There are a few air raid shelters from the World War II era that you can visit in Berlin when you get the timing right, but the only permanently open shelter you can visit is the Gruselkabinett. Visiting a German air raid shelter is strange enough in its own right, but considering how they’ve tricked out the three stories of this museum are a wonderful combination of the bizarre and the downright scary. Built in 1943, the 3,600 square feet of the Gruselkabinett were intended to accommodate up to 12,000 people during an Allied attack.
Today, however, they provide you with some bone-chilling fun that involves amputations and workers that try to scare the bejeezus out of you. But hey, look at the bright side… you can schedule your child’s birthday party there too!
Let’s Talk About the Chamber of Horrors…
A Nazi-era air raid shelter brings about its own images of horrors, of course, but the Gruselkabinett has designed specific horrors to engage each visitor. In fact, there’s a disclaimer on the website that says the bunker isn’t suitable for children… but they’ll let in anyone who dares to take the tour!
You’ll find several difference scenes in the Chamber of Horrors. There’s a lone skeleton who is playing the piano. There’s graveyards. There’s a 3D wall image of some occult members coming after you. It’s essentially a maze that you’ve got to navigate on your own and as the Gruselkabinett says, the only way to adequately get through the Chamber properly is go running and screaming.
This is where hidden workers will pop out of seemingly nowhere and scare you as you’re looking at these sometimes frightening, sometimes pretty cheesy images. Still, all in all, it’s better than your average Haunted House that you’d find on Halloween! And hey, if it’s your kid’s birthday, you can invest 1.50€ to let them go on a treasure hunt throughout the museum and keep their reward! Yay!
Then There’s the Look at Ancient “Medicinal” Practices…
Did you know that cannibalism was one of the most efficient ways to cure illness and injury in the ancient world? According to the Gruselkabinett is is, anyway. The mannequins in this medical section can be seen doing a number of gruesome things to other mannequins, such as using a hacksaw on a leg. It makes you wonder why no one has contacted mannequin social services as of yet for this mannequin on mannequin violence! One poor guy is getting his mannequin blood transfused as he’s getting his leg chopped off!
Once you’ve completed the tour of horrors, you’re ready to see the remainder of the bunker museum. The museum is filled with trinkets and personal items that were left over by those who actually had to use the bunker for its real purpose, making it more of a tribute to the German people than a scary reproduction. Still, seeing old war newspapers and aerial photographs of Allied bombers coming in at you is enough to send shivers down your spine! Or maybe that’s the smell of the White Lilac perfume that seems to mildly scent the air…
Keep in mind that 12,000 people at a time is a lot of people to move in and out of a bunker. As the war starting winding down to a close, the attacks on Berlin became more frequent. Rather than slowly move in and out of the bunker, many families chose to just stay inside the three underground levels for up to 6 days at a time.
There is an entry fee:
Adults: 9.50€ / Concessions: 7.00€
There are reduced prices for kids under 18 years students with ID, and senior citizens.
Hours are 10am-7pm weekdays & 12-8pm on weekends.