In 1905, Saint Gobain ordered architect Jozef August Jacobs to build a glass factory and surrounding houses including an Executive Board house known as Sas-van-Gent De Villa. At the time of its construction, the border between the Netherlands and Belgium didn't exist. Today, the house use to sit right next to it.
Jacobs was the head of the factory. He became the first owner of the villa. He lived there with his wife, mother and five children. Five years later, he built a phosphate factory in Sas van Gent. However, life soon took a turn for the worse. In 1914, World War I began. Holland stared as a neutral country with huge electric fences on the border.
There are several stories associated with people and the electric fence closest to the villa. Supposedly, a German soldier looking to desert the army was electrocuted in or outside the house. Another story speaks of a small guy who escaped from the Germans by using a barrel between the electric wires.
In 1927, the Jacobs family left town and moved to Gent. A rich man named Bel assumed the position of new head of the glass factory and moved in to the Villa only to move out shortly after. He thought the house was too big.
The last owner was a scouting group who used the villa as their home. They abandoned it in 1951. It has sat empty for about forty-six years, absent of living residents. Some believe the house was haunted several spirits of those who died on the property including the German soldier who was electrocuted and three Canadian soldiers who were blown up in a tank outside the house. Visitors have reported strange feelings, shadows, footsteps, voices, temperature drops and objects thrown.
Those paranormal enthusiasts who were lucky enough to visit the house warned others of its overall state. The house had fallen in to a state of disrepair. The roof had been completely removed some time ago. Flemish entrepreneur Luc Christiaen owned the property and was looking to sell the site with or without the house. Dutch entertainer Johan Vlemmix was the only potential buyer but failed to make a formal offer. Sas van Gent De Villa was demolished last month.