Stories from the countryside, presented by Derek Nacre
Location: The Netherlands, Overijssel, Lattrop-Brecklenkamp
Recently, I spent some time near the German border. It always creates an interesting atmosphere, interesting people, to be so right in between the two countries. Here, the languages blur together, the culture is not quite Dutch and not quite German, and the landscape just goes on. If there weren’t any signs to mark it, you might not even notice you crossed the border at all.
It’s exactly this kind of atmosphere that breeds the best stories, so I was quite excited to see what I could find. And sure enough I soon heard talk of a castle that isn’t always there.
If you look at Overijssel on a map, there’s this little point created by the border. This is Lattrop-Brecklenkamp, a nice area of sprawling farmland with one small town in its centre; Lattrop.
While cruising the countryside and enjoying the sights, I kept my ear out for more mentions of the castle. It’s like this that I met a woman named Veerke, who was born in Lattrop and has since moved into a renovated farm in the surrounding countryside, who could tell me more about the castle.
A ghost castle, she called it. Not a haunted castle, that’s important, but a castle that is itself a ghost.
“It doesn’t have a name, at least not one I know of. It’s one of those stories, you know? Something children tell each other about at school. They might believe it in the moment, but if they remember it a few years later they’ll realise it was all made up, and feel silly about believing it. But it’s not just a story. I’ve seen it.
“It only appears on the foggiest of nights, when you can’t even see your hands if you stretch out your arms. It can be scary, but it’s also so very beautiful. If you get a good vantage point, you can see the fog moving along the ground like an intangible sea.
“So it’s a night like that, and I climb onto my roof, and it’s just high enough for me to be above the mist. And there in the distance I see it. Looming above the roiling mists, is the castle.
“And I know for sure there was just empty farmland there earlier that day. It’s impossible, but I trust my eyes, I know what I saw.
“It’s like a mirror of Huis te Breckelenkamp. From the shape to the placement of the windows. Huis the Breckelenkamp is the ‘real’ castle in the area. The one that doesn’t vanish.
“I have to add, it’s one of those ‘castles’. You know the ones. Your teachers tell you you’re going to visit a castle and then you’re disappointed because it doesn’t have towers and ramparts. It’s a big house. One big wing looking out over the garden and then two smaller wings on either side, sticking forward in a way that might resemble towers.
“But yeah, it’s a ghost castle, I’m not going to stop calling it a castle just because it’s not really one, it’s just what we call it. It has big enough doors to be a castle anyway.”
I asked Veerke if she’d ever gone closer, or even tried to enter it.
“I’ve gone near, which is why I know what the windows look like, but I didn’t dare enter alone. What if the fog went away and the castle with it? What if I vanished as well? No, I didn’t want to risk it, definitely not alone. And no one else would join me.”
I asked her if it was empty, if she ever saw any signs of life.
“I haven’t seen anything. When kids tell the story of the castle they often include ghosts of course, but I’ve never seen any movement other than the fog itself. No lights in the windows, no door opening and closing. I’m pretty sure it’s abandoned.”
After our talk, Veerke gave me directions to the area the castle appears. I thanked her for her time and drove off to check it out.
Like she said, it was just farmland. An empty field, not even grass on it. I wonder if they do grow stuff there sometimes, or if it’s always empty.
I tried to figure out if there might have stood a castle once, but internet searching didn’t give any results. I can only assume it’s either been lost to time, or was never there in the first place. But why would a ghost castle appear where no castle ever stood?
It’s a strange situation. Leave your thoughts or any information you might have in the comments.
25 Comments – sort by best
Intriguing! I live nearby, I’ll have to check it out
I don’t know about this one man
What kind of ghost castle doesn’t have ghosts???
Well Don’t leave us hanging! Go to the castle!
On it 😉