This article will be taking a look at the paranormal activity linked to the Beelitz Heilstatten hospital in Brandenburg, Germany. Originally built to accommodate the growing number of tuberculosis patients then converted into a military hospital for the Imperial German Army, then the soviet army…
What spirits remain behind it’s dark walls?
Let’s take a closer look…
The Historic Town of Beelitz
The small town of Beelitz multiplied in numbers around the 1247 mark due to a historic ‘miracle’ taking place in the Saint Mary and Saint Nicholas Parish Church. At some time in this period locals reported a bleeding host miracle, which resulted in the then very small community become a site of pilgrimage.
Towards the end of the 1800’s, there was a lot of people in and around Beelitz, resulting in a sharp increase in viruses and disease. Unfortunately, tuberculosis was top of this list.
In 1898 architect Heino Schmieden was commissioned to create plans for a brand new sanatorium for the area – somewhere to safely quarantine the already sick members of the community.
When the First World War broke out the sanatorium/hospital was quickly converted into a medical facility for the Imperial German Army. A young injured soldier by the name of Adolf Hitler was rumored to have ended up there!
Towards the end of World War Two the Red Army occupied the hospital and it was still used by the Russians up until 1995, when the building was converted once again, to accommodate sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease.
Some parts of the property are still used for medical purposes, others are privately owned…and the remaining buildings are left abandoned and in ruin.
Understandably, there have been a lot of deaths in the Beelitz Heilstatten hospital over the centuries. Many historical reports suggest that most early patients there struggled to reach the five year mark…before passing away.
In the early 1900’s, locals point to a serial killer being present in the area. Apparently he/she used the hospital grounds as a ‘killing room’ of sorts.
Another murder took place on the site in 2008. A young professional photographer managed to hire the services of a beautiful model and drive her out to the Beelitz Heilstatten grounds.
He then proceeded to beat her death in the hospital’s former gatehouse…and perform twisted acts of necrophilia.
The Famous Beelitz Heilstatten Ghost Report
A couple of decades back, a German teenager and four of her friends decided to visit the abandoned parts of the hospital for a bit of a dare. The buildings were locked up but the teenagers managed to get inside.
While they were in one of the old surgeries, she heard someone asking her for a scalpel in German. She thought it was one of her friends so she turned around to see which one was winding her up…she was the only one in the room!
Suddenly she heard her mates yelling out her name, and when she found them they too had a curious story to tell…
Her friends insist that it had been a full half an hour since they had visited the original surgery – they had then gone off and visited other rooms before noticing that she had disappeared.
The curious thing is her friends swore she had been with them right up to the moment they started to call her name.
So, the young girl had actually been alone in that surgery for over thirty minutes…but to her it felt like a matter of seconds…
If you have any thoughts or opinions on the subject we have covered here today, please leave them in the comment section below.
Are there ghosts at Auschwitz? Many have tried to answer this question without coming to a definitive conclusion.
Perhaps because of the truly wicked and depraved acts that were perpetrated in the death camps as part of the Nazi’s final solution, a thorough investigation into the paranormal has never been performed.
If ghosts linger where there has been emotional turmoil, tragedy and misery then surely they exist at Auschwitz.
The only evidence that we have to base our opinion on is the evidence of the thousands of visitors who make the pilgrimage to Auschwitz every day, visitors who leave deeply affected by what they have seen, heard and felt.
Auschwitz: A Brief History
Auschwitz was a series of concentration camps set up in Poland in 1940, to house political prisoners. Named after a nearby town, its title now resonates with a different meaning and fills most who hear it with horror.
By 1941 the camps had become part of Hitler’s final solution to the Jewish question. Jews, Russians, political prisoners, homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Romani were sent to the camps for extermination.
Stripped of clothes, belongings, even the fillings in their teeth, the weak were sent to the gas chambers and thrown into mass graves.
Those that were stronger did not survive long. Forced to work in freezing conditions, starved, suffering from infectious diseases, their life expectancy was only three months.
Atrocity after atrocity was committed until it was difficult to imagine what else could be done to these poor people.
The Nazis unfortunately were more imaginative and began to perform the most horrific experiments on those that entered the camps. With a massive pool of siblings and twins to operate upon, the evil Dr Mengele began performing surgery on children and adults without any concern for their welfare.
Few escaped the camps, but those who did informed the Allied forces of their conditions. Sadly, they were not believed. The Allies refused to bomb the camps.
It was not until the end of the war when they were liberated by British and American troops that the truth was revealed and the world hung its head in sorrow and shame.
At the end of the war most of the concentration camps were destroyed. Auschwitz I and II remained intact, however.
Many felt that to obliterate the camps completely was to obliterate the memory of something which should never be forgotten.
