Ancient legends say that there was once a woman who wanted to become a witch, so she went to the river where she waited until midnight. At that time, the Devil came out of the water and asked her why she was sitting there. The woman replied that she wanted to be made a witch, so the Devil told her the necessary condition. She had to agree to dance with him during each full moon. Legend has it that the woman accepted and she was made a witch.

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The Witch Ride

Germany

Once there was a wealthy peasant, whose wife — the people said — was a witch. This was repeated so often that the peasant himself finally heard the rumor. He wanted to get to the bottom of the matter, and thus one day before May Night he went out and got some turf from the grave of a child who had died without being baptized. He secretly hid the turf then went to bed with his wife. He closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep, although he remained awake and attentive.

At the strike of twelve his wife did indeed get up and sneak out the bedroom door. The peasant, taking turf with him, followed her outside the house door, where she suddenly disappeared. He saw nothing but a troop of black horses. But the peasant did not allow himself to be deceived. Quickly placing the turf on his head, he saw — instead of the black horses — women and girls of his acquaintance. In their midst was his wife. He also heard them discussing their trip to Block Mountain. He recognized them, because anyone beneath the earth can see witches and spirits in their true form.

Angered, the peasant jumped at his wife and swung himself onto her, just as one would climb onto an ordinary horse’s back. He also knew witches’ magic words and called out:

Horse of black, horse so fleet,
Do you duty with quick feet.

Then she rose up and carried him into the air. She did not tire from the mighty ride, nor did the peasant grow tired. Again and again he called out:

Horse of black, horse so fleet,
Do you duty with quick feet.

But that was his misfortune, because before he knew it, May Night was over. Morning broke across the mountains, and his wife was no longer a black horse. She let out a pitiful scream, and together they fell from high in the air, horribly smashing themselves to pieces.

From that time forth they have made this same ride every night, and they will have no rest until the day of judgement.

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