Halloween is shaping up to look pretty strange this year but there are plenty of spooky places to visit, including this amazing museum.
Oudewater is just a 45-minute drive, South of Amsterdam and it has one of the most fascinating little museums in the Netherlands. Witch trials in the Netherlands were not as large and widespread as they were in other parts of Europe and in North America. They were also nipped in the bud relatively early, whilst other countries were still accusing their citizens of witchcraft. Nonetheless, they are still very much a part of Dutch history and The Witches Weighing House lets us dig into this grizzly part of the country’s past.
Built in a beautiful and traditional Dutch weighing house, this has to be one of the quaintest museums around. You might be wondering why it’s called The Witches Weighing House and this is because of a strange belief once held about witches. Witches were believed to be as light as a feather and so when people were accused of being witches they were brought to the weighing house as a way of checking for this apparent trait. Obviously, weighing witches doesn’t work but you can still do what these visitors did and stick your dog on the scales instead.
After all, these kinds of weigh houses were used to weigh livestock and goods, as well as witches. Owing to the odd fact that Holy Roman Emperor Charles V approved this place as a fair weighing site, nobody was ever sentenced to death here as a result of having been weighed. You can learn a lot from this museum and it’s the perfect way to sprinkle a bit of Halloween on your weekend in these unusual times.