Monday, February 4, 2013

I may be forced to say "squeee" over this...

I am thrilled to report that the book about Belgian urban legends that I ordered the other day arrived this morning! It's one of a series called Op verhaal komen by Professor Stefaan Top of Leuven university. The series records local folklore from different regions of Belgium, but this particular volume, Moderne sagen en geruchten uit Vlaanderen, records modern urban legends from Flanders.
I've been dying to get my hands on a copy of the book ever since I saw a reference to it in an article about urban legends. Sadly, it appears to be out of print and was not available on any of the normal bookselling sites when I searched for it. Eventually I found a copy advertised for a bargain 2 euros on but unfortunately by the time postage and packaging and a whopping 9 pounds sterling in bank charges(!) had been applied, the total came to considerably more than that. I had to have it though. What the hell? We can always live on bread and cheese for a week or two...
Once the sale had been agreed and I had made the ruinous bank transfer, I settled down to worrying about the book getting lost in the post or turning out to be entirely the wrong one. However, this morning it arrived safely - just before I walked the kids to school, which meant waiting another agonising hour before opening the parcel!
The sender had wrapped the book very neatly in brown paper and (I see from the postmark) sent it from the post office counter in Carrefour in Turnhout (cue wave of nostalgia for my time in Flanders). Inside the brown paper was another layer of wrapping - charmingly, it was pages from the Gazet Van Antwerpen - and then, at last, the book, in perfect condition (below).

There are 167 pages of Belgian urban legends (that is excluding the introduction, commentary, etc) and all of them in Flemish, so I am going to be very busy over the next little while, reading through those. The book is helpfully divided into sections, including one entitled "Horror", so I shall at least have some idea where to start! I am sure the effort will be worth it to read such tales as Blooroed Water and Kannibalisme Pur Sang. NB. bloedrood means blood red; I am sure you will recognise most of the other words. See? You are reading Flemish already...


  1. :-D I am inordinately thrilled!!!!

  2. Incredible. I hadn't even heard about this one, and I have many of this kind of books in Dutch.

  3. It looks brilliant, Tom...only you can't borrow my copy because I'm reading it. Forever!

  4. Hi Tom! Remember me from the old ghost.books list, the alt. Group back in the day? And our discussion of that different Ringu film version?

    Great seeing you here:)

    Best regards,