsh”. (What a confusing way of recording history!)

13150

Modern mural of a "Venediger Mandl" (Short Welshman) on a mountainside home. Note the flag of Venice on the coat.

These visitations of “short Venetian men”, coming as secretive and stealthy prospectors looking for precious metals and gems in the Austrian alpine mountains looks to have been a very real, very common occurrence. They stayed with locals overnight and paid them with gems and gold. There are many stories about the seemingly magical powers of these very real, short Italians. One is said to have opened up a gateway in a rockface by reading from a book and a “colleage” appeared from inside the cliff handing over bags of gold. Another Short Welshman did the same trick with a strange rod. In general there are various account of these dwarfish men having rods that could either open up hidden passages in the rock or find gold. Sounds almost like a detector of sorts.

Although these short statured strangers from Italy are basically the Austrian version of a dwarf, they seemed to be just real people, nothing magical about them. In one story a lumberjack even meets one of them he had previously showed around in the mountains, just living in a regular city house in the Upper Austrian capitol of Linz.

The question here becomes this:

Was there once a considerable size difference between northern Germans/Austrians and southern Italians/Venetians that would have lead my ancestors to identify the latter as “small/short” men or even as dwarfs? Where the Italians smaller in the past or the Germanics taller? Or both? Or just an old case of anti-Italian racism?? :p

5. Castles sinking into the ground
Besides the legends of castles, churches and towns being swallowed by devastating floods, we have the even more curious case of accounts of buildings spontaneously sinking into the ground, disappearing completely in the earth or so that the flagpole or crosses on the tower tops could be seen for some time after.

These stories of course have also a moralizing, Christian spin to them, as we have seen with the flood legends. Grave sin like gambling, revelry and carousing or cursing the Holy Virgin or whatever is traditionally given for the reason for castles etc. disappearing into the ground without a trace.

One of these sunken castles is said to have stood in my immediate vicinity, just a few kilometers to the west of my house. It’s a huge pit in the middle of the forest and called the “penny pit”. The story goes that a castle stood there which sank into the ground where the pit now is, and that it’s named “penny pit” either because people threw spare change in there for some superstitious reasons (throwing pennies into a fountain for luck is still a common practice her) OR that the coin treasure sunken with the castle is the reason for the name.

Anyways, I am really thrilled with having recently learned about the possibility of liquefaction due to earthquakes – and I immediately made the connection to this kinda commonplace motif in our local legends. Fascinating stuff for me!
----------
OK that does it for now. I don’t need to mention that the above bits are just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a vast wealth of similar legends and folk tales here in Austria, although I am sure an even larger part has been irretrievably lost and forgotten. Please feel free to query me if you want to know more about anything. Obviously I couldn't go in too much detail for sake of not blowing the original post any more out of proportion. ;)

Now please, you guys, if anyone knows some folk tales or legends or just old stories of similarly mysterious character, please feel free to use this thread as a place to share them! I would be thrilled to hear them, from wherever you may hail! I for one just always loved and devoured these mystery stories and legends of my homeland from a very early age on. For me, they added some spice - so to say - to the otherwise somewhat bland and mundane countryside and its history. More generally speaking, they allow us to look at times long gone by through the eyes of those that were before us, skipping the sleight of hand of the conjuring academic middleman.

I hope you enjoyed these local Austrian folk legends, and maybe even find them somewhat worhtwile in terms of info! :D
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Void Trancer

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What if by short Venetian men, they really mean men from Venus. Dwarves, coming every few years for treasure? They stopped coming just like all the star brothers that have been back to see the Native Americans.
 

codis

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The term “dwarfs” in Austrian legends was often used synonymously with what could be translated to English as “short Venetian men”, “short Welshmen” or even simply “the Welsh”. Don’t confuse it with today’s English language understanding of “the Welsh”. In the olden days in Germans lands it was Italians, and even ancient Romans, who were called Welsh(men)”. The 1493 (?) “Nuremberg Chronicle” calls Italy “Welshland” and Italians “Welsh”. (What a confusing way of recording history!)
Perhaps "Welsh" relates to Walser, as in Walsertal (Vorarlberg), and Wallis (Switzerland). But more likely the Alemannian tribe of that name.
 

