Many years ago a dreadful plague raged in the Tyrol. From his castle high on the cliffs, the lord of Karneid surveyed the devastation in the valleys below. Fearing for the safety of his wife, his children and his followers, he made a solemn vow that if God spared the castle from disease he and his followers would perform a pilgrimage to the church of Maria Weissenstein to give thanks to the Virgin Mary.

In the weeks that followed, the plague gradually retreated and all those residing in Karneid escaped unharmed. There was much celebration and the pilgrimage was soon forgotten as people returned gratefully to their everyday routines.

But the terror of the Black Death soon returned to the valley and this time struck the castle, carrying off its inhabitants one by one. The knight's entire clan, his wife and his children perished. He himself was the last to pass, a year to the day after he had made his vow. Every year on the night of the anniversary of their Lord's death, when the grapes have ripened on the vines in the valley, the cursed inhabitants of Karneid rise from their graves to fulfil their promise and perform their pilgrimage to Weissenstein. Many a pious pilgrim seeking shelter late at night has seen the skeletal forms of the knight and his family  slowly riding up the mountain, doomed to fulfil their vow for all eternity.