Every year when the church bells ring at sunset on October 31st and twilight descends over land and village, the Dark Rider and his soldiers rise from their cold and bitter graves thirsty for revenge.
The Dark Rider was once a young knight at the court in a small Bavarian kingdom. He was strong and handsome and deeply in love with the king's daughter, however, the knight was poor, and the king rejected any thought of marriage.
The knight and the princess, therefore, met in the deepest secrecy in the pumpkin fields surrounding the castle.
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Rumors of plague made the king hire an alchemist at his court to develop medicine should the dreaded illness reach his kingdom.
Skinny and dressed in a black cloak, the alchemist began his experiments in the deep dungeons of the castle only to be seen at supper in the king's great hall. From his place in the shadows, he quickly got a good eye for the princess and watched her warm glances for the young knight with hatred and frustration.
In the dark and cold dungeons beneath the castle, the alchemist secretly experimented with turning cobblestones into gold.
He told the princess about the enormous fortune he would generate. Feeling assured the future wealth would give the king’s acceptance of the marriage the alchemist then proposed to the princess. However, the alchemist might understand unholy experiments with stones and metals, but love is no such dead thing.
The princess' heart belonged to the shining knight, and she did not want to know of the cloaked alchemist. The alchemist became furious and disappeared into the depths of the dungeons.
As autumn was turning to winter and the leaves were falling from the trees, a large hostile army approached the king's castle. War was upon the small kingdom with enemies in great numbers swarming the fields and burning local villages to the ground.
The king summoned the knight and promised him he could marry the princess if he could defeat the enemy’s army.
The knight gathered his most trusted and brave soldiers and formed a regiment in the name of the king. Leading his loyal regiment of infantrymen swearing blind allegiance to the knight and the king’s banner, they marched unseen through the woods by secret paths to the enemy's camp.
The knight planned to surprise the enemy sitting at the campfires late in the day with an attack before the sunset.
The knight raised his sword and ordered the attack, and the loyal soldiers stormed forward with battle cries and high hopes of honor and glory only to stop and listen in despair.
Right then the castle church bells rang high beyond the pumpkin fields.
The church bells should not ring before sunset, the knighted wondered and quickly realized how the deep sound of the bells warned the enemy’s soldiers, who quickly got to their feet and seized their weapons.
The knight looked over his shoulder and could see a figure with a black cloak fluttering in the wind standing in the large window of the castle's church tower. Now the knight understood. He was betrayed and around him, his faithful soldiers were cut down without mercy by the overwhelming and cruel invaders. Shortly after only the knight was left fighting.
The horse steered and the knight raised his sword and swore that every year on this day he would return alongside the twilight to get revenge, justice, and his bride.
The knight was pulled down from his horse and shown no mercy.
When the news of the knight's brutal death reached the castle, the princess fell dead. Her heart was instantly broken with grief.
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From the basement came a burst of loud and cold laughter, but when word of the knight’s curse got to him the alchemist was never to be seen again.
Legend has it, he is on the run, in eternal search for a safe hiding place when the church bells ring for sunset on Halloween.