Faithful Lights or Errant Lights

According to legend, these lights are poor souls which are still barred from Heaven. Thus, they float around and wait for their release. While they are not malicious, they nevertheless like to lead nightly wanderers astray by luring those wanderers towards them. If you pray, they come closer and squat down on your shoulder or another part of your body. They are then felt as a heavy load. However, they will flee from people who are swearing.

A worker from the old mill in Lutzerath once drove towards Lutzerath one night and saw a Treulicht (“faithful light”). As he started to pray, the Treulicht approached and squatted down back on the cart. He continued his prayer, and the Treulicht sat down on the head of the horse. As he continued to pray, it sat down on his own shoulder, and finally on a button on his chest. Then, the worker swore, and the Treulicht retreated from him and spoke: “You murderer of souls! If you had recited the Lord’s Prayer three times, I would have been released, but now I must wander for a long, long time until the hour comes again in which I can be released. Now the acorn falls from the tree, and when that acorn has become a tree, a cradle will be made from boards made out of that tree. Only then it will be possible that a human, who has lain within that cradle as a child, will be able to release me!”

At dusk, an Irrlicht joined a man who had been unable to finish his urgent work during the day. Thanks to the illumination it provided, he was able to continue and finish his labors. When he was done, the man said with emotional eyes: “May Jesus thank you for this!” Whereupon the Irrlicht responded: “I’ve waited for these words for many years with great longing. Now I am a child of the eternal life, and you shall become so one day as well.”


Source: Schmidtz, J.H. Sitten und Sagen, Lieder Sprichwörter und Räthsel des Eifler Volkes. 1856, p. 39f.

Notes & Commentary: Lighting the Way to Paradise