Cologne is one of the oldest European cities with a colourful history. Compared to the age of the city the haunted mansion called “HausFühlingen”, located in the outskirts of Cologne is rather young. Built In 1884 on a 46.5000 square meter property by Eduard Freiherr von Oppenheim, the complex included a stud, a horse race track and a gigantic indoor riding ring.
Exactly in this area the battle of Worringen took place in the year 1288, including 5100 ironclad riders and 3900 soldiers entangled in a fierce fight. 1,100 died during this battle, 600 died from the wounds shortly after the battle, 700 widows moaned over the loss. 600 corpses were buried directly on the battlefield…
Sincethan the area was famous for the thick fog, covering the land in the morning hours.
Back to the Freiherr von Oppenheim who had no luck with his plans, he learned that the ground is not suitable for horse breeding, which caused a big financial loss for the Freiherr. He decided to get rid of the estate and sold it in 1907, the first person to have bad luck with it. In 1910 most of the estate was turned in to a gravel pit. The plan was to make a lot of money but this also resulted in a financial catastrophe for the new owners.
Between 1940 and 1944 the Nazis used the estate to house forced laborers. One of the forced laborers fell in love with the owners daughter, after the owner heard of this forbidden love, he battered the young man to death.
1946 after the war, a highly decorated Nazi judge bought the house, using a false identity. Soon the people in the village found out who the new neighbour really was, he cowardly shot himself in the second floor of the house to avoid punishment. In 1963 the city of Cologne bought the complete compound and the indoor riding ring and one wing of the house were demolished in 1967.
But, people lived in the house till the year 2000. Since the year 2000 two people committed suicide in the now abandoned house. What a great place to investigate and shoot photos! So we grabbed our LC-Wide and LC-A+ loaded them with the X-Pro Chrome and paying tribute to the aristocratic history of the area with the Lady Grey Black and White 400 film.
I am still shocked how good the pictures are, it was dawn and exposure time often exceeded 3 seconds. Have a close look, perhaps you see more than you should. Visiting ruins is fun but can also be illegal or even dangerous, so please take care and watch your steps, you never know what is lurking in the shadows…
Special thanks to Uwe Mimoun and Marco Offermanns for sharing this incredible article with creepy pictures to the Lomographic community. Read more horrifying articles right here on Lomography.com! You may also submit your hair-raising tales and photographs, head on to this month’s Requested Posts, take a look at our Guidelines for Submissions, and get Piggy Points while you’re at it!