Haunted in Bruges! Photo Essay

While traveling in Europe for the month of June, I looked forward a night in Bruges, Belgium. Little did I know the gorgeous and ancient Hotel Patritius was haunted. We picked the wrong room.

The road to Bruges

You may have heard of In Bruges, a famous movie about a repentant hitman, Ray, (Colin Farrell) who finds himself in Bruges where he and his partner, Ken, (Brendan Gleeson) wait for instructions. As the movie continues, we find out Ken loves Bruges and chose the spot for a reason, but Ray hates everything about the place. The black comedy includes vignettes of this gorgeous and historic place, so it stayed on my radar.

The Bruges Village before dusk

After checking into a family suite on the second floor above the winding staircase, we went out for a stroll. For some strange reason, while walking on patterned cobbles amongst the decorative brick buildings and breath-taking sights, I couldn’t shake loose the jangly feeling of anxiety.

The stairway from the top in Bruges

I have found that places have a certain energy. In Bruges, it was overwhelming. After a few hours of walking the streets to get our bearings, a bucket of savory mussels, and a pasta dinner, I settled in and relaxed.

That night I slipped between the cool sheets. I floated along with the random images of the day while making plans for tomorrow.

Haunted in Bruges

All of a sudden, a beautiful woman appeared in my thoughts. She wore a gold satin gown and a necklace which reflected the light which shone from a window behind me. Her pale face matched the almost white-blonde hair piled upon her head. She stood in a formally appointed room next to a small table. We locked eyes as she slipped out of sight below me. None of this was terribly strange, but…

SHE WAS UPSIDE DOWN!

I bolted upright in bed while trying to shake this bizarre image. I’d never had a thought where an image was upside down. EVER. My heart pounded as if waking from a nightmare. She hadn’t moved or floated in space. Gravity placed her and the table in the room. How weird was that???

My heart slowed over time. Soon images of all kinds of people dressed in seventeenth-century attire appeared randomly in my mind and I drifted off to sleep.

A view of our haunted room

The next morning, I recounted the dream and figured out why she was upside-down. It wasn’t her, IT WAS ME! Held between two people, my head hung backward. As I was removed from the room, I saw the woman slip from view.

Part of a haunted family room in Bruges

We packed up and checked out downstairs. I asked the Innkeeper about the history of the place. He told us it had been there for centuries.

“By the way, you stayed in our most haunted room. Many guests have seen a beautiful blonde woman walk between the bedrooms.”

“What?” I recounted my story, which wasn’t something I perceived in reality, nor in a dream. Rather, it was an alarming thought that freaked me out.

“It sounds like her,” he said and took our enormous key fob with the dangling skeleton key.

Later, I thought about how agitated I had been when first arriving in Bruges. What if I’m sensitive to the many souls caught between this world and the next? Who knows? I’ve never dreamed of anyone upside-down before or since. And what was up with all those costumed people in my thoughts before I fell asleep? I hadn’t seen anyone dressed in period attire during our entire trip.

Pretty postcard Bruges

Would I go back? Absolutely. Not only was it gorgeous, but the history was something I would love to delve into. Maybe I could discover something about the woman in the gold dress and the person who was physically removed from her chambers…

Check out the painting on the left.

Another hotel in Bruges

Have you ever vibed out while on vacation? Have you been to Bruges?

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Haunted at the Stanley Hotel

Invaded and Homeless in Paris: Photo Essay

A Day in London with Charles Dickens: Photo Essay

Scotland’s Culloden House, Loch Ness and Barb Taub’s Arran Island: Photo Essay

Click for more wild adventures! 

64 thoughts on “Haunted in Bruges! Photo Essay

  1. Dreams can seem very real and then it’s hard to shake them off when you wake up. I’ve had dreams like that. Some of them have stayed with me for years. The feelings were so intense in the dream, it was hard to convince myself it didn’t happen. Great post, and just in time for Halloween.

