Elodie Moos

Sculpture path

The devil of Sofleu

The legend of The devil of Sofleu

Up above the village of Haute-Nendaz is a green and pleasant plateau surrounded by woodland that is called Sofleu. The fields there are dense with greenery, with fragrant flowers scattered among the grass. Within these almost virgin woodlands can be found - even now - an old abandoned chalet that is gloomy and almost a ruin - but it's actually a haunted chalet, and this is its story.

The people of Valais have always loved to dance, despite it being prohibited by the Church who condemned dancing as a dangerous pastime. So people often danced over at the Sofleu chalet, and the youths of Nendaz went there on Sundays to escape the watchful eye of the priest. One Assumption Day over a century ago, a grand and finely-dressed gentleman arrived as the dance was in full swing, and asked to dance.

The young ladies of Nendaz refused the stranger a dance - maybe out of shyness, maybe out of caution. Only one bold young lady, called La Mauguette, agreed to dance with the unknown man. He took the daring lady into his arms and began to dance a sarabande with her that made the onlookers dizzy. He was certainly a mysterious figure - this was definitely no ordinary man; his red and bony face had a mocking look about it, and his clothes had a strange smell.

Among the young Nendaz people there was a young man who, full of remorse, took out of his pocket a church mass book and began to read the Gospel of St John.
The bystanders were astounded to see the grand gentleman and his dance partner throw themselves out of the open window into a whirlwind of flames - and then people realised that the mysterious dancer in fact was cloven-footed. It was Satan himself!

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