Folktale: The Nixie Who Haunted a Farm in the Shape of a Horse and a Goat with a Candle Between its Horns

For this folktale we’re meeting a nixie in the municipality of Lichtervelde in the province of West-Flanders, although it’s not a creature you would have liked to encountered in the flesh. The story goes that many moons ago there was a ditch that was feared and avoided by the locals who often woke up in …

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Short Folktale: The Werewolf Who Went on a Tour of Redemption

According to a Flemish folktale a man no longer wished to be a werewolf. Howling at the moon and terrorising villages were no longer any fun. In fact, it had become boring. To cease to be transformed into a werewolf against his will the man had to revisit all the villages he had brutally attacked. …

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The Legend(s) of the Swans of Bruges

Besides the medieval facades, the cobbled alleys and the charming bridges, the city of Bruges is also well-known for the elegant swans that majestically swim in the narrow canals, and several folktales tell the story how these swans came to Bruges. The first tale is my favourite and the lesser-known narrative of the two. According …

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The Belgian Karnemelkbrug: Ghosts, Water devils and Witchcraft

The Karnemelkbrug or buttermilk bridge in Ghent, Belgium is first mentioned in the city archives in 1199. The bridge was demolished in 1900 but fortunately the folktales that were set there didn’t disappear along with the bridge. It was a place where water devils lurked, a place associated with witchcraft and the spot where the …

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Magical veils of mist and smoke in folklore

As long as you’re not driving your car on a zigzag road on a misty morning, mist can be beautiful, mysterious and sometimes even magical. There’s always this sense that something otherworldly might be hidden behind that cloudy veil. The idea that mist is something more than just tiny droplets of water that are suspended …

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The forest goddess of Belgium: Arduinna

Souvenir shops in the Belgian Ardennes are filled with statues, mugs, trinkets and clocks depicting fairies, elves, gnomes and other folkloric creatures that were once believed to live in the forest. If you have a drink on a terrace it won't take you long to notice that most Belgian beers have a story behind them …

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Three legendary creatures who will beat you at sports (and ironing)

If you're anything like me the thought of participating in a volleyball game makes you run to the bathroom and feign a terrible stomach ache. As we all know, sporting is healthy, so I do hope that you're not anything like me. The only sport that has ever fascinated me is quidditch and the fact …

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