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  2. Great post! I have, indeed, been to Brugges about 10 years or so ago – wonderful, wonderful place! I had a frustrating time getting photos not filled with tourists, but ended up getting up at around 6.00 am and getting some in the soft dawn light, which really gave the place a dimension. Our hotel didn’t have ghosts, but it was only half a block from the main square and so within range of the carillion bells in the clock tower. Apparently it has a keyboard and can be played manually, by arrangement, but my wife forbad me from finding out how, because she knew I’d play ‘Louie Louie’ on it…

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    • Hahaha! I’m not sure the citizens of Brug(g)es would have approved. It was super touristy, but at least there were landmarks and gorgeous places to see. We just arrived home from a trip to Maine where it apparently shutters after summer! Who knew?

      The spelling of Brugges was so confusing. When we “Wazed” it in France, it was spelled, Brugge. Brugges in Bruges. Then in the US, it is spelled, Bruges! Of course, the US is different everywhere too. L’etas Unis – France. Not sure why all the misspellings happened. There’s a good research project for you, Matt!

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      • I got immediately curious over this one and have had to check it out! Seems to depend on language. As far as I can tell French is ‘Bruges’ (of which the English with the double g is a corruption) and Flemish is Brugge, apparently derived from the old (and modern) Netherlands word ‘brug’, meaning ‘bridge’. How it’s pronounced is entirely another matter! 🙂

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  3. Ghosts are Spooky… and poultry geese can be frightening as well.
    I’ve never even heard of Bruges before reading this post. Yes, I have had more than enough terrifying and or frightening events. 1963 late night as I and my sister slept in our bedroom in our beds, I was awaken by an odd glow within our bedroom, the room was always pitch black, upon sitting up in my bed and turning towards the light source, and witnessed the self illuminated glowing being, intently gazing across the room at my sleeping 6 year old sister, I inhaled implosively and screamed out and again none stop until I could no longer breathe as I was hyperventilating, clinging to my now rendered as deaf sister sitting up in her little bed, it took more than a few adults to get me to let go of her. Was it a ghost? No, was it an angel? No, it was a hideous being.

    Bunkhouse lady of the night’ or the victim of a rouge desperado husband of the old west?

    Six years later after she had died, my Step Mother and father and I were exploring old mining town high up in the mountains, they were checking out the exterior of an old wooden hotel in a Silver and lead mine named Cicero Gordo, ( Fat – Silver)’ a Mining town 9,000 feet high up in the Southern Californian’ Inyo’ Mountains high above the then Owens lake, (Long time now dry) the mine produced $13,000,000 in silver and lead bullion. It was deserted back then when we ventured into it, I called out for my father to come into the old Hotel of which I had stepped into to escape the searing triple digit heat, there upon the old wooden plank floor of the kitchen stood an impossibly too huge to have ever have been transported up that ‘white knuckler’ steep dirt road, beautiful it was an old iron black cook stove at least 18 feet in length, ornate and massive. Mule train transported the Ore down the mountain to Keeler, to be shipped by steamboat or train.

    I stepped into the other part of the hotel, right into a cold spot, passed through it and stepped back, it was gone but a very huge temperature variation, (Which now in hind sight could have been due to an updraft from a hidden shaft under the Hotel boards? (1868 Central air conditioning comes to mind here in that said. But I didn’t think back them to pry up any floor planks.

    Ghost Dog

    Also recently our neighbor had gotten a rescue dog, a female boxer, and tan brown with a white chest and legs. The mother had came home really stressed out as her little daughters were in school, she took the dog out to the lake for a walk, it ran off, and they waited many hours hoping the dog would find its way back.

    Upon giving up and leaving, they were driving down the nearby highway, and discovered their god smashed along upon the road as it had been hit by truck. She was stressing over it and told us, and said she didn’t know how she was going to tell her little girls. It was about four days later; I was out in my driveway working on getting my barbeque grill prepped for grill that night’s diner. It was afternoon, hot and sunny when I looked up and saw the back half of ‘A’ Tan Dog, that had the same sleek rear profile of their dog, but no head, it was whisky like collective practical, there as a tan hue, then I felt a strong breeze and at the same time it was as if the breeze had hit the ‘Apparition and the molecules just fall apart and scattered like blown dust. The dog Ghost, had been moving from their Driveway, and crossing the quite street in front of me. I saw it, it took me a bit to process because of all of what occurred, and felt as I should have later mentioned it to the mother, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do so. Because the death of their dog was very tragic and really effected them. It wasn’t the same as that ghoulish figure up in the desert ghost town I witnessed back in 1969.

