The ghost of Pilatus and the forbidden mountain
In 1387, six clergymnen were inarcerated for planning an unauthorised journey to the lake of Pilatus and an ascent of the mountain peak. Fearful thunderstorms and heavy flooding around Pilaus were harbingers of something supernatural afoot, prompting the government of Lucerne to forbid locals and visitors alike from climbing the mountain. Even shepherds were placed under oath not to approach the dark waters of the lake, where it was rumoured that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had been laid to rest. Banished to this desolate wilderness, the man’s tormented spirit was said to surface every year on Good Friday, in a vain attempt to wash his bloodied hands.
In 1585 the parish priest of Lucerne, accompanied by a courageous band of citizens, ascended Pilatus to challenge any spirits lurking there. They threw boulders into the lake, churned its surface and waded through the shallows. A supernatural counter-offensive failed to materialise, and the spell was broken.
*Information sponsored by Pilatus Bahnen
The Pilatus Sagas by Hans Erni
Saved by dragons
One autumn, a cooper was foraging on Pilatus for supple tree branches, to make hoops for his barrels. He stumbled and fell headlong into a deep cave, coming to rest between a pair of hibernating dragons. Luckily for the cooper, the dragons tolerated their involuntary guest. He soon became hungry; observing how the dragons repeatdly licked at a particular boulder in the cave, he did likewise and so nourished himself throughout the winter. When spring arrived, one dragon flew away from its winter lair. The other circled cajolingly around the cooper, crept to the mouth of the cave and hoisted the cooper out by the tip of its tail. Thus rescued, the cooper retunred home.
Once upon a dark night …
One thing is for sure: not a single Pilatus dragon has been killed so far, altough a dragon’s skeleton was reportedly unearthed in a cave once, and a certain Winkelried is reputed to have slain one of the beasts. So, one dark night as the pale moon is all but obscured by scudding clouds, a giant shadow might indeed sweep past, and a visitor to Pilatus may hear a distant flapping of leathery wings. Should a hint of healing energy drift his way, the visitor may consider himself a lucky man indeed.
Draco Volans Scintillas Spargens, a flying, fire-breathing dragon
According to tales of long time ago, many dragons were seen flying around Mount Pilatus. They were described as gigantic fire-breathing beasts with long snake – like necks ending in jaws of poison fangs. Their scaly bodies were said to reek of sulphur. Once, when a hunter tried to kill a sleeping dragon with a stroke of his axe, the monster leaped up and flew away unharmed. The ground were he had lain, however, and the trees through which he has escaped, were left burned.