Sylvanus777

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Yes, that is most probably so. It is commonly established in our (official) local history here in Austria that any town-, village- or place name that has "Wal" or "Wall" in it was founded or originally inhabited by Italo-Roman migrants. Medieval, not classical Roman of antiquity, mind you. The local history textbooks etc. state furthermore that these Italo-Roman settlers were called "Wallen" by the German speaking natives, thus the place names. Keep in mind that Welsh and Wallen is an exonym, a name givn to a group externally, by an outside group. Same as the Romans calling the the Celts Galli (or Galatae, curiously enough) and the Germans, well, Germans!

At this point I must assume that it is highly likely that all of these toponyms and ethnonyms are related very closely and directly. From "Die Welschen" (lit. The Welsh), which was universally used, always with a somewhat derogatory connotation, by German writers and chroniclers etc. throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century when referring to Italians, to the "Welsche Mandl" (the little Welsh men of Austrian folklore), over the Swiss Walis and Walsertal that you duely mentioned, all the way to Wales and the Welsh of Britain. I think the crucial connecting link can be found in the A.D. Venetians and B.C. Phoenicians, who probably were the very same group of people, timeline-shifted along the lines of Fomenko's general theories.

Just consider the Phoenician sea-faring traders, merchants, pirates and miners founding colonies (at least!) all over the coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean and the European Atlantic. The Phoenicians famously founded colonies in Southern England and Wales to exploit tin etc. The Welsh of Wales call themselves Cymri. Cymri comes from (or is anoter name of) Khimmerians, who are also the Khatti or Hittites - and all are basically names for or branches of the Phoenicians. On this matter I found the 1924 book "The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons" by L. A. Waddell very useful and enlightening. I can highly recommend it - with a caveat when it comes to the overall conclusions reached: Mr. Waddell's political agenda and bias informed by the Zeitgeist are clearly visible!

The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots & Anglo-Saxons (1924 - 1st. edition) : Laurence Austine WADDELL : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

I even remember reading or hearing about Hebrew scholars claiming the Welsh language was very much related to the Hebrew, or even sounded alike to some extent. That would only make sense, considering the Phoenician connection, but I cannot comment on the veracity of any of these claims. A lot of fascinating story going around like this - such as Welsh speaking indian tribes originally discovered in North America - but that would really stray to far now...


I would say it stands to reason to conclude that all people, country, place and settlement names involving derive from Italo-Roman or Venezian/Phoenician colonies and settlements.
 
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Endo-Aryan

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Hohlwege- I image-searched them and that alone is impressive. Some of these trails cut through rock that appears 10' high in some areas. Who built them? Why were they shunned? Peculiar.
The stories of the wild hunt remind me of another phenomena we don't talk about here as it is seemingly unrelated - the Missing 411 cases. David Paulides has been documenting unsolved missing persons cases in US national parks and remote areas. These are cases where suicide/accident, foul play, and animal or other natural forces have been ruled out. Sometimes the person is found miles away across rough terrain they could not possibly cross in the timeframe, if they are still alive they have no memory of how they got there. Other times, the victim is found in an area that was already searched multiple times by professionals and dogs "as if dropped out of the sky". Could Missing 411 cases be attributed to the same phenomenon responsible for the hunt?
 

Sylvanus777

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Yes, the Hohlwege systems covering all my native countryside and are most commonly found in Southern Germany and adjacent Austrian territories. I cannot really buy into the official explanation that the crevices, 10 feet deep as you mentioned, had formed simply due to gradual erosion, due to rain washing out more and more material on sloped terrain combined with the cumulative force applied to the muddy surface by travelling carriages etc. It becomes patently absurd when you actually inspect the locations. In many cases, there is no slope or inclination of note to be seen. A question immediately raised but never answered is where the washed out material went. Some of these really deep Hohlwege even cut through ridgetops crosswise. Water erosion cannot cause this. Furthermore the criss-crossing Hohlwege of different width and depth make little sense as paths originally established by humans, considering the sheer density and the oftentimes parallel trails only meters apart. Who would need several Hohlwege criss crossing or going in paralles within a mere acre of land? It is truly an enigma. An enigma I had not been able to recognize and appreciate for the longest time, since it is just a normal thing you see here out in nature and usually never think twice about...