    I don’t mention seeing things’ because I have never had anyone seemingly believe me about the horrid glowing being within our Bedroom back in 1963 that was a response anything other than: ‘This kid or this Guy is BSC’ (bat shit crazy). But that is just par to course for seeing, hearing and experiencing ‘things’. There is more, but I am not open to share about it, because that one puts me in the category of Bat shit crazy as well. Some events and encounters are just best left untold, until you’re ready to tell of it and take the ridicule and ‘Title. Experiencing that first ‘Being’ encounter, got me a visit to a Head Shrinker and wired up, as well as the Rorschach five by seven glossy cards Black on white Ink Test. Why did I have to go through that, because one my Parents were Dicks, and two, because when you encounter ‘things’ upon that level and are left in a state of shock, hyperventilation, and left trying to cope and then your sister dies right soon after that.

    At 4 years of age, you learn fast that telling others can be a very bad idea, and that when six adults state you had ‘seen’ things, and not really seen things’ You learn your support system is nil and Void upon speaking about it, if six adults have to peel you off your sister and put a paper sack over your face to get you breathing once again do not believe you. You learn fast and that the only people you can connect with about it are other’s who have had haunting and terrifying events and encounters. That first event happened over half a century ago. The last event, the ghost dog happened about three months ago. I don’t go out looking for them, as I have read and heard too much and I am sure I would nat survive many of the encounters I have heard and read of.

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    • I totally believe you! My first thriller, (in search of representation), is about the exact same thing. She sees her father’s ghost and has to defend her sanity. I’m so glad you told me about this since I have never had a parent who reacted like yours, but supposed some had. I wrote it to bring up the discussion of what is paranormal. I think it is totally normal for some people. I’m so far from crazy and have witnessed bright lights, ghosts and all kinds of strange occurrences. I finally shut it down when I got sick. Closed the door, so to speak. Only a couple of strange visits have slipped through.

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      • Tip of the Day’ ‘never sleep knock kneed’ for if you should pass in your sleep’ they then would have saw the wall open or brake yar bones to fit you through the laundry chute, or pack you into the Dumb Waiter. 🙂

        ‘Ti’s nearer to Calan Gaeaf’

        ‘Pushed send’ and now he retracts back into the Dybbuk’ and awaits for a knock ‘of knocks.’

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  4. Bunkhouse lady of the night’ or the victim of a rouge desperado husband of the old west? Was the header title but I didn’t post what the full event, as what I had encountered up there was just far to graphic, frightening and I felt too much to post here, because she didn’t fit any definition of Ghost other than her being there, I never viewed any other eyewitness encountering a nude apparition nor one in that state of horrid decay. she was nothing of any ghost I had every heard of being encountered. And by the looks of her, she had suffered a hideous ending to her life. I wasn’t even sure of the full extent of what I had seen, until coming across an image on line. that image brought it all into full perspective, but with many unknowing answers, just more questions. it was another encounter that messed me up.

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    • I can’t imagine. That would have been terrifying!
      I’ve only seen one ghost that looked as though he went through a windshield of a car. My friend asked me to describe him and then wondered if it was her brother who had recently died in a car wreck. He was the only one who tried to speak to me. As much as I tried to “will him” to come back to tell me his message, he never did. All those shows where they say “Knock twice if you’re listening,” are such whooy!

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  5. How delightfully creepy! I think I’m too ho-hum practical for spirits to bother appearing to me. They know I’d probably give just a skeptical lift of an eyebrow and turn away.

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    • Thanks, Peg! It’s always great to “see” you!!!

