Dank Fluent U, as it explores Halloween topics (see Wortschatz):
Der Freischütz (The Marksman)What’s the story?
A master marksman finds himself unable to catch any wild swine or deer in the dark autumn forests. One day, he’s approached by a mysterious peddler wrapped in a cloak that conceals his face. The peddler offers the marksman seven bullets, with one condition. The first six bullets will hit whatever the marksman wants them to hit, but the peddler will choose the trajectory of the seventh. The marksman agrees.
The marksman quickly earns himself a reputation as the best hunter in the village, as he brings home wild boar after wild boar. He catches the eye of the prettiest girl in town, and they fall in love.
But all too soon, the marksman uses up all six bullets, and when he shoots the seventh, it goes astray and hits his love in the chest, killing her.
The peddler appears to the distraught marksman and reveals himself as the devil. Live a pious life, repent of your hubris, and you will be reunited with the girl after your death, the devil tells the marksman. The marksman tries, but he is overcome by desire for another girl in the village, and he marries her instead.
One year to the day after his bullet pierced his original love’s chest, he is riding in the forest when he comes across a clearing where skeletons dance around cold flames. One of the skeletons, the girl’s, waltzes with him all night, and the next morning, the villagers find the marksman and his horse, dead, at the edge of the forest.
What’s the backstory?
Folktales about Freischütze were common in the 1500s, 1600s and 1700s in Germany. The tale was first written down in “Das Gespensterbuch” (The Ghost Book), a collection of German ghost and folk stories compiled in the 1810s and published in five volumes. The story subsequently became the inspiration for an opera by Carl Maria von Weber.
Are you tempted to open the link above and ready this story? Reading in Fraktur has become all but a lost skill. [But it's completely decipherable with time.] -rsb
Learn these 20 spooky vocabulary words, and you’ll be telling ghost stories in German in no time.
- der Geist (the ghost)
- die Gespenstergeschichte/Geistergeschichte (the ghost story)
- das Kostüm (the costume)
- das Gespensterhaus/Geisterhaus (the haunted house)
- der Vampir (the vampire)
- der Teufel (the devil)
- das Volksmärchen (the folktale)
- spuken (to haunt/spook)
- das Zauberwald (the haunted forest)
- gruselig/unheimlich (spooky)
- die Hexe (the witch)
- der Fluch (the curse)
- der Friedhof (the cemetery)
- die Untoten (the undead)
- der Schadenzauber (black magic)
- das Geisterschloss (haunted castle)
- der Ghul (the ghoul)
- die Gruselgeschichte (the scary story)
- das Monster (the monster)
- übernatürlich (supernatural)