A very specific medium in which old beliefs can be found is the folktale. It’s hard to pin them down – some people even say that by the simple act of writing them down, something of them is lost. Still, it is a fact that we wouldn’t know many of these tales if we hadn’t written them down in the first place. Brothers Grimm, anyone?

You won’t find the brothers here, by the way. I love these tales, but they’re so well known, there’s no point in writing them down once again. On this site you will find the (slightly) less known tales. They will all focus on magic, witches, fairies, the otherworld and possible traces of heathen beliefs. Seems to me like we will still have a lot to go on!

By the way, you will find that even though I won’t use well known sources, many of these folktales will remind you of the famous Grimm, Perault, etc. anyway. I think this has to do with the fact that almost all Dutch folktales were written down in the late 19th century and later – when the older written sources were popular all over Europe. Thus, the older tales were spread over large areas and recounted with slight alterations.

Most of the stories will be paraphrased, as there are copyrights on the Dutch tales that have been published in books. Literal translations are therefore not possible. But I will stick as close to the storylines as possible, and leave in everything that I think is important. The source of each story will be mentioned at the beginning.

Rose Red and Lily White

The Witch