THE ABANDONED GRAVEYARD IN BELGIUM
‘Krankzinnigenbegraafplaats Rekem’ is an old cemetery, hidden in the middle of a forrest in Rekem. It is owned by a close-by psychiatric hospital.
During 1921, this site was bought by a psychiatric hospital in Rekem to bury deceased patients. In these days a patient was held in the institution for his whole life and most of the time there was no contact with family.
The old hospital was initially housed in the 18th century Chateau Aspremont-Lynden. Before it was a psychiatric hospital, it was a military hospital and an asylum for the homeless. From 1891 until 1921 it was also used as a community home. The hospital moved in 1974 to a new building, not far from this cemetery.
In total 1750 people were buried on the old cemetery. To the north, on either side of the entrance, are two brick morgues. Most of the graves are nothing more than a concrete or iron cross with a small metal nameplate on it. In 1981 the last patient was buried here, after this date the deceased were buried in a public graveyard. Eventually the cemetery was handed over to the Forest Department of the Flemish Region and is part of the Hoge Kempen National Park.
I took these photos of the ‘Krankzinnigenbegraafplaats Rekem’ during my visit in 2012. Follow this link for more dark tourism locations.