Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Witches Castle

Moosham Castle located near Salzburg, Austria, dates back to the 13th century. Built by the Prince-Bishops of Salzburg, Moosham, has a strange and sinister past.

Hundreds of witches were beheaded within the walls of this castle. * It is said some still haunt this Austrian fortress, which is run as a museum today.

Moosham’s persecution of witches was not unique for the time. Three centuries ago, mass hysteria swept through the U.S. and Europe. This hysteria was caused by people’s irrational fear that witches lived among them. Witch hunts and witch trials became apart of everyday life.

During this time many women lived in fear of being accused of witchcraft.

In Austria, Moosham Castle became the center stage in the Salzburg Witch Trials. Between 1675 and 1690, over 100 people were killed in this castle, tried, and found guilty of witchcraft.

Thousands more were accused during this time. They were imprisoned and tortured. One interesting fact about the Salzburg Witch Trials was the majority of people charged, were men, not women. The ages of those executed ranged from 10 to 80 years old--ninety-two of them were under the age of 21.

Sadly, the youngest victims found guilty during these witch trials, were actually beggars, or just harmless children--their only crime was they had no one to vouch for their characters.

The methods used to torture were ghastly. Hands were cut off, and people were burned with hot irons--which branded them as criminals for the rest of their lives. Many, while being tortured, confessed to witchcraft, just to stop the agony.

This gruesome history has left Moosham haunted.

Today, staff and visitors, recount instances of being touched, feeling someone’s breath on them, banging sounds, phantom footsteps, and doors slamming shut. Many talk about seeing unexplainable floating white mists.

The current owner of the castle, Theresita Wilczek, states the room called the “room of Toni” was the quarters of the man who was responsible for all the torture. Many feel a dark presence in this room. One museum visitor stated she even conversed with this entity.

In the torture chamber, many have felt hands touch their hair and legs. Others state that an unseen presence came very close to them. It is here where several people have reported they felt someone breathing on them.

Various voices have been recorded during EVP sessions in the castle.

* Another strange part of Moosham’s history is the reports of werewolves, during the 1800s. Many deer and cattle were found close to the castle, mutilated. Several residents of the castle were accused of being werewolves--some accounts state these people were then executed--others state they were imprisoned.

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