Day 27: Keeping Chemical Weapons in Your Basement is a Bad Idea - Atlas Obscura
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Day 27: Keeping Chemical Weapons in Your Basement is a Bad Idea

31 Days of Halloween: On Atlas Obscura this month, every day is Halloween. Stop by the blog every day this month for true tales of the unquiet dead. Come for the severed heads, stay for the book bound in human skin. Every story is true, and each one is a real place you can visit. We dare you. 

Like a bad dream, the dank, dark corridors and warped walls of Fort Zverev are a terrifying and stark reminder about the dangers of chemical weapons. 

Originally built by engineer Konstantin Zverev in the 1870s, this seemingly indestructible outpost and arsenal now lies in ruins. A shell of its former self with machine gun mounts, bunkers and water pipes rusting away. 

photo by nortfort.ru

Upon entering the underbelly of the fort, you are sure to be filled with dread as a nightmarish scene appears in front of you. The appearance of melting icicles, some god-awful virus or a hallucinogenic nightmare is the defining characteristic in the now empty and silent complex. 

photo by tbsf.livejournal.com

The source of this terrifying interior design stems from a fire that erupted in the 1970s. 

But this wasn’t any old fire. It was a result of tons of Russian “napalm” burning at temperatures exceeding 2000C! The fire reached such soaring temperatures that it literally melted the brick above it. In doing so it created a sort of artificial cave of red brick stalactites dripping down from above.

photo by tbsf.livejournal.com

Today the fort, and its cave of dripping brick stalactites are still there, slowly falling back into the Russian countryside.

photo by nortfort.ru

CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN THE BASEMENT = BAD IDEA
FORT ZVEREV, Kronshtadt, Russia