My Mom used to live in the medieval Black-Forest town of Gengenbach
. (founded in 1231) When I visited her there, we once came across this very old house situated at the riverside in the vicinity of town. I was at once totally fascinated by its dark and nearly sinister aura. So I quickly grabbed my camera and took some pictures. My Mom wouldn't come near the house though, she was not exactly afraid but felt something sinister, too. Although my Ma has a strong mind and does normally not freak on things like that, she would not leave the path on which we had come there :-)
The following day I went to the town's archive, couldn't find much info at first, then I asked an older woman who was working there.
...(sounds like in a movie, doesn't it...:-) she knew about the building and told me it was a Weir-House, used to block the river Kinzig in former times to prevent flooding of the town which occurred in the springtime, as well as in the autumn due to heavy rainfall. Before the dam had been build, many had given their lives every year, trying to defend their homes against the flood. When the town council finally had decided to build a dam with a weir-house next to it (around 1760) a former fisherman took the job as lock-keeper. He was a heavy-drinker however. One night, it had been raining for weeks, he opened the watergate, whether accidentally or drunk by Schnaps (or both) remains unknown. The unleashed forces of the river swept many houses and citizens away. Some of them were never seen again, others were found days later, many kilometers downstream.
The surviving inhabitants of Gengenbach assembled the following night, marched right to the weir-house, drove the lock-keeper out of the building with their burning torches and slowly drowned him in the lock-chamber. Since these times, some people claim to have seen strange lights flickering in and around the house. At times in foggy nights, a strange silhouette of a man dances above the waters, singing drinking-chants. The Lady told me, when she had been a nasty child, her grandparents sometimes used to tell her the old lock-keeper would come to get her at night.
I personally did not have any strange feelings when photographing the weir-house, but now sometimes when I watch the pictures, I do. :-)