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[REMEZCLA]

¡Qué Horror! – Haunted Buenos Aires

BY Matt Barbot | PUBLISHED: Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
¡Qué Horror! – Haunted Buenos Aires

This installment of ¡Qué Horror! brings you two chilling tales from the city of tango and Italian surnames, Buenos Aires.

The first comes to us from the depths of the city, the subte (short for subterraneo) Linea A.

Yes, BsAs has a subway. Linea A is the blue one.

Yes, BsAs has a subway. Linea A is the blue one.

subteaLinea A is famous  for being an antique: all the cars used on the line are original to the lines 1913 construction, or nearly so, and so the interiors are charmingly old-timey, from the rickety wood carriages, to the glass lanterns, to the horrible screeching of the train as its outdated mechanisms fly over the tracks, to the fact that when the train pulls into the station you often have to force the doors open yourself to disembark.

Wait. Just look at it. Of course it’s haunted. It would have to work hard to not be.

Specifically, traveling between the Pasco and Alberti stations, the electricity on the train is known to cut out as the train passes an abandoned station, plunging everyone into darkness – which we’re sure all the porteños are totally used to be now, but excuse us at Remezcla if the idea of being exposed to haunted ghost-darkness every morning on our commute, hundreds of feet underground in a wooden box whose doors don’t even work when they’re supposed to let alone when we might have to escape from supernatural murder strikes us as a bit pantshittingly unappealing.

It’s said that if you look out the window as you pass through the station, you can see the spirits of a pair of Italian workers who perished in the building of the station. They’re sitting there, staring at you as you pass. And that’s not all: another story tells of a jilted bride who decided to commit suicide-by-Argentine-metro, and whose wails of agony, fear, and pain still echo throughout the tunnel as you’re just trying to get to work oh god please make it stop I just want to go to work.

Commuting, right?

rufina cambaceresOur next story comes to us from, d’uh, a cemetery.  Not just any cemetery, though: this is the world famous Recoleta Cemetary, a gorgeous necropolis where the likes of Eva Peron are buried in elaborate tombs, each apparently trying to outdo the one next to it. This cemetary is the final home of Buenos Aires’ rich and famous, and they wanted to make sure you knew it. One such tomb is the final resting place of Rufina Cambacérès. See how she appears to be leaving the tomb there, in that sculpture? If she had been a little luckier, she may have been able to do that for real.

You see Rufina was the heiress to a cattle fortune, the daughter of a famous writer and politician that died of tuberculosis when she was only four. In 1902, the then nineteen year old socialite was buried in this tomb, not yet embellished with the now-famous sculpture. It is said that she either collapsed at a party or went to sleep and never awoke, but most versions of both tales involve a scandalous relationship to her mother. You see, many of those who say Rufina collapsed say it was because she had just found out that her mother was sleeping with her boyfriend. Many of those who say she went to sleep and never awoke say she slipped away in the night because her mother had been feeding her sedatives so that the girl wouldn’t awake while she – you guessed it – had sex with Rufina’s boyfriend.  (This affair is probably an invention, but it’s fun, so we’ll keep it.) Three doctors all presumed the girl dead of a heart attack. She was sealed in a coffin and placed in her family’s mausoleum.

You see where this is going, right?

A few days later, a groundskeeper in the cemetery found that the coffin had moved and the lid was broken in places. Fearing grave robbery, he opened the coffin to inspect the body, only to find that the girl was covered in bruises, with bleeding fingers, and that the bottom of the lid was covered in scratches and dents. It appeared Rufina had merely suffered an attack of catalepsy, and had later died of exhaustion and asphyxiation.

The statue on the tomb is said to be a tribute to Rufina, built by her mother, depicting the girl safely awake and exiting the tomb. And yeah, the girl is said to haunt the joint. Wouldn’t you?



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