For all the background information, have a look at this post. There you will learn more about the movie they made on this location, the book it was based on and the history of the building itself. Read that post first or one of this will make any sense.
Summer 2012: our first visit to this location in Sint-Katelijne-Waver. I started taking pictures at the entrance of the fortress and was struck by the beauty of the decay of the building. Important remark: at that moment, none us – writer Vanessa Morgan, Lars and I – knew anything about the history of the fortress.
Our attention then turned towards the holiday cottage where the movie took place. This is the first spot where I noticed something unusual. For your information: when I shot this picture, the sun was behind me and my lens was spotless… I converted this picture to B&W and upped the contrast a bit.
We kept walking around the domain, looking at the other holiday cottages. Most of them were in bad shape, but the owners still came here or were even there at the moment of our visit. Somehow the derelict state of all the buildings gave this whole domain an odd vibe…
Initially, we had no plans to visit the fortress itself, but it was like we were somehow drawn to it. A handful of white peacocks observed us closely while we walked towards the entrance.
Ominous, don’t you think so? Neither Vanessa nor Lars had the courage to go inside first, so… they simply pushed me through the entrance. Everything was pitch-black… When my eyes had become used to the darkness, I could see that the whole ground floor was covered with garbage. It was piled up so high that no light could actually come in.
After groping around in the darkness and a lot of giggling when we bumped into each other, the three of us finally made our way to the first floor. There we could finally start photographing.
During our whole visit to this location, I couldn’t shake off an eerie feeling… I wasn’t at ease, especially during our time in the fortress itself. But I really creeped out when I started to edit the pictures at home.
A peculiar detail had struck the three of us when we were on the first floor of the fortress. In every room there was at least one chair; all of them were surrounded by candles. Now, have a close look again at the pictures above and you will see that all or some of the candles are gone… Or are my eyes really deceiving me? Strange isn’t it, because usually on pictures taken in haunted places, things appear. Here, things disappeared…
We have been to other places – in all Europe – to do some urban exploring, but this is still one of my big favourites. I will never forget that special vibe, in and around that fortress.
Next week, we will take you to other corners in Europe. I have already two posts planned, one about food adventures in Estonia and another about a historic location in Albania. During this weekend, I will also publish the 4th part of my Lockdown Diary.