At first glance, the ruins of a Gothic castle near the town of Svojanov are one of hundreds of others that can be found in the Czech basin. However, appearances are deceiving. It is filled with such stories that still send chills down the spine. She was a witness to enormous human cruelty and misfortune.
Svojanov Castle is one of the oldest fortresses in our country. It was founded around 1224. Forty years later, during the reign of King Přemysl Otakar II, its garrison provided protection over the trade route connecting Brno with Litomyšl and at the same time guarded the historic land border between Moravia and Bohemia.
Its fame lasted only until 1569, when it was damaged by fire. Even though it was repaired, it was only used as an economic center. So it might seem that we won’t find anything interesting here. But the opposite is true. Svojanov became famous as the headquarters of paranormal phenomena.
Unpleasant chills, bouts of fear and strange noises. All this is reported by those who dare to visit the castle. Its history is connected with extraordinary human cruelty. What is also interesting is that the victims were mostly women with the name Kateřina.
The first of them was the wife of Hertvík Žehušicky from Nestajov, who was extremely jealous. Even so, the woman was not afraid and after the wedding she continued to meet with her love from her youth, a local blacksmith. When her husband found out, he had both of his lover’s hands cut off and then impaled on a stake. He had Kateřina walled up in the walls. Her bones were found in 1805 during the creation of a new gate to the upper courtyard.
In the seventeenth century, the second Kateřina lived in the castle, the widow of Bohuslav Zárub from Husířany, who fell while defending the fortress during the conquest by Swedish troops. His brother Karel began courting the young beauty. However, as soon as he met the rich maiden, he had Kateřina locked up in a starvation chamber. When the new castellan went to check the dungeon after a few weeks, he was presented with a gruesome sight. Between the lines of torn clothes lay his lover with wide eyes. As if she looked at the devil himself. The frightened man left the dead body behind the wall. However, he did not find peace. He dreamed about her for so long that he went crazy.
Among the saddest is the story of the youngest Kateřina from 1801, the daughter of the Haisler owners at the time. A wooden scaffold fell on her during the game. Hurt and scared, she looked for her parents. In vain. In the so-called men’s room, she leaned against the wall and breathed her last. To this day, children’s handprints are said to appear in this place, and sensitive individuals can see her spirit.
Sleeping old woman
Strange events do not escape the castle even in modern times. “In 2009, I was delivering posters for an event when a colleague called me,” he recalled for Aha! castellan Miloš Dempír. “I thought he was joking.” During the inspection, the woman discovered that the portrait of the Blind Old Woman, which hangs in one of the rooms, had changed. Her eyes, which were open, suddenly closed.
No one understands how this is possible. The work is covered by glass and is intact from the back. Therefore, some researchers argue that it is a warning. According to them, the grandmother’s eyelids dropped so that she would not have to look at other bloody events that are to take place in the future.
Resources: www.svojanov.cz, www.epochanacestach.cz, www.medium.seznam.cz