      It’s weird how the encounters started. It all began with an extraordinary night in Wisconsin. After that, I saw or heard the strangest things. They would come in waves and then stop for months. The worst was a knocker. It woke us in the night by tapping the TV, the dressers, the headboard. I recorded it! I think that added to my perfect storm of what got me sick four years ago since it woke me twice a night for years. I finally shut it down since I value my health more than curiosity about what most of us don’t understand. I have definitely had some dreams where I felt my dad and brother reached out since their death. Thank God they haven’t appeared at the foot of my bed. I would lose it!! Ha!

      I spoke to a writer at a conference who works parttime at a paranormal center of some kind in Denver. He said that once you open yourself to it, entities are drawn to you. No wonder!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think I must have! I have awoken to ghosts on many occasions. I have dreamed of my brother and dad since their death, but this one was super strange!
      Thanks for reading! Always great to see you, Widderwoman!

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    • I know!! I wasn’t so much terrified as completely undone. I have never had a thought or dream like it before or since. Now I would love to research that powerful lady with the gold dress!
      Great to “see” you, Lynn! (((hugs)))

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  6. I admire your sense of adventure! I’ve never been to Bruges. The only place I’ve ever been so far where there might have been unsettled spirits lurking about were the above-ground cemeteries in New Orleans. And had any of them floated into my presence, my own sense of adventure might have high-tailed it to the next thing flying outta Louisiana! 🙂

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    • Hahaha! I’ve been there too. I loved the history of New Orleans and took a ghost tour too! Creepiest ever.

      We’ve been traveling so much and now my family has arrived just in time to enjoy my house filled with decorations inside and out. (I still have to stuff my dead guys and plant them face first in the driveway. We have a new mailman who will freak. Ha!) I haven’t had the time to write about all those crazy experiences perfect for Halloween. Maybe I’ll do a full court press next week!

      Thanks so much for reading, Vicki!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Dude what a trip! Stuff like that has never happened to me, not dreams I can remember where I’m upside down! That would have freaked me out too. But I’m glad you kind of took it in stride and didn’t let the shakes prevent you from going back. Those cobblestone streets with the bikes looks so great! Did it inspire any short story writing?

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  8. I LOVE Bruges, such an amazing city. The architecture is stunning. That sounds like a really freaky hotel though, definitely wouldn’t be in a hurry to stay there! I once had a weird encounter whilst staying with a friend in Australia, really similar to what you described, not a dream or a vision as such more of a thought that then caused my heart to leap into my mouth. I saw the black silhouette of a man standing over me wearing what I sensed was a curly orange wig, I initially thought it was my friend and actually asked what he was doing, when I looked closer the image faded and disappeared, my heart was racing and I was totally freaked out and couldn’t shake that feeling. Very weird!

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    • Bruges architecture was super cool with its hodgepodged brick.
      Yours was a ghost encounter! I used to see them a few times a month then nothing for another nine or ten. I would hear a noise that would wake me from a dream then would see someone in the room. I finally “shut it down” since I lost so much sleep with a “banger” who moved in.
      Thanks for reading ROTR!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Loved Bruges! I definitely got a feeling there I have never gotten anywhere else I travel to before. You can feel how old it is and the history. Echoes of footsteps on each cobblestone. I will be going back for sure.

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  10. Oh Susie, as I read your account and I can hear you telling me this fab tale in your wonderful accent, with that excited look on your face. Even though it was a scary experience I reckon it lit up your creative eyes. Interesting story and I love strange happenings like this.

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      • Wait! You have an accent? Irish? Scottish or of Eastern U.S.A? Which brings be to ask you as you are a sensitive as well, Have you encountered Disembodied voice 0r voices in Different languages or other accents? The group of people I heard were all without accents, although they collective spoke the exact same message / words in unison they were very distinctively of Male and female genders in voice. That was a very strange event indeed.

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  11. Gorgeous photos Susie! Now I want to go back to Bruges!

    Did you ever work out why she was upside down? It is pretty cool that you got to see a friendly ghost. It make an awesome holiday story (even if it seemed strange at the time!)

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  12. Pingback: Inspired by Stephen King Country – Maine | Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

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