Ghosts on Puregg

It was some time ago that the Hirschegg farmer wanted to go on a pilgrimage. Although it was the deepest winter, he prepared himself to go to Maria Alm from Dienten. Last night it had snowed, so the Hirschegger stomped through powdery snow uphill towards the Waldsattel, which led down into the Urslautal. Not far in front of him he could make out the outline of the Puregglehen. The path led directly past this old farmstead, which for centuries was the highest farm in the province of Salzburg. Now, however, it had been empty for a long time and served only as a summer stable. As the Hirschegg farmer approached, he noticed that it was extraordinarily quiet all around him. Nothing stirred. Not a breeze blew. And even the animals of the forest seemed to hold their breath.

Suddenly a loud grinding and hissing tore the eerie silence apart. The farmer was driving around - behind him the tapping of heavy paws in the snow was sounding. Frightened, he could just about jump to the side and ducked behind a snowdrift. With one eye, the Hirschegg farmer peered trembling from behind the wall, when a heavy, old wooden sledge rushed past him at an insane speed - so high and heavily loaded that the farmer was overcome with horror. From deep down in the ditch, there was a glaring, elongated howl that sent shivers down the farmer's spine - this call did not sound human at all. And then everything was over and gone. Cautiously the Hirschegg farmer stepped out of his cover and continued his way. But when he passed Puregglehen, he saw a big, brightly shining fire burning in the stable. Red-orange tongues of fire licked over the old wood of the stable and it cracked and crunched. But his fear was too great to see what was going on there. So he ran on as fast as his legs would carry him.
Hours later when the Hirschegger came back from Maria Alm, he took heart and opened the stable door. Carefully he peered inside - and could hardly believe his eyes. Nowhere was there a trace of a burnt fire to be seen, not a shred of ashes suggested that a huge fire had raged here only recently. Shaking his head, the farmer closed the stable door and slowly made his way home. He could not help but notice that there were no sled tracks all around the meadow. Although it hadn't snowed all the time.