Haunted places carry with them creepy legends attributed to the haunting and in Latin America there are several truly scary sites you may or may not want to visit one day. Even if you’re not a big believer in the paranormal, some of the spookiest places are still worth checking out because of the history and, sometimes, the architecture. We’ve rounded up some of the most famous haunted places in LATAM, so be warned: this might spook you a bit, and there are violent and tragic elements. Here are 10 of the most haunted locations in Latin America you might want to visit if you’re brave enough.
La Casa Matusita in Peru
La Casa Matusita is home to one of the country’s most terrifying paranormal activities located in the capital city of Lima. Legend has it that when a young Persian woman by the name of Dervaspa Parvaneh immigrated to Lima, she soon became known as a witch with magical powers by the locals. The Spanish Inquisition found out about her, arrested her, and tortured her until she confessed to practicing witchcraft. She was later sentenced to death and burned at the stake. It is said that she cursed that exact spot where she died, and legend has it that the future inhabitants have gone crazy after staying there.
Casa de Haedo Museo in Argentina
This is one of the oldest structures in Gualeguaychú in the province of Entre Ríos, Argentina. Isabel Frutos is the spirit who is said to haunt La Casa de Haedo, and locals refer to her as “la niña que murio de amor.” Supposedly, in 1856, Frutos was in love with a young man from a lower class, but her family forbade her to see her lover. She then began to slowly deteriorate after refusing to eat or drink and passed away from a broken heart. Locals in that community say that they frequently see her ghost on the balcony of the house.
El Castillo del Gringo Loco in Ecuador
In Sanquolqui, Ecuador is an unfinished castle and now nature preserve that has a tragic and haunting tale tied to it. Although there are different versions of the legend behind El Castillo del Gringo Loco, one of the most popular versions involves a tunnel system underneath the structure. The story goes that a French WWII veteran wanted to start a new life in Ecuador with his family. He suffered PTSD and was nicknamed the “Gringo Loco” by many of the locals. Unfortunately, their babies died under unusual circumstances, and his wife began having hallucinations. She woke up one night and thought she saw her babies crawling around the house. She followed them deep into the caves and died of suffocation. When the Frenchman found her, he is said to have lost his mind and never left the tunnels. Supposedly, you can hear his cries for his wife to this day.
Casa de Los Tubos in Mexico
Built in the 1970s, Casa de Los Tubos is located in Monterrey, Mexico. The structure features grey concrete tubes outside, and on the inside, the hallways are in the shape of cylinders. According to the legend, the house was built by a wealthy couple with a daughter who was paralyzed. The dad designed the house to make it accessible for his child. As the house was being built, the daughter wanted to go check on its progress. As she was roaming through the halls in her wheelchair, she lost control and flew out an open window to her death. It is said he died by suicide from the heartbreak, and since then, it became known as a cursed place. Though it has since been remodeled, the legend lives on.
Las Ruinas de la Parroquia in Costa Rica
In the middle of Cartago, Costa Rica lie the ruins of a church, Las Ruinas de la Parroquia, said to be cursed due to murder and multiple natural disasters that prohibited its construction. The legend goes that in 1575, a priest engaged in a love affair with his brother’s wife. The brother found out, killed the priest, and buried him underneath the church. Many people claim to see the headless body of the priest roaming around the church grounds.
Pasco and Alberti Stations in Argentina
The Pasco and Alberti Stations are some of the most haunted subways in Argentina. In fact, Line A of the Buenos Aires Subte is the oldest subway line in South America. Construction of the subway and important deadlines actually took the lives of two workers when the walls collapsed while they were working the night shift. Years later, someone planted a bomb on the subway tracks and killed six people. Current workers of these trains say that something turns off the security cameras at night, and when they are turned back on, ghostly figures are staring right into the lens.
Castillo San Cristobal in Puerto Rico
Built in the 1780s, Castillo San Cristobal is the largest fort built by the Spaniards. Legend states that a young woman, Maria Dolores, fell in love with a young thief named Betancourt. This young man was caught stealing and was executed by Maria’s father, who just so happened to be the town executioner. Maria saw him hanging in the gallows and decided to hang herself right next to him. Later that day, Maria’s father came back to remove the body and found his daughter with Betancourt. Locals say you can see the young lovers from time to time where they both died.
Agua Caliente Hotel in Mexico
During the Prohibition era in the 1920s, people would flock to Tijuana to gamble and drink, and that set the scene for the doomed love affair that allegedly still haunts the grounds of Agua Caliente Hotel. A flamenco dancer from Spain, known as La Faraona, was in a relationship with a British man, and according to the legend, she poisoned him when she found out that he wasn’t planning on taking her back to England with him. When he became aware of what had happened, he shot and killed her. Today there is a high school in place of the hotel, and it’s said that students have reported seeing the spirits of this couple roaming the hallways.
Joelma Building in Brazil
The Joelma Building was the site of one of Brazil’s deadliest fires in 1974. The 25-story building caught on fire on the 12th floor, and as it was furnished with wooden furniture, carpeted floors, and fabric curtains, it spread quickly. Making matters worse, there were no fire alarms, sprinkler system, or emergency exits. The fire soon grew out of control and trapped many employees in the building, with some staff even jumping to their deaths. It’s said that 13 employees huddled together in an elevator to try to go down to the lower levels. The elevator was instead consumed by the fire, and it’s said their bodies melted together and onto the metal walls. They were buried in a mass grave in São Pedro Cemetery, and legend has it that you can still hear their cries, so people leave them cups of water in lieu of flowers.
Isla de las Muñecas in Mexico
Isla de las Muñecas is home to thousands of dolls that are meant to soothe the cries of a child’s spirit. Julián Santana Barrera was the caretaker of this island before his mysterious death in 2001. Fifty years before his death, Barrera allegedly saw little girls playing in the river, and one of them was carried away by the strong current. He dived in after her but couldn’t save her. He later found the girl’s doll and hung it in a tree on the island. He continued to collect dolls and hang them in the trees until the entire island was populated with broken dolls. In 2001, Barrerra was found dead in the same spot where the girl drowned years ago. According to locals, you can hear footsteps and crying coming from the island or even the dismembered dolls themselves.