I was in urgent need of a pause from everything, as I’m sure we all are, so I decided to visit (or escape to) a witch town with two friends.
The town or village I travelled to is called Vielsalm, situated in the rural South of Belgium, and it’s my second visit there. It’s a witch town because it has a legend involving witches, called “macralles” in the Walloon dialect. You can see traces of this in the village: a statue of the witch Gustine Maka near the church, a statue of a broom stick by the lake (you’re allowed and encouraged to sit on it), the witch-riding-her-broom plate attached to a house as seen in the photo above, a folklore museum with an exhibition about the macralles (I haven’t visited it yet), a walk organised by the museum with a brochure and downloadable audio tour, some witchy souvenirs in the museum designed by local artists (as well as crystals that were mined locally => more ethically), several macralle/witch-themed beers (it’s Belgium after all), and a macralle-centred festival in the summer. Even though the village offers a variety of opportunities for tourists to stay, it wasn’t a well-known holiday spot to me, it’s not a tourist attraction like I imagine Salem to be, and there are probably similar small towns with witch legends all over Belgium and the rest of Europe – I need to check those. While visiting, I recommend taking a look at the local bookshop, oxfam shop, and children’s bookshop as well, and of course having a stroll around the lake and enjoying the view.
For me it’s both relaxing and exciting to be there. A quiet place that’s perfect for taking a pause as well as a for finding new ideas for upcoming (witchy) creative projects. It feels very precious to spend time there with my friends H and E as well as to have met C, another friend who makes witchy-sounding music as Seesayle, for a walk. I also enjoyed doing some field recordings (birds, waterfall, train, footsteps…) that I hope to create something with later and reading perzines about the pandemic and self-care and books about sigils.
By the way, an earlier visit to this witch town a few months ago has inspired a new postcard design which will be revealed very soon!