I have however, since the writing of the above article, come across some very interesting info on the Wild Hunt and connected Hohlwege phenomenon that would warrant an article for itself. Among other things, I have come across a scientific news report from the later 19th century (or was it early 20th? gotta look for it) regarding the Wild Hunt Phenomenon and why it started to subside from mid-1800 onwards, to have vanished completely over the course of time. This little newspaper item alone tells me that it was once considered a VERY real thing, on the lines of an atmospheric phenomenon.

The article claims that at the turn of the century (19th-20th) plenty of people where still alive that had first hand experiences with "The Hunt", that is, got caught by it unawares while walking at night in the forest. However the phenomenon had completely vanished. The writer mentions how researchers noted that the gradual ebbing down of Wild Hunt type lightning storm phenomena followed the introduction and gradual expansion of the railway system in Austria/Germany as well as the telegraph and later electricity networks etc. They theorize that setting up these vast systems of what is in essence grounding devices spread all over the land had greatly drained the atmosphere of electric potential - thus gradually weakening the devastating force of lightning storms AND completely ending any "Wild Hunt" type phenomena. Mind you even regular lightning storms must have been way more brutal and terrifying 150 years ago or so. Even my grandparents, who still heard about it from their grandparents, were still mortally afraid of thunderstorms.

So yes, I do have to dig up the screenshot of this magazine article. For me this is THE bombshell find so far regarding the true nature of the Wild Hunt, and possibly the Hohlwege. It falls in line perfectly with all that has been discussed here and elsewhere on atmospheric electricity, its possible harvesting (or as it seems: protection against it!) and also the changes to the global electromagnetic field in the past. I would like to think of the Wild Hunt Phenomenon of the 19th century and before as a later stage maybe of a preceding global cataclysm, with the electric charge in the atmosphere slowly reducing after the major event. So the railroad, telegraph and electricity networks would have just "drained" what was left of the electrically supercharged atmosphere that MAY have existed hundreds of years prior. Regarding Hohlwege, I can't help to think about the Electric Universe theory, and how according to it, the surface of the planet was formed by major atmospheric discharges - from canyons to Hohlwege maybe??

And yes, I have watched several podcasts on the Missing 411 issue. Very intriguing indeed as a real life mystery story in and off itself. I haven't followed it any further and any connection to the Wild Hunt did not occur to me myself, but yeah, I see where you're going. I would love if you could elaborate more. Help my memory please: Where there any thunderstorms or strange atmospheric, electromagnetic phenomena or occurrences involved with or connected to the missing people cases?? Many thanks!
 

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What of the railroad and telegraph some how absorbed the electrical “wild hunt phenomenon”, there by harnessing that “free atmospheric energy”? All energy grids are parasitic antenna array? Sitting on batteries? Star Forts?
 

JWW427

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My aunt was Austrian.
She told me lots of these stories and legends when I was a wee lad.
Its an enchanting country to visit. Lots of "old world" architecture to go along with the stories.

Aus.jpeg
 

Endo-Aryan

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Yes, the Hohlwege systems covering all my native countryside and are most commonly found in Southern Germany and adjacent Austrian territories. I cannot really buy into the official explanation that the crevices, 10 feet deep as you mentioned, had formed simply due to gradual erosion, due to rain washing out more and more material on sloped terrain combined with the cumulative force applied to the muddy surface by travelling carriages etc. It becomes patently absurd when you actually inspect the locations. In many cases, there is no slope or inclination of note to be seen. A question immediately raised but never answered is where the washed out material went. Some of these really deep Hohlwege even cut through ridgetops crosswise. Water erosion cannot cause this. Furthermore the criss-crossing Hohlwege of different width and depth make little sense as paths originally established by humans, considering the sheer density and the oftentimes parallel trails only meters apart. Who would need several Hohlwege criss crossing or going in paralles within a mere acre of land? It is truly an enigma. An enigma I had not been able to recognize and appreciate for the longest time, since it is just a normal thing you see here out in nature and usually never think twice about...

I have however, since the writing of the above article, come across some very interesting info on the Wild Hunt and connected Hohlwege phenomenon that would warrant an article for itself. Among other things, I have come across a scientific news report from the later 19th century (or was it early 20th? gotta look for it) regarding the Wild Hunt Phenomenon and why it started to subside from mid-1800 onwards, to have vanished completely over the course of time. This little newspaper item alone tells me that it was once considered a VERY real thing, on the lines of an atmospheric phenomenon.

The article claims that at the turn of the century (19th-20th) plenty of people where still alive that had first hand experiences with "The Hunt", that is, got caught by it unawares while walking at night in the forest. However the phenomenon had completely vanished. The writer mentions how researchers noted that the gradual ebbing down of Wild Hunt type lightning storm phenomena followed the introduction and gradual expansion of the railway system in Austria/Germany as well as the telegraph and later electricity networks etc. They theorize that setting up these vast systems of what is in essence grounding devices spread all over the land had greatly drained the atmosphere of electric potential - thus gradually weakening the devastating force of lightning storms AND completely ending any "Wild Hunt" type phenomena. Mind you even regular lightning storms must have been way more brutal and terrifying 150 years ago or so. Even my grandparents, who still heard about it from their grandparents, were still mortally afraid of thunderstorms.

So yes, I do have to dig up the screenshot of this magazine article. For me this is THE bombshell find so far regarding the true nature of the Wild Hunt, and possibly the Hohlwege. It falls in line perfectly with all that has been discussed here and elsewhere on atmospheric electricity, its possible harvesting (or as it seems: protection against it!) and also the changes to the global electromagnetic field in the past. I would like to think of the Wild Hunt Phenomenon of the 19th century and before as a later stage maybe of a preceding global cataclysm, with the electric charge in the atmosphere slowly reducing after the major event. So the railroad, telegraph and electricity networks would have just "drained" what was left of the electrically supercharged atmosphere that MAY have existed hundreds of years prior. Regarding Hohlwege, I can't help to think about the Electric Universe theory, and how according to it, the surface of the planet was formed by major atmospheric discharges - from canyons to Hohlwege maybe??

And yes, I have watched several podcasts on the Missing 411 issue. Very intriguing indeed as a real life mystery story in and off itself. I haven't followed it any further and any connection to the Wild Hunt did not occur to me myself, but yeah, I see where you're going. I would love if you could elaborate more. Help my memory please: Where there any thunderstorms or strange atmospheric, electromagnetic phenomena or occurrences involved with or connected to the missing people cases?? Many thanks!
That is very

Yes, the Hohlwege systems covering all my native countryside and are most commonly found in Southern Germany and adjacent Austrian territories. I cannot really buy into the official explanation that the crevices, 10 feet deep as you mentioned, had formed simply due to gradual erosion, due to rain washing out more and more material on sloped terrain combined with the cumulative force applied to the muddy surface by travelling carriages etc. It becomes patently absurd when you actually inspect the locations. In many cases, there is no slope or inclination of note to be seen. A question immediately raised but never answered is where the washed out material went. Some of these really deep Hohlwege even cut through ridgetops crosswise. Water erosion cannot cause this. Furthermore the criss-crossing Hohlwege of different width and depth make little sense as paths originally established by humans, considering the sheer density and the oftentimes parallel trails only meters apart. Who would need several Hohlwege criss crossing or going in paralles within a mere acre of land? It is truly an enigma. An enigma I had not been able to recognize and appreciate for the longest time, since it is just a normal thing you see here out in nature and usually never think twice about...

