Lawang Sewu means 'thousand doors' in Javanese. Lawang Sewu is the oldest train station in Indonesia, and was built during the Duth occupation to be a headquarters for the Dutch East Indies Railway Company. The Japanese army took over Lawang Sewu during the Japanese invasion in 1942, and used one of the buildings (B) as a prison, torturing and executing prisoners. Eventually the Dutch army reclaimed Semarang and Lawang Sewu by sneaking into the city through a tunnel that opened into the main building of Lawang Sewu (A), engaging in a battle which lead to severeal casualties.
Due to this history, Lawang Sewu is believed to be haunted, and the fact that the building complex was essentially abandoned and very run down for many years only perpetuated its haunted reputation. Lawang Sewu's spooky reputation prompted the Indonesian government to renovate the buildings in order to make it more inviting as a tourist attraction.