Two-part castles and castles of the old district of Bergheim: here it is about haunted stories

Exciting two-parter: Cooperation between the municipalities of Kerpen and Bergheim is as exemplary as it is rare.How this can turn into an enchanting and educational evening on the subject of castles and castles in the Rhein-Erft district was demonstrated by three history jecks on one evening at Loersfeld Castle.

Astrid Machuj, the chairwoman of the Bergheim Museum Association and Markus Potes, as chairman of the Association for History and Local History Quadrath-Ichendorf 1985 e.V.  to finally teach people the grunting after a long break.Namely with stories of relevant legends from the region.The lecture by Susanne Harke-Schmidt, chairwoman of the Heimatverein Kerpen and city archivist in Kolpingstadt, dealt with partly no less hair-raising, factual historical knowledge about the Kerpen castles (Link). Incidentally, it was the two women who had decided on the evening together.

Many thanks to the Museum Association for a wealth of pictures!

Legendary stories

One could hardly resist a creepy shower, if only for a moment, when the man without a head in black outfit proudly proudly between the rows of seats in the light of a multi-flame candlestick and otherwise quite subdued lighting in the south wing of Lörsfeld Castle.

Undoubtedly, the mind tells us that this cannot be the case, and surely only Markus Potes is in the guise of this "Ennunger-" or "Önger-Mannes", just a staged lunch ghost. And in general, Potes, who is known anyway as a historical actor of the figure of the knight Jan von Werth up to the Cologne ranks, the equestrian guard named after him.And just, the same was now to be found in the costume of ghosts and werewolves.

The man without a head is just a haunt of kitchen sieve and wooden plate, Markus Potes shows.

Creepy guaranteed

Everything rationalized didn't help, at least one creepy reflex remained. It is comparable, perhaps, to the childish reading of one of the – admittedly poorly translated – stories by Edgar Allan Poe or a television crime drama in the format of edgar Wallace. And the two actors, Markus Potes and Astrid Machuj, were exactly looking forward to the pleasant grunting of their audience.

Headless with two dogs, which he led on a leash, the man walked over the fields without a head near Königshoven. And when he met someone there at noon, he beat him up.

Astrid Machuj as maid Marianne.

Maid Marianne tells

One of the stories that were told of the evening, "ovens", told about the "Ennungermann" on long winter evenings in the rooms of more than 50 castles and castles in the old district of Bergheim, was performed by Astrid Machuj, disguised as the late medieval maid Marianne.As a simple maid, she worked at the Paffendorf Castle."Trust in God", a simple "faith" and also "superstition" have determined their whole life. 

Back to the Ennungermann: he got his name after the name Ennunger, so at that time the midday sleep and sometimes the lunchtime was called, Marianne explained.And the right to a second breakfast and such an ennunger would have been given to servants and maids between May 1 and August 24 ,until the bell struck two o'clock." In some places, sleep was called Önger.For "sleep at noon" one simply said "öngere".

That Ennunger period began with a ritual, said maid Marianne, when the servants turned up at the wife of the house on May 1 stint with the question "Where are they going?". She replied: "I'm going to buy stoe." And Stölpe were those vessels in which the servants transported their butter for the second breakfast.

The green Fey lured to wet death in the Erftaue. Photo: Museum Association

Juffers bring death in hugs

Caution should also be exercised when juffers appear "midnight jenau", i.e. "point midnight", but also at the beginning of darkness and less often at lunchtime. "They silently dived from the invisible into the visible world and disappeared just as suddenly as they had come," the maid said. Harmless, as long as they were left alone, they proclaimed death and often through a hug. 

A "green juffer" also called "Fey" had driven its mischief at the Erft and in the Broichbusch near Kerpen. Not only did she prepare a cleansing bath for all those who don't like to wash, she is also said to have flown away in the air several times afterwards.

The story of the bright and friendly beings, Juffern, who often appeared in threes is countered by another, namely that of the "Mrs. Juffer".She is said to have leaned on the tribe of the Türnicher Juffernbuche, and from there she is said to have made her way again and again to look for a man "half woman, half juffer". Fear and terror spread her – big, heavy and ugly as she had been. "At some point she wanted to tie up with the devil herself, but he didn't quite want to," Marianne joked about the creature.In poems she described the "legend of three Juffern" at Harff Castle, or the "white woman" at Kenten Castle.

Bell ringing disturbed the Heinzelmännchen

And even on a seemingly typical Cologne theme, Astrid Machuj has unearthed stories, namely about Heinzelmännchen in Kerpen and Bergheim. On a hallway called "Törchen" between Wissersheim and Türnich stood a tree, which marked the entry into the realm of the goblins. It was the connection to a very long, underground passageway that, according to legend, connected the castles of Gymnich, Nörvenich and Nideggen. In front of the repeated bells and the sight of pilgrims, by the way, the hard-working journeymen would have taken a break.

And next to the werewolf, whose fabled figure literally drew a trail of blood, there was the lesser-known Ronnedier.The animal was a goblin, said Marianne, who lived in the densely wooded gorge between the old Habbelrath and Boisdorf, called Ronne.The Ronnedier throws themselves into the backs of traders and people on the local hiking trail, screaming horribly, in order to be carried over long distances.The one who then looked backwards is said to have broken his neck.

The Ronnedier, painted by Lisa Genoveva Mischke.

Apples as big as child's heads

A farmer's wife is said to have played a special prank on the Ronnedier. The woman found apples as big as child's heads one day in the Ronne. With the prospect of decent profit on markets, she had filled her pockets and set off. "At some point the load became so heavy that it sank to its knees and dropped the bag. The laughter of the Ronnedier was ringing." And in some places Marianne laughed as marker-shatteringly, as perhaps a Ronnedier might have laughed at that time.

Markus Potes in the mask of Jan von Werth.

And then there was the "Bergheimer Sage" from Jan von Werth.A famous equestrian general, which the people of Cologne like to claim for themselves. But "the Kölsche have scrawled the legend for us," Marianne said this time. And unlike in the poem by the Kömpchershof in Cologne, its source is more than 100 years older, called the "booklet from the realm of the dead".

Jan von Werth, the clawed saga

Machuj and Potes tell the true story since their premiere in Rhenish Platt in 2013. They presented almost only one advertising trailer in the south wing of Lörsfeld Castle. Jan von Werth describes how he described his Grieth "op nem feld between Kotteroth and Berchem soh": "I already have Arittmeister un unerwähs noh Jülich. Op nem Feld zwische Kotteroth and Berchem soh ich en Mäd. Dat wor et Griet. "You still know me?" i jesaat. She was baffled when the me su blunkisch usjerüst soh."

Click here for the stories of the museum association on the museum's homepage called "Bergheimat".