top of page

Lawang Sewu: Most Haunted Place of Indonesia, Reputed as Home to Unhappy Dead Ghosts!

Lawang Sewu: Most Haunted Place of Indonesia, Reputed as Home to Unhappy Dead Souls!

Antique and abandoned buildings surely have a creepy vibe around them. When it comes to an ancient building, many of us imagine Victorian portraits and dust swirling around the place. Many of these places have a tendency to inspire many stories, especially myths and legends and the haunted tales of its origin. One such building is the Lawang Sewu.


In the Javanese language, Lawang Sewu is translated and means “a thousand doors”. While the building does not really have a thousand doors. The three-storeyed massive structure had been lined with numerous windows and doors, resembling doors, which gave the building its name. This is not simply a structure that has been deserted for several years, rather it represents an icon of history and heroism.

The Lawang Sewu, located in Semarang is a haunted building located in Indonesia. It was used as a military headquarters during World War II. The large and mysterious building is simply not a deserted structure but rather a place where many soldiers lost their lives.

This building became a scene for the bloody Battle of Semarang, where many soldiers were tortured and killed. Since then, this place has served as a house for many vengeful spirits.

The construction of the main building began on February 27, 1904. It was completed in July 1907, while the additional buildings were built in 1916 and were completed in 1918.

The structure consists of two colonial buildings that once represented the headquarters of the Indonesian railways during the Dutch era. The structures were sparsely used and occasionally exhibits most of the railway system on view. However, the empty corridors where the clerks and engineers worked have their own interest with modern features including stained glasses and a marble staircase.

Wondering the illuminating buildings at night, there is a sense of history and a chill rising from the front door to the unlit basement. During the Second World War, from 1942-1945, the Japanese occupied the building and used the dungeons for interrogation. In 1945, the building served as the DKARI (Djawat Kereta Api of the Republic of Indonesia) and the very next year in 1946, it served as the headquarters of the Dutch army.

Popularly known as the building of a thousand doors, on the account of many sections and windows shaped as doors, this building is a place of anguish and grief. Though it was built for the Dutch East India Company, it was soon invaded by the Japanese, who turned the basement of the building block two, into prison for executing prisoners.

Lawang sewu Ghost:

The Japanese people would torture and hang people from the iron beams under the ceiling. It is said that this place is frequented by many ghosts, many of them grief-ridden, and are said to haunt anyone who stands underneath these beams. Hence, guides often tell the tourists to stick together in fear of one of them wandering too far or falling into a trap, laid down by the very same ghosts.

What is even scarier is the guides offer all its tourists a ritual by which they can see ghosts, although there is no way to reverse the ritual. Many of the tourists have often reported being creeped out by this offer. After all, who would want to live in the constant horror of seeing dead people?

Many of the locals refuse to enter this house in fear of having a ghost attached to them. They warn all those who wish to visit this building, however, this has never deterred the visitors.

Visitors are made to wear rubber boots since the basement is filled with water. The basements were used as a detention centre by the Japanese to capture and torture people. They would execute people by beheading them in the basements and letting their blood flow down the drains.

All visitors have reported hearing pained cries and anguished screams coming from the basement. All of them were left shaken by this incident. Also, the basement contains a small door, which led to a small concrete floor. Here the Japanese would club six prisoners together and then fill the room with water, leaving the prisoners to drown. The survivors would have their heads cut off.

The Japanese were quite brutal with their prisoners, as a result of which, many of their victims continue to linger around the building, searching for their peace.

The basement also contains a row of alcoves, which were used as a standing prison. Twelve prisoners would be forced to stand in the small, cramped area. Many of them had reportedly turned mad as a result of being trapped in a small enclosure.

It is unimaginable, how a human mind could conjure such inhuman punishments. It is indeed, not shocking that many ghosts still loiter around, seeking revenge for their twisted murders. All the deaths and murders that have been witnessed by this building continue to send chills down everyone's spine. All of them have been spooked by the horrific and tragic treatment of the soldiers.


People often visit this building as if it were a ghost carnival. Many shows and entertainment channels have been filmed here. Many shows even offer rewards to anyone who manages to survive the alleged horrors of the building.

However, this does not change the fact, that no myth or legends can truly erase all the horrors that have taken place within the walls of this building. Many have witnessed ghost sightings, especially near the basement, waiting to greet the guests with their horrific past.

In recent times, the government has pledged to convert the building into a cultural center. However, these changes won't matter, because nothing can change the past. The building will continue to harbor its gruesome history. The horror of wars and the sadistic human mind has created these horrific memories that will forever taint the walls of the building red.

Plan a Horror Night Next Time & Share the Stories Among Friends!


Be the First to Expand Your
Intellectual Horizon!

bottom of page