Mechelen, Belgium – 2009 till 2011
Paranormal Research Europe was the first Ghosthunting group to be legally allowed in ‘Het Fort van Walem’ (Fortess of Walem) with a lot of help from the current owner. Letters have been sent to the Belgian Defense and to the Royal Family of Belgium to gain access to this location.
First, let’s start with a little history of ‘Het Fort van Walem’, to get a better picture of this unique and impressive location.
‘Het Fort van Walem’ is an old fort that was built between 1878 and 1893.
It was part of the second fortress belt around Antwerp. Together with fifteen other forts, it was built on the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp track and its purpose was to make the city impregnable. To archieve this, a rampart was built around the City of Antwerp in the period from 1859 to 1865 as well as a first fortress belt at 3.5 km from this fortification. This was to protect the city against bombing and to protect it from occupation.
Around 1885 new projectiles were manufactured, making it obligatory to reinforce the brick forts (such as Walem) into an armored fort, because the vaults were no longer bombproof. That is why a layer of reinforced concrete with a thickness of approx. 2.5m was laid over the brick buildings. Armored domes were also placed for the 150mm guns. It was assumed that the forts were now resistant to projectiles up to 270mm, like the heaviest French guns of the time. Changes to ‘Het Fort van Walem’ were completed in 1912.
A terrible episode from the First World War, would be the heroic defense of ‘Het Fort van Walem’.
On September 28, 1914, the advancing Germans began firing ‘Het Fort van Walem’ with heavy artillery. The shelling was led from the Sint-Rombout tower and caused major destruction. The shelling continued continuously until October 2nd of that year and the fort suffered major damage. Only 180 of the 500 Belgian defenders survived these attacks. Seventy Soldiers were reported to have died, after being hit by a “fat Bertha” hit a powder magazine and are still buried beneath the rubble. Management of the fort surrendered on October 2nd. The Germans then seized the fort and a legend was born.
A huge monument was erected with the debris of the fort in 1930. After the war, the fort was adjusted and improvements were made. It was also made gas-proof. Huge amounts of gas masks can still be found today.
From 1953 the Civil Protection moved into the fort and from 1964 this location was even the national command post until 1993.
Today the fort is owned by ‘Natuurpunt’. Nature and heritage go hand in hand.
We have experienced some very strange things at this location.
For example; We’ve taken thousands of photos and we have many video and audio recordings.
If it’s “haunted” somewhere in and around a fort, then that would be ‘Het the Fort Van Walem’ for sure! Here it’s very active on a paranormal level.
Mario has come across a friendship between ghosts, consisting of a Belgian soldier, a French soldier (both from the early 1900s), a German soldier from 1945 and an asylum seeker from the 90’s.
An extremely exceptional friendship! He also brought this friendship to the attention of Barry Fitzgerald from Ghost Hunters International, who had never encountered this in his career.
After our visit on September 12, 2009, a media hype was created around this location.
For days on end, Vasco was called crazy by various media who wanted to create an article about this, after this research was put on the ANP.
We have not been there since our last visit in 2011, because Natuurpunt probably was done with all the media attention. Unfortunately, you therefore will no longer receive permission to enter this fort.