The folk legend of the stony desert Schratteflue


In bygone times, local people did not know why the Schratteflue near Sörenberg resembled a rocky desert – so scholars came up with a legend to explain the mystery. Once upon a time, a grand cabin inhabited by a farming family stood on the site – but avarice, a dispute over inheritance and a sinister curse were to have dramatic consequences …

The Legend of the Schratteflue

The barren stone desert on the south side of the Schratteflue had once been the most beautiful and lush pasture in all of Entlebuch, and this pasture was inherited by the brothers Hannes and Jost. But Hannes was insatiable and had gradually been robbing his blind brother of his inheritance year by year. Meanwhile Hannes’ beautiful daughter Rösi, who had inherited the evil nature of her father, set out to ruin her own admirers with impossible demands. In this way, the pair sowed outrage and resentment among the people.

One day, a faithful servant could no longer stand by in the face of Hannes' actions, and told the blind brother Jost what he was doing. «May the devil lay waste to the pasture if I wrongfully acquired even one clod of my land!», exclaimed Hannes when his brother confronted him. No sooner had he spoken than thunderbolts crashed over the meadows and ominous clouds filled the sky. With his mighty claws, the devil tore the flowering meadows from the rocks, seized Hannes and Rösi and cast them into the cave beneath the Schibengütsch.

Since that day, the southern side of the Schratteflue has been a barren wasteland where the claw marks of the prince of darkness can still be seen. Hannes and Rösi remain imprisoned in their cave – but according to the legend, they can be spotted at the entrance to the vault during Holy Week.

Source: «Entlebucher Sagen», Schnyder-Studer Frieda, 1977


The Schibengütsch, which rises from the Legend of the Schratteflue, is the southernmost peak of the Schratteflue and can be seen from the Marbachegg. The «devil’s claws» are marks in the karst rock (limestone pavement), best observed on a hike.