Austria – The Mariatrost Witch’s ride

Austria - Mariatrost Witch’s RideA soldier undertook the distant journey from Hungary in order to ask the Mother of God to free him of an evil curse: there once was a gypsy who asked the soldier to dance with her, yet he declined, using the excuse that he was ashamed of his shoes. Full of rage, the woman threatened that in the future he would never again have shoes. At the same time she stole his kerchief to make the spell take effect.

Indeed, from that time forward no shoe lasted him for more than two days. In his desperation, the soldier undertook a pilgrimage to Mariatrost in Graz to pray there. The gypsy appeared in the form of a witch riding on a cat and returned the kerchief to him and from then on he was freed from the spell of the constantly worn-out shoes.