I have however, since the writing of the above article, come across some very interesting info on the Wild Hunt and connected Hohlwege phenomenon that would warrant an article for itself. Among other things, I have come across a scientific news report from the later 19th century (or was it early 20th? gotta look for it) regarding the Wild Hunt Phenomenon and why it started to subside from mid-1800 onwards, to have vanished completely over the course of time. This little newspaper item alone tells me that it was once considered a VERY real thing, on the lines of an atmospheric phenomenon.

The article claims that at the turn of the century (19th-20th) plenty of people where still alive that had first hand experiences with "The Hunt", that is, got caught by it unawares while walking at night in the forest. However the phenomenon had completely vanished. The writer mentions how researchers noted that the gradual ebbing down of Wild Hunt type lightning storm phenomena followed the introduction and gradual expansion of the railway system in Austria/Germany as well as the telegraph and later electricity networks etc. They theorize that setting up these vast systems of what is in essence grounding devices spread all over the land had greatly drained the atmosphere of electric potential - thus gradually weakening the devastating force of lightning storms AND completely ending any "Wild Hunt" type phenomena. Mind you even regular lightning storms must have been way more brutal and terrifying 150 years ago or so. Even my grandparents, who still heard about it from their grandparents, were still mortally afraid of thunderstorms.

So yes, I do have to dig up the screenshot of this magazine article. For me this is THE bombshell find so far regarding the true nature of the Wild Hunt, and possibly the Hohlwege. It falls in line perfectly with all that has been discussed here and elsewhere on atmospheric electricity, its possible harvesting (or as it seems: protection against it!) and also the changes to the global electromagnetic field in the past. I would like to think of the Wild Hunt Phenomenon of the 19th century and before as a later stage maybe of a preceding global cataclysm, with the electric charge in the atmosphere slowly reducing after the major event. So the railroad, telegraph and electricity networks would have just "drained" what was left of the electrically supercharged atmosphere that MAY have existed hundreds of years prior. Regarding Hohlwege, I can't help to think about the Electric Universe theory, and how according to it, the surface of the planet was formed by major atmospheric discharges - from canyons to Hohlwege maybe??

And yes, I have watched several podcasts on the Missing 411 issue. Very intriguing indeed as a real life mystery story in and off itself. I haven't followed it any further and any connection to the Wild Hunt did not occur to me myself, but yeah, I see where you're going. I would love if you could elaborate more. Help my memory please: Where there any thunderstorms or strange atmospheric, electromagnetic phenomena or occurrences involved with or connected to the missing people cases?? Many thanks!
It takes me a while to respond, my apologies. Regarding Missing 411 and the possible connection to electromagnetic phenomena, one of the common themes in the disappearances is a rapid deterioration in weather conditions. Shortly after the victim goes missing, bad weather sets in like a severe thunderstorm or blizzard. I believe this happened at Crater Lake and the toddler who went missing from his farmhouse in the 40s who was found 8 miles away.

Our modern electric grid could be interfering with whatever caused the wild hunt. A few years ago, we had a major storm knock out the electricity for nearly my entire state. I remember going outside to see the stars without light pollution and realizing that it felt different outside. Hard to explain. It was like nature was suddenly more vivid? It was like if you had a white noise machine running constantly in the background, all day, that you are so accustomed to that you don't even notice it. When it is suddenly shut off, you pick up on minute sounds that were previously being drowned out.
 

Jef Demolder

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Sylvanus, here some remarks on your interesting post.
(1) I share your opinion that folk legends, and also folkloric traditions and practices (feasts, rituals, processsions) give access to the reality of the Ancient World, as the global civilization belonging to the Ancient World come to an end with the world catastrophe in the 14th century, not so far away. (2) I think that indeed special attention is to be given to the "biodiversity" present in folk tales of different countries (giants, dwarfs, elves, sprites, and so on). (3) Special attention is also to be given to the similarity of themes in different countries, for instance, what you say on the Wild Hunt reminds me of the "bokkenrijders" in my country (see the entry "Buckriders" on Wikipdedia). But it seem to me that it is quite difficult to retrieve the original meaning, given the layers of transposition. (3) I am investigating on strange similarities between carnival practices in Belgium and processons and practices during the Holy Week in some regions of Peru as a witness to an universal civilization.
 

