Myths and Legends

3 Random Spooky Stories from Mexico

Mexico is a land rich in legends and folklore.  Here are 3 random stories from Mexico which evoke feelings of morbid curiosity to outright terror.

  1. La Casa Negra de Colonia Roma

A blight in this beautiful Mexico City neighborhood, the boarded up and trashed house at the corner of Insurgentes Sur and Avenida Álvaro Obregón has a long and tragic history.  Built in the late 1800s, this house was once an impressive mansion filled with fine furnishings. Its walls are now slathered in graffiti, its windows are smashed and some of the doors are missing.  One would think that such a place would be the perfect temporary residence for the homeless, but no one dares to spend one night in this chilling place. The macabre history of the Casa Negra began during a typhoid epidemic in the 1930s during the presidency of Lázaro Cárdenas.  The house was used as a sort of field hospital to take care of typhoid patients.  Even though the disease was treatable at the time, many people did not have access to proper care and the government responded poorly to the epidemic.  Because the hospitals were overflowing, many patients were sent to alternative sites like the Casa Negra.  Because the case numbers of typhoid were fairly low in the general population of the Colonia Roma neighborhood, some people were beginning to suspect what was really going on at the Casa Negra.  Bodies were taken out of the house on a regular basis which led people to believe that something else was going on there besides healing and convalescence.  A group of overly religious people claimed that there was no epidemic and that what was happening around them was collective demonic possession.  A mob arrived at the Casa Negra with torches ready to burn the place down with patients and medical staff still inside, to rid the world of this great evil that had befallen Mexico City.  The mob set the blaze and some people died in the fire, but the building was so structurally sound that it survived the fire with damage that could be repaired.  As the building was no longer needed as a makeshift hospital, it was remodeled and later sold to the Mondragón Family, who were well-to-do members of the community.  After the family bought the house, it was often referred to as Casa Mondragón instead of Casa Negra.  The family – consisting of mom and dad and three kids – fell in love with the house, but the house had prepared a cruel fate for them.  Within a month, the entire family had died in their sleep.  The cause of their deaths remains unknown.  Some believe they fell under the evil spell of a witch, while others believe that the family was poisoned by one of Señor Mondragón’s business enemies. After the unfortunate incident the house passed into the hands of the government.  For years they could not sell the Casa Negra because of all the paranormal activity potential buyers experienced when visiting it and all the terrible stories connected with the house.  Visitors have claimed hearing shrill screams or sensing the presence of supernatural entities.  Some have experienced inexplicable sudden drops in temperature while others have felt being pushed or pulled by unseen forces.  For decades now, the house has been in a constant decline and may eventually be torn down. Some believe that even a demolition of the Casa Negra will not get rid of the profound evil associated with the property.

  1. The Mummy Girl at the Guadalajara Cathedral.

In the year 2012 someone posted on YouTube a curious but creepy video.  It showed what appeared to be a large doll under glass blinking her eyes and slowly turning her head.  The video was that of the Santa Inocencia, or “The Holy Innocent,” the glass-encased mummified body of a young girl dressed in frilly white garments whose eternal rest is the expansive space inside Guadalajara’s iconic Metropolitan Cathedral.  While to some the blinking eyes of the mummified girl was something straight out of a Chucky movie, many people, including church officials, dismissed the video as a hoax or a prank.  So, what is the body of a mummified little girl doing at this cathedral and who was she in life?  These are difficult questions to answer.  One story claims that the remains of the young girl came from a cemetery in Rome and were sent to Mexico in the 1780s.  They were given to a man named Vicente Flores Alatorre, a Catholic church dignitary who taught divinity at the Guadalajara cathedral. He later gave the remains to the Agustinas de Santa Monica convent in Guadalajara. When the convent shut down in 1869, the Diocesan seminary began using the facility, and seminary members found the little girl’s remains in the chapel. The seminary moved to the Templo San Sebastián de Analco in 1915 and took the Santa Inocencia to their new location. When the seminarians moved again in 1924, the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Francisco Orozco y Jiménez decided that the body should be moved to the Guadalajara cathedral. Santa Inocencia has been a permanent resident at this holy place since 1925.  While that sounds like the most official story, there are some variations to that story.  One claims that yes, the remains of the mummified girl did come from Italy, but they are almost 2,000 years old.  In this story, the Santa Inocencia was a young girl in pagan Rome who converted to Christianity.  Her father turned her in to the authorities and she was tortured and killed when she would not renounce her faith.  Another variety of the same story puts the young girl in Mexico during Spanish Colonial times.  The girl was a devout Catholic and attended mass several times a week, sometimes neglecting her chores at home.  Her father would become so angry with her that he would beat her and in a fit of rage one day he stabbed her to death.  The father ran away but the neighbors found the girl dead on the floor still wearing her beautiful white dress from the religious service she had attended.  They took her body to the cathedral and there it remains, incorrupt.  The faithful believe that her body was spared decay as a sign from God.  Whatever the real story, the Santa Inocencia draws a lot of prayers and attention from visitors of the cathedral.  Some have claimed that she gets out of the glass case and walks around performing miracles in the middle of the night, although the Catholic Church has no official stance on any miracles attributed to the Santa Inocencia. The true story behind this mysterious mummified girl may never be known.

