The Chatillon Car Graveyard was a haunting sight with lines of abandoned cars sitting in an overgrown forest.
The branches and vines of surrounding foliage had grown down into the cars, twisting around the rusted, broken down metal. The cars left here resembled skeletons of the shinny toys they once were.
The eerie part is that the cars appeared to have been left behind in a hurry. The cars sat for so long, nature took over, causing moss to grow like a new style paint job from doors and bumpers.
As creepy as The Chatillon Car Graveyard appeared, the true story behind the car cemetery’s origin makes it all the more intriguing. In fact, the real story behind these abandoned cars remain a complete mystery.
That’s not to say there are not stories that tell of the car graveyards earliest days. One legend claims that the sea of rusted, dented, and bashed up automobiles once belonged to US Soldiers.
After finishing up the end of World War II overseas, it was time for them to come home. While they were joyfully packing up to leave, the soldiers realized that they could not bring their vehicles back home.
The small village of Chatillon seemed like the perfect place to hide their vehicles, up a hill and hidden away among the trees.
Legend has it; the soldiers never meant to leave their cars behind forever, they had plans to return and retrieve their vehicles when they had the chance.
Chatillon is a located in Southern Belgium. Here, in this small town, locals disagree with the story about US Soldiers leaving behind their vehicles.
Instead, they say that the cars were parked there just like the cars in any regular-old junkyard.
If you want proof, they will tell you that cars in the graveyard were not made until post-World War II. While this fact can’t be argued, the romantic history associated with the World War II soldiers story is still very intriguing.
You never know, some of the cars left behind in this forest might be from soldiers happily going home to their loved ones.
Other cars might have just followed suit, collecting here until—just like any cemetery—the ghosts of vastly different stories surrounded the Chatillon Car Graveyard.
Before 2010, many vintage cars were left abandoned in the forests of Belgium. There were 4 separate car graveyards, housing as many as 500 retro vehicles. The Chatillon Car Graveyard was amongst the most popular and well-known spot.
Here, it looked as if a traffic-jam ended in an apocalyptic-sized problem, causing hundreds to flee their vehicles.
The cars rotting at the center of Belgium’s gorgeous forests have now been removed, mostly for environmental reasons but some stolen by thieves.
Before the car graveyards were scheduled for removal, Urbex Photography shot images of the unique scene.
Urbex stands for “Urban Exploration.” The team frequently travels to enchantingly isolated locations, where they take some super stellar pictures.
Urbex has a slogan for nature enthusiasts, or anyone that ever goes outside: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”
Since you can no longer see the Chatillon Graveyard with your own eyes, it’s a good thing Urbex and photographer Rosanne de Lange, Marcel Wiegerinck, and Theo van Vliet took numerous images of the car graveyard before it was truly laid to rest.
Today these eerily beautiful photographs are all that remains of the mysterious stories surrounding the Chatillon Car Graveyard.