The back-squatting spirit

Uncanny forces are said to be at work roughly in the middle between Plate and Schwerin, where the road leading to Schwerin is crossed by the cart path1). Six years ago the house-painter T. walked back to the city after his daily work was done in Plate. Then he saw a figure coming to meet him at the crossroads. She was clothed in black, large and gaunt, with a bald plate and long white teeth she was constantly showing, as well as long, thin fingers. He considered whether he should address her or simply proceed on his way, and decided on the latter. But as soon as he took a few steps, the thing sat down on his basket with his painter’s tools. He dragged himself forward under the greatest effort. After he had taken about four hundred steps he reached a place where a path went off the road to the right. At this point the figure jumped off and pushed him a few steps forward. He didn’t dare to look back immediately because his head would have become stuck askew. When he finally did look back after some time, nothing could be seen.

Source: Bartsch, K. Sagen, märchen und gebräuche aus Mecklenburg, 1879. p. 180.

Notes & commentary: On Your Back - The Aufhocker

The “cart path” was called “Fahrweg” in Germany. There is a “Fährweg” in the south of Schwerin, but it ends to the west of the “Plater Straße”, which would be the logical location for travelers between Schwerin and Plate. A logical extension of the Fährweg would be the small, unnamed road that hits the “Am Consrader Berg” road, which turns into the Plater Straße further north. Thus, I suspect this story takes place in the area where the local Straßenmeisterei (road maintenance depot) is located today.