The Dungeon and the Dwarf

Eric Norman, in his book 'THE UNDERPEOPLE' (1969., Award Books., N.Y.), relayed a highly unusual account of a strange dwarfish human-like visiter who appeared from a hidden underground passage within the basement of an ancient German abby:


"Pepin the Short, the pint-sized father of Emperor Charlemagne, was the founder of the Brunia Monastery in the fabled Trier region of ancient Prussia. In A.D. 1138, a strange series of events culminated in an unusual visitation by a bizarre little man.

"There had been several nocturnal visitations to the monastery's wine cellar and its steward voiced his suspicions to the abbot: 'The monks are slipping into the wine cellar and sampling the casks.'

"The abbot frowned at the thought of a possible scandal and asked, 'When did this begin?'

"'It's been going on for several months. I didn't mind it when they only took a cup or two,' explained the embarrassed monk. 'Last night, the culprit tapped a huge cask and forgot to stop the bunghole. A whole keg of wine drained out onto the cellar floor.'

"The abbot hurried to the cellar, inspected the damage, then carefully tapped the bunghole in each of the huge casks. He anointed the cellar with holy water, securely locked the door and placed a saint's relic above the entrance, declaring, 'None of our monks would dare transgress against the power of the Cross.'

"The following morning, a sleepy-eyed abbot unlocked the cellar door and squinted into the dim room. Followed by a group of curious monks, the abbot discovered that another keg of wine had been tapped; the floor was covered with the rich, red liquid. Suddenly, the abbot spotted movement in the dark shadows in the far corner of the cellar. 'There's the thief,' he shouted. 'Grab the transgressor and prepare him for punishment!'

"Two burly monks rushed forward and grabbed the shadowy figure. They carried the struggling thief into the light and the abbot stared in wonder at a dark-skinned dwarf, who glared back in impassive silence.

"'Are you a Nubian? How did you get in our wine cellar?' inquired the abbot.

"The strange little man would not speak.

"'Do you have parents?' the abbot asked.

"'Here! Here! This fellow got in through the wall,' called a monk, pointing to a displaced stone that covered a small tunnel leading down into the earth. The bewildered monks crowded around the secret tunnel as one quaking novice suggested the tunnel must lead to the Devil's lair. An older monk spoke knowingly of subterranean demons who delighted in tormenting those who had taken the vows.

"Despite his crime, the captured dwarf was accepted into the society of holy men. 'He looks human and the least we can do is provide the poor child with a Christian education,' the abbot said. But, in spite of the kindness showed him by the monks, the dwarf refused to utter a single word. He sat quietly on the bed in a cross-legged position, staring directly ahead and refusing all food and drink. After several weeks of fasting, the monastery dwellers were concerned for the life of their visitor and a visiting bishop was asked for his advice as the dwarf was brought into the great hall and introduced to him.

"'Good Lord! You must expel this Devil's child at once!' the alarmed bishop shouted. 'He is a demon and the tool of the devil!'

"Gervase, a monk at Christ Church, Canterbury, England, later inscribed this strange ending to the dwarf's appearance in his manuscript: '...The demon ran in alarm from the holy words. He went to the cellar and returned to his underworld tribe!'"