Sylvanus777

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I can only wholeheartedly agree to (1) - (3) and congratulate you to your equally worthy as fascinatingly specific endeavor (4).

And yes, absolutely, without even looking at the Wiki, I see can a clear parallel between our Wild Hunt and the your "Bockreiter":
The riding of male goats, oftentimes through the air, is a very a common theme in so many of the superstitions that arose during Christian times concerning pre-Christian rituals, practices and beliefs. Everyone knows the stories of witches sabbaths on Walpurgis Night. In the more contemporary renditions of the tale, the goat or buck is often named as a common partaker in the frantic animal host of the Wild Hunt. In Nordic belief, Freya rides through the air on Odin, who had turned himself into a buck for the occasion. Odin's/Wotan's Host is said to be the ancient Nordic/Germanic version (or rather origin) of the Wild Hunt. Another name for the Wild Hunt (="Wilde Jagd") is "Wildes Heer" (=Wild Host/Army) or "Wütendes Heer" (Angry Host). Now etymologically, "Wütendes Heer" is very likely to be connected or directly derived from "Wuotan's Heer". And so on and so forth..

It's just as you said - layers upon layers of transposition, localization, variation, bastardization, cross-pollination etc. etc. The original meanings may be beyond our grasp and irretrievably lost - but what remains is the deeper meanings, the themes and symbolism, which find their parallels across cultures, continents and ages. Therein lies the crux.


P.S.: I don't know if you speak German, but I would urge you to get copies of Jakob Grimm's "Deutsche Mythologie" and Karl Simrock's "Handbuch der Deutschen Mythologie". These are unparalleled treasures of organic European culture and invaluable resources for research such as ours. Books such as these have never been written after the 19th century.
 

_harris

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here in Austria that any town-, village- or place name that has "Wal" or "Wall" in it was founded or originally inhabited by Italo-Roman migrants.
and we have Wallachia in Romania (another exonymous use!)
"The term "Wallachia" is derived from the term walhaz used by Germanic peoples to describe Celts, and later romanized Celts and all Romance-speaking people. In Northwestern Europe this gave rise to Wales, Cornwall, and Wallonia, among others"
At this point I must assume that it is highly likely that all of these toponyms and ethnonyms are related very closely and directly. From "Die Welschen" (lit. The Welsh), which was universally used, always with a somewhat derogatory connotation, by German writers and chroniclers etc. throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century when referring to Italians, to the "Welsche Mandl" (the little Welsh men of Austrian folklore), over the Swiss Walis and Walsertal that you duely mentioned, all the way to Wales and the Welsh of Britain. I think the crucial connecting link can be found in the A.D. Venetians and B.C. Phoenicians, who probably were the very same group of people, timeline-shifted along the lines of Fomenko's general theories.
all the folklore ties in to population migration and expansion, the first "normal" people to arrive in Britain were "Brutus" and his crew, descendants from "Aeneas of Troy" and all that... they were the phoenicians/venitians, explorers, prospectors, colonists .. MINERS from the mediterranean... who killed the giants (not considered as humans) who were originally living here!

there is extensive evidence of ancient mining and quarrying all around the hills where i live! and local history of my village (Worle, north somerset) says it was first settled by miners from germany.. and we have in our local dialect "How bist?" for "How are you?"... so many threads in this sublime tapestry!

I often get asked if I am, or told that i look mediterranean....

my paternal side is strongly from Somerset and the traits are dark hair, short and swarthy... we are the dwarves!! :D
[apologies if this makes no sense... i'm kinda high right now.. my grandfather in his old age, with grown-out ears and nose looked like a dwarf from "the hobbit", and i know i'm going to go the same way!!]
 
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Felix Noille

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The Wild Hunt seems to be quite universal as far as Europe goes. In the UK one of its most famous leaders was/is Herne the Hunter, a version of The Green Man. Our perception of it has undoubtedly been distorted by the reports of Christian Monks who were the original 'fake news,' whereby it was used to discourage non-christian outdoor worship after dark.

