The legend of Bernard Szumborski’s ghost

Bernard Szumborski, a knight from Moravia, gained fame as a brutal commander of the mercenary troops of the Teutonic Order in the Thirteen Years’ War. His life interwove with the town of Chełmno on 24 October 1457, where he deceitfully forced his way into the town leading 2000 mercenary warriors with him and filling the inhabitants with utter horror. He started an occupation, which continued for 22 years and triggered the town’s deterioration. In 1436 Szumborski was forced to sing an agreement with King Casimirus Jagiellon, under the terms of which Chełmno, Brodnica and Starogród remained for the time being his possessions as security for the money he and his knights had not been paid. Though the Toruń Treaty officially incorporated Chełmno to Poland, the town was still under the command of Szumborski. The poor city experienced horrible devastation under his rule. But at the right time,  namely on 7 January 1470, a brave townswoman put poison in his wine and then set the tower on fire, thus liberating the place from the monster. However, this was not the end of the loathsome occupation as Szumborski’ successors still reigned in the city. Their domination prolonged until 1479 when they were finally forced to surrender.

On 24 October 1975, on the 518th anniversary of Szumborski’s insidious invasion, a strange occurrence took place on the Prochowa Tower. A fearful and disgraced ghost of Bernard Szumborski emerged out of nowhere in front of master the ceremony who presided the council summoned to judge the cruel knight. They passed a severe verdict: Szumborski was condemned forever and forever locked in the Prochowa tower for the dishonest seizure of the town, its lengthy occupation and all the other crimes, assaults, violations of the laws and thefts of Chełmno’s priceless cultural treasures. Since then the ghost of Szumborski many a time has been spotted on the attic of the Prochowa Tower doing penance for his sins.