Caribbean folk like a good story. When I say “story”, I don’t mean the small island gossip commonly referred to as mellay. No, I am talking about local legends and tropical tall tales. This is one of them.
Everyone knew three things about Mr. Rijswijk, who lived on St. Eustatius in the 1950’s. He was a Dutchman, he was rather wealthy and most importantly, he was a werewolf. This first two could be proven easily. Mr. Rijswijk spoke with a distinct non-local accent and live a prominent, two story, wooden villa in the centre of Oranjestad. But there was no hard proof that he would shapeshift into a furry creature of the night when the silver moon rises in the cloudless sky. There were many sightings, but there was no evidence. Well, except for the one time a local boy threw a rock at a fluffy dog creature one scary night. How does this connect to Mr. Rijswijk? I’ll spare you the spoilers, because it is a truly very funny story
We visited Mr. Rijswijk’s home today and heard the tale of Mr. Rijswijk from the locals. His home has been in use for decades as a museum in the heart of Oranjestad on the island. So if and when you visit, don’t forget to ask the museum’s infamous, former resident. They tell the story much better than I ever could.