Greetings dear readers and welcome to a spooky edition of Invading Holland.
As the nights grow darker and All Hallows Eve creeps closer it becomes customary to share horrifying tales designed to scare and delight. Stories of ghosts and ghouls, goblins and daemons, of the unknown things that go bump in the night and the madness that they bring. However, there are some stories that are scarier than others. Some that should not be told. Tales from a place known as The Netherlands.
On this page you will find three dreadfully Dutch Halloween tales. In these stories you are the star but do not expect a happy ending or a peaceful night’s sleep afterwards. Are you brave enough to read them? As your host I must warn against doing so but I doubt that will stop you. Human curiosity has a way of looking in the dark places that it should leave alone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. I present to you three tales of… Dutch Things – Horror In Holland.
Horror In Holland #1
You enter a small Dutch cafe on a narrow street tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s not very busy but that is just what you were after; a quite drink and some peace and quiet. You approach the bar and wait patiently for the barman to serve you.
Strangely the barman does not acknowledge your arrival. Each time it seems like he might finally turn his attention to you he starts cleaning a glass, adjusts the bars playlist or performs some other such trivial task. You cough to get his attention but he does not react. Instead he starts checking his phone. You don’t know if he somehow didn’t hear you or he’s just ignoring you. You cough louder. Again he does not react. This is strange because there is no one else in the bar. He can’t be that distracted.
You call out to him and tell him you would like to order a biertje. That’s when you realize you cannot hear your own voice. You try again but hear only silence. You look down at your own hands and suddenly realize you cannot see them. You have started to fade away or maybe you were never really there to begin with. It’s at that moment you realize with horror that you are never going to drink that biertje.
Horror In Holland #2
You enter a small Amsterdam apartment. It doesn’t look particularly different from any other apartment you might find in the city. It’s seen better days and is in need of some renovation but it’s still shows signs of life.
Rising up above you is a narrow, dimly lit stairway. On the first few steps are piles of semi organised letters and newspapers, most of which are for residents who long since moved out. The walls are covered in long, deep scratches and scrapes were someone misguidedly tried to carry furniture up to the apartment on the fourth floor. That is where you are going too. Each step creeks under your weight as you begin to climb. They are a little steep, steeper than you are used to. Soon you begin to climb on your hands and feet since that becomes somehow easier.
You climb for what feels like a long time. Are the stairs getting steeper? There is a slow creeping feeling of confusion. Your sense of balance and orientation starts to feel wrong. They no longer match up with what you think you know is true. Are you climbing straight up? Straight down? Sideways? You look in the direction you remember to be down (but are no longer sure of) and realize you cannot see the door you came in from any more. All you see are stairs stretching down and down into darkness. Haven’t you passed the door to apartment 1b twice now, or was it more? How long have you been climbing? Why does the fourth floor apartment still look so far away? Why were you going to the four floor apartment to begin with? You can no longer remember but you continue to climb.
Horror In Holland #3
You’ve been invited to your first Dutch birthday party. Wanting to make a good impression you’ve dressed up in your best party clothes and bought a bottle of reasonably priced wine (not to expensive but not too cheap either). You arrive and ushered into the party by someone you don’t know. They were probably just the closest person to the door when you rang the bell.
You enter the front room and discover a large group of people sitting in a circle. They are all chatting to one another and drinking cups of tea. You don’t see the one person you know yet but you are sure they are around her somewhere. However, before you can search for them you are guided towards the circle (by someone who you think was the person to answer the door).
The first person in the circle stands, shakes your hand and wishes you gefeliciteerd. You repeat the word back to them since that somehow seems like the correct thing to do (even though you are not sure why or what it means). Satisfied, the person sits down and the person next to them starts to rise, hand out stretched. You repeat the interaction with them and then the next person and the next person.
You soon realize it’s some kind of Dutch tradition as you work your way around the circle shaking each hand and wishing them gefeliciteerd. After a while you realize you’ve lost count of how many hands you’ve shaken. How many are left? Where was the start of the circle? Who are all these people? More importantly; why do they all look the same and why hadn’t you noticed before? They all look like the person who opened the door. Where is your friend? Were they ever here? What did they look like again? You realize there is no way out of the circle. All you can do is continue to shake hands and say the unfamiliar word.
Congratulations dear reader on reaching the end of these three terrifying tales. I’m sure the nightmares you will have as a result will only drive you slightly mad. Maybe you will keep your sanity long enough to share your own tales of… Horror In Holland (in the comments). Mahahahahaha.