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The vampire, Nachito and Victoriana in the Panteón de Belén

Published: 2017.12.07 - 17:11:47   /  /  Laura Barrera Jerez  /  translated by  Luis E. Amador Dominguez  /

The vampire, Nachito and Victoriana in the Panteón de BelénBack in 1700, a powerful pandemic struck Guadalajara, Mexico. The Panteón de Santa Paula was built on a back plot of the then Civil Hospital to bury humble people, who did not have the resources to pay for a decent burial. This was a common grave until 1848.

That year, the bishop Diego de Arana y Carpintero requested the construction of a cemetery in that same place. The work was in charge of the architect Manuel Gómez Ibarra and for 50 years outstanding figures of the Mexican elite were buried there. Soon that cemetery began to be called the Panteón de Belén and in the middle of the XX century it was restored and became a museum for its patrimonial value.

Today it is a tradition to visit the Panteón and many tourists come there to know its story through guided tours. Specifically the Day of the Dead, many people come to this place to admire its architecture and know the legends that survive there.

One of the tombs that receives more visitors is that of Nachito. This was the name of Ignacio Torres Altamirano, a child who died in 1882. Nachito suffered from a disease that prevented him from exposing himself to sunlight, and contradictorily suffered greatly because he feared the darkness.

Legend has it that after being buried, several times the cemetery watcher found the coffin outside the grave. On the first occasion, he believed that he had been desecrated and buried it again, but in a few days the same thing happened. Knowing this situation the parents of the child, aware of the terror that their son had to the darkness, decided to build a mausoleum in which the coffin was exposed, escorted by four torches that illuminated it at night.

And as if this story were not enough, some say that several times they have seen the ghost of Nachito walking through the cemetery. That is why visitors are recommended to leave toys next to the grave, to contain his mischief.

Another attraction of the cemetery is the tree of the vampire that grew right in the tomb of the Count of Baldón. This man was very unsociable and because he only left his house at night, he was charged with several deaths. They say that several animal and human corpses were found, all bled. The settlers began to doubt the Count, who was always silent, pale and elegant.

The vampire, Nachito and Victoriana in the Panteón de BelénThen they decided to kill him. They prepared a stake with the branch of a tree and fulfilled the ritual of murdering it as if it were a vampire. But the story would not end there, because from his grave grew a leafy tree that, mysteriously, bleeding every time they tried to cut it. It was so they began to fear that "the vampire" would wake up if the tree fell, and that is why they decided to build a perimeter grid that protects it.

In addition, in the Panteón the visitors can know the story of Victoriana Hurtado, a woman who was born in 1833 and who suffered from catalepsy since she was a child. According to the legend, she was buried alive by her own children: Octaviano, Alejandro and Javier, who took advantage of the fact that her mother's illness at times made her suffer in a state of stiffness, unconsciousness and diminution of pulse. However, they could not fulfill their purpose: to distribute the fortune of Victoriana, because she had left every penny for charity. The real story was known because the watchman of the cemetery heard a terrible cry from the tomb of the woman, the very day of her burial. When he arrived he saw the bloodied hand of Victoriana who tried to leave the tomb. Later it was learned that she died of a heart attack and the hand was petrified.

However, despite all these terrifying stories, the Panteón de Belén continues to receive many daily visits. Some people take photos of their 15 years, their wedding and even the rock band "Cuca", native of the city, came to film a video clip in that field. Would you dare?

Number of vistors:1158
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