These spooky apocalyptic images are not a scene from “Walking Dead”, they were actually taken at one of the biggest car cemeteries in the world – the Chatillion Car Graveyard, Belgium.Some of them dating all the way back to the forties in the middle of the second world war.
These cars once belonged to US soldiers who were stationed in this region. It’s not known how they managed to buy these cars in the middle of the war. When the war ended, all military troops were sent back to the US, but the cost of having all those cars shipped to the US was way too expensive. So they decided to leave all the cars in Belgium.
The cars were driven up a hill, one by one, parked and somehow hidden from the outside world. Later on local people added their own old cars.Today some of the cars are still there, making the location a spooky graveyard of old rusty cars. At one point there was not one but four car graveyards around the village of Chatillon with as many as 500 vehicles. The ones that remain today is only a fraction of the original amount of cars, mostly parts. A lot of cars and their parts were stolen by the locals and international car collectors.
It is fascinating to see how nature is trying to absorb the the rest of the cars and make them part of the landscape. Over time, corrosion and decay have worn down the vehicles making it a unique location for photographers and movie makers. In 2009 most of the cars were taken away in a attempt to clean the place up. In 2014 the location was used for a Belgian horror movie “Welp”, about a group of people getting lost in the woods and getting killed by a serial killer and his son who lived under the car graveyard.
Wreckage: The shell of a car sits rusting in the speckled light shining through the trees, in what has now become a popular attraction for tourists
Piece of history: The cars were parked in the middle of a forest near Chatillon, a small and ancient village in Southern Belgium
Abandoned: Many car parts have corroded or worn away over roughly 66 years since the soldiers left
Camouflage: The vehicles now blend into their surroundings because their bodywork has rusted and is covered with moss
Natural world: The cars sit in a forest of mainly oak and beech, which supports a large amount of wildlife
Waving goodbye: The exodus of American soldiers from Chatillon took pace on March 2, 1947, with the area still in chaos
Bruised and broken: Châtillon is situated in the deep south-eastern corner of Belgium, towards the port of Antwerp
Rich tapestry: Some of the cars in the fascinating cemetery were parked there by soldiers on tours at later dates
Treasure trove: The most attractive parts that have not rusted away have been stolen as souvenirs by locals and car collectors
Recyclable: Other parts of the cars have been taken to help fix similar vintage models, which can be expensive to revamp
Crumpled: Rows of cars stand in orderly fashion between the trees in the atmospheric wood
Standing firm: Years of debris has built up around the cars and vegetation grows around them
Back to the earth: The collapsing cars seem to be becoming part of the natural environment againThe ranking officers decided to leave all army cars behind, with the hope of being able to transport them home at a later date.The motors were driven up a hill and parked in a quiet spot, hidden from the outside world.