4 Abandoned Places That Will Send Chills Through You

From the bakery that produced bread for concentration camp victims to the decaying castle in Wales, here are just four of the eerie places we discover in the new series of Abandoned Engineering.

Vermok

THE NAZI BAKERY

Just north of Berlin, in the town of Oranienburg, there stands a ghostly, decaying wreck of a complex - a place of shattered tiles, skeletal stairwells and walls crumbling and caked in decades of grime. Its eeriness is appropriate, because this building once served as a bakery for the Third Reich. And its resident bakers were a group of prisoners brought in from the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Though its name isn't today as notorious as the likes of Auschwitz and Treblinka, Sachsenhausen was actually a key cog in the Nazi death machine - it was where the SS tested out the most "efficient" methods of mass slaughter. It was also where the Nazis hatched a bizarre plot to produce mountains of counterfeit pound notes and literally drop it over the skies of Britain to wreck the UK economy.

Today, though, it's the abandoned bakery that arouses the most fascination. Taken over by the Red Army after the fall of the Reich, and eventually left to rot, it's a disturbing monument to the days when victims of the Holocaust were forced to bake more than 40,000 loves of bread a day to feed other prisoners and SS officers alike.

THE NAZI BAKERY

Just north of Berlin, in the town of Oranienburg, there stands a ghostly, decaying wreck of a complex - a place of shattered tiles, skeletal stairwells and walls crumbling and caked in decades of grime. Its eeriness is appropriate, because this building once served as a bakery for the Third Reich. And its resident bakers were a group of prisoners brought in from the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Though its name isn't today as notorious as the likes of Auschwitz and Treblinka, Sachsenhausen was actually a key cog in the Nazi death machine - it was where the SS tested out the most "efficient" methods of mass slaughter. It was also where the Nazis hatched a bizarre plot to produce mountains of counterfeit pound notes and literally drop it over the skies of Britain to wreck the UK economy.

Today, though, it's the abandoned bakery that arouses the most fascination. Taken over by the Red Army after the fall of the Reich, and eventually left to rot, it's a disturbing monument to the days when victims of the Holocaust were forced to bake more than 40,000 loves of bread a day to feed other prisoners and SS officers alike.

THE ABANDONED LEPER ISLAND

Spinalonga looks like a typical, rugged island in Crete. The kind of place that might attract visitors looking for the perfect, sun-scorched Instagram photo of ornate old architecture, perhaps hashtagging the Venetian fortifications dating back hundreds of years. But, these days, people come to wander the neglected streets and ruined shells of old houses because of a fascination for the island's history as a leper colony.

It was in the early 20th Century that Spinalonga was re-purposed as a refuge for society's outcasts. Back then, leprosy still carried so much social stigma that sufferers had their assets seized and were forced to find solace in each other's company, on this small island. They were essentially left to their own devices, creating a ramshackle community that existed until 1957, when the leper colony was finally shut down after being deemed unfit for purpose.

For a long time afterwards, the former colony was airbrushed from history, because - as a local interviewee once told the BBC - "the state, seeking to erase the stain on their reputation, wanted to destroy all evidence of the leper colony". But then, in the 1980s, the secret history of the island became better known, and tourists began to arrive for that very reason. It's now one of the unlikeliest attractions in Greece - a ghost island reborn.

THE RAVAGED CASTLE

Wales has many castles dotting its landscape, but one of the most intriguing is actually a 19th Century folly, the fantastical brainchild of a wealthy businessman with the suitably lavish name of Lloyd Hesketh Bamford Hesketh. Named Gwrych Castle, it was built to resemble a picture-perfect medieval fortress, with immaculate turrets stretching out and countless rooms for the wealthy inhabitants to bask in.

The castle had a tumultuous time in the 20th Century, however. It was briefly housed hundreds of Jewish refugees during World War Two, and then became the backdrop for mock-medieval jousting tournaments and banquets. It was later purchased by a US businessman, but was neglected from the mid-80s onwards, becoming a literal shell of its former self.

Since then, there has been much talk of the castle being revamped, and work is currently under way on its refurbishment. That said, its dilapidated state is part of its appeal for lovers of history and amateur ghost hunters, with rumours that the section called the Countess' Tower is "paranormally active", and haunted by one of the castle's long-dead former owners.