Take a stroll around the cemetery to feel a breeze on your skin. Is it the wind or is it a ghost? The cemetery is uncanny, beautiful, and overgrown. Abandoned since 1958, graves and mausoleum lie beneath a blanket of ivy. Don’t forget your torch! Uncover the notable graves of the creator of Tintin, politicians and architects.
Dieweg has a mysterious atmosphere… You’re never sure what you’ll stumble on next. It can feel like you’re wandering through a different, forgotten world. Of course, any cemetery is creepier at night--but this place is so pretty, it may actually distract you from the spooky vibes! Nice for those near Brussels, or photographers who want somewhat of a darker subject. Cemetery Dieweg is the perfect place to start exploring scary places in Belgium.
Some of the scariest places to visit don’t even need ghostly legends to be spooky. Abandoned since 1982, Gouffre’s coal mine feels like it jumped right out of a horror game. Broken glass and bricks lie forgotten on the floor in this industrial building. Favoured by urban explorers and the occasional graffiti artist, the coal mine is unknown to the average tourist. Hidden or cursed gem?
After closing down as a coal mine, it actually reopened as a zoo for a few years. While the coal mine definitely looks soppy from the outside, it’s the inside that counts! These abandoned buildings are falling to ruin. There’s definitely an eerie atmosphere here. Come by at night and, trust us, you’ll feel like there’s someone following you.
3. The Empty Tower
Straight out of a dystopian movie, The Empty Tower is an abandoned power station just outside Charleroi. Once responsible for pumping out 10% of Belgium’s CO2 emissions, the tower closed in 2007 after a lot of negative press. Inside, the power station creaks and groans. All doors are sealed shut, but a strange world lies within. Unique in its architecture and aesthetic, the tower is one of the scariest places to visit around Charleroi.
We’ve heard that the tower is due for demolition, and has been closed off to the public. The staircase was demolished in 2020, making it almost impossible to enter. While The Empty Tower is definitely one of the spookiest places in Belgium, it’s definitely not easy to reach!
4. The John McCrae Bunker
🧭Ypres, West Flanders
Ypres is a city full of history. You could almost say it’s haunted by history. Step into the quiet Essex Farm Cemetery by the canal to uncover a ghostly site. The bunker is supposedly haunted by poet and physician, John McCrae. Many ghost hunters who come here claim to hear echoes of voices, gunshots from WWI, or even witness the ghost of John McCrae and his friend, Alex.
The bunker is a memorial site in honour of John McCrae’s memory. He wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” for friend and fellow soldier, Alex Hemler. Helmer died on the battlefield, and McCrae followed not long after passing away from pneumonia. Some say that after hearing gunshots, you will see flashes of Hemler’s ghost. Wander the cemetery and tell us what spooky sights you uncover, if you dare...
🧭La Roche-en-Ardenne, Luxembourg
Come by on a regular day and you’ll see a friendly sight of families at the medieval castle. But La-Roche-en-Ardenne isn’t as peaceful as it first seems. The story goes that the castle is haunted by the tragic Countess Berthe de la Roche. Welcome to one of the most haunted places of Belgium.
Berthe’s elderly father organised a tournament for the single Knights. The prize? His daughter’s hand in marriage.. Knights from across the country gathered at the castle in hopes of winning the tournament. Sir Waleran, the eldest son of the Count of Montaigu, quickly fell for Berthe despite already being engaged to another lady - Marie de Salm. The tournament begins, but suddenly there’s a last minute contender. The short and mysterious Black Knight. Against all odds, the Black Knight wins. The two are wed and all seems well until the next morning, where Berthe’s body is found in La Roche’s river with multiple stab wounds. The Black Knight was none other than the slighted Marie de Salm! Ever since then, Berthe haunts the castle, still unwed and lonely. Is that her voice calling for help or just the wind?
6. Den Noodt Gods
🧭Bruges, West Flanders
Often called just “The Haunted House” or the “‘t Spookhuis” by locals, this place is one of the more chilling buildings in Belgium. Long ago, Den Noodt Gods was a nunnery. Many years ago, a friar murdered a nun for rejecting him and hid her body beneath the cellar. Now, the friar haunts the building forever plagued by his sins. Or so the story goes.
What makes Den Noodt Gods lace even scarier is that all the way back in 1879, Blance Marryat investigated this place alongside famous medium, William Eglinton. They did a seance and managed to contact two ghosts: the spirit of a murderer and a tragic victim. Eglinton said that the friar’s last words were, "Pray much for the unfortunate that I am." Creepy!
