Poperinge Pub Crawl

image19-mainBy Alan Hope

The strangest place you’ll find in Poperinge has to be Het Mysterie. It looks innocent as can be: one of a long line of one-storey houses on this part of the road, tiny and tidy as a row of Monopoly houses, a bicycle or two propped against the façade while the owner waters himself inside.

It’s anything but innocent. For Het Mysterie (the name means what you think it means) bills itself as a “volksspelenkroeg” or ‘folk games pub” but it is also a centre of witchcraft. Now whatever you think of witchcraft, there are people who believe in it, and who consider themselves witches (always good witches, for some reason) and they have their home here. Although the décor — plankboard walls and a ceramic tiled floor like a country cottage — is stocked with grotesque puppets and witch dolls, there are also true witches around here. Organised tarot readings are just one manifestation.

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