The Animal Remains of Anderlecht’s Creepy Abandoned Veterinary School

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Image: © Stefaan Beernaert

The building’s forbidding Neo-Renaissance façade alone might be enough to deter some visitors, and once inside, creepy deserted corridors and a crumbling lecture theater beckon. That’s not the half of it though. Descend into the bowels of this place, and the horrors really begin. “The head of a calf joined with the leg of a cat,” was a sight reported by one explorer. “The lung of a sheep beside the brain of a bear, imprisoned behind half a centimeter of delicate glass.”


Image: © Stefaan Beernaert

The site is known as the “Horror Labs”, and it’s a name it lives up to. Shelves are lined with jar upon jar of animals – or at least their organs and other body parts. Some of these are recognizable, others just mysterious and grotesque – particularly when different creatures’ remains have become bedfellows in death. It really is like a scene from a horror movie. At any moment, you might expect to see a deranged scientist leap out of the darkness to punish you for invading his secret laboratory. The punishment? Let’s not go there.

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Image: © Stefaan Beernaert

Before you can even begin to absorb and process the sights in this strange and macabre place, another of your senses is assaulted. The smell is almost overwhelming. It’s the sickly sour chemical odor you might remember from school science labs: formaldehyde. The fumes are so strong in this unventilated basement that other explorers have had to leave – forced out by the irritating reaction the chemical had on their skin.

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