🧭Sonian Forest, Brussels
The Sonian Forest is said to be one of the most beautiful places in Belgium, but visit during a foggy night and you’ll discover a different side to the woods. The forest is said to be haunted by the Deogen, also known simply as The Eyes. Can you feel them on you? This is one ghost tale you’re sure to hear around the campfires of Belgium.
Local legend goes that years ago, nuns found the bodies of 80 burned children in the forest. Very little is known about the murders and many question if the tale is true… All we know is that locals and tourists alike say they have seen eyes in the fog. Some even hear the sound of children laughing as they walk through the forest, claiming to see shadowy figures in the distance. The Sonian Forest might not be so scary during the day, but when the fog comes out this forest is definitely one of the scariest places to visit in Brussels.
8. La Crypte de Laeken
Cold and eerie, the crypts of Laeken are one of the oldest in Belgium. The Royal Crypt of Belgium is only a short stroll away, but we recommend the crypts of Laeken if you want a creepier atmosphere. It’s only recently that the crypts have been looked after - for 30 years this place was abandoned. There’s a small cemetery above, but we recommend the brave ones to take the steps down into its depths and head into the darkness.
Just over one hectare, the crypt has 3 main tunnels to explore, dating back to the 1800s. In 2017 the was place cleaned up, meaning it’s no longer covered in cobwebs like it once was. However the creepy atmosphere remains, and the darkness lingers in this haunting sight.
9. Salve Mater
🧭Bierbeek, Flemish Brabant
Salve Mater was once a psychiatric hospital for women run by the Sisters for Mercy. It has been abandoned since 1997, with the remains left to give a creepy vibe. Renovation has since taken place at Salve Mater, and already the hospital is starting to become family homes. We think it’s still worth an honourable mention here for its history.
The psychiatric hospital had a morgue, a chapel, and other unsettling décor. Dark arts: In 2007, photographer Pascal Baetens used the administration building as his office and gallery. Salve Mater is no longer abandoned, but pieces of its dark past remain. You can still wander the grounds. Even though some parts of the hospital are being restored, the more courageous urban explorers still enter inside.
10. Piscine de Bolso
🧭Hofstade, Flemish Brabant
Not your average pool party! While this swimming pool isn’t haunted, there’s definitely something off in the waters. Wander into the large and abandoned swimming centre of Piscine de Bolso to uncover one of the top urbex spots of Belgium. Just so long as you don’t mind the hair-raising atmosphere. Abandoned since 1997, this place is falling apart. The swimming centre is covered in broken glass, forgotten equipment, and haunting sights.
The best part of Piscine de Bolso is the part right next to the water, where part of the building is held up by pillars. The view from inside here is hauntingly beautiful. Even with the ceiling is falling apart, and moss is growing out of the ground. The view of Piscine de Bolso is definitely worth a look too - this place looks like a creepy level right out of a horror game.
11. Insane Cemetery
Feel the Halloween mood at the abandoned cemetery of a psychiatric hospital. 1,700 people died from 1920 into the 1980s, coming from the nearby mental asylum. All of the deceased were buried here. Many of the dead were men abandoned by their family and friends, forced to live out their remaining life hidden away from the rest of society. The cemetery is somewhat overgrown and surrounded by forest, describing how life and death go hand in hand here.
The Insane Cemetery of Lanaken has 1 unique feature - it is creepily well organised. Often, when you visit an old cemetery every grave has been placed wherever there is room. Order is eventually forgotten for the sake of properly honoring the dead as well as you can. Here, however, every grave is systematically organised, and most graves are neat crosses in orderly and uncanny rows. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think it was a strange and abandoned military cemetery.
That’s it for our list of Belgium's scariest places. If you’re spending Halloween in Belgium this year, let us know of any spooky spots that we can need to add to our map.
Please note that exploring abandoned buildings can be dangerous and not well-appreciated by the local police. But there are plenty of scary places to explore no matter your limits. Many of the scariest places in Belgium, like La Roche-en-Ardenne Castle, are open to the public everyday. You just need to know what to look for!
More haunted and frightful places around Europe...
This continent is filled with tragedy and a dark past - from tales of the Slender Man lurking in the Black Forest of Germany, to fearful abandoned monastery haunted by tortured nuns in the Netherlands, and castles that are to this day in the Czech Republic as eerie as their history. Check out our other scariest places outside of Belgium! ...Yet hauntingly still within reach.