International Spooks: Beelitz Heilstätten in Germany

Welcome to a new blog series where I discuss creepy, haunted places and cities across the world! This first international location of the series looks truly haunting but that’s what makes it so compelling: Beelitz, Heilstätten!

Beelitz Heilstätten is a district in the German town of Beelitz, where an abandoned hospital complex continues to decay and give off eerie vibes. Built in 1898, it has 60 buildings and was originally designed as a sanatorium, housing those with lung diseases like tuberculosis until 1930. In World War I, it served as a field hospital for those affected during battle, treating the infamous Adolf Hitler as he was blinded by gas and suffered a leg wound. The facility would later be used as a field hospital for Nazi Soldiers during World War II. It was then occupied by the Russians in 1945 until 1995 as a Soviet Military Hospital, treating Communist Party members and the despised head of the East German government (Erich Honecker).

While this place may be empty and vacant, it has a fair share of brutal, disturbing stories. (You’ve been warned) In 2008, a 20-year old model was beaten with a frying pan to death by a fetish photographer who then partook in necrophilia. The same man (named Wolfgang Schmidt, former police employee) murdered five women and a baby from 1989-91 and attempted to kill three more. He attacked one woman and left her seriously injured, as well as two twelve-year-olds in a knife attack. He sexually abused most of his victims.

Following the Soviet withdrawal, there were attempts to privatize the location, which was not entirely successful. Today, some parts remain operational for a neurological rehabilitation center and as a center for Parkinson’s research and care for those who suffer from it. The remaining areas remain abandoned (surgery, psychiatric ward, and rifle range). In 2015, a canopy pathway was utilized to enable viewing of each level without having to enter, though where’s the fun in that?

It attracts many tourists and explorers, and teenagers looking for a good scare. But many of the more attractive areas are (legally) inaccessible as many of them are securely fenced off. Tickets are available for the canopy pathway and tours are available but they apparently don’t show you much, although you can still explore without a ticket. But although some doors are wide open, basically inviting you in, always tread lightly as these places are in a ruined state.

The location was used in films The Pianist (2002), Valkyrie (2008), Men & Chicken (2015), and A Cure for Wellness (2016).

Although most of the place is in ruin, don’t let that ruin your adventure of Beelitz, Heilstätten!

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Disclaimer: The information above is a combination of prior knowledge and research. No works were plagiarized, only referenced as a source of information. While anyone is welcome to comment, I attempt to make this a positive and friendly community where we can share our experiences. Any derogatory or negative comment(s) will be deleted. As always, reader discretion is advised.

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