Sad Tale of the Flower Witch
Katharina Paldauf was born about 1625. At 20, she entered the service of Elisabeth Katharina Freifrau von Galler († 1672), the owner of the Riegersburg Castle. There, she met her future husband Johann Simon Paldauf, who was employed by the "bad Liesl", as the lady of the castle was popularly known as castle keeper (administrator). The couple had at least three children: Katharina, Anna and Ferdinand.
She was allegedly charged as a witch because she knew how to grow flowers in winter...
It was not until the spring of 1675 that the then 50-year-old woman was drawn into the great Feldbach witch trial (1673-75). After she was named by the baker from Riegersburg, who was friends with her, as a weathermaker and participant in the Witches' Sabbath, she was arrested and arrested in Feldbach. At first she denied the information given by the women who incriminated her, but confessed even before the torture that the devil would pursue her in animal form at night. During the course of the torture, she began to rage, cursed her parents, and uttered severe blasphemies, but did not confess. Only in later interrogations did she - apparently convinced of the hopelessness of her denial - admit the Sabbath visit and the shuddering and named three clergymen, including the late pastor of Riegersburg
She was found guilty and sentenced to death. She was first killed and then burnt to the stake, probably on 23 September 1675.
The castle serves as a museum, with 25 out of the 108 rooms being opened for visiting. Sixteen of the rooms show the history of Riegersburg Castle and nine deal with witches and sorcerers.