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Well, this is just interesting . According to the further in the entry, there’s a theme park ride based on this Belgian/Dutch legend.  I’d describe it, but the passage speaks for itself.

One of the first things that comes to my mind is the legend of the ‘bokkerijders’ (translated it is ‘buckriders’ or ‘goatriders’, also spelled as ‘bokkenrijders’): a group of highwaymen that pillaged and plundered large parts of the Belgian and Dutch Kempen (a region in the south of the Netherlands and in the north of Belgium) and who where also active in the western part of Germany in the second half of the 18th century. There was poverty in these regions at that time, and these highwaymen were angry, for the Church had all the wealth.

It started of with plundering abbeys, churches and cloisters. But like with so many things, the success of the raids got into their heads and they started plundering villages. Excesses started to surface, and this is were the legend begins. The people were getting frightened of these highwaymen, who sometimes appeared out of nowhere, raided churches and abbeys, and spat on the cross. Because of this the people thought they had made a pact with the devil, and some ‘eye witnesses’ had seen them riding through the nightly heavens, sitting on bucks (the buck is symbolic for satan; a lot of images from that time pictured the devil with buck hooves), and their eyes glowing in the dark. So it was said. That is why they were called ‘bokkerijders’.


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