Ghosts haunt Zurich streets
The sober banking centre of Zurich might not be the first place that springs to mind when thinking of haunted houses
and ghostly goings on.
But thanks to Englishman Dan Dent's ghost walk, the city's darker side has come out of the shadows, with tales of
headless saints, hanging maidens and poisoned mayors.
It's a dark autumn night in Zurich just before Halloween. A crowd gathers at the central Paradeplatz for an English-
language tour around the city's dark alleyways and haunted corners.
There's no warming up as it kicks off with a particularly gruesome story - an account of the murder of Zurich's three
patron saints, Felix, Regula and Exuperantius.
They fled to the city in the third century AD to escape Roman persecution of Christians. However, they were discovered
and beheaded on the exact spot where the Wasserkirche ("Water Church") now stands.
"Their dead bodies then rose to their feet, picked up their heads and walked off, leaving a trail of blood behind them,
" recounts Dent.
"When they reached a clearing on the hill they lay down and waited to be buried. The site of their graves is now Zurich's
most famous landmark, the Grossmünster church."
Another story of murder – or is it? – is centred on another religious building, St Peter's Church.
Other tales include the story of Rudolf Brun, a city mayor in the 14th century who died a terrible and mysterious death,
the ghost of a peasant girl who hanged herself on the Uetliberg hill after being betrayed by the cruel and lustful Duke of
Manegg, and the poltergeist who drove a family out of their home in the Shipfe quarter...