By the time I got to the end of this article I was expecting the devil to be anything but what it really turned out to be.
This Bavarian farming husband must have been a pretty good sort to be able to keep attracting wives.
If I knew a man whose home had regular visits from the devil I think I would probably be looking elsewhere for a husband!
After getting rid of wives one and two, clearly the ‘devil’ bit off more than it could chew when it tried the same trick with wife number three.
After turning up at her bedside one night and demanding money in return for her life the devil was obviously put off with the old classic “I don’t have any on me”.
Wife 3 offered to fetch a light and get the money, but apparently the devil was unable to withstand the light and said it would return on the following night when the money would be ready.
Wife 3 was ready for the devil the next night, not with the money, but with a labourer armed with that worst enemy of heads, a stout cudgel.
When the devil appeared it was knocked to the floor with a mighty blow. It’s ‘diabolical appurtenances’ were removed and….. it was her mother-in-law.
A disguised husband, the ‘other woman’, an angry neighbour…. any of these I would have believed before a 63-year-old mother in law. What on earth did she have to gain? Especially with wife number two, she died in childbirth bought on by a devilish visitation. Surely the imminent birth of a grandchild is the traditional kryptonite against a crazed mother in law?
The ‘devil’ didn’t survive her cudgeling and her son was arrested as a confederate in the death of his three wives. I think the reporter might have got a little excited with that last bit. The first wife ran away, never to be seen again and the third wife was clearly not dead. Perhaps the remains of wife one will be found under a flowerbed, but calling him a triple murderer at this stage is a little over the top!