The glaring red face with the torn open mouth jumps out at you formally. Tip teeth and claws stand out. The monster face with its googly eyes nevertheless triggers a smile as my first reaction. If i found that funny, then he must have done something wrong, says manfred popp – and then smiles himself. He is currently putting the finishing touches to several two-meter-high paintings on blockboard in one of the halls of the building yard. The motives are from his imagination. They show, besides the said red monster, a green one and a three-eyed one, and are supposed to move into the interior of the haunted castle in the lichtenfels marchen forest. Only one photo is allowed by the idea giver, because scary moments live from the surprise after all.
In addition, there will be new sound images, with chain rattling or howling, suitable to scare the visitors of the gloomy present. Womoglich movement-abhanging steered. The sound technology has improved since the opening of the marchenwald in 2000. Back then, he recorded various noises himself, which were played back on a CD player, remembers the former city employee, who has not let go of the marchenwald even in his retirement. He didn’t lack ideas, they came "like when you turn on a tap". It fits in with the city administration’s intention to offer something that is cherished in the marchenwald, but also something new every now and then. In the past year, a witch’s broom, on which children can ride, and a rapunzel tower have been purchased. In the spring of this year, the renovation of the haunted castle was envisaged. This has been one of the attractions of the marchenwald from the beginning, and the years have left their mark. Already in the middle of september, popp has started to build the approx. 20 square meters of rough "masonry", to give a new coat of paint to a height of 2,50 meters (without the battlements), and to redesign the interior. He is meticulous about it, the effect is important to him. Over the years, he has enjoyed observing how differently the spectators have approached the matter, some of them not wanting to let go of their father’s hand.
Between buckets of paint and wooden frames there is also a box containing a pin and other "equipment" are. With my inquiries I admit that my visit to the haunted castle was many years ago and I do not remember the details. "All children know the skeleton in the dungeon" says manfred popp, at least with the lichtenfelser he is sure there. For him, this also explains why, in contrast to the early years, nothing is demolished in the marchenwald anymore. The little ones get rough and remember. "This is a piece of your own childhood. You don’t destroy that."
The lichtenfels christmas market will be held on friday, 29. November, opened. The 20 or so huts are fully booked, according to the town hall, and the number of stand operators who do not stay for the entire period has fallen to less than a third. Often these are small traders or hobby craftsmen, for whom it is not easy to cover the opening hours. That’s why the city administration aimed for at least a continuous line-up for the first or second half of the advent season. "Our goal is that next year maybe everyone will be there from the beginning", says city manager steffen hofmann, who is pleased with the popularity of the event. The gastronomic offer was also expanded. The marchenwald remains a special attraction, especially for families.