Life and Legend of Juro Jánošík,

How Jánošík Disappeared From Sight


Some say that Jánošík was also able to make himself invisible in another way.


They say that Jánošík could do something with a cup, when he turned it upside down; in an instant his pursuers gazed into space as if they had lost their sight. No one could explain it in any way, but they all swore that this was quite true and the guards were not able to do anything against it. And this happened more than once. It happened in the country of Moravia in the village of Malinovec; in Vysoká nad Kysucou; in a tavern in Terchová as well as in a wine cellar in the square of žilina. Who knows? Maybe the herbs sewn in Jánošík’s belt caused it…

Well, this is how it was said to have happened in Malinovec:

Jánošík was drinking wine. He drank slowly, enjoying himself.

Meanwhile, you can be sure the tavern keeper sent a message to the guards concerning the guest who was visiting his establishment.

The guards had hardly crossed the territory of Malinovec when Jánošík already knew about it.

“Are they coming?” he laughed. “Well, good, they should hurry but not break their legs.”

An hour later, there was stamping, uproar, and yelling. The windows shattered, about ten rifles pointed into the room, and another ten guards were standing at the door of the tavern.

“Surrender, Janosik!”

But Jánošík only smiled and slowly drank his wine, not a pinch of fear could be seen on his face.

“Surrender, Janosik!”

The guards ventured to take three steps into the room.

“Surrender, Janosik!”

They were already within Jánošík’s reach. He could have grabbed them, broken their bones, and knocked them through the door… Yet he did not do anything, he only drank quietly. When his cup was empty, he simply turned it bottom up, set it on the table, and left.

What about the guards?

Nothing! They just stood there as if carved from wood, perhaps they would have moved if they could have, but they could not. The same for those who were pointing their rifles at Jánošík through the broken window.

Jánošík just walked away, whistling an outlaw tune. He did not even push the door closed.

He was well out of the village and, in fact, already in the forest when he met a boy hurrying to the village.

He gave him a ducat and said, “I don’t want anything else from you, only go to the tavern for me. You will see a cup there standing bottom upwards on a table, take it and turn it right side up.”

The scared boy did not understand, but he would have been glad to do anything for a reward. At the very moment that the cup was turned, the paralyzed guards began to move again as if they had woken up from a dream. They did not search for Jánošík at all. They just lined up quickly and marched away from the village.

This is said to have happened to Jánošík in Malinovec and, similarly, in other taverns. When he did not feel like running away or defending himself, all he had to do was to turn a cup upside down. However, exactly what Jánošík did with the cup beforehand one could say.

A book, Jánošík, Jánošík... written by Anton Marec, translated into English by Tatiana Strnadová and John Doyle and published in 1995 by Matica Slovenská, contains 33 tales of this famous outlaw captain. The information in this book was used to create this story. Check in the future for other stories.