To be honest, until about 3 years ago, we had never heard about The Devil’s Nightmare, although I do know a thing or two about horror movies. But our good friend – and part – time collaborator – Vanessa Morgan had and moreover, she also discovered that we could actually visit the castle where it had been made.
The Devil’s Nightmare (1971) is a Belgian/Italian horror movie, with a quite simple plot: 7 travelers – on a bus tour somewhere in Europe – get stranded in a castle, where a helper from Satan himself starts killing them off. The movie is known under a handful of other titles and has an intriguingly spooky atmosphere. On my movie website, I will shortly write a more detailed review about it.
For quite some time, you could find the complete movie on YouTube – which is how I actually watched it (!) – but when I did the research for The Devil’s Nightmare, I could not find it anymore on their website. However, the trailer will give you some idea:
The Château d’Antoing is located in the small town of Antoing, in the province of Hainaut. Although Lars and I had been travelling extensively in Belgium for 8 – 9 years – and pretty much the rest of Europe, for that matter, we had somehow ignored this southwestern part of Belgium. In other words, thanks to a horror movie, Lars and I could see a part of my country that was relatively unknown to us.
About a dozen of us followed the guide a sunny Sunday afternoon in July 2017. The first thing she pointed out to us was that on the domain there used to be a Jesuit school; one of its most famous students was Charles de Gaulle, who attended college from 1907 to 1908. During the first World War, the building was used as a German hospital.
Although most of the castle was constructed between the 13th and 15th century, the oldest parts date from the 10th century. The fortifications around the castle were very impressive.
The castle was then redesigned in the 19th century in the Neo – Gothic style.
Next, we visited a small chapel on the grounds. You can briefly see it towards the end of the movie.
A final look at the grounds and then we entered the castle.
The Château d’Antoing has been in the hands of 3 families: Antoing, Melun, and Ligne. The Prince de Ligne, who belongs to one of the oldest families in Belgium, is its current inhabitant.
The parts of the castle where the current family lives, are – as you can imagine – not open to the public. Nevertheless, we did recognise parts of the interior from the movie.
I certainly recognised this spot, because one of the characters in the movie is murdered here.
You can only visit the Château d’Antoing with a guided tour, which takes about 2 hours and is only in French. Find out more about it here.
As you can imagine, I took dozens of pictures during our visit. Later this week, I will publish more of them on our sister website, The Cosy Traveler. Coming up on this website in the next days is the least tourist region of Belgium.