By Catherine Cavendish
courtesy of Renedrivers, Wikimedia Commons
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by haunted houses, castles, forests, cemeteries, hotels…the list is endless. Another great love of mine is Austria. This picturesque country in central Europe has an incredible history and its fair share of haunted buildings and ghost stories. One of these concerns a castle with some of the most grisly history you could ever wish to encounter, and a number of former residents and captives who appear unable, or unwilling to leave.
In the breathtaking countryside near Salzburg, stands Moosham Castle. Built in the 13th century, it played host to some of the bloodiest witch trials ever seen in Europe. Literally thousands of young boys, men and women were tortured and maimed. Some had hands cut off or were branded. Hundreds were hanged or beheaded. For others, the punishment was even worse than that. The hapless prisoner would be strapped between two horses and literally torn apart. And Moosham Castle witnessed all of this. Small wonder that, to this day, visitors report sightings of the ghosts of the prisoners, still roaming the corridors of the castle searching for justice. Unusually, the majority of the victims were male. It seems that, certainly in the late 17th century, the homeless were targeted and almost routinely rounded up and accused of witchcraft. Some of them were only children. Between 1675 and 1690, over 100 were killed. Their ages ranged from 10 to over 80. 92 were below the age of 21.
An official at the time of the worst of these atrocities was a notoriously cruel man called Anton – also known as Henchman Toni – and he also roams the castle. Women and children have reported seeing him sitting down. He is said to have been responsible for the tortures and in his former quarters, visitors have experienced being breathed on, touched, and objects move all by themselves. Legend has it that he entered into a pact with the devil. One night the devil himself appeared at the gates of the castle to take him to hell, but it would appear that something of him stayed behind.
In the torture chamber itself, people have reported feeling hands touching their hair or legs
Another legend is of two warring brothers who slayed each other at the castle. They rise from their graves each night and continue their battle.
In the 1800s, strange stories began to circulate of werewolves in the area. Deer and cattle were found mutilated close to the castle and some of its residents were accused of being werewolves. It is certainly a place with a varied and gruesome past.
The apparitions are certainly not shy at Moosham. Many people have reported multiple sightings – figures appearing before their eyes, only to disappear again. In the castle there is a heavy atmosphere and there have been many reports of people being touched, doors opening and closing of their own accord and members of staff have reported entering the hunting room first thing in the morning only to find all the guns hanging upside down on the wall – despite the castle having been securely locked up at night.
Current owner – Theresita Wilczek – appears on this video and you can get a real feel of the atmosphere of this spooky castle and its terrible past:https://youtu.be/DbEA_LWl0yE
Destiny In Death
Eminent archaeologist Dr. Emeryk Quintillus has unearthed the burial chamber of Cleopatra. But this tomb raider’s obsession with the Queen of the Nile has nothing to do with preserving history. Stealing sacred and priceless relics, he murders his expedition crew, and flees—escaping the quake that swallows the site beneath the desert sands . . .
Young widow Adeline Ogilvy has accepted employment at the mansion of Dr. Quintillus, transcribing the late professor’s memoirs. Within the pages of his journals, she discovers the ravings of a madman convinced he possessed the ability to reincarnate Cleopatra. Within the walls of his home, she is assailed by unexplained phenomena: strange sounds, shadowy figures, and apparitions of hieroglyphics.
Something pursued Dr. Quintillus from Egypt. Something dark, something hungry. Something tied to the fate and future of Adeline Ogilvy . . .
Wrath Of The Ancients
About the Author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. She was the joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology Competition, with Linden Manor. Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy – Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade, The Pendle Curse, Saving Grace Devine and many more. She lives with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshiped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue. Cat and her family divide their time between Liverpool and a 260-year-old haunted apartment in North Wales.
You can connect with Cat here: