The capital city is certainly not lacking in urban myths and legends. Here, we’ll take you on a short trip around the iconic cemeteries, buildings and neighborhoods to discover the city’s hidden intrigue.
Many of the most important destinations in the world boast their own horror tours capable of making anyone’s hairs stand on end. And the City of Buenos Aires is no exception: from a cemetery with terrifying tales, a haunted mansion and even a maze-like neighborhood which is difficult to leave. For anyone who’s looking for an adrenaline rush, here we’ll recap the best stops for discovering the capital’s mysterious side.
Ghosts in La Recoleta Cemetery
Considered one of the most beautiful in the world, La Recoleta Cemetery isn’t only famous for its landmarks and the surrounding neighborhood’s picturesque beauty. It is said that during the night ghostly presences roam around and considering the cemetery’s status, they are of the most distinguished backgrounds.
For example, the spirit of Luz María, daughter of the Argentinian dramatist Enrique García Velloso, who died when she was only fifteen years old. According to the legend, five years after her death, a young man met a beautiful young woman of the same name in a local bar. After drinking a coffee with him, she ran out of the bar and disappeared through the metal railings of the cemetery.
When the infatuated man managed to get passed the railings to find her, he discovered the jacket of Luz María lying a few meters from her grave. This is why it is still believed that her tormented soul continues to roam the city’s backstreets.
The Eternal Party of the Palacio de los Bichos
In the residential neighborhood of Villa del Parque, one of the capital’s most mysterious buildings can be found. We’re referring to the Palacio de los Bichos (The Animal Palace), a five-story building known for its impressive dome and animalesque gargoyles. In the beginnings of the 19th century, the mythical mansion was bought by the Italian aristocrat Rafael Giordano.
A short time after his arrival in the country, his daughter Lucía fell in love with and married a friend from university. After the wedding party in celebration of their love, when returning home, the couple were run over by a train. Devastated, the father of the bride decided to board up the mansion and return home to his native city.
But, once the mansion was completed abandoned, it didn’t take long for the neighbors to notice that, every night, they could still hear noises from inside: they were from a party that no one dared to interrupt…
Today, the Palacio de los Bichos has been renovated and made into private homes.
The Labyrinth of No Escape: Parque Chas
One of the city’s most famous urban legends has a neighborhood as the main character: the maze-like Parque Chas. More precisely, one of its blocks, where the streets of Berna, Marsella, La Haya and Ginebra meet.
The legend goes that in 1957, a group of French explorers accepted the challenge of crossing this version of the Bermuda Triangle. But they didn’t manage it: after giving up, they realized they were three kilometers from the starting point.
The Underground Tunnels of Buenos Aires
When Jorge Eckstein bought a typical Argentinian house built in the “chorizo” style of 1830 in the heart of the San Telmo neighborhood, he never imagined what was going to happen. A short time after beginning some renovations on the house, the owner discovered that the patio had begun to sink.
The reason? Thanks to the work of a team of archeologists, it has been discovered that underneath his home lay the entrance to an unknown world of no less than two kilometers of underground passages. Created in the beginnings of 1870 to hold the overflow from a stream, this particular construction – which took more than two decades to build – can today be visited in the museum El Zanjón de Granados (on the street Defensa).
As well as enjoying this fantastic underground route, anyone who comes to the museum will be able to see the long list of urban myths and legends that have surfaced along with the excavation.