There's some good information here.

from Somerset and the traits are dark hair, short and swarthy
You forgot to mention the scrumpy consumption. 🍻
 

_harris

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scrumpy's my favourite tipple!!!
wurzels.jpg

ooh arrr ;)

now i'm wondering, where does cider originate? northern mediterranean?!
reminds of a time some folks in barcelona were trying to describe to me a drink from the countryside, "beer but with apples"... :ROFLMAO:

~ [apologies for the OT-driftage, i'm very excited by todays information trawl!!]
 

Sylvanus777

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here in Austria that any town-, village- or place name that has "Wal" or "Wall" in it was founded or originally inhabited by Italo-Roman migrants.
and we have Wallachia in Romania (another exonymous use!)
"The term "Wallachia" is derived from the term walhaz used by Germanic peoples to describe Celts, and later romanized Celts and all Romance-speaking people. In Northwestern Europe this gave rise to Wales, Cornwall, and Wallonia, among others"
At this point I must assume that it is highly likely that all of these toponyms and ethnonyms are related very closely and directly. From "Die Welschen" (lit. The Welsh), which was universally used, always with a somewhat derogatory connotation, by German writers and chroniclers etc. throughout the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century when referring to Italians, to the "Welsche Mandl" (the little Welsh men of Austrian folklore), over the Swiss Walis and Walsertal that you duely mentioned, all the way to Wales and the Welsh of Britain. I think the crucial connecting link can be found in the A.D. Venetians and B.C. Phoenicians, who probably were the very same group of people, timeline-shifted along the lines of Fomenko's general theories.
all the folklore ties in to population migration and expansion, the first "normal" people to arrive in Britain were "Brutus" and his crew, descendants from "Aeneas of Troy" and all that... they were the phoenicians/venitians, explorers, prospectors, colonists .. MINERS from the mediterranean... who killed the giants (not considered as humans) who were originally living here!

there is extensive evidence of ancient mining and quarrying all around the hills where i live! and local history of my village (Worle, north somerset) says it was first settled by miners from germany.. and we have in our local dialect "How bist?" for "How are you?"... so many threads in this sublime tapestry!

I often get asked if I am, or told that i look mediterranean....

my paternal side is strongly from Somerset and the traits are dark hair, short and swarthy... we are the dwarves!! :D
[apologies if this makes no sense... i'm kinda high right now.. my grandfather in his old age, with grown-out ears and nose looked like a dwarf from "the hobbit", and i know i'm going to go the same way!!]
Ha! That sounds awesome! Yeah, I see no contradiction here with traditional account of Britain's settlement and antiquity - although I think that the classical greco-roman writings such as the Aeneid, are more or less poetic fiction, based on true events. But I think this is a commonly held notion among many of us here, that we are being presented the same stories under different names and vatiations, shifted in locations and times. Oh an I'd LOVE to see these hills and old places in Briton you are talking about myself one day - provided the world ever returns to at least a semblance of sanity anytime soon...

I got a friend over here in Austria who is a fellow countryman of yours and he hails from the Somerset area. He's pale with ruddy cheeks and reddish hair. So more a celt I'd say, haha. He's a great guy, though I hold it against him that he has always managed to find an excuse to not take me along on a trip back to England although I've been nagging for about 15 years. Can you believe it?!

So do you actually live in Wales, Harris? If not, where approximately? The tidbit about German language influence on your local dialect is really fascinating! I love dialects and studying them - lots of cross-overs between all peoples that came in contact with each other over the centuries. It can be very instructive to study! I've been saying for long if you went back maybe 500 or 600 years, a Brit and an Austrian/German would have understood each other perfectly well, maybe similar to how a Swissman and a Prussian can.

I wish you a great day, mate!