  1. The Haunted Castle of Guanajuato

Overlooking the charming colonial city of Guanajuato is what looks like a perfectly preserved medieval castle.  It turns out not to be a castle at all, but the Castillo Santa Cecilia Hotel and it dates to 1951 and not the Middle Ages.  The property does have a long and interesting history, though, and many consider it to be haunted.  The lands on which the castle was built once belonged to the Hacienda San Francisco Javier which was established in 1686.  On the property was a silver mine called Santa Cecilia, a name which would later lend itself to the hotel.  When silver mines in the area stopped producing, many fortunes dried up and the Hacienda San Francisco Javier was eventually sold in 1916.  The crumbling hacienda buildings served as a hospice in the first decades of the 20th Century and then later a hospital.  The property was bought by Don Manuel Quezada Brandy in the late 1940s with a grand plan of building a castle that would serve as a hotel.  Ground broke on this ambitious project on October 17, 1951 and the hotel opened the following year.  The Castillo Santa Cecilia Hotel has hosted many notable guests including real royalty: King Juan Carlos of Spain and the late Queen Elizabeth the Second of the United Kingdom have stayed there.  Since the hotel’s opening, many guests and some workers have reported paranormal activity within the castle’s walls.  Some believe that because there were many people who died in agony on the property in the early 20th Century, there is an overabundance of restless spirits and malevolent forces at work there.  Like the Casa Negra mentioned earlier, some people report a drastic drop in temperature when they enter certain parts of the hotel.  Others have the sensation that they are being watched.  Besides these subtle feelings, there have been more dramatic examples of the paranormal at the Castillo Santa Cecilia.  Many guests and workers have reported the appearance of a young blonde girl with a pale face and dark eyes who approaches people asking for a drink of water.  This is reminiscent of sightings of black eyed children, or “Los BEKS” talked about in Mexico Unexplained Episode number 62 Even more common than the little girl sightings are the appearances of crosses throughout the hotel.  They seem to be formed by painting some sort of oily substance on windows and walls and pop up in different places without warning.  Some believe that some ghostly presence from the property’s hospice days is painting these crosses all over the place to try to protect people from the profound evil that still lurks within the hotel’s walls.  There is a legend that in the 1960s a European countess was found dead in room number 403 and her ghost haunts the room, although researchers have been unable to confirm this.  Across the hotel, witnesses have seen doors and windows open on their own, as well as faucets turning on and off with no help from humans.  During the 1973 filming of the Mexican cult classic “Capulina versus the Mummies,” also released under the title “Terror of Guanajuato,” the movie’s sound crew recorded faint screams and sighs of a tormented woman that were not part of the script.  Despite guests capturing mysterious translucent figures on their cel phone cameras and posting them online, the hotel does not officially acknowledge the presence of anything paranormal on the property and doesn’t see the various instances to be of any concern to the public.  The guests and workers there who have had experiences would definitely disagree.


Hotel Castillo Santa Cecilia web site

Official Guadalajara web stie.

Various other internet sources

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