It's All Hallow's Eve, a time to celebrate all things spooky and a little disturbing, to give others a scare and make light of humanity's uneasy relationship with death.
Some say that Halloween originated from Pagan harvest festivals, others that it is a Christian superstition to ward off evil spirits. Here at Internal Voices, it's an excuse to explore some weird and creepy abandoned places around Europe!
If you feel like a real scare this weekend, take a trip to the macabre l'école de médecine vétérinaire in Anderlecht. The school was moved to Liège and the building abandoned, but it remains standing beside a block of flats. It can be reached by train or bus, but is not for the faint-hearted. Genuine pickled animal specimens accompany the rows of old dusty medical books that adorn the crumbling corridors.
The village of Oradour-sur-Glane in Western France was once a sleepy provincial village until visited by occupying German SS officers in 1944. The villagers were massacred, leaving behind a ghost town. After the war a settlement was built nearby, but Charles de Gaulle ordered the ruins of the old village to remain standing as a stark reminder of the horrors and destruction of war.
Further off the beaten track, but immortalised in the folklore of writer Sir Walter Scott, is the Goblin Hall of Yester Castle in East Lothian, Scotland. Built by the reclusive Norman Knight Hugo de Giffard in the thirteenth century, it is said by locals that Sir Hugo was a necromancer who summoned a band of goblins to help with the construction. Built on top of a natural fault line where two rivers converge, the site is often visited by those who believe it still holds a supernatural force.
Lastly, and perhaps best known, is the abandoned city of Pripyat near Chernobyl in Northern Ukraine. Following the disaster at the Nuclear Power Plant in the former Soviet Union, the city of nearly fifty thousand was completely evacuated in two days. The eerie sight of fully furnished buildings, a crumbling swimming pool, and rusting ferris wheel of a long forgotten playground is open to the public, although some say that years of radiation have taken its toll on the wildlife, and mutated predators lie in wait of unsuspecting tourists...
Disclaimer: Internal Voices does not confirm the safety of any of these places, therefore please do visit at your own risk and stay safe out there!
Eddie McCafferty is currently an intern at UNRIC's UK and Ireland Desk, and Editor in Chief at Internal Voices
On Sunday 26 October the United Nations is celebrating its 69th birthday by hosting an event on the Grand Place of Brussels. Staff from 26 UN Brussels based agencies and a number of partners can be met during the day from 11:00 to 17:00. You’ll be able to gather information on the UN’s work, ask questions and participate in various activities for all ages. This edition of UNDAY will have a special focus on Green Cities, showcasing how everyone integrates the fight for sustainable development and against climate change within their daily work.
Programme of the day
• Discover a unique urban garden
• Try a ‘bug’ and learn about the sustainability of Insects as food
• Take part in workshops on how to recycle papers and plastic bags. We’ll even teach you how to turn any odd piece of paper into a windmill.
• Learn about safe ovens in harsh conditions
• Share the experience of an agricultural revitalization project in Swaziland
• Test your knowledge of do’s and don’ts when biking in Brussels
• Learn how to create your own sustainable purchasing group
• Get all the info to make your own worm composting kit
• Come closer and see what a refugee tent looks like
Be sure to visit the various information stands to learn more about what the UN and their partners do.
See also the map below!
Coming to live in Brussels is always a great and intense experience. Whether you are a professional or an intern at any of the several associations or institutions that are based here, you will be able to get the European vibe all over the city. Getting to meet dozens of people from different nationalities on a daily basis is something that doesn’t happen that often in other cities, but here it does. You might know that Place Lux on Thursdays is the place to be to do so.