true crime

Natascha Kampusch explains why she keeps the "House of Horrors" she was kept prisoner in for eight years.

Natascha Kampusch, the “girl in the cellar” who was kept captive for eight years has explained the reason she has kept the “House of Horrors” where she was kept prisoner.

Kampusch, 28, told Sunday Night she wants to prevent the home in Vienna becoming a “theme park” for horror buffs and those who doubt her story.

It’s quite shocking when you realise that Kampusch actually owns the house where she was abused for all those years, but Kampusch doesn’t see any other alternative.

Natascha Kampusch on why she still keeps the house. Via Sunday Night.

Her kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil left it to her after he committed suicide following her escape 10 years ago.

"It’s important because I don’t want to have false people in this house,” she told Sunday Night. "I don’t want to have a kind of theme park in here."

She says that while there have been calls for her to destroy the home the law prevents her from doing it.

"I’m not allowed because there are many bureaucratic hurdles. I think it's not, not easy to go there. It's, I'm emotional."

The home that she still owns. Via Sunday Night.

Kampusch was abducted from a Vienna street in 1998 at the age of 10 and kept in a cellar until she re-emerged on August 23, 2006.

Unemployed telecoms engineer Wolfgang Priklopil grabbed Kampusch on her way to school and bundled her into his van on March 2, 1998.

She wrote in her book, Ten Years of Freedom:

"He grabbed me and threw me through the open door. The whole thing only took a few seconds. I was well aware that I had been kidnapped and that I could have died."

He locked her up in an underground room measuring less than six square metres (65 square feet) in the suburb of Strasshof, not far from her parental home.

Priklopil told his victim that the doors and windows were booby trapped and that her family had forgotten about her.

During her time as a captive Kampusch was beaten up to 200 times a week, chained to her captor while they slept together in his bed, and forced to half-naked as a domestic slave.

In her book, 3,096 Days, a reference to the amount of time she was held captive, she revealed that she tried to commit suicide several times.

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Priklopil is widely understood to have thrown himself in front of a train on the day Kampusch fled in August 2006. Via Sunday Night.

Kampusch’s escape was a twist of fate. On the day she finally escaped she had been in the garden cleaning Priklopil’s car because he wanted to sell it.

She said Priklopil usually kept watch over her. But when he was briefly distracted to answer a call away from the noise of the vacuum cleaner she was using, she took her chance and ran.

She said she then got the attention of a local woman by knocking on her window and whispering ‘help me’. The woman called the police.

Priklopil is widely understood to have thrown himself in front of a train on the day Kampusch fled in August 2006, however a new investigation is now underway into whether he was in fact murdered.

Kampusch walks through the home she still kept immaculate. Via Sunday Night.

10 years later she is still coming to terms with those years of imprisonment.

Earlier this year Kampusch told Bild that she continues to carry a photograph of Priklopil in her handbag.

She told Sunday Night that her captor had two sides to his personality.

“I call the one part the dark side, and the other part the bright side, and it was like a schizophrenic personality maybe?"

"He was, was this inconspicuous and polite person on one side, and the other side, the dark side.. the brutal person with no conscience.'”

The stairs leading down to her cellar. Via Austrian Police.

She said she pretended to fall in love with him, and so he began to allow her more freedom. Under his watch he would allow her to go into the garden.

All that now remains of the cellar where she was forced to live is a concrete slab with the date '2011' carved into it.

Kampusch says the council 'made' her fill it in.

She says she still cleans the house, where she sometimes spends weekends, top to bottom, exactly as she was forced to by Priklopil.

Her one link to a torturous past she may never fully come to terms with.

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