In search of abandoned buildings for a Lomo session, I came across the Schöning Villa in nearby Vlotho. During my research on this mansion I have, in addition to the history of the villa, also came across another name – “House of Pain”. On a sunny Sunday, Evalina and I made our way to explore the “horror” villa.
History of the Schöning Villa
In 1898/99 the Herford architect Köster built a villa on the slopes of Mount Amtshaus for cigar factory owner William Schöning. The villa has a beautiful view of the Weser River. When William Schöning died in 1924, his son Julius, inherited and updated the parental mansion in1925/26. Until the war ended in 1945 the family lived in the villa. But the invading Americans seized the mansion and then members of the British Red Cross lived there until 1950.
Julius Schöning sold the property to the district of Herford in 1952. After structural modifications, the villa was home to the assisted living home called “Schönblick” under the sponsorship of the Worker’s Welfare Organization.
After several changes of the institution and negative publicity over the last operator of the center, the operation was abandoned in 1982. In 1988, a resident of Berlin bought the villa in order to use it as a retirement home. Trying to maintain the villa, it fell victim to vandalism. For this reason, the Berliner quickly rejected the plan and Villa Schöning has been empty since then.
There are many ghost and horror stories about the Schöning Villa. The walls of the villa for example, children are said to have been walled up in them. Some people report that they felt being observed by children’s eyes in the villa. There are also rumors that Satanists, until recently, held black masses in the villa.
The villa is now a dangerous place, because the house is destroyed beyond repair. Everywhere, collapsed ceilings, graffiti and dilapidated walls. You have to be very careful and watch where you tread. To keep it simple, we entered the villa just at the entrance. Anyway I can recommend the villa as a Lomo location. Here you can take beautiful photos and also the creepy atmosphere draws one into its spell.