Admission: 10,00 €
Guided tour: on Halloween entrance only in combination with a guided tour which had to be booked weeks in advance. There were three tours offered, each lasting one hour
Café/Restaurant: The castle tavern was open and served a three-course- ghost-meal. No culinary revelation, but the staff in disguise, the romantic niche in the wall with a table, the atmosphere and fun, the lovingly decora- ted rooms...sometimes these things make up for a lot!
On my last "summer-trip" to Festung Rheinfels I had discovered the poster announcing the ghost-tour on Halloween and had signed for it.
And so I started this trip on the eve of the 31.10. with rather mixed emo- tions.
What, if it was going to be a cheap and silly horror show to scare a few little children?
10 Euro to be standing in the drizzle (of course it drizzled...) suppress a yawn and try to look at my watch without anyone noticing? (silly image; I donīt wear a watch...)
But the atmosphere between the waiting people at the gate was already good fun (far more grown-ups than children).
As a protection everyone was given a glove of garlic by the thoughtful witch at the counter. I carefully stowed it away. You never know...
On the stroke of seven the gate opened and, accompanied by dramatic music, our "ghost-guide", a pale painted count (could as well have been a marquise. What do I know, after all?) dressed in black velvet and white lace lead us into the castle.
What a spectacle!
Huge torches were attached to the walls along the path, the ruins in the background were eerily lit and a mysterious fog crept out of gates and tunnels.
But there was more to come.
We met quite a lot of unearthly figures along our way. A madly giggling hag appeared out of nowhere and tugged at the jacket of my neighbour, a yellow-faced leper staggered stammering into the group and I was frightened out of my wits when I "just wanted to take a quick picture inside that tower" and instead looked a bald, black-dressed zombie right in the face.
The beautiful princess, raising from her grave to sink into her lovers arm at the top of a tower to touching music moved your heart until you entered the torture-chamber.
That was the end of romance!
With obvious delight a stout torturer wound the traction ladder on which a poor (and probably innocent) girl pitifully screamed. (God how could you scream like that; what a voice!)
And despite of all the spectacle the tour itself was positively informative, interesting and fascinating.
The charisma of the ghost-guide wasnīt simply caused by velvet and lace... someone with the rare gift to not deal with facts but tell hiSTORY.
I doubt any of us would have complained if the tour had taken a little longer.
As a crown end of the tour the "count" gathered us in an underground vault and played us a song on a medieval flute.
That was incredibly touching!
The strangely dressed man, the bizarre and unusual sound, the cellar only lit by red glowing fog; all of a sudden my eyes were slightly wet (and that wasnīt entirely because of the artificial fog-whatever which irritated my contact lenses. ..)
I quite rarely experienced a situation where nearly everyone in the crowd thanked the organizer that enthusiastically upon leaving.
Résumé: Wonderful great fun! Due to the - unexpected - big rush and feedback the organizerīs plan for next year is not a guided tour but an "open evening", to be able to suit more people.
If this is done with the same enthusiasm, love of detail and the evident fun of the participating people, it will most certainly be a highly enjoyable night!