Abandoned Places That Look Haunted: Chateau Miranda (Belgium)
I love abandoned places, especially castles. One of my lesser-known hobbies is to browse the internet for abandoned places, be it theme parks, houses, even islands, and browse through pictures taken by urbexers. Urbexing, for those unfamiliar with the terms, means exploring abandoned urban areas, generally considered off-limits. I’ve always wanted to go urbexing, to feel the thrill of exploring houses and areas long abandoned. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find an accomplice yet who is daring enough for said adventure, but here’s hoping.
Although I haven’t seen it in real life yet, one of the most haunting abandoned places I could find is here, in my very own country, Belgium. It’s called Chateau Miranda, or Chateau de Noisy, and it’s located in the Ardennes. The castle is beautiful – no other way to describe it. At least, it once was beautiful. Now it’s in a state of disrepair, and the castle lies abandoned.
Just looking at that picture gives me the chills. This castle is any horror author’s dream – just imagine yourself writing horror novels in one off the countless rooms of this gigantic castle. Well, you’d probably need tons of cash to restore it first though.
The castle was built by Count Liedekerke-Beaufort and his family. They fled from their home, Chateau de Vêves, to a farm on the outskirts of a village, back in 1792, during the French Revolution. In 1886, the family hired Edward Milner, an English architect to build a castle for them on the land they’d lived on during the revolution. Built in Neo-Gothic style, the castle was a magnificent building with dozens of windows, and a 183 feet tall bell tower. The castle was completed in 1907. The family called it Chateau Miranda and used it as a summer residence.
Unfortunately, the family didn’t get to enjoy the castle for long. In World War II, it was briefly occupied by the German troops, and in the 1950s, the National Railroad company took over the castle, and used it as a ‘holiday camp’ for children. Most children sent there were ill, so one should take the terms ‘holiday camp’ lightly. The castle was renamed Chateau de Noisy during that time.
While there are little records for it, the use of the castle as a camp for ill children, may also lead one to believe some children must’ve died there from the illness they suffered from. So the potential for ghost children in this creeptastic building is very high. Again, a horror author’s dream, if you ask me.
In the 1990s, the owners looked for investors to turn the castle into a hotel. Unfortunately, no investors turned up, and the castle was abandoned in 1991. Now it’s the dream location for any urbexer, and several urbexers have visited the castle already, and took amazing pictures of the outside and inside of the derelict property.
The castle is amazing. It’s one of the last Neo-Gothic castles we have left in Belgium. At present, it’s a ghost hunter’s dream. If this place isn’t haunted, then it sure looks like it, and at least that’s counting for something. But on the other hand, if someone came up with the funds to restore this castle, it could be transformed into a beautiful hotel. Or you could use to shoot a horror movie. Or turn it into a museum. Or have ghost tours through the castle. This place has so many possibilities, it’s astonishing no one bothered to give it a try yet.
However, as it stands now, there’s not much interest in preserving the castle. In fact, the owners want to demolish it, rather than sell it. The Belgian government has made no effort to save the property either, so chances are high it’ll be demolished in a few years. If you still want to see the castle, this might be one of your last chances.
And if you’re starting to get inspired, this is how the castle once looked (and could look like again):