Today the camps are a tribute to those who died and are visited by thousands every year. Many of these people are profoundly moved, whether it is the enormity of history that moves them or the throngs of souls lost, it is hard to say.
The sadness of Auschwitz is often described as overwhelming. Both men, women and often teenage children who may know little of the camp’s history describe a palpable sorrow as you walk through its gates.
Ironically, the legend inscribed over the gates Arbeit Macht Frei means work sets you free, surely a final insult.
The camp itself is now characterized by an eerie silence, few people speak but listen intently to the information guides as they move around the camp.
The gas chambers are now sealed with concrete and the displays kept simple, but there is much to see and shock.
Often in tears, many have reported feeling tiny ghostly hands slip into theirs as they stop to look at the heaps of shoes taken from prisoners, a young girl’s fancy sandal and a baby’s tiny first shoes peeping from the pile.
Others have reported that their cameras jammed as they tried to photograph the mountain of human hair shaved from people entering the camp.
Orbs and strange shapes have been recorded dancing about the mangled mounds of broken spectacles and redundant, battered suitcases.
Voices have been heard pleading for help and assistance as visitors have walked through the simple numbered bunk beds where so many sought refuge from their misery in sleep.
Others have felt themselves touched gently by imploring fingers as they moved through the camp.
Irma Grese: The Beautiful Beast
Irma Grese is perhaps the most infamous and notorious guard that came out of Auschwitz. If ever there was proof that evil could exist within beauty, she was surely it.
Born in Germany in 1923 she had quite an unhappy life. Bullied by her schoolmates and left with a feeling of abandonment when her mother committed suicide, she became fascinated by the Nazi Female Youth.
In 1940 she was stationed at her first concentration camp. When her father could not dissuade her from taking up this role, he disowned her.
It was clear then that she had a moral compass in her life but chose to ignore it. In 1943 she was sent to Auschwitz where her career flourished.
Placed in charge of the 30,000 female Jewish prisoners, it was she who decided who was sent to the gas chambers and who survived, starving and degraded in the misery of the camp.
In 1945 she was sent to Bergen- Belsen .Soon after the war ended and she was arrested. As the world’s eyes were opened to the atrocities within the extermination camps a voice was finally given to the victims.
Grese was described as ‘the beautiful beast’ by those who testified against her at her trial. Her story was one of cruelty, murder and torture.
Rumored to be the lover of the camp commander at Auschwitz and the evil Dr. Mengele, she indulged in sexual excess.
Holding the Jewish people in utter contempt she is said to have owned a light shade made of the human skin of her victims.
At her trial Grese was found guilty of her crimes, despite protesting that she was only carrying out orders. Controversy surrounds her execution, some reports suggest that she was hanged by the British hangman Pierrepoint, others give a different story.
Perhaps blinded by her beauty a number of people refused to hang Grese. In the end a Jewish hangman Lutzheim volunteered.
Contemptuous of the Jewish people until the bitter end, Grese swore that if he touched her she would return to haunt those who sentenced her to death.
In 1948 she was first spotted wandering near the gas chambers in Auschwitz. Ironically her ghost did not return to haunt those who hung her, but to wander around the camp where she once flouted her power and caused so much suffering.
Are there ghosts in Auschwitz? Certainly many people who visit the death camps today have reported unexplained phenomenon.
Considered to be a war grave, many feel that a thorough paranormal investigation of Auschwitz would be inappropriate until the wounds of the past are fully healed.
If you accept that ghosts exist where there has been great emotional turmoil, suffering and tragedy, then surely they must exist in Auschwitz.
How awful it is though, to imagine that these poor tortured souls remain tied to a place where they endured so much. How ironic also, that the only full apparition witnessed at Auschwitz is that of the beautiful beast, Irma Grese.
One can only hope.
Do we really need proof of ghostly presences at Auschwitz though to know that the souls of so many live on?
Perhaps the legacy of this awful place where man’s inhumanity to man was laid bare for the world to see, is that so many people who visit Auschwitz today, leave truly haunted by what they have experienced.
Bavaria 1921 and the end of a long cold winter. Who could possibly know then, that a small farm seventy kilometres from Munich and close to the small hamlet of Kaifeck, was about to provide Germany with one of its most enduring mysteries?
Almost a century later and the events of Friday 31st March still baffle amateur sleuths and paranormal investigators.
The Hintercaifeck mystery remains unsolved, posing far more questions than answers. Intriguing and puzzling, it provides the German police with a most frustrating cold case.
Hintercaifeck Farm was a small farm a short distance from the hamlet of Kaifeck. Backing onto a forest, the farm was relatively isolated.
Although it was small, the farm was successful and the occupants, although not rich, were certainly comfortably off.
