The Knights Templar were known, here in Brittany, as the Red Monks. Their evil deeds and cruel reputation survived in the popular imagination long after their medieval heyday; cruel ghosts, condemned to forever wander the lonely places to atone for their terrible crimes.
Sacred plant of the ancient druids, mistletoe has, for centuries, been highly prized for its supposed medicinal virtues. Here in Brittany, this pretty parasitic evergreen has traditionally been associated with love, luck and the promise of the New Year.
In Brittany, the magic of Christmas night was once said to have been so complete that no evil could act. It was a moment when only the son of man and the toad slept; a time when animals spoke to each other in the tongues of men and secret treasures were revealed.
Some of the best Christmas lights in Brittany.
The black dog is a recurring image in folklore across the world. In Brittany, these sinister spectral beasts roamed the lonely places and, in many local legends, were closely associated with crossroads, springs and the old sunken pathways.
For centuries, tales of unjustly treated heroines, eventually finding happiness, have featured in the traditions of cultures worldwide. In Europe, the best known example is probably the tale of Cinderella. Variants of this story abound and one of several versions found in Brittany is the tale of the Grey Wolf’s Wife.
Marriage, whether motivated by romantic idealism or social necessity was a key concern for the people of rural Brittany. A number of unusual customs and superstitions once surrounded marriage and the quest for love.
Considerable importance was once attached to milk in Brittany; it played a vital role in the people’s diet and livelihood. A number of once popular superstitious beliefs surrounded it; including practices to preserve cows from the evil spells cast by witches.
One of the most haunted regions of France; the windswept coastlines, bleak moors and uncultivated lands of Brittany have long been closely associated with the ghostly goings-on of the dead.
Brittany is a land of lore and legends, seeped in the supernatural. Said to be one of the most haunted regions of France, any journey around the castles of Brittany weaves a dark path between legend and rumour; fear and fright. Unsettling tales of lost innocence and tormented souls condemned to forever haunt the old stones so that we might not forget them.