|One of the old borderstones that sat between Limburg and Brabant.|
Venrayse Schepenen are flaming ghosts said to roam the border between Venray and Bakel, two towns which were once divided by areas of arid heather and peat among many other towns in the area that were fighting over it. The peat area known as De Peel found itself on the side of Bakel in Brabant and it was the Limburg town of Venray who had the short end of the stick. A few displeased men from Venray decided to claim a bit of peat for themselves and moved the border stones. People claim to have witnessed their flaming apparitions haunt the border since their death.
It was around 1640 when it all happened. At night a displeased group of Venray men traveled through the heather and moved the border stones up by a long distance. This stealing of land of course aggravated the people in Bakel. Unable to pinpoint where the border stones used to be exactly, they turned bitter towards the people of Venray. This impasse was solved when eventually the mayors of both towns met each other on the border. Venray's mayor had filled his shoes with dirt from Venray and hid a small shovel under his hat. He pointed at his hat as he proclaimed "As long as my maker is up here, I'm standing on Venray's soil". This was a trick on words however ("Schepper" is Dutch for creator but "Schep" is also a shovel). This obvious lie upset the mayor of Bakel, but he patiently awaited for God to strike the liar before him with lightning. When this did not happen, he concluded the words he spoke must have been truthful. Bakel's mayor decided to trust the man and reluctantly shook his hand but the people of his town did not forget the shady ordeal. Years rolled by and a generation of people passed away, among whom were those who had stolen their land, whose afterlife did not offer them peace. They were destined to roam the border as flaming men whose appearance was somehow more terrifying than regular ghosts. It was best to avoid that place after sundown.