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Overview: Ghost stories

Seven old witches

Once upon a time around 700 years ago, in a faraway land called Seven Castles, seven evil witches lived in a cave at the foot of a large mountain. The oldest of the seven witches was called Sieberella and was said to be more than 700 years old. Even the youngest witch, whose name was Siebenstein, was already 77 years old and had a hunchback.

The residents of the little village permanently lived in fear. Not one of them had managed to escape losing at least one family member or a friend due to the evil magic of the witches. More and more people left the village and the remaining villagers barricaded themselves in their houses every seventh night and prayed that the witches would spare them.

Every 7th night, the witches flew on the broomsticks into the little village next to their cave and spread fear and terror. Sieberella, the oldest witch, really enjoyed turning beautiful women into toads. Sieberinne, the second oldest, destroyed the harvest so that the farmers didn’t have anything to eat. Siebylle, with the crooked nose, turned the noses of her victims into big, ugly noses like her own. Siebenanelle, the fourth of the sisters, entered the village in the form of a large wolf to attack the people. Siebolinne, the artful one, liked to turn herself into the village residents, mix with the people and get up to mischief. The red-haired Siebenjolina would whip up a storm which could easily blow the largest of men into the air and carry them away. The youngest of the sisters, Siebenstein, was the most gruesome as she turned her victims to stone on the spot.

Obviously there were a few brave ones among them who wanted put up a fight and defend themselves against the seven. But no one who tried to take on the old sisters came back alive from Seven Castles. Sieberella and her troop would simply be even more gruesome on the following spook night and spread fear among the residents of the little village.

However, one day a new king came to reign over the land. His name was Achim the Eighth. When he heard about the regretful fate of the residents in the little village, he did not wait a minute longer and brought in his army to help them.

Achim the Eighth rode into the village with drums and brass and took up residence in the quarter with the only inn in the village. Against the advice of all of the citizens, he sent soldiers off to kill the witches. But just like many before them, the soldiers never came back. The witches had put a spell on all of them and had killed them gruesomely.

The king ordered for all residents to gather together on the market square. “Village citizens!” said Achim the Eighth to them, “the seven witches have killed my army and I am very sad about it but we cannot give up. Who will help me and go to Seven Castles with me to conquer the evil witches once and for all?” No one wanted to accompany Achim the Eighth because everyone was too scared of being killed by the witches just like all of the soldiers.

The king was disappointed but he was a very wise leader. “If the power of 1000 swords does not have an effect” he thought to himself “we will have to use cunning to gain victory.” He retreated back to the inn and thought about things all night long, planning how to overcome the witches. Early in the morning when the cock crowed, he knew what had to be done.

He went into the village church and fetched a candle holder with seven prongs and headed towards the witches before sunrise. A few village residents who were already up and about saw what Achim the Eighth was doing, rubbed their eyes in disbelief and thought that the king had either gone mad or wanted to do a runner like a coward.

Shortly before midday, Achim the Eighth had reached the cave where the seven witches lived. When he saw all of the dead bodies of the soldiers, he would have preferred to turn around but he was king and kings do not run away from things!

He gathered up all of his courage and called: “Come out you witches! I am King Achim the Eighth and I have come to put an end to your evil doings!” Lightning suddenly shot across the sky, mist formed all around and the seven witches were standing right in front of King Achim.

“Take a look there, King Achim the Eighth. You are all alone, where are all of your soldiers then?” grunted Sieberella. “Ah, yes. That’s right – we killed them all yesterday.” The witches all laughed wickedly.

“Silence you old witch!” the king defended bravely “I do not need an army to conquer you.” The witches laughed even more wickedly than before. “Should I turn myself into a wolf” asked Siebenanelle “and rip him to pieces?” “No; the wind will blow him against the cliffs!” called Siebenjolina. “But the king should get a nice nose first!” Siebylle raised her magic wand but Sieberella interrupted her. “He is mine and mine alone. I want to turn him into a frog which we will keep as a pet and feed flies and maggots.

These threats did not impress King Achim at all. The witches did not take him seriously as a opponent and therefore were behaving just as arrogantly as he had expected. Achim the Eighth yawned ostentatiously and ridiculed the seven sisters: “And you want to be big bad witches? All of you can only do one trick and you are boring me to death.” This time it was Achim the Eighth who began to laugh. “Turning into a wolf or sticking a long nose on something – every amateur magician in my courtyard can do these tricks. I once knew a really great magician who could do something which you certainly won’t be able to do.”

“Ha!” laughed Sieberella. “We can do any trick there is – there aren’t any tricks we don’t know.”

“You’ll have to prove that to me!” challenged King Achim to the witches. Now he had them exactly where he wanted them. “This magician” he carried on “could turn himself into the flame of a candle!”

“Ha. Ha. What is so difficult about that?” asked Siebenjolina. “That’s no problem for us!”

“Then prove it” said the king and held the seven pronged candle holder in front of their crooked noses. Sieberella murmured a short magic spell and all of the witches suddenly became a burning flame on the seven prongs of the candle holder.

This was moment King Achim had been waiting for. He took the candle holder and quickly blew out the candles one after the other blowing the life out of all seven of the witches.

When the king came back to the village and the people heard that he had freed them of the witches forever everyone was so happy and celebrated for eight days solid. On each of the first seven days they celebrated the death of one witch and on the eighth day they honoured King Achim the Eighth – the courageous hero who had freed them from the witches.

[ © | 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work ] - 2000 Games and Ideas for Youth Work
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