The owner of the farm Andreas Gruber, lived there with his wife Cazilla, his widowed daughter ViktoriaGabriel and her children Cazilla who was 7 and Josef 2.
On the 31st March, Maria Baumgarten, a very unlucky lady, arrived to replace the Grubers’ maid who had left six months before. The cast of this mystery was complete and the scene was set for a very gruesome murder to take place.
Murder in The Barn
Sometime during the evening of Friday 31st March, the first two victims of this shocking crime, Viktoria Gabriel and her daughter Cazilla, were lured into the barn of the farm and attacked.
Possibly returning a cow to its stall and still wearing their day clothes, they entered the barn and met their deaths. Both mother and child had been partially strangled before being attacked with a pick axe.
The poor child did not die immediately and was found clutching clumps of her own hair which she had pulled out herself.
Sometime later that evening Andreas Gruber and his wife Cazilla entered the barn in their night clothes and were also killed. Their attacker then entered the house and murdered the small child Josef and the maid Maria, as they slept in their beds.
One of the most fascinating aspects to this case is the strange series of events which preceded the murders. The Grubers had been without a maid for six months before the unfortunate Maria arrived to meet her fate.
The previous maid had fled, convinced that Hintercaifeck Farm was haunted by a malevolent spirit who moved around the attic. Clearly nobody had warned the unfortunate Maria before she took up the post.
A few days before the murders Andreas Gruber had been disturbed by footsteps in the snow outside his home. The footsteps emerged from the nearby forest and led to his door, they then ended abruptly.
There were no visitors to the farm and the footprints did not belong to any of the occupants. A search of the farm revealed nothing. That evening Gruber heard noises from the attic above, again a search revealed nothing.
Over the next few days attempts were made to break into a shed on the property, a strange newspaper was found in the doorway of the house and a set of keys to the farm disappeared. Gruber was concerned enough to discuss it with his neighbors.
By the 4th April 1921, the absence of the family was raising concern and a group of neighbors arrived at the farm to investigate. What they discovered adds another bizarre twist to this story.
The animals on the farm had been tended to and were well fed, despite almost five days passing since the murders. There was food on the table in the house and a fire had been lit.
The murderer clearly felt confident enough to stay around for a few days, without being discovered. The bodies in the barn had been neatly stacked and covered with hay, Maria the maid was covered with a sheet and the toddler Josef, with one of his mother’s skirts.
Over 100 people were interviewed by Munich police determined to crack the case and solve the murder. Robbery was clearly not a motive as jewelry and coins were found in the house and would have been easily discovered.
Eventually, frustrated by the lack of progress, the police took the decision to decapitate the bodies of the poor victims, sending their heads to Munich to be examined by clairvoyants for clues.
They could offer no answers. The cold case was reopened in 1996 by police and again in 2007.
The final conclusion was that the original investigative techniques were too primitive and that too much time had passed to solve the case. They did state though that there was a prime suspect for the murders, but refused to release the name out of defence to the suspect’s family.
Viktoria Gabriel was widowed almost seven years before the murders took place, yet she had a two year old son, Josef. Viktoria was insistent that the father of her son was a local man Lorenz Schlittenbauer.
He denied that he was the father of the child and in turn accused Andreas Gruber of incest with his daughter. Viktoria was in the process of suing Schlittenbauer for alimony when she was murdered.
Was this Schlittenbauer’s way of avoiding alimony?
One of the first neighbors to discover the bodies, others remarked at his coldness when seeing them for the first time. Indeed, he busied himself feeding the animals and preparing himself food while they waited for the police to arrive.
Another theory suggests that Viktoria’s husband was not killed during the First World War as previously thought and incensed to discover she had a child by another man, resorted to murder.
Although there is no grave for Karl Gabriel, other soldiers testified that they had seen him die on the battle field.
Viktoria had drawn her life savings out of the bank a few weeks earlier and borrowed a sum of money from a friend in order to buy a farm. She later left this sum of money in the confessional of the local church, clearly her plans had changed.
Falling asleep in school one day, the child Cazilla told her teacher that she was tired because her mother had run sobbing into the forest the night before and the family had been up late searching for her.
Had Viktoria begun a secret relationship that had gone wrong?
Was it coincidence that Maria Baumgarten arrived on the very day of the murders?
The Grubers had found it difficult to fill the post. Did Maria take the post because she was in trouble desperately trying to escape from someone or something who discovered her destination?
Or is there indeed a supernatural explanation for the murders of this poor family. Was the Gruber’s first maid correct when she said the farm was haunted by a malevolent spirit?
The Hintercaifeck mystery is unlikely to be solved today. Lovers, husbands or the supernatural , you decide. One thing is for sure though, almost a century has passed and the answers lie hidden in the dim and distant past .