Search

Witches

heksThe sub-municipality of Beselare has been known for centuries as a sorceress’s parish. Of course, every village has a few stories about witch trials, witchcraft and flying goats etc. In Beselare however, these stories were written down by a number of folk writers and local culturists. Edward Vermeulen (Warden Oom) in particular, made a significant contribution to the tales. The Beselare witch legends took place in the 17th century. The witches, Sefa Bubbels, Calle Bletters, Clette 't Aendegat, Babbe van d'Eijer Panders, Dokke van d'Heulebeke, Belle Fakke, Tanneken Vanhulle, Meele Crotte and Fyte Kwick, still loom in the village. 

Witch Parade

In 1959, these stories culminated in a village festival, which grew into a veritable witch’s parade in 1963. This folkloric parade now attracts more than 1,000 characters who parade through the streets of Beselare every two years (uneven years) on the last Sunday of July. It was on the day on which the ‘mistress of witchcraft - Sefa Bubbels' died. A few weeks before the parade, the streets are decorated with humorous scenes containing many witch dolls. In this period, Beselare breathes witches, a walk through Beselare is thus not to be missed. More information about the Witch Parade.

Heks  Heks

                                                           Heks

Witch monument and the Heksenwaag

On the market square of Beselare stands the bronze monument of a witch. The Heksenwaag goes back to the Dutch use to determine if someone was a witch.  

Heksenmonument
Heksentafel
Magische kruidentuin met zicht op Beselare kerk

The 'Heksentafel' lies hidden behind the church of Beselare. It is a small green corner with herbs, plants and strange symbols, founded under the impetus of herbalist Gaby Vannieuwenhuyse. The pentagram and the circle are the two main symbols of magic and alchemy. The witches circle consists of two box shrubs, magical trees and the pentagram, which represents the four elements: fire, earth, water and air. There is also a sundial and a table (altar). Potter around in the garden and learn about the various types of herbs. 

‘Heksenkring’ (Witches’ Circle) (crossing of Wervikstraat-Sportlaan)

A mysterious Witches’ Circle is indispensable in a Witches’ Village like Beselare. The story is that there are always an uneven number of mushrooms in a natural witches’ circle. True or not, who can say. In Beselare, they have ten teak versions representing the number of giants in the Witch Parade. 

More witch parades 

Discover more about all the bewitched locations via the provincial Witches Walking Route, ‘Stories on route -  ‘The Witches’ Village of Beselare’ (Verhalen voor onderweg, 'Beselare Heksendorp)  or book a witches walk  for your group led by an expert storyteller.