Mexico City was built on the ruins of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, and humans have lived there dating back to prehistoric times. If one wonders if there are ghosts in Mexico City, you only need to recognize that tales of skulduggery and murder abound in this ancient city, and the answer should be obvious.
All cities have their haunted buildings and houses — supercharged spaces that send shivers up one's spine, for if one thing is certain it's that such emanations are not associated with a fun time. As the British writer Algernon Blackwood put it, supernatural occurrences derive from bad things, "chiefly the evil emotions that are able to leave their photographs on surrounding scenes and objects and whoever heard of a place haunted by a noble deed, or of beautiful and lovely ghosts revisiting the glimpses of the moon?"
It stands to reason that Mexico City has more than its share of angry ghosts to channel, from the ancient Aztecs and their sacrificial victims — the virgins and warriors, ball players and prisoners of war; to the specters of slavery, shades of smallpox and Inquisitional spooks. There must be Independence banshees and Revolutionary revenants, phantasms of natural disaster, demons of murder and the wraiths of suicide.
The Posada del Sol on Niños Heroes in Colonia Doctores, was planned during the mid 20th century by its Don Quixote-like creator, Fernando Saldaña Galván. It was to be a great hotel del lujo of ornate architectural splendor, a refuge for artists and intellectuals.
For some time construction kept pace with Saldaña's vision — but not the ongoing building permits required by local authorities, nor the application of sufficient grease for their cracked palms. Months turned into years and the debts mounted. Destiny did not see fit to honor Saldaña's blood, sweat and tears with a finished project — he was forever tilting at windmills. His life's work, to quote Zora Neale Hurston was a ship "forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing" until it was finally "mocked to death by Time."
Saldaña committed suicide, hanging himself in front of a statue of Saint Francis de Assisi, protected by a wolf. Before doing so, however, he had an inscription carved into a stone located within the premises, a part of which reads:
I recommend that the vain and the angry without
merit be appraised, who tried to humiliate me
overloaded me with difficulties, or climbed over me
to increase their own ostentation and patrimony,
while I have worked with no truce and no hope...
F.S.G. - February 22, 1945
In the years following Saldaña's death, the building became by turns a home to the Instituto Indigenista Americano, El Consejo de Recursos Minerales and the Procuraduría General de Justicia. But it also gained a nickname — "the Bunker." Rumors abounded that the building was haunted — as well it might, by the restless ghost of its creator.
Mannequins have been hung around the place in a macabre gesture of apparent mockery.
Gregorio "Goyo" Cárdenas Hernández (1915-1999) was a spree killer. He was known as The Tacuba Strangler. He committed four murders — three young prostitutes followed by a girlfriend, through August and September of 1942.
Goyo was a strange child who exhibited cruelty to animals. His errant behavior did not prevent him from advancing scholastically, and as a youth, he received a Petróleos Mexicanos scholarship to study chemistry at the Universidad Autónoma de México (UNAM). Yet the "beast" lurked within and, at age 27, he answered its call.
By turns, he strangled 16-year-old prostitutes María de los Ángeles González, Rosa Reyes and Raquel Martínez de León, and last, 19-year-old fellow chemistry student Graciela Arias Ávalos. He buried their bodies in the garden of his house on Mar del Norte in Tacuba.
Acting on the suspicions of neighbors, police soon dug up Goyo's backyard and exhumed the bodies.
Shortly before the police exhumed the bodies, Cárdenas had himself committed to a psychiatric hospital, where he was arrested on September 7, 1942. During his trial Cárdenas pled guilty and was given a life sentence. He escaped prison in 1947 and fled to Oaxaca, but eventually was rearrested.
In the years following his murders there were reports of several copycat murderers imitating his crimes. Goyo wrote several books, married in prison (his wife bore him four children) and was eventually pardoned by President Luis Echeverría in 1976 — lauded as a wonderful example of rehabilitation. He went on to practice law.
Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky — not exactly a model of sanity himself — met Goyo in a cantina in Mexico City. It must have been one bizarre session: the result was the 1989 film Santa Sangre.
Today the murder house is a grim affair in a distinctly unappealing neighborhood, the proverbial stone's throw from a frenetic Tacuba Metro station teeming with deafening traffic. Once you cross the disused train tracks the street itself takes on a quiet, vaguely ominous tone.
El Callejón del Aguacate in leafy Coyoacán is meant to harbor everything from the ghosts of former hardscrabble inhabitants to Satan himself.
While the little alley seems harmless enough by day — like most ghostly locations — the preferred time to visit is late at night, if you're game.
Occasionally, prankish juvenile delinquents have been known to harass nocturnal ghost hunters. Previous tenants of the house at Cañitas 51 in Popotla were rumored to pass the time playing with a Ouija board, and anyone familiar with the modern ghost films, that's what opens the door to the darkest spirits.
One of the ghosts said to haunt this location is a small boy that died there. The incident occurred during the 1930s. There was a military officer who used to stroll down this street. This young boy would follow him as he walked, attracted by the uniform he was wearing, that was until one day when the soldier was in a foul mood and was tired of the boy shadowing him. He beat the child and then hung him from one of the branches of an avocado tree there at the corner. A short time afterwards he realized the atrocity he had committed, and he felt sorry for what he had done. The only witness to his act was a monk who lived nearby, and who had looked on from a window.
As an act of contrition the officer had a statue of the Virgen place at the corner, so that those who pass the area would pray for his soul and for that of the child.
It is said that at dusk when it's overcast or on rainy nights, the dying boy's scream of terror can be heard at that intersection as he relives his dying moments. It is said that if you look closely at the bark of the tree, the child's face has etched itself there.
Source - MexConnect
Marlene at Miami Ghost Chronicles is a freelance writer and paranormal researcher.
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