(Ruins of Cartago)
V37H+PX4, C. 0
Status: Former Shrine; Church in Ruins
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The first church built here was in 1575 as a shrine to St James the Apostle.
The church was destroyed by an earthquake in 1841 and rebuilt a few years later.
The church fell prey to another earthquake in 1910 leaving only the outer walls intact. The church decided not to rebuilt after the second earthquakes.
Today a beautiful garden grows inside the wall and it is used as a small park.
This location is considered to be one of the most haunted in the Country.
Although it’s a beautiful garden by the day, the energy is to grow far more sinister once the sun goes down.
The legend says two brothers lived in the city a long time ago; one was very popular and the other turned to the priesthood. And on life went until they both fell in love with the same woman.
The woman married the popular brother and the priest grew so consumed by his jealousy he murdered his brother – obviously a mortal sin. To repent to God, he built a church which is said to be cursed die to the earthquakes destroying them.
The first church stood almost 300 years making the cursed part a bit far fetched; in our opinion anyway.
Another version says the priest and the wife actually had an affair and the popular brother – sometimes said to be the mayor of the city – killed his brother and buried the remains under the church.
In this version the curse is due to the unsolved murder and the priest’s remains being on site.
Being as the haunting is said to be that of a headless priest the second story definitely makes more sense.
Despite Google’s assurance this site is open 24 hours a day the interior is actually locked up at night. Witnesses say there is a definite change to the ruin’s energy after dark that is impossible to miss.
And, who knows, maybe you’ll see the headless priest wandering the gardens when you look through the gate.
Sanatorio Dr. Carlos Durán, 219
Status: Former Tuberculosis Sanatorium; Abandoned; Accessible by Public ($3 Admission)
In 1918 Costa Rican Doctor and Politician Carlos Duran opened this sanatorium in hopes of finding a cure for his daughter who was suffering from tuberculosis.
As with similar institutions worldwide treating this terrible disease this location was picked due it’s abundant fresh air and isolation from any population centre.
Tragically, Duran’s daughter could not be saved – tuberculosis was not cured until the discovery of anti-biotics in the 1940’s – 50’s – but the sanatorium was opened not only to other people suffering from the disease but also those suffering from mental illness as well.
The Sisters of Charity of St. Anne came to the hospital to take over the care of the patients – at times there were over 300 people living in the campus.
In the 1960’s (1950’s?), when tuberculosis was no longer an epidemic, there was no longer a need for the sanatorium. The mentally ill were transferred to hospitals focusing on the treatment of their ailments and the facility nearly closed down.
It was, however, converted into an orphanage and then a prison. The facility is said to have operated for a further 10 years after the sanatorium closed however, the volcanic eruption that caused it’s closure happened between 1963-65 so somewhere there’s a hole in the timeline. Best guess the sanatorium closed down in the 1950’s not 1960’s.
After the evacuation – presumably when it was a prison – due to the large volcanic eruption the site was left abandoned. The volcanic activity actually damaged some of the site’s buildings.
It is now run as a heritage property by the Costa Rican government. It is also considered to be the most haunted place in all of Costa Rica.
The ghost most often reported is that of a young girl – thought to be Duran’s daughter but that’s probably just a romantic notion.
The apparition of a nun is also frequently seen. She is thought to be one of the nuns that cared for the ill at the sanatorium. People report she gives off positive energy and seems to be taking her love of caring for the sick into the afterlife.
A woman with white hair in a blue dress is also seen often. No one is sure if she was staff or one of the mentally ill patients.
Many other apparitions are reported of ghosts in either hospital gowns or jumpsuits including those of children.
Other Activity: disembodied voices; unexplained noises including knocks and loud bangs; doors open and closing on their own; electrical disturbances; cold spots; cold breezes; light anomalies and feelings of not being alone.