Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | ePaper

Belgium’s most haunted places

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Weekend Plus Desk :
Belgium  is a country known for its beautiful carpets, chocolates, diamonds etc. Its capital city Brussels is blessed with awesome sights to woo all sightseeing lovers. However, this country, like any other in the world, has its fair share of haunted places. Below, we share some of those haunted sites in Belgium and the legends related to them.
Castle of La-Roche-en-Ardenne
Long ago, in the castle of La-Roche-en-Ardenne, lived a nobleman, who had a lovely daughter named Berthe. The nobleman organised a tournament to find the best groom for his daughter in which the contenders for Berthe's hand had to prove their worth. The Count of Montaigu also took part in the tournament, even though he was engaged to Countess Alix de Salm, and went about passing out with flying colours in every game. When the Count was on the verge of winning the final tournament, a mystery-ridden knight dressed in black made a dramatic entry, and killed his arch rival. Finally, the knight was declared the winner, and was wedded to Berthe.
To his horror, the next morning, when the nobleman woke up from his sleep, he found his daughter dead along with her groom. It turned out that the small knight was none other than Countess Alix de Salm, who had made a deal with the devil by selling her soul in exchange of the death of her unfaithful fiancé, the Count of Montaigu, and his object of pursuit, Berthe. The castle of La Roche continues to be haunted even now as per the beliefs; however, it has been turned into a tourist site now during summer.
The formerly jinxed farm of Poesele
In a farm located in Poesele, a village close to Ghent in Belgium, a family settled down in 1800. However, tragedy struck the family when their domesticated horses started dying mysteriously. When the priests examined the farm, they counselled the family to seek refuge at the feet of Mother Mary. A chapel was built in honour of Mary, and soon the series of horse deaths stopped. It is now a blessed site and worth visiting.
The John McCrae Bunker
The John McCrae Bunker is a bunker that was once used by John McCrae, a Canadian poet, author, artist, physician and soldier while tending to the wounded soldiers of the World War I. Many visitors have reported sighting the ghost of John McCrae and his friend Alexis Helmer, quite close to the place post his death in 1918.
The haunted house in Bruges
In the late 15th century in Bruges, a nunnery existed close to Reie River, in the home of Den Noodt Gods. To the other side of the river was an Augustian monastery, where lived a monk. He fell in love with a young nun called Hortence Dupont, who was a resident of the aforementioned nunnery. When the monk discovered that a secret tunnel exists connecting the two establishments, he made a desperate attempt to visit the nun. However, when Hortence declined his proposal and tried to run away from him, the heartbroken monk stabbed her to death and buried her body.
Later, the monk also died, perhaps, with guilt in his heart because even now his ghost is believed to search for the white-robed ghost of Hortence, seeking pardon for his grave sin.

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