‘One of my sons was suffering from sleepwalking,’ he explains, staring into the campfire as he pours out a round of pálinka, a fiery [ … ] fruit brandy. ‘Every night he would wake up and wander in his sleep. We tried many treatments, but nothing worked. So we asked some local people and they told us to visit an old lady [ … ] who everyone just called Auntie.’ He sips his brandy, stirring the embers of the campfire with his leather boot.
‘She used an old remedy which involved melting some lead in an iron pot and then looking at the shape the lead made as it cooled, rather like reading tea leaves. Then she said some spells, gave us the lead to put under his pillow as he slept, and sent us home.’
He looks up from the fire, downs his pálinka and breaks into a roguish grin. ‘And believe it or not, he’s never sleepwalked since.’
From BBC Travel, Mystical tales from Transylvania