"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Monster of Bruges

Fernand Khnopff "In Bruges:  A Portal," 1904

In his 1959 book “Mysteries Solved and Unsolved,” Harold T. Wilkins gives an account of a nightmarish discovery that is simply enigmatic. It is so enigmatic, in fact, that I have my doubts about whether his story is more fact than fiction—particularly since I have been unable to find any corroborating evidence for his macabre anecdote.

Wilkins wrote that “some years” before WWII, he was in Bruges, Belgium, boarding at an ancient house in the heart of that still largely-medieval city. During his visit, he was told of a very strange skeleton found years before in the building.

The house had originally been a Dominican monastery, but by 1908 it had become a boarding place for artists and tourists. However, no tenant remained for long. They reported the phenomenon common to haunted houses—mysterious footsteps, spectral raps on doors, etc. An English visitor even reported encountering something “damned inhuman” in one of the passageways. Finally, the owner of this increasingly unpopular residence had workmen excavate the cellar, as that was seen as the source of all the strange activity.

It was behind one of the walls that they found the skeleton. The skeleton of what, no one could say, not even the pathologist brought in to examine it. It was not an animal, and all the spectators shuddered at the idea that it could have ever been anything spawned by humans…

The ghastly remains, Wilkins tells us, were packed off to an unnamed medical museum, and the house became as quiet as the house of God it once was.

So, there you have it. Make of his story what you will. As I say, I think it’s quite possible that Wilkins heard some small, innocuous fact or outlandish legend from which he crafted an uncanny tall tale—and his lack of specifics about time and place tend to back that up. On the other hand, if there is anything I have learned in this life, it’s that pretty much anything is possible. To borrow from that old witticism about ghosts:  I do not believe in the Monster of Bruges, but I am afraid of it.


  1. Fascinating...I'll admit my ghoulishness and wish there'd been some image made of it.

    1. Yeah, Wilkins gave no details about just what this skeleton looked like, which I suppose just makes the story all the creepier...

    2. As for the monster of Bruges,where is the description of the creature? It's head shape? It's sex? It's teeth,build,eyes feet,hair mass,where is it now????

  2. It does have a wonderfully Lovecraftian "too horrible to be described" quality, doesn't it?

  3. Sorry, but I would prefer more details, this has left too much to the imagination.

  4. The imagination is immensely powerful. That's what made Hitchcock so good; he made you make yourself afraid of what was not shown or described, and of the dark.

  5. All I know is spirits exist I am 100% certain.Ive had approx 50 paranormal happenings occur in my flat,the worst was Saturday night Sunday morning when I was awoken to being hit hard in the lower back then after I managed to get off to sleep again was grabbed by the ankles and pulled clean out of the bed,I've been poked in the stomach off a spirit I've heard them talk I've been pinned down on the bed so I can't move,I've seen spirits on different occasions either at home or when I'm out,I've been told I'm clairvoyant and what brought all these occurrences on was using an ouji board in march 2014 I've also seen my stepfather twice and heard his voice on waking..There is definitely an afterlife and this is only the beginning,it's a shame people grieve so much over lived ones when they aren't dead,they've just moved on and will be there when you move on yourself,there's nothing to worry about atall when it comes to that,I'd like to move on to spirit now but we all have to do our bit on earth first


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