International Urban Legends: Belgium

Belgium may not be a big country, but it has some impressive urban legends. A few so mysterious that even Hercule Poirot would be hard-pressed to explain. Here are two such examples for you to labor over today. (See what I did there?)

The Angels of Mons

A Belgium legends "foretold" by a British fantasy author?

The Angels of Mons.

This one has a twist of life imitating art in a very strange way.

It seems fantasy author Arthur Machen published a short story in the London Evening News about angels coming to the aid of British soldiers during World War I. Later on during the conflict came a story that left Machen speechless.

During the Battle of Mons near Ardennes, Belgium the Germans launched a suprise attack that left the British cornered and without hope. But just when it looked like all was lost a miracle happened.

St. George, accompanied by angels, floated down from the sky and held the Germans at bay, allowing the British to regroup and save the day. The report was confirmed by several men who were there at the battle following the war.

The Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker

For whatever reason, Belgium’s legends terrorize young women exclusively. The “Smiley Face” legend gives the victim a choice between sexual assault or having a permanent smile carved into her face

Another one, “The Hairy-Armed Hitchhiker” has a young woman aiding an older woman by giving her a ride home. At some point the driver notices that her passenger has quite manly hair-covered arms and hands and crashes the vehicle in order to flee.

But almost always, in these stories that actually date back to the early-19th century, the passenger flees first. But in an abandoned bag is found a knife or hatchet. A stark reminder of what might have happened if they had reached the passenger’s lair. As well as a good reason why you should never pick up strangers.



About the author

Richard Paolinelli