Voodoo in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands we are not very familiar with the voodoo religion and if we hear anything about voodoo it is often bad news. People often have prejudices about voodoo, this is mainly due to ignorance. This is because voodoo has had little to no influence in our country. That is also easy to explain if you think logically.


Not many Haitians have come to the Netherlands, for example. One only encounters voodoo here and there within the Surinamese community. Although this voodoo-like religion is often called Winti within Surinamese and sometimes Antillean circles. So even real voodoo from Haiti is hardly found among this population group.

Our culture has probably been influenced by voodoo, especially in the field of art. And especially the film industry and writers. Countless horror films have been made in which voodoo is an important element. A very well-known example is the Childs Play series, in which a cornered murderer has his soul transferred into a doll’s body with the help of a voodoo priest. As soon as he is in this doll body, he looks again for a human body to take over and this is of course not possible without people dying. This series is also quite popular and even now sequels are being made. Transferring a soul into another body is also done in this film with a voodoo ritual. During this ritual, the performer clearly invokes the powers of Damballah, the well-known snake god.

Voodoo books and movies

As mentioned, countless books have been written in which voodoo plays a role. Voodoo is of course perfect for books because there is something mysterious and dark about this religion. This means that voodoo can be the basis for a horror book, for example. Zombification is of course a wonderful subject about which gruesome stories can be told and of course the well-known voodoo dolls that everyone has certainly seen, which, according to many, you could manipulate with pins to make people suffer.

But it is precisely because of these films and books that voodoo has gotten a bad name. People simply assume that everything said about voodoo is true. And this dark aftertaste to the word voodoo will probably never disappear. Every now and then we still hear disturbing reports in the media in which voodoo plays a role to a greater or lesser extent. Such as the report that mummified babies had been found in the house of an Amsterdam voodoo priest. It is clear that this should not be seen as normal within this religion as many may think. Another horrific report is that of Nigerian asylum seekers. These young girls appear to have left for an unknown destination shortly after arriving at a shelter. In some cases they are later found by the police in the prostitution circuit of major cities in the Netherlands and other parts of Western Europe. Their arrival in Europe appears to be the work of traders, who often operate from Nigeria. The information released by the girls is extremely sparse, but those who are willing to talk talk about so-called voodoo rituals to which they were subjected before departure, but sometimes also in the Netherlands. Through these rituals they would have been put under pressure to make promises to their traders and to strictly keep them. These messages therefore give a wrong impression of voodoo, because these people have actually simply abused the religion for criminal purposes. In general, we can say that the influence of voodoo has remained very small in our Western society, and that will not change soon.

Leave a Comment