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Lawang Sewu - A Historical Building With Eerie Image.

Updated on March 26, 2012
A House with  thousand doors and windows.
A House with thousand doors and windows. | Source
A mysterious hallway.
A mysterious hallway. | Source

Known as a haunted house

Lawang Sewu means Thousand Doors describing the building which has so many doors and windows although in fact those doors don't count until a thousand.

Lawang Sewu is a three-storied building which was built in 1904 by The Dutch Train Company -NIS (Nederlands- Indische Spoorweg Maatschappij) located in Semarang, the capital city of Central Java. After the country gets it independence, the building was then taken over by Indonesian Train Company (PT KAI), also used as office by The Command of Central Java Military Area, and office of Ministry of Transportation.

The local government has declared to preserve this building and make it as one cultural heritage of Central Java. Like other old buildings constructed by the Dutch many years ago, Lawang Sewu is dominated by white tones, has many hallways directing to different rooms with high ceilings and roof tops.

Prisons under main building.
Prisons under main building. | Source

Lawang Sewu and its surrounding areas were the scenes of some big independence wars during the nation's revolution. Some heroic wars took place and claimed many lives from both sides, the Indonesian patriots and the enemy soldiers.

The wars were even painful with the presence of torturing chambers on the basement of Lawang Sewu which becomes horrible evidence until now. History also records there were many lives gone at this place.

A room in Lawang Sewu.
A room in Lawang Sewu. | Source

People visiting the building will feel the coldness brought by breezes coming in through those windows and, combines with so many unoccupied rooms and very quiet surroundings, sense a spooky atmosphere in there .

Although I didn't witness any supernatural appearances during my visit to Lawang Sewu, except the sense of horror, but there are many testimonies about the presence spirits and ghosts around this antique building.

A scene at the basement. Visitors need to rent rubber boots to go inside.
A scene at the basement. Visitors need to rent rubber boots to go inside. | Source
The yard of Lawang Sewu seen from the 3rd floor.
The yard of Lawang Sewu seen from the 3rd floor. | Source
  • An appearance of a red-haired lady was accidentally shot when a TV channel made a program with the scenes of Lawang Sewu, which was believed the spirit of a dutch lady.
  • There is regular appearance of spirits in one of the rooms on third floor. If interested (and mentally strong) in seeing those spirits, visitors may ask the caretaker of the building to invite them to appear.
  • A sight of Dutch soldiers practice marching sometimes perceptible in the yard in front of the building (look at the last picture).

A beautiful glass painting inside Lawang Sewu.
A beautiful glass painting inside Lawang Sewu. | Source


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    • agusfanani profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Indonesia

      @Peggy W: All rooms at Lawang Sewu are not occupied, I guess people won't be comfortable renting a room at such an eerie place. Thank you very much for your visit Peggy .

      @Freya Cesare: I should thank you for being kind giving additional information and explanation. I always appreciate your visit to my hub.

      @Prasetio 30: You're always so kind. Thank you for reading and voting up this hub

      @Jamie Brock: If visiting curious place is your cup of tea, then you should visit this place. Let me know your idea after you make a visit. Thank you very much for reading, Jamie.

    • Jamie Brock profile image

      Jamie Brock 

      7 years ago from Texas

      I had never heard of this place before.. This place does look very, very creepy! I so wish I could visit there.. I love places like this! Thanks for sharing this.. great hub!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love something about mystery and I believe "Lawang Sewu" is one of the scariest place in Indonesia beside the historical things behind this building. Thanks for writing this. I give my vote to you. Cheers..... ~prasetio

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Thanks Freya Cesare for your explanation. Sometimes ghosts are actually an attraction to some places but I guess also can scare people away in other cases.

    • Freya Cesare profile image

      Freya Cesare 

      7 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

      Lawang Sewu is really famous with it ghost stories. I was around it once, and from the street that place seem really gloomy even in the daylight. But if they not live up the ghost stories, I think this place will be beautiful to be pre-wedding natural studio, just like Taman Sari.

      @Peggy W: Lawang Sewu totally empty and just open for viewing as an attraction. You see, many Indonesian very easy to be terrifying by Ghost stories. I think that is why nobody ever thinking about using Lawang Sewu as useful building. Such a waste if we considering about it's uniqueness and beauty, also the size of the place.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Lawang Sewu looks like a substantial building with interesting history...all except for the torture chamber. Are any of the rooms occupied and used or is it all empty and just open for viewing as an attraction?

      Thanks for introducing us to this place via your hub.

    • agusfanani profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Indonesia

      Thank you mulberry1, people say eeriness is the attraction of this place.

    • mulberry1 profile image

      Christine Mulberry 

      7 years ago

      I agree, it's pretty eerie inside!


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