P.S.: Correction: According to your nation's grand mythopoet and prophet, J. R. R. Tolkien, you are not dwarves, but hobbits. In case you are not aware, he said he based the Hobbits on the English countryfolk and their quaint mode of living in the good old times, pre-war(s). Please inspect the top of your feet for unusual growth of hair. You guys over there are hobbits, maybe with some Phoenician dwarf admixture! Deal with it. :D
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scrumpy's my favourite tipple!!!
View attachment 2113
ooh arrr ;)

now i'm wondering, where does cider originate? northern mediterranean?!
reminds of a time some folks in barcelona were trying to describe to me a drink from the countryside, "beer but with apples"... :ROFLMAO:

~ [apologies for the OT-driftage, i'm very excited by todays information trawl!!]
The above photo confuses me. It looks like an Austrian/German folk band but the title is part English, part German lol :LOL:

My region here in Austria used to be apple country, as cider or Most as it is called was part of the staple diet for the countryfolk. Before mechanization came, each farmhouse needed huge orchard with, sometimes up to or over 100 trees to supply the many servants with cider. It was such an established tradition, that it used to be part of servitude contracts or even made into (regional) law how many liters of cider the farmer had to provide to his indentured servants per week/month/whatever. Even children drank alcoholic cider. In measure. There is still a strong culture and tradition around apple cider where I live, and we have regular cider making competitions. Another region of Austria is even named "Cider Quarter" (Our Austrian states forming the Federal Republic are divided into smaller regions, called Viertels - Quarters)
Post automatically merged:

The above photo confuses me. It looks like an Austrian/German folk band but the title is part English, part German lol :LOL:

My region here in Austria used to be apple country, as cider or Most as it is called was part of the staple diet for the countryfolk. Before mechanization came, each farmhouse needed huge orchard with, sometimes up to or over 100 trees to supply the many servants with cider. It was such an established tradition, that it used to be part of servitude contracts or even made into (regional) law how many liters of cider the farmer had to provide to his indentured servants per week/month/whatever. Even children drank alcoholic cider. In measure. There is still a strong culture and tradition around apple cider where I live, and we have regular cider making competitions. Another region of Austria is even named "Cider Quarter" (Our Austrian states forming the Federal Republic are divided into smaller regions, called Viertels - Quarters)
 
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Felix Noille

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Like the Wild Hunt, cider seems to be universal across Europe as well. The Galicia & Asturias areas of northern Spain are famous for cider or rather cidra. Perhaps there's a relation between the two? 😵
 

Sylvanus777

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Most / cider / cidre (Fr.) / cidra as the original staple alcoholic beverage of peoples closely related, denoting common cultural heritage and/or common ancestry even? Would make sense on a very basic level.

Beer is a slave drink anyways. Made from grain harvested by droves of agricultural laborers in the scorching heat and burning sun. Back in the day that is. Meanwhile, apple pickers and gatherers chill and enjoy the shade of idyllic orchards to make. The catholic church popularized it, brewed it in their own monasteries - same with the more potent booze/Schnaps. Great yet diabolic business model. Create sin, forgive sin - for a nominal fee - and control people with hell and damnation fear porn while you are at it. Furthermore, beer increases estrogen levels and makes men, besides unshapely (think beer-belly), not only happy and giddy, but also complacent and docile. Yes, I am a modern day heretic, more or less publicly badmouthing beer! :D

Never heard of mead being a thing over here btw, although it did play a minor role culturally up to the the not so distance past. Beekeeping also has a long tradition in Austria.
 

Felix Noille

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The above photo confuses me. It looks like an Austrian/German folk band but the title is part English, part German lol :LOL:
If you really insist you can solve the photo's mystery here, but I really wouldn't recommend it... unless you have had at least a litre of cider beforehand. ☺

I suppose making a drink from apples was always fairly straightforward, in fact my wife and I have made it from our own trees when we had them. Beer on the other hand, seems to be a much more complicated process that was perhaps out of the reach of us mere peasants. It's also no coincidence that a great many alcoholic drinks seem to have come from monks in monasteries, as you say. It's quite clearly a method of control.

Under such circumstances and I mean the influence of alcohol, people are obviously more suggestible and their perception is impaired. This could have a great effect on folklore, in that what people may once have recognised as familiar phenomena, in accordance with their natural belief system, then gradually becomes distorted and 'demonised' by the new belief system.
 
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