Just outside the tiny village of Ingolstadt and high above the land thereabout, a great castle stood – Il Castello Polidori. The castle, and its inhabitants, struck fear into the hearts of the villagers, for it is said that women who allow themselves to approach too closely are never seen again.
Il Castello Polidori casts its shadow over the mountain, the village and, indeed, over the daily affairs of the good folk of Ingolstadt. Every denizen, from the smallest child to the oldest Crone, was quite aware of his purpose. Each and every one of them was there to serve the castle’s occupants. There was no other reason for their existence.
For centuries, it seemed, legends of strange goings-on and chilling cries swirled around Ingolstadt, and down at De Lacey’s Inn, after a few pints of the local ale, folktales were whispered from ear to ear, father to son, neighbour to neighbour.
Now, in the year 1818, the lives of the good folk of the village of Ingolstadt took a sudden turn.
A young lady, by the name of Mary Godwin, happened upon this very village, in the company of her governess, a certain Signorina Moritz. These ladies, anxious to end their arduous journey, nevertheless decided to stop for the day at our little village of Ingolstadt. Mr De Lacey was more than happy to accommodate them for the night and instructed his long-suffering wife to prepare their best room for them. He himself did the cooking. Full stomachs, grateful smiles, a handful of coins and Misses Godwin and Moritz climbed the stairs and retired for the night.
It happened the next morning. Mary Godwin, unaware of the reputation of Il Castello Polidori, and unable to sleep past dawn, took it upon herself to explore the countryside. She wandered a bit, poking her head here and there, and because the village was truly tiny, found before long that she had walked from one end to the other.
Of course a castle is an intriguing sight, especially one so lofty and grand. Miss Mary Godwin began her ascent along a faint path overgrown with weeds.
Yes, dear reader, Mary Godwin was never seen again. Her fate must be left to the imagination, as no one ever discovered for certain what became of her.
But, down at De Lacey’s Inn, after a few pints of the local ale, the citizens of Ingolstadt whisper about strange goings-on and chilling cries, and how the screams of a young woman pierce the night air.