Beware of monsters as Halloween approaches!


There is no escaping Halloween, whether you like it or not. The horror festival arrived in Belgium from Ireland and the United Kingdom, via the United States. The night before All Saints' Day is marked by witches, black cats, broomsticks, witchcraft, ghosts, vampires, thunderbolts, zombies, bats, pumpkins turned into jack-o-lanterns and other equally scary things. Especially in Beselare.

On All Saints' Day and the Day of the Dead, we traditionally commemorate all the saints and our departed loved ones. In England, October 31 was once called All Hallows' Eve, later renamed Halloween. Its origin dates back to the Celtic Samhain festival, when the dead were worshipped and evil spirits driven away.

Where are the witches in all this? We know about this, both in Ellezelles in Wallonia and in Beselare in Flanders. Although Beselare never suffered from the presence of so-called witches, who were mainly hunted in the 16th and 17th centuries by the authorities in our regions, it has been known for centuries as the witch village of Flanders. This is due to a few popular writers and local historians who have written spicy accounts of the prosecutions and trials of these supposed witches.


Get into the Halloween spirit by walking the 7.5 km Witches' Trail through Beselare. Are you brave enough to pass through the home town of the former mistress of witches? Don't miss the monument to witches, the witches' scales, the table and the witches' circle. And, if you survive all that, you're welcome to join the impressive biennial Witches' Parade on the last Sunday in July 2023. And I mean if...