5. Aunt Toña’s House
Hidden in the forests of Mexico City’s massive Chapultepec park is an enormous white mansion known as Aunt Toña’s House. Little is known about Toña’s life today, but in some way she came to live alone in the massive house. Rumor had it she had hidden an enormous fortune within the mansion, but she was so reclusive that no one had the opportunity to investigate. As she aged and grew lonely, Toña began fostering homeless children in her home. Although the local appreciated her actions, the children were rowdy and cruel to the kindly old woman. This is where the stories diverge- some tellings say she murdered the children in a fit of rage; others say the children murdered her while trying to discover her hidden treasure.
Whatever the story, Aunt Toña’s house is known today to be a very haunted place. It is reached by crossing a dilapidated wooden bridge in the third section of Chapultepec. The house is always shrouded in fog and legend has it that Aunt Toña and the children can be seen and heard wandering the grounds. In March of 2008, twenty students died by falling off a cliff near the mansion. The house is difficult to reach today; the third section of Chapultepec is home to packs of feral dogs and the mansion has come under new ownership.
4. La Posada del Sol
La Posada del Sol is an ornate hotel in the heart of Mexico City. Designed by architect Fernando Saldaña Galván, Posada del Sol represented the culmination of his life’s work. Galván poured his blood, sweat and tears into the structure, including gardens, patios, fountains, terraces and over 600 suites as well as a ballroom, turkish bath and even a human-sized chess board.
Although Galván was a gifted architect, construction of the hotel ground to a halt as his debts grew and his funding shrank. Some say Galván was driven to insanity and murdered his family; others claim the project was a front for Satanic rituals. One terrifying room holds a strange altar many associate with a little girl who was found dead in the hotel’s basement. Although no one knows exactly what caused Galván’s failure, it is known that he hung himself in the hotel’s yard. The hotel sits abandoned and cordoned off today; although this frustrates would-be explorers, perhaps it spares them the curse of Fernando Saldaña Galván.
3. Panteon de Belen
Panteón de Belén (also known as Santa Paula Cemetery) is a closed cemetery in Guadalajara that has been the site of dozens of folk tales and hundreds of ghost sightings. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Vampire Tree.
Legend has it a vampire terrorized the citizens of Guadalajara until he was caught, impaled with a wooden stake and buried. A tree grew from his grave; it can be seen today towering over the other graves. It is said you can see the faces of the vampire’s victims in the bark at night, and if you break off a branch the tree will drip blood instead of sap. Some even believe that when the tree dies, the vampire will rise again to terrorize the city. The tree is protected by a government-installed fence today; whether this is to protect the tree from vandals or to protect the citizens from a resurrected vampire remains unclear.
2. Chichen Itza
The ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is a well-known UNESCO World Heritage Site that was one of the largest Mayan cities. Aside from its cultural importance, Chichen Itza is known to paranormal enthusiasts as one of the most haunted places in Mexico. Chichen Itza was the site of mass human sacrifices whose ghosts wander the ruins today. Visiting tourists often report seeing ghostly humanoid figures around the old observatory.
Chichen Itza is also a hotspot for Alux sightings. Aluxes are spirits that take the form of child-sized Mayans and are associated with natural features like caves and forests. Much like European fairies, they’re known for theft and trickery but also for bestowing gifts on those who show them proper respect. If you encounter a small, mysterious person in traditional Mayan clothing at Chichen Itza, be sure to mind your manners.
1. Claudia Mijangos House
If you visit the Mexican state of Querétaro you might see a small, boarded-up house surrounded by a wall topped with barbed wire. The locals will tell you about screams and sobs that come from the house and if you watch closely you might see a small child pop up in the window. This is the home of Claudia Mijangos, The Hyena of Queretaro.
Claudia was a college-educated former beauty queen with a husband, three children and a sizable inheritance after the death of her parents. She taught Catechism at her children’s Catholic school and opened a fashion shop downtown. Although she and her husband were experiencing marital problems and Claudia was subject to occasional hallucinations, no one suspected what would come next.
In April of 1989, Claudia woke in the middle of the night hearing voices in her head. Following the voices’ instructions, she went to the kitchen, retrieved three knives and proceeded to attack her own children. She cut off her youngest child’s hand, stabbed her eldest daughter six times and stabbed her nine-year-old daughter in the heart. Afterward, she piled the bodies in the master bedroom and attempted to kill herself.
Claudia woke up in the hospital three days later and claimed not to remember anything. Doctors diagnosed her with a schizoaffective disorder and epilepsy; these mitigating health issues allowed her to receive the minimum sentence for her crimes (30 years in prison). Some reject the doctors’ theory and maintain that she was possessed by demons; a contemporary inmate at her prison claimed to hear her conversing with demonic male voices when in solitary confinement.
Whether Claudia’s actions were the result of possession, schizophrenia or something else entirely, her former home has become the site of satanic rituals and is a Mecca for paranormal researchers.