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The Altheim Revenant






A monk of the Abbey of Toussaints relates that on the 9th of September
1625 a man named John Steinlin died at a place called Altheim, in the
diocese of Constance. Steinlin was a man in easy circumstances, and a
common-councilman of his town. Some days after his death he appeared
during the night to a tailor, named Simon Bauh, in the form of a man
surrounded by a sombre flame, like that of lighted sulphur, going and
coming in his own house, but without speaking. Bauh, who was disquieted
by this sight, resolved to ask him what he could do to serve him. He
found an opportunity to do so, the 17th of November in the same year,
1625; for, as he was reposing at night near his stove, a little after
eleven o'clock, he beheld this spectre environed by fire like sulphur,
who came into his room, going and coming, shutting and opening the
windows. The tailor asked him what he desired. He replied, in a hoarse
interrupted voice, that he could help very much, if he would; "but,"
added he, "do not promise me to do so, if you are not resolved to
execute your promises." "I will execute them, if they are not beyond my
power," replied he.

"I wish, then," replied the spirit, "that you would cause a mass to be
said, in the Chapel of the Virgin at Rotembourg; I made a vow to that
intent during my life, and I have not acquitted myself of it. Moreover,
you must have two masses said at Altheim, the one of the Defunct and the
other of the Virgin; and as I did not always pay my servants exactly, I
wish that a quarter of corn should be distributed to the poor." Simon
promised to satisfy him on all these points. The spectre held out his
hand, as if to ensure his promise; but Simon, fearing that some harm
might happen to himself, tendered him the board which came to hand, and
the spectre having touched it, left the print of his hand with the four
fingers and thumb, as if fire had been there, and had left a pretty deep
impression. After that he vanished with so much noise that it